This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart, for obvious reasons. My children are three and a half and five and they have a style all their own. I don’t style them, or dress them in perfect outfits for photo shoots or use them to make myself (or my blog for that matter!) look better. They wear what makes them happy and oftentimes the result is quite crazy and can give off a homeless vibe. I don’t have a formula for how I buy for them or anything like that, but I do have some tips for dressing children over the age of having an opinion (babies don’t count, they are sitting ducks!)
My daughter is the pickiest person when it comes to getting dressed. She has opinions of what she likes and what she doesn’t. She loves skirts and dresses and won’t wear pants unless forced. She is a girly girl and would not wear anything from the boys department or in any color that doesn’t scream out “girl!” I am aware of the trends for children and know that dressing a little girl is gray and having a tomboy look is more popular, but that is not Molly. I accept that! She matches things with a vengeance (all one color or one print) and has to be nudged to try new things. I have to be really careful when I buy stuff for her because if she doesn’t like it she won’t wear it (case in point, the neon yellow skinny jeans I adore for her and she won’t wear.) She doesn’t like when I help her pick things out and wants control in her wardrobe and that works for me. Very rarely, on vacations and occasions where I pack specific outfits, do I have any control over what she has on. When I say I have no control it means that I am picking my battles! I see no need to stifle her creativity in how she dresses. If she is happy in what she wears then I am happy. That means she wears princess dresses to dinner and crowns daily. I completely understand the need to express yourself through clothing choices and I like that she is into what she wears.
When I shop for her I like to go alone as she will veto everything I pick out and it isn’t pretty. I buy a lot of mix and match tops and skirts for everyday as well as cotton dresses from Target, Walmart and Old Navy. In the winter I buy cute patterned leggings and tights to wear under dresses and she likes wearing funky boots or glitter ballet flats with this look. In the summer she loves fancy sandals and patent ballet flats, I get these mostly at Target.
I like to do fun things with her hair as well, braids and sock buns and the like. Her hair is gorgeous and curly and we switch off picking her hairstyle every other day as she likes a plain ponytail while I like more intricate styles. She adores accessories and wears bracelets up over her elbow a lot and always (always!) a crown. I love when she looks like a little girl and feel strongly that she is dressed age appropriately. Other than that I give her free reign to dress herself as she wants.
On to my son! He is still fairly easy and will put on what I pick out about 95% of the time. My favorite summer look on him is a plain pocket tee with no logo (Target and Old Navy have great options) with cargo shorts and flip flops. He is a lover of hats and will wear those a lot. I just bought him a little panama style hat that he looks adorable in! He wears his Hunter rain boots most of the time and for a bit went through a phase where he wore a clip on tie everyday. I can style him easier than I can style Molly. Definitely less drama.
I like to buy the little colored skinny jeans for him in the winter with a hoody and button down shirt, or cargo pants and a long sleeve tee. He looks really cute in slip on canvas slides and little high tops with skulls. Boys are easier because there really isn’t that much pressure for him to be dressed up, you know? He loves wearing his comfy clothes at home and if I let him he would wear pajamas 24/7. He is also into his hair! He tells me if he wants it “spiky” or “smooth” and we gel it up so it stays. Cutie.
One thing that is probably a major hazard of living with an older sister and a mama that both love clothes is that he had gone through fazes where he likes wearing his sister’s dresses (at home) or wanted his nails painted (we pick blue!) or will walk around in my heels. I think it is cute and harmless and makes for great pictures and blackmail when he is older.
Tell me, how do you dress your children? Do you let them pick out there own things or do you do it for them?