Little Girls Dress Up Clothes: Inspirational “When I Grow Up” Themed Costume Ideas

Often, when we think of “little girls dress up clothes”, we think of Mother Daughter PlayPrincesses, Fairies, Butterflies, and all things “Girly”.  This post is here to correct that… and show you 10 outfits that will inspire her to greatness!

You see, whether it’s for Career Day dress up, for Halloween, or just for fun dress up play, “when I grow up” themed role play costumes inspire girls to dream BIG!

Many of the selected little girls dress up clothes here are sets, many are unisex (although some are definitely “just for girls”… not the role per say, but possibly the pink frills 😉 ). A good bunch of them are Melissa & Doug Role Play Costume Sets – they are top quality and have the highest reviews, so they were totally worth putting on this list.

Enjoy, share, have fun getting ideas, and please, let me know what you think in the comments below!


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When I grow up, I want to be… A POLICE OFFICER!

Learning to uphold the law, care for those who need help, and make sGirls Police Officer Costumeure everything is done in decent order is a very valuable skill for any child. A parent can help develop that sense of caring and justice by encouraging your child to dress up and play police officer!

Check out the Melissa & Doug Police Officer Role Play Costume Set. It is a fantastic and top-rated choice for a police officer costume. It IS sold as a unisex outfit, so her little brother, cousin, or male playmate will also enjoy it.  Click the link to see details.

←Rated 4.8/5 Stars by over 2,000 reviewers.



When I grow up, I want to be… A ZOOKEEPER!

Many children are huge wild animal lovers, evidenced by the popularity of stuffed animals, décor themes, picture books, and DVDs available aimed at toddlers that are all about zoo characters.

Zoos are great places to visit, and can definitely spark some serious interest in playing Zoo Keeper.

The little girl in the picture is wearing the Aeromax My 1st Career Gear Zoo Keeper shirt – it’s an easy to put on dress up shirt, and fits most ages 3 to 6.  Add a safari hat, and she’s good to go!

←Rated 4.6/5 stars by over 800 reviewers.  



When I grow up, I want to be… A WAITRESS!

Girls Waitress CostumeSo many little girls I know have a play kitchen with dishes and plastic food in their play room. It’s popular for so many reasons, one being that they can imitate Mommy cooking in the kitchen, of course.

My 3 year old daughter also loves playing restaurant though, setting up a table, inviting me in, asking what I’d like to eat, and then serving me and her Daddy (and other stuffed animal guests). Having a cute waitress costume like the Melissa & Doug Waitress Role Play Costume (ages 3-6) would be totally up her alley!   (She saw this picture and begged for it… but I’m not sure I want to be asked to play restaurant ALLLLLL day long LOL… haven’t caved yet. I might. Christmas is coming.)

←Rated 4.9/5 stars by over 1400 reviewers!



When I grow up, I want to be… A VETERINARIAN!

Girls Veterinarian Costume“The Vet, the Vet, is an animal doctor for your pet, your pet…” (Any parents of Barney lovers out there might know exactly how that song goes. 🙂 )

Does your little girl love animals… and stuffed animals… to the point where she plays veterinarian with them? Then she’ll probably just love these veterinarian themed little girls dress up clothes.

The Melissa & Doug Veterinarian Role Play Costume Set includes the jacket, mask, cap, thermometer, stethoscope with sound effects, bandage, syringe, plush dog and reusable name tag… a pretty great deal, which will provide some fantastic fun.

←Rated 4.8/5 stars by over 1800 reviewers!


When I grow up, I want to be… A MASTER CHEF!

Master Chef Girls Costume


I LOVE how professional this Master Chef Girls Costume looks, yet how girly!  I totally want to inspire my daughter to have fun in the kitchen, to enjoy creating great meals, and to join me in cooking for the family.  It’s a skill AND a hobby I want her to have.

This Master Chef costume is perfect. I just love that it has a Velcro sizer on the hat so it’ll fit any head properly. The double-breasted chef’s coat also closes with Velcro, and the skirt has an elastic waistband for a comfortable fit. Cute, isn’t it?!



When I grow up, I want to be… AN EQUESTRIAN RIDER!

Equestrian RiderOk, to be honest, my 3 year old probably wouldn’t know what an equestrian rider even is at this point. But that just speaks to our city life… and the fact that horse riding lessons just aren’t in the budget, let’s be honest here.

BUT, there ARE many little girls for whom that isn’t the case, who have grown up around stables! AND, there are also many really cute books these days about riding clubs and the like that “older” little girls might be really excited about. So, I think this costume is a good one for this list.  A genteel hobby and very interesting sport for girls to want to learn!



When I grow up, I want to be… A FIREFIGHTER!

Firefighter CostumeThe classic red fire chief hat is almost a staple for every kids dress up box, be the child a boy or girl.  There’s something almost mythical for kids about firefighters – they are their first Heroes (other than Daddy)!

Playing firefighter is definitely not just “for boys” either. Girls, especially energetic and adventurous ones, will be sure to have a blast with this inspiring outfit set!

Pictured here is the Melissa & Doug Fire Chief Role Play Costume.  This set includes the jacket, helmet, badge, fire extinguisher, bullhorn (which really makes a sound) and reusable name tag.

←Rated 4.8/5 stars by nearly 3000 reviewers! 


When I grow up, I want to be… A MAGICIAN!

Magician Costume for GirlIf you’ve ever taken your daughter to see a Magic Show somewhere, and she came home with all sorts of questions and a big interest in magic tricks, even wanting you to watch her do her own tricks over and over again, then this “When I Grow Up” costume might be the winner for her.

This Melissa & Doug Magician Role Play Costume set comes with the cape with bow tie, vest with secret pocket, top hat with hidden compartment, wand, coin, rabbit, and a card with tricks. Very cool!

←Rated 4.8/5 stars by 800+ reviewers!



When I grow up, I want to be… A DOCTOR!

Girls Doctor CostumeThis role play outfit is one of the more popular products in the Melissa & Doug role play line, and as a parent I can understand why we encourage the pretend play game of “Doctor” so much.  After all, we want our children, our daughters AND our sons, to be smart, empathic, and compassionate. (Plus, wouldn’t it be great to have a doctor in the family? 😉 )

This Melissa & Doug Doctor Role Play Set comes with everything she needs to look the part: Includes jacket, mask, stethoscope (which makes sound effects!), reflex hammer, ear scope, syringe and reusable name tag.

←Rated 4.8/5 stars by 2,300+ reviewers!  




When I grow up, I want to be… A HAIRSTYLIST!

Hair Stylist CostumeHow many little girls do you know who thoroughly love styling their own hair, your hair, or each other’s hair? Quite a few, right?  The “fancy” updos, pretend hair cuts, pretty clips and braids… she sure has fun with it!  Anyhow, why not encourage her in it with this super cute little girls dress up clothes contribution by Melissa & Doug: The Hair Stylist Role Play Costume Set. 

Product description: “Your young stylist can brush, comb, “cut” and “curl” for a new style every day. The battery-powered hairdryer sounds like the real thing and blows cool air. Satisfied clients can check themselves out in the plastic hand mirror!”

←Rated 4.8/5 stars by 1,200+ reviewers!




I hope you enjoyed this list of little girls dress up clothes that is all about “When I Grow Up”!

Let’s get our girls DREAMING BIG!!!

Can you do me a favor and let me know what you think? Which one of the above dress up sets would be her new favorite? And which one would NOT be? Any questions or comments?

Want to see more costume ideas?



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14 thoughts on “Little Girls Dress Up Clothes: Inspirational “When I Grow Up” Themed Costume Ideas

  1. Craig October 6, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Excellent post Marlaine and fantastic pictures. I really like the idea of not just the standard little girl costumes and having a diverse selection is a great idea and also educational, in my opinion.
    Where did you get your photos from?

    • Marlaine October 7, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Craig,
      Glad you like the post – and yes, I agree with you that dress up play is definitely NOT (and SHOULD definitely not be) just about princesses!! 🙂 (Don’t get me wrong, princess play is good too, but as a Mom I kind of prefer the inspirational aspect of “When I Grow Up” themed costumes and dress up play.)
      All of the photos are images of the actual costumes that are purchasable through the links – most are from Hope that helps!

  2. Brandon October 7, 2016 at 2:53 am

    Simply amazing! Kids love to feel grown up, so these costumes are going to make them very happy, as you can clearly see on their smiling faces. My daughter loves to dress up, so these might be something I can get for her. If I had to guess, I think she would like the police officer costume, haha.

    Thanks for this great post, I will definitely come back to this site when I’m in need of a costume 🙂

    Kind regards,

    • Marlaine October 7, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks Brandon! Glad you enjoyed it AND found it helpful! 🙂
      How old is your daughter? My 3 year old would pretty much LIVE in the full fire-fighter costume if she could, I think! That, or the waitress one.
      Hope to see you back again sometime… drop me another comment to say hi! I’d love it!

  3. CCrawford October 7, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    I like your dress-up clothes site. I remember how fun those dress-up days were, and these clothes would have made them better. This was an excellent idea. Your costume descriptions are thorough. My only questions regard price. But price is available on another page. An awesome site for young girls. GIRL POWER!!!

    • Marlaine October 7, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      Hi there,
      Thanks for dropping by! Glad you enjoyed my site – feel free to drop by anytime! 🙂
      Per your question regarding price, yes, I was thinking to adding the prices, but I’ve discovered that Amazon and other sites change them “on occasion” – I’d hate for readers to get frustrated with this article/site if the price was higher or lower! 🙂
      Have a lovely day!

  4. M.King October 21, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Wow.. Great site and great post.. Great reviews and pictures.. It is definitley the right time of the year for me to have come across this site.. I love it and will def. Spread it to all of friends that have small children and with your rates posted underneath each costume.. It makes it so much easier to choose.. You should really get an affiliate with the parents there myself included would find this site of great help.. Thanx so much for the info

    • Marlaine October 21, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      Hi, thanks for dropping by, and I’ll be glad to check out Mommypoppings. Thanks for the suggestion! I’m sorry but I don’t feel comfortable posting the rates for each costume on the pages as the prices online change fairly often – more often than I can check and update all of my pages, realistically. I’d hate to lead readers astray by giving the wrong price. Have a good day!

  5. Patrick Ginise November 14, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    I was just on another of your pages looking at dress up ideas for my 4 year old daughter and I decided to look around some. This is another great article for a dad who’s daughter likes to dress up every day. My daughter will definitely love these ideas and it is very helpful for me too. Keep up the great work.


    • Marlaine November 14, 2016 at 9:21 pm

      Hi Patrick, thanks for sharing your enjoyment of this site with me! Makes me happy to know it’s helpful for my readers! Any guesses as to which one your daughter would like best these days?
      My 3.5 year old will be getting the Melissa & Doug Fire Chief Outfit for Christmas this year… I’m absolutely certain she’s going to go CRAZY over it! (She was a firefighter for Halloween – her choice – but it was a piece-together costume. Time for a real one!)

  6. Grace | Work Anywhere Now November 14, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    These are so fun! What a great idea to find dress up costumes for what you want to be when you grow up! This also brings up ideas for them of what they don’t want to be after role playing in it for a bit. haha… I love the suggestions you have posted here and will check them out.

    Thanks so much!

    • Marlaine November 14, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      Hi Grace,
      Isn’t that half of the battle for us ALL… discovering what we DON’T want to be “when we grow up”? 🙂 So glad you enjoyed this collection of role play costumes! Have a lovely day yet!

  7. Gabby April 25, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    I have to tell you I love your post. I have a five-year-old daughter and she doesn’t like princess’s dresses as much as other girls her age. I especial love AN EQUESTRIAN RIDER and of course the doctor costume. What parents doesn’t want their kids to be a doctor:)
    I am not so sure about the waitress LOL, but I will love her no matter what she does:)

    • Marlaine April 25, 2017 at 6:16 pm

      Hi Gabby, thanks for commenting! Not every girl loves princess dress up, that is for sure! I so know what you mean about being “not so sure” about pushing the waitress idea, but loving the doctor one!! 🙂 I felt the same until I saw how much my daughter loves playing “restaurant girl” and serving me and her Daddy our “meals”. Maybe it’ll be good practice for helping her work her way through medical school debt free? 😉 Have a lovely day!

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