7 Things You Need to Create the Perfect Dress-Up Closet

Dress-up is a favorite pastime of so many children. The learning and growth that happens during imaginative play like dress-up are super important for kids’ development as well.  While you could just heap all of your dress-up items into a trunk, it might make less of a mess and create a better environment if you have a dress-up closet. Having a good place for kids to keep their costumes and accessories is key to better quality playtime. If items are hung up, children will be able to see what they have more easily, which means that most costumes probably won’t end up all over the floor. Let’s talk about seven things you need to build the perfect dress-up closet for your family.

1. Designated Spot for Costumes

The first thing you’ll want to do is establish a small space for your children’s costumes. This could be a small unfinished dress-up closet under the stairs, part of your kids' bedroom closet or you could even buy a small dress-up wardrobe.

Having a designated area for kids’ toys is really important for their growth as well as your sanity. A notable home organizing blog and TV show, The Home Edit says, “Even if you don't have the space for a play ‘room,’ you still need to designate a specific area where the majority of toys will live. By doing this, kids will develop a sense of ownership and will be less likely to move playtime to other areas of the home.” So, this simple step of designating an area for toys, like dress-up clothes for girls, can help kids with their play and keep the mess a bit contained.

2. Hangers and a Rod

If you won’t be putting the dress-up clothes in an established closet or putting them in a dress-up wardrobe, you can create a hanging space with just a few simple items. You can buy shower curtain tension rods from many major retailers and create a makeshift hanging space. You also want to grab some child-sized hangers. These hangers will ensure that your child can easily access the costumes and re-hang them as needed. Bigger hangers can get in the way and get stuck so little hands can’t maneuver them quite as well.

This method is a great option for creating a costume closet because if you ever need to move it, it’s easy to take down and place elsewhere. It also doesn’t require tools or leave any kind of mess on its own. By hanging costumes, they are much less likely to wrinkle and it keeps them from being thrown all over the floor and scrunched up in a costume trunk. This method of organizing also gives your child ownership and helps them learn to hang up their own clothes.

3. New Comfy Costumes

After you’ve prepared your costume closet, we’re sure you’ll want to fill it with some cute and comfy kids' dress-up clothes. Our favorites are those from Presley Couture. Princess dresses are always a favorite when it comes to little girls, and this online boutique has so many! Each costume is made from soft 100% cotton, can be machine washed and includes many of their favorite princess movie characters. The dresses can be used for a game of dress-up as well as for vacations, or even everyday wear if your little ones love dressing up! If you have sons, or daughters that like to dress up in more than princess costumes, it’s always good to include some general costumes as well such as a pirate, chef, fireman, police officer, superhero, etc. 

According to, having dress-up clothes for your kids to play with is very important developmentally. “Dress-up encourages creative thinking and communication skills. It also helps kids practice language development and their social skills. Playing with another child or adult requires teamwork, cooperation and sharing. The act of putting on and taking off costumes or outfits also has physical benefits. The buttons, zippers and snaps on clothing encourage the development of fine motor skills.” So, you’re not just helping your child play, you’re helping them learn and develop skills.

4. Recycled Costumes

Dress-up clothes can also be recycled! You can add in things such as old dance recital costumes, Halloween costumes, costumes from plays, etc. This gives your kids the opportunity to re-use costumes that you probably paid an arm and a leg for–so you get more out of your investment as well. In addition, if you have children of varying ages who all like to dress up, you can keep the costumes in the closet even after your oldest has grown out of them so the younger ones can use them as well.

5. Accessories

No dress-up closet is complete without a few accessories. You can add many things old or new and keep them with all of the costumes. Add in things like:

  • Hats
  • Crowns
  • Scarves
  • Magic wands
  • Shields
  • Costume jewelry

You can buy these items separately, or take items you no longer need from your own closet and add them in. Everyone loves playing with mom’s old accessories, which is why kids are always getting into your shoes and jewelry. This saves you both a step and it might just keep them out of your closet!

6. Bins for Loose Items

To keep accessories together and organized, including an open-topped bin for loose dress-up items is a must. The open-topped bin allows for easy access for little hands as well as easy cleanup. Simply place items that won’t hang up like crowns, wands, purses, foam swords, etc. in the bin, and they’re ready for playtime!

7. A Designated Spot for Kids to Change

Kids love changing in and out of their outfits while playing with dress-up clothes. Because of this, you’ll want to create a place where the door can be closed to allow children to change in private. This teaches them to have fun and also be modest around their friends. If you don’t have a good spot for kids to change nearby, you can always get a small pop-up changing tent.

Hopefully, these seven suggestions will make your children’s dress-up time more enriching and help you to keep everything better contained as they make memories to last a lifetime.