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To Cotillion or Not to Cotillion?

Cotillion for Children

You are cordially invited.

The other day a beautiful invitation arrived. Before I even opened the envelope, I didn’t recognize the return address and quickly went down the roster in my head of upcoming weddings, baptisms, communions, and showers this could possibly be for. Nothing was coming to mind. I was at a loss. No wonder, it was none of those, it was a formal invite for my daughter to participate in the upcoming local cotillion group. 

I have to be honest, I asked a friend about it briefly and if she was considering it for her daughter, but never gave it much thought until yesterday. See, no one in the community or at school has even mentioned it. So it didn’t seem like a big deal, but I was intrigued because in the digital age of lost manners, I would love to introduce my daughter to the way things should be. Of course we stress how important manners are and teach them at home, but she’s getting into the tween stage were deliberately making a point to avoid them in my presence is becoming a.) a habit I want her to break and b.) a form of tween rebelliousness. Basically, without beating around the bush, I want it instilled in that pretty little brain of hers that when mom isn’t around, you remember your pleases, thank yous, and may I’s. 

So I did what most moms do. I went straight to Facebook and asked…

“Cotillion? Yay…nay…? Would love to hear your thoughts / experiences. Thanks!”

Gadzooks! The response was an overwhelming YES! Women and men who I respect immensely not only had amazing personal experiences, but brought up points that I would have never even thought of. OK, first many I should backtrack for those who have no idea what this post is even about.

What is cotillion?

The way I first explained it to my daughter was by letting her know it was a party with manners. She would get to wear her best party dress and practice her manners with other kids in different social situations. This got her attention fast. Dress up? Other kids? All being polite to each other? She begged me to sign her up. 

There would be six parties held over the course of the following school year at the local country club, and the children would focus on “development of personal standards, confidence, self respect, respect for others and good manners. Children will practice correct social etiquette and enjoy traditional social dances in a fun atmosphere.” 

How to dress for cotillion?

Yes, there is a strict dress code. Young ladies are expected to wear short party dresses with their shoulders covered, short white gloves, socks or tights and closed toe dress shoes. Young men are to wear suits, ties and dress shoes. 

This all sounds wonderful, but I still wanted to hear from my cohorts. And here is what Facebook chimed in with:

Cotillion for Kids

Here are some of my favorite responses:

cotillion for kids
SVanAken

Tiffany & Megan

KMoncada

Bonnie + Beth

Welp, friends… looks like Kiddo is going to cotillion! Not only do I agree with every point made above, I’m really excited for her to experience this. Make sure to stay tuned because I plan on documenting her entire experience here on The JetSet Family!

Did you go to cotillion? Do you children attend? 

Written by Nicole Standley

Nicole Standley

Nicole Standley curates her favorite trends in luxury travel, fine-dining, style + pop culture for The JetSet Family, CBS Los Angeles, Huffington Post and Hilton Hotels. In 2015, she was named Top Family Travel Blogger by both Trip Advisor + Red Tricycle. Instagram: nicoledstandley

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5 COMMENTS
  • Rebecca Swenor May 20, 2016

    No my children nor I had ever attended cotillion before. We don’t even have anything like cotillion in my area. This would be a great idea to bring to our little town though. Thanks for sharing the information.

  • Kristi May 21, 2016

    Wish we had something like this in our area but I have friends in other states that attended as kids and now their kids have attended as well. They have said amazing things about it.

  • I have read about these in books but have never or been invited to one. In recent years sweet 16s became very elaborate in our area with girls wearing gowns.

  • Barb W. May 21, 2016

    Sounds like an interesting and beneficial program! We don’t have anything like this in our area, think it would be a nice option to have!

  • Raijean S May 22, 2016

    I’m not going to lie, I’ve always wanted to be in one. Sounds great to me~

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