Melany: Buying your child formalwear

With holidays right around the corner, many parents will be venturing into buying their little ones formalwear... which is no easy feat. Pouty faces over desired dresses and sizing up a little guys' pants are just a few of the challenges that come along with buying dressy duds for kids, so hopefully these tips will make the task a bit easier.

Discuss the "plan of action" with your child before even stepping foot in the shop. Because formalwear is often chosen for a specific holiday or occasion, they need to understand ahead of time that only certain outfits will be appropriate. This is especially true when shopping with little girls - if they need a traditional dress for religious services, for example, then they need to know ahead of time that a short cutesy party dress just won't work.

Forget existing clothing sizes. Even though your son or daughter may be wearing a standard six 6 when it comes to pants and tops, formalwear can be sized a bit differently.

Work with the salesperson. Most people who work at formalwear stores have experience dealing with little ones as well as dressing them. Don't frustrate yourself by trying to figure out how to size up a boy's formal jacket or choose the right patent leather shoes - leave that to the experts.

Try things on one piece at a time. If you're buying a complete suit for a boy, you'll want to start by choosing the right pants, then shirt, then the vest and/or coat. It will be too overwhelming having them try on complete suits, one after the after, and then sizing up each individual piece.

Have fun with the experience. Maybe a lunch after the formalwear has been purchased would be a nice way to wrap up this "adventure."

Melany xx