Birthday-party fashion for sisters

Long before I'd considered the date, the venue, the menu or theme for my daughter's second-birthday party, I determined her outfit.

Priorities, people. 

Therese McInally's pinafores, which are sold on her Cottontail Etsy site and were featured in my fall fashion round-up, have long impressed me. What's more, she is a delight to deal with -- and being handmade, her price of $29.93 seems quite reasonable.

I simply couldn't resist her Girls Parade Pinafore, which showcases the most cheerful, whimsical pattern on the sweetest style. It's everything you hope for childhood: colorful and musical, celebratory and inventive.

The pinafore could work for any party or it could lend itself to its own theme: a parade, pink elephants, "come to the carnival," etc. Lots of room for creative license. 

So I started my party planning with the pinafore. I even pictured it on the invitations, which felt like an effective teaser: If you want to see Jane in this darling dress, come to her party! 

It worked. We had a great turn-out. 

And the dress did not disappoint -- party goers, mama or the birthday girl. Janie was visibly excited to put on her pretty new pinafore. 

She was the happiest little birthday girl you could ever imagine.

Sometimes a party-hosting mama (especially one who is 8-months pregnant) can get swept up in stress. But beholding my joyful 2-year-old put me in the best mood. 

What more could I ask for? 

Who cares if the kitchen's messy? 

I was thrilled to discover a flutter-style dress from Funklicious that made the perfect complement for Big Sister. It features the same cheery fabric with a playful, preschool twist.

The dress distinguished Maria as not-just-another-party guest but the Very Important Big Sis. She looked adorable and comfortable the entire party. Win win! 

The loose sleeves and collar make this dress truly no-fuss. Easy on, easy off, big smiles. (Given the battles that can ensue when it comes to dressing an opinionated preschooler, this is a major score.)

Funklicious is an Etsy shop run by a Michigan-based artist with serious talent. She might have the best fabric collection in the Fifty Nifty. Scroll through her dresses (which are just $20 a piece) and tell me if I'm wrong. There's the Bicycle Girl, Bunny & Balloon (ahhh!) and the Woodland Welcome Home, among others. These frocks burst with old-school, handmade charm. 

"I'm obsessed with fabric, purchasing most of it online," she told me. "I can spend hours playing with my fabric collection, finding new ways to pair them up to create fun and funky wearable art."

Together, Maria and Jane made quite a sight. 

There were lots of hugs and cupcakes -- my idea of a successful party! 




 Christina Ries is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and two young girls (and another baby on the way!) in Inver Grove Heights. Write her at


Charmed reviews are entirely the author's opinion. Special thanks to the following vendors for supplying complimentary samples for review and photography: