High-Fashion Flower Girls: Spring

Because these don't suck.

Final Act Cape and Miss Anna Top from Papier d’ Amour ($100AU and $45AU)

We didn’t have a flower girl at our wedding (sadly). But my soul sister of a little girl was four at the time, and showed up to the wedding in an absurdly awesome outfit. She picked out red cowboy boots, a white dress with rosebuds on it, and an enormous pink hair flower. That kiddo was one of my favorite parts of the day.

I joke that this child should be a little-girl stylist. She’s always my pick for best dressed at a party, partly because her fashion is so out-there for a kid. Her mom thinks her fashion choices are a little nuts, but she’s allowed to dress herself.

When little girls are concerned, our culture is still traditional, and a little patriarchally protective. There are perimeters of appropriate for girls, and even stricter perimeters of appropriate for flower girls. Not only does it lead to a lot of tiny stiff taffeta dresses at otherwise outside of the box weddings, it’s also limiting for the kids themselves. Because sure, some little girls love pink puffballs of dresses. But other little girls like making crazy fashion choices, and some little girls are tomboys, and some girls just don’t care at all.In an effort to push the envelope on behalf of little girls everywhere, we’ve decided to make our flower girl roundups seasonal. (You can see our winter roundup here.) Since I was the little girl who liked both pink taffeta and out-there fanciness, this roundup I’m covering the femme-y choices—from hip to outlandish. Consider these picks as being in honor of my soul sister little one (and Quinoa). Next week, Lucy will be covering some tomboy choices, in an effort to bring last fall’s tomboy flower girl roundup into fruition as a real life trend. (Send us pictures!) But first, bear with me for the stand-up ruffles and general absurdity. It’s possible I have a (now) medium sized girl to shop for.

Coney Island: 1. Annika Elsa Dress from JuJu Bunny Shop ($86) 2. Girls’ Corsage Tee Dress from J.Crew ($42.50) 3. Boy+Girl Tunic Dress with Cording from Minikin ($78) 4. Wovenplay Deco Tutu from Poppy’s Closet ($148) 5. Tutu Du Monde Prima Ballerina Tutu from Poppy’s Closet ($152)

Marfa: 1. Gioanne Floral Jumpsuit from Vindiebaby ($23.99) 2. Eyelet Flutter Dress from Baby Gap ($39.95) 3. Contrast Eyelet Flutter Dress from Baby Gap ($44.95) 4. Bird Print Crochet Trim Dress from Gap ($33.99, out of stock) 5. Kenzo Blue Cloud Print Cotton Dress from Children Salon ($126.87)
BERLIN: 1. Annika Ravievil Dress from JuJu Bunny Shop ($55) 2. Mayoral Chic Gold Leather Look Shift Dress from Children Salon ($70.85) 3. Girls Limited Edition Multi Striped Bow Dress from Mamas & Papas ($34.99) 4. Tutu du Monde Three Wishes Tutu Dove from Poppy’s Closet ($159) 5. Motoreta Polka Dot Bow Dress from Poppy’s Closet ($89) 6. Accordion Pleated Dress from Gap ($49.95)

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  • Um, does #5 in Berlin come in my size…?

    • Lisa

      I think I want all of the Berlin dresses for myself…

    • Seriously considering Berlin #2. It goes up to girls’ size 16…

    • Meg Keene


      Berlin #1 is my favorite though (not for me). I had dresses like that as a kid, and I loved them so much. You never see them these days.

      • swarmofbees

        That is why you need a mother who just couldn’t get rid of the baby clothes. Now Kiddo rocks some of the best velour the 80s had to offer.

      • Class of 1980

        That’s my favorite too. It’s just the perfect dress for that particular little girl.

    • Berlin #1 and #5 are so perfect. They’d look terrible on the grownup version of me, but I love them so.

      • Lindsey d.

        Agree they would look terrible on me, what with the hips and the boobs and the waist, but I love all of Berlin nonetheless. Good thing I found my flower girls’ dresses in August (and the wedding was 2.5 weeks ago) or they’d be wearing Berlin #6.

    • Alison O

      EXXXXXXACCCCTLYYYY! Somebody start selling this on Etsy in adult sizes.

    • scw

      tell me about it! I wish it came in even slightly larger sizes, I’ve been looking for polkadot dresses for my (will be) 8 year old flower girl and 11 year old ‘junior bridesmaid.’

  • swarmofbees

    Adorable!! I love how all of these could be worn again and might even be comfortable. I ended up getting something similar to the Marfa 3 from Laura Ashley. It even has a little poof under the skirt to make it fancy! It also just so happens to pair nicely with a linen shorts/waistcoat combo from Monsoon. Baby attendants’ attire taken care of. Now I have to figure out what to call my two littlest attendants. I don’t want to pigeon hole them as flower girl/ring bearer based purely on gender.

  • Kari

    Every single one of those dresses is so adorable I might die. It makes me want to go find a random little kid so I can have a flower girl…probably frowned upon, but oh so cute.

    I love that you’re showcasing a variety of options for girls that have different tastes and styles and I think that is so valuable in identifying the awesome diversity of kids (and adults). However, I’m a little sensitive to using the word “tomboy” to describe girls who don’t like dresses- simply because it identifies “girl behavior” vs. “boy behavior” and can help enforce stereotypes about what girls and boys should do. APW is so great about empowering all kinds of people to make all kinds of choices, and I think this is a subtle example of how our society teaches gender norms at an early age. I like to remind myself that there are many ways to be a girl (or boy), all of which are equally great!

    Here’s an interesting article that expands upon the point if anyone is interested: http://www.parentdish.co.uk/news-and-views/dont-call-my-daughter-a-tomboy/

    • Meg Keene

      It’s an interesting debate. As a staff, we’ve decided that we in general, like the word, and are happy to use it and claim it. It’s an identity for a lot of people and it’s not one I particularly want to see stripped away. We have staffers that identify/ identified as tomboys, and also have multiple siblings of staffers for whom being a tomboy is a pretty core part of their identity.

      I get that not everyone likes the word, and that’s obviously valid. That said, it’s a word I love. It carves a very important space for people that are often not made a space for. Words are powerful, and as you know, I’m a big claimer and re-claimer of words.

      Our culture is big on removing words, as a way of trying to solve problems. And while that often comes from a place of good intent, I personally find that when words are removed, or stigmatized, it’s much harder to have conversations, because we’re all grasping around in a word-less void, trying not to offend. There are, obviously, words that need to be gotten rid of. But this particular word is one that I am deeply fond of, and has good connotations for me. My sister was super proud of her Tomboy status, and I don’t like the idea of taking that away from her. I do like the idea of simply continuing to talk.

      • Maddie Eisenhart

        Piggy-backing on Meg to say that I think Tomboy is more of a self-identifier than anything else. My sister, for example, who is a HUGE Tomboy, used to get really offended when people confused her for a boy (even though she dressed and acted like one.) She wasn’t a boy, and didn’t want people to think she was. Identifying as a tomboy was a way for her to both dress and act like a boy, while claiming girl status. (Because unfortunately our society is SO gendered that it’s not really possible to just let girls dress however they want. And don’t even get me started on what we do to boys who divert from the norm.)

        But I also think there is a way to play nice in both actions and words. Giving girls a word to claim as their own as they work through their identity is good. Calling it out as “other” when a girl dresses/behaves that way is less good. So I think we can both have tomboy in our vernacular, while leaving it mostly up to those who identify as one to use it as they see fit. And using it on APW feels less like the othering kind and more like the kind where you see something that looks and sounds like how you identify, and getting excited that someone finally sees you.

        Slightly garbled thoughts for an already complicated set of thoughts.

        • lady brett

          that first thing is just what i was going to write, but from the other direction: i hated being called a tomboy, because it is such a feminine word (i mean, it’s only used for girls!), which is precisely what i was trying to escape.

          • Meg Keene

            SEE. THIS IS AN INTERESTING CONVERSATION. (And we need a word to have the conversation).

          • Meg Keene

            In fact, I was just discussing what we would call the Tomboy Flower Girl Roundup without the word, saying that “Pants for Flower Girls” is both not terrifically descriptive and incorrect (there is a dress inclueded too). Maddie joked “Flower Girl Outfits for The Masculine of Center” and I noted that’s something DIFFERENT from Tomboys. Many many self identified Tomboys are very feminine of center. They just, in my sister’s case, also really like archery and pants (or fill in the blank).

          • lady brett

            and i feel like i should add that i *love* the term tomboy – it gives me warm fuzzies for all the reasons y’all outlined above – it’s so wonderfully descriptive and empowering of “boy” things not erasing the fact that girls are girls. (it just wasn’t me, who would have been a much happier child had i known in 1991 that when people called me a boy, just *not* correcting them was an option).

          • Maddie Eisenhart

            <3 Love this.

            The Total Opposite End of the Girly Spectrum aka I Wore Gold Lamé to my 5th Birthday

        • laddibugg

          aw.. i was/am a tomboy who loves dresses. I just wore shorts to climb trees.

      • Maddie Eisenhart

        Actually, more succinctly, taking away the word, to me, says, “Let’s pretend this isn’t here.”

        ETA: That might be what Meg just said, but I had to work my way through it to get there.

    • Class of 1980

      Don’t most people think of “tomboy” as an adorable variation of being a girl?

      I never thought of it as a shaming word.

      • Meg Keene

        I mean, that’s my problem with this particular argument. Tomboy is a badge of honor, and without the word, we have no words with which to discuss (and give pride to) little girls who love activities that are culturally more associated with boys. And those girls need something to give them pride, and we at the VERY least need words to have the conversation with.

        Which doesn’t even get into the fact that (I’ve long held this from working with small children) for many if not most kids, there are aspects of gender that are in-born (IE, my boy child’s brain works differently in some fundamental developmental ways than a girl child’s brain). And we need language to discuss the (awesome) places where there is cross over, and play, with those roles.

  • The dresses in the second grouping are just my style. I’m okay with ruffles and lace, it just better not itch me at all. I’ve always been drawn to eyelet patterns.

  • Celina

    I don’t see a description for Berlin #6.

    • Celina


    • Meg Keene


  • Kayjayoh

    I would love, love, love a round-up of boy clothes for weddings. My nephew is 7 and there is a sad, sad lack of interesting stuff for boys of that age to wear to a wedding. Wee little toddler boys have chauncy (and adorable) little outfits with shorts and hats. But once they hit elementary school…boring. Boring. Blah. I mean, I realize he will outgrow almost anything before he wears it again, but still.

    Is it possible to find reasonable boy-clothes that also seem like they’d be comfortable and fun? (He wants to dress like Matt Smith’s Doctor Who, but even with that it seems like my options are cheapo costume stuff and seriously expensive Brooks Brothers stuff.)

    The internet like showing me pictures of shiny polyester vests for boys in weddings or denim. Wah?

    • Meg Keene

      Working on it! Feel free to leave your wish list here :)

      • Kayjayoh

        Woo hoo!

        My wish list: elementary school-age boys (K-5 perhaps). Summer weddings. “Festive-casual” but not super formal, so things maybe with vests but without suit jackets (because who wants to wear a jacket in the summer? any self-respecting boy is going to ditch it in a minute). Clothes that are not so precious that they can’t be played in. And possibly things that don’t break the bank.

        • emilyg25

          While you wait for the round-up: We had a bunch of really stylin’ boys and tomboys at our August wedding. The dominant look seemed to be chino shorts (either khaki or slate blue) with a button-up shirt and accessories like a tie, vest, and nice leather sandals. My husband’s nephew even added a fedora and bow tie. Pretty much all that stuff comes as separates, not an outfit.

      • swarmofbees

        I have found the monsoon outfits for boys to be reasonably priced, and they even have some more breathable linen stuff. I wouldn’t call it exciting, but it is at least nice looking, and not shiny.

    • A 7-year-old who wants to dress like a specific Dr. Who sounds like a super cool kid.

      • Kayjayoh

        He really is. (Though personally, I wish he’d latched onto Tennant instead of Smith. :)

        • Every year at DragonCon we see little boys dressed up in that brown & blue pinstriped suit and I die of cute overload. <3

    • Jane Patterson-McGuire

      Maybe check out school uniforms, for something in between costume and Brooks Brothers?

  • Caroline

    I love all the Berlin dresses!

  • freaking cute!

  • We’re not having a flower girl or ring bearer (… I wanted our dogs to fill the roles, but alas, venue doesn’t allow pets) but I would totally add one just to have a little girl walk down the aisle in one of these freaking adorable dresses!!

  • Kelsey

    Best timing ever. Flower girl’s mother is shopping my Pinterest page tomorrow. Just added about 30 options, which are more fun, affordable, and frilly than anything previously pinned. And when it comes to my flower girl, who is four years old and once told me I was only allowed to talk to her at church if I painted my toenails first, the more frills the better.

  • I wouldn’t mind trying on Coney Island dresses 1, 4 and 3 in my size… :)

  • Bets

    Seriously love the Berlin dresses.

    I’m struggling with the fact that some of these cost over $100, though, and most of them are $50+. That’s not a judgment on the selections, it’s more like me going, “is that how much kids clothes cost these days?” I don’t remember my parents spending more than $30 for any of my clothes until I was a teen, and I had some awesome girly dresses including a traditional lacey toddler flower girl dress. To me, $50-$150 sounds right for an adult dress.

  • meleyna

    Ahhhh how have I never seen JujuBunnyShop before? Excuse me while I order the entire line for my two year old.

  • Rob Willey

    I’ve been asked fairly often about the fashion ideas for girls choices I make for Fern and where I get her clothes, so I thought I’d compile all my favorite baby styling tips and tricks into one post for all those who have been inquisitive.