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The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Children’s Traditional Dresses

What is a traditional dress?

A traditional dress is made and styled using traditional methods, often using age-old artisanal techniques like smocking and embroidery. The result is a timeless style that has stood the test of time. Annafie dresses could have been worn fifty years ago and we hope they will be passed down as heirlooms to be worn in fifty years time. 

Traditional dresses tend to be made from all-natural materials, to reflect the look and feel that have been tried and tested for generations – this includes cotton, cashmere, and silk.

At Annafie we hand smock and hand embroider all of our dresses to ensure an incomparable finesse, care, and quality.

What is a smocked dress?

Smocking describes the process of folding material into pleats and holding it in position using a piece of cotton thread.

Smocking can bring certain panels of a dress into a tighter pleat, which creates a fullness in other areas of the design. This is what creates Annafie’s perfect flared skirt for twirling like everybody’s watching. 

Areas of smocking can be embroidered with intricate scenes and objects, including flowers, fairy tales, wildlife and animals.

At Annafie, all of our dresses are hand-smocked and hand embroidered, to ensure the highest standard is reached on each garment. 

How should a children’s dress fit?

A child’s dress should be loose enough to allow movement. Our core belief is to let ‘children be children’ and this means our designs allow room for twirling and dancing, climbing trees and kicking footballs. They are designed for purpose and for children this means comfort, whilst for parents this means easy-care laundry!

A good fitting dress is they key to both style and the comfort of the wearer. Our dress sizes are measured by the length (from the top of the shoulder to the finished hem) – you can find our girls dress size guide to help decide which is best for your child.

Our products generally fit true-to-size and can be adjusted at the waist by a sash. Smaller sizes (up to 12 months) have an attached sash at the waist, and up to 2 years include a matching cotton nappy cover.

Which material should you choose for a dress

The material you choose is down to personal preference and the event the dress is planned for could play a factor. 

For extra special parties and weddings, our party dresses add an unrivalled luxury and elegance that will ensure your little one stands out from the crowd.

For hot summer days, our range of traditional summer dresses are made from 100% fine cotton and generally have shorter sleeve for keeping cool and comfortable. All our cotton dresses are also machine washable at 30 degrees, so they’re easy to launder after days spent playing and exploring outdoors. 

Our nightwear is all 100% fine cotton to keep little ones cool and comfortable through the night. Annafie pyjamas guarantee sweet dreams and occasional lie-ins! 

All our dresses, rompers and nightwear are hand smocked and embroidered, so regardless of material, the end product will be luxurious and designed to last. 

What dress style should you choose?

The best style to choose is one that you and your child love and will feel great wearing. With a range of styles, take a look through and see which catches your attention! Our dresses are crafted with care and are lovingly made to last, so you can be sure that by choosing a dress you love, it will get plenty of wear.

How to style a girl’s dress

Once you’ve picked your favourite style, you can add the finishing touches with our range of matching dress accessories, including headbands and smocked handbags.

Further reading

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