Dress Up: Apron versus Dress

An Expert Takes An Official Stance In The Important Debate: Dress Up Apron versus Dress


Picture high noon. A tumbleweed blows through a seemingly deserted town. When the view expands, you see two fighters getting ready to face off in a battle as old as time: good versus evil. Right versus wrong. Pure vers-

Okay, I need to stop there. I am not a writer (so sorry for subjecting you to that) and this has nothing to do with the wild west, good versus evil or anything so… Important. No, this is a treatise about preference. And because this is my little corner of the Internet, I get to expound upon this issue and try to make my case for the dress up apron.

Dress Up Apron Versus Dress

Yes, there are many more elements to a good dress up closest than just these, such as colorful silk  scarves, hats, masks, wigs, toilet paper rolls – come on, they’re used for everything. Just look on Pinterest! Jokes aside, I know that in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t seem important, but when a little one outgrows or destroys their favorite bedazzled princess dress, this becomes priority number one in the house. I am considered an expert in this area (not really) and I would like to pose a couple of questions to you: regarding dress up aprons and dresses, which do you prefer and why?

Testing the Water park Sadness6
What do you mean they were only TESTING the water park today? I WANNA BE A MERMAID!

Before having a child, the topic of ‘dress up’ was blah, blah, blah… Yep, I pretty much tuned out every parent I knew – I’m a disgustingly self-centered person at times. I just wanted them to tell me what to get their kid for their looming birthday. And if it didn’t come to my house in less than two days via my personal shopper (Amazon), the kid wasn’t going to get it.

My, my, how things have changed. Now, I ask my daughter her preferences for her next dress up costume and then work tirelessly (not really) preparing each one for her to her specifications (now that one’s true).

Because of our daughter’s age, the first dress up item she ever wanted was an Elsa dress. Oh, for the love of everything holy – it’s like 100 years after that movie came out (true story) and I still can’t find one of those damn things that looks decent. And yes, that drives me to foul language.

But I digress. Because I could not find an acceptable ice queen dress to save my skin and because I’m somewhat inclined to craft, I decided to make my own. Having zero sewing skills put me at a bit of a disadvantage, but did a lack of knowledge stop me?

Laughing Downhill6
So very happy on a beautiful Seattle day!

You bet it didn’t (thank you, blind perseverance)! I didn’t want to take the time to learn how to sew following a pattern, oh no. I just wanted to get to it and I figured out, tout de suite, that an apron was one heck-uv-a-lot easier than a dress.


Reasons Why I Am Right And The “Haters” Are Wrong

Now, some people question the dress up apron concept, and to those people I have a message: I urge you to reconsider. Remember, I am an expert (it’s not true this time either), and I adore this concept for many reasons. So (finally). here are my reasons to choose dress up aprons in the epic battle of dress up apron versus dress.


  • The life of a dress up apron is longer than a dress because a child will not outgrow the apron in 6 months to a year. This might be my favorite reason because I’m a lazy crafter and I never want to do the same thing twice.
  • You don’t have to wash an apron every time they wear it, because it sits on top of their clothes. It is easily removed for meal times – say what? Oh yes. Less laundry = win. You can mail the Nobel for AWESOMENESS to my post office box.

Pretend Play Springboard

  • Pretend play (or imaginative play) is crucial for a child’s development. Having a collection of items for kids to experiment with allows for a boost into another world.
  • Easily coordinated accessories extend gift-giving options. Okay, so technically this is true for the dresses but, whatever. This is my little corner of the Internet, so it stays mostly because it’s poor form to have a bulleted list with only one bullet.

Sibling Love

  • Because aprons fit a range of sizes, siblings can wear the exact same apron. Did you just hear the collective gasp that traveled across the Internet? Instead of buying two of the same dress up outfit, you could expand your collection. Granted, you’ll spend more time…
  • Teaching siblings to share or take turns, but I think it’s worth it to have more options for dress up. And just think: you could totally sell it to them as fostering an environment more FROZEN than Cinderella. Now that’s an analogy they’ll get.
I'm going to roll down this very large hill...
I’m going to roll down this very large hill…

And perhaps the biggest selling point I have for aprons over dresses is this: they are easy for kids to put on and take off themselves. There are no tantrums when THEY MUST GET OUT OF THIS PRINCESS DRESS RIGHT NOW OR THE WORLD WILL END – OH MY GOSH – MOMMY HELP ME – GET ME OUT! GET ME OUT! GET ME OUT!

Or has that only happened at our house?


A Toddler Weighs In

Now, there might still be a few skeptics out there, so I asked my daughter (2.75 years old) what she liked about the dress up aprons. Here are her unedited responses (my additions in italics):

  1. I CAN BE PRINCESS ANNA! She’s a big fan of that gal.
  2. I can be Elsa, and Tinkerbell and the little mermaid! With a shirt. Okay, so that one is all my husband and I. We have a “thing” about putting a small child in a sea shell bra top, even if it just on the front of an apron. 
  3. I do it all by my own self! If you have a small child, this is a mantra. To be able to do something themselves helps to foster independence and self-awareness and blah, blah, blah. Mostly it just gives us a break from having to be at-the-ready for an impromptu princess dress change (see the all-caps rant above). 
  4. My friends can play with them. loooooong pause But only when I say it’s okay. ‘Cuz she’s a toddler and not enlightened, people.
Flying around like TinkerBell6
I’m TinkerBell – you can’t catch me!

If I didn’t convince you to give dress up aprons a try, I hope my toddler was able to bring you to the dark side. Oh, wait. Am I the light side or the dark side? It doesn’t matter, we’ll all get wine and cookies. So what do you think? Use the comments section to let us know your position on this important matter – which do you prefer (a dress up apron or dress) and why?

I need to take a moment to say that if you’ve gotten all the way through this then you deserve a hearty clap on the back and one big ‘ol “Congratulations!” I don’t know what possessed me to write this tonight, especially since I have 1,241,905 things on my “to-do” list. And let’s face it, this is just a bit ridiculous. But, I’m thankful you read it. If you feel inclined to share it, who am I to stand in your way?

Here’s the part where you can join our email mailing list or just meander through some other silly diatribes we’ve engaged in. Here are a couple you can start with:

embrace-the-awkward-in-parenting  funny-breastfeeding-tips

Embracing the Awkard         Breastfeeding Tips for Sanity

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  1. We have about a million (no joke) dresses and they are a pain in the butt! The tags, the buttons, the zippers. The nudity as they run around because they got hot or spilled on it or it’s time to eat dinner and they don’t want to go upstairs and get clothes on. Yadda, yadda.

    Anyway, I’m sold and my druthers would be the aprons and start there first people or you will see what I am talking about with your own sad personal experiences…

  2. I think the dress up apron is brilliant! I loved wearing a whole dress for dress up when I was little but I hated how hard it was to put on…this was exactly how I felt when I was little, heck I still do with regular clothes sometimes too! “OH MY GOSH – MOMMY HELP ME – GET ME OUT! GET ME OUT! GET ME OUT!” and like you said you grow out of them so fast! Very cool dress aprons!