Ses Petites Mains girls' semi-formal dress in denim
I am hoping you can help me with my latest shopping challenge – my 11 year old daughter!

She is graduating from 5th grade and needs a dress. She hates pink, ruffles, and anything “too girly” AND shopping for an 11 year old girl is awful!

We need a not little girlish, but not teenagerish simple dress, and I feel we are never going to find it! Thanks! -Sharon

Oh, how I can empathize—I have a tall 10 year old who will be attending a wedding in May, and also hates anything that is too frilly. I hope these ideas will help you find something you both will love.Christina

Ses Petites Mains denim dress - perfect for tweens
Ses Petites Mains, one of Cool Mom Picks’ favorites for lovely little girls’ clothing has big-girl sizes too. For something not “too frilly” or pink, I adore this Rose dress in denim (here and at top) which looks dressy enough for a special occasion but is easy-wearing so my active tween could still run around comfortably with her friends.


Tea Collection Dress
Tea Collection has so many high-quality, not-fussy dresses, like this Flemenco Dot V-Neck Dress. All their dress sizes go up to a size 12, so there are plenty of comfy choices your daughter can wear all summer long.


Mini Boden Dress


Mini Boden is a great line to consider for a tween since their styles aren’t quite so “teen” as their older-kid line, johnnie b. I love the color combination and the shape of the Pear Daisy Vintage Dress.  Sorry, this dress is no longer available.

Midsommar Dress


I tend to think of Hanna Andersson
as “little girl” but was pleasantly surprised to see that their sizes
often go up to a 12 (though many of their larger sizes are sold out
online). This Midsommar Sky Sweater Dress is the most beautiful shade of blue, and isn’t quite as casual as some of their other styles.



J. Crew dress


J. Crew’s Crewcut has some pretty dresses for girls, though they are a bit heavy on the ruffle. My daughter would love the little touch of fancy from a delicate tulle overlay on the simple tank Marseille dress. If the words “Final Sale” don’t scare you away, this Lillie Dress is quietly pretty–but be careful with the short length if she is tall like my girl.


Redfish Dress


I think your daughter will find a lot of styles to love from Canada’s Redfish Kids Clothing. Their dresses are beautiful but not too casual: She will feel like she’s wearing a special-occasion dress and not something she’ll later throw on for the beach. I like the Partini’s straight style which comes in several different patterns and looks sophisticated, but age-appropriate.


Redfish Kids Lucky Dress


For more of a proper party dress, be sure to also check out Redfish Kids’ Lucky dress. If she likes to make a statement, she may love it in this funky newspaper print pattern.

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