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The Breakdown: Dress Lengths For Little Girls

The Breakdown: Dress Lengths For Little Girls

Consider dress lengths for little girls the next time you buy her a fancy frock. Some lengths are universal, while others are better for specific ages or events. As you'll see, casual dresses are usually an exception, but when you're looking for a dress for a special occasion, you need to consider the length along with the dress code, her aesthetic, the season, and the overall style of the dress. Sara Dresses is here to share everything you need to know about the right lengths for your little girl.

Short, Sassy Dresses

a short pink dress for little girls

Short dress lengths have a place at almost every age. “Short” simply becomes more subjective as your child grows. It's cute when your toddler wobbles out in a short, ruffled dress that shows off her bloomers, for example, but that's not the right look for your six-year-old.

In general, short dresses are  party dresses. They're obviously better in the spring, summer, and early fall, as well, although you can always layer your little girl's ensemble with tights. A toddler-age child might wear a short, sparkly dress to the annual family holiday party, but your second-grader is more likely to wear a shorter dress to a friend's semi-formal birthday party.

One exception is with casual dresses. Short hemlines are just fine for the day-to-day, as long as they're not too short, of course. For instance, the length of your daughter's dress shouldn't impede her ability to run around at recess and play with her friends.

Another exception is with  pageant dresses. Up to a certain age, little girls usually wear short, playfully flared dresses with an abundance of crinoline and ruffles. Pageant participants in the higher preteen range typically switch over to longer gowns.

Miniature Midi Dresses

a creamy lace midi dress

Midi dress lengths fall somewhere between short and long. Mid-shin is the ideal length because your child has room to grow. As she shoots up, the dress will still fit without suddenly becoming much too short. Most midi dresses aren't so long that they're cumbersome and hot, and they're not short enough to result in any wardrobe malfunctions.

In addition to their vintage appeal, midi dresses are versatile. You can easily find flower girl dresses,  holiday dresses, and other formal frocks in a length that hits between the knee and the ankle. You can pack a surprising amount of drama into it.

At the same time, many midi dresses are semi-formal. For Christmas dinner at grandma's house or the school play, your little girl can dress up without being over the top. Midis are also a popular choice for  Easter events and fall activities when she needs something a bit longer to combat the nip in the air.

Casual midis are available in abundance, as well. That's why medium dress lengths for girls are popular. Longer floral dresses, shirt dresses, and other comfy frocks are perfect for days at school, Sunday services, and family outings to the mall or the movies.

A Tea-Length Touch

a pink tea-length dress

Tea-length dresses are similar to midi dresses, but they tend to be just a fraction longer. Their major benefit is as a stand-in for floor-length gowns, which can be too much for younger or shorter girls, especially if they're too small to wear dress shoes with a bit of a heel.

A dress is tea-length when it hits just above the ankle. Because of how long it is, it's largely considered a formal dress length for girls no matter what their age. Also like a midi dress, a tea-length frock has a certain vintage charm.

For little girls, it's a sensational length for flower girl gowns and  Communion dresses. It won't be long enough to trip her up, but it still has a formal flare. It does depend on the design, though. A tea-length dress is a stylish cold-weather stand-in for girls who simply love to wear dresses.

While midi dresses aren't quite right for pageants and other spectacular events, a tea-length dress is on the money. It can also work as a transition piece for older girls who are becoming more sophisticated in their personal style.

Floor-Length Formality

Although you can find long but casual dress lengths, floor-length dresses are generally a distinctly fancy option. Again, tea-length pieces are better for girls who are very young or very short, but past nine or ten, floor-length is the epitome of elegance, grace, and sophistication. She'll stun as a  flower girl or a mini bridesmaid, and she'll steal the show at her pageant.

Simply by design, floor-length dresses are full of drama. There's something luxurious about a gown. Even grown-ups can attest to that. Just as it's a top choice for holidays,  weddings, and other fancy occasions, she can wear a sweeping dress to a variety of exciting events, such as school dances and boy/girl birthday parties.

You can find every dress length discussed here at Sara Dresses. Shop our unique selection before her next major event and take advantage of free shipping with all orders of $60+!