Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What if she doesn't match?

Yesterday I saw this exchange on facebook:

Girl 1: Did you see [my daughter] this morning? I begged her to change, she fought me and you see she won! She looks so ummm. Well not like I would have dressed her. Hahaha, but she picked them out and I wasn't gonna fight anymore so I gave in.

Girl 2: I didn't see. Lol.

Girl 1: Oh she wore her [mascot] shirt, the grey one, and jeans but the jeans are skinny jeans w/blue flowers down the legs w/rhinestones, and her tennis shoes.

Girl 2:
Lol. She's cute!

Which got me to thinking a bit. At what age should we no longer pick out our kids clothes? I am guilty of almost always picking out stuff for my kids, but they really don't give me trouble. That could be because I am very proactive about it, setting out what I have in mind before they get a chance to pick out something else or put something else on their little bodies. Every now and then, Caleb will have a certain shirt in mind, so I'll find it for him (no biggie).

If Caleb picks out something 100% on his own, it usually looks fine. He doesn't have that many options to look silly, generally just a pair of jeans and a shirt. Sarah, on the other hand, could pick out something odd, maybe like the little girl described above, or maybe put stripes with polka dots. Gasp!

And if that happened...why does it matter so much to me or other moms? I wonder what I'm worried about. Am I worried that my child will be made fun of, or am I more worried about what other adults will think of my ability to dress my child? There will obviously have to come a day when they do this on their own! How do we guide them in it...

...or...really...does it matter?

If you have children, how old are they, and do you pick out their clothes?


Ashley said...

I let my three 7 year old boys pick out their own clothes every morning. (I should do this the night before!) It has taken a lot of practice and guidance. There are definitely clothes that I would PREFER they wear, and there are clothes that THEY like to wear. We've encountered things that have needed training. 1)Wanting to wear their favorite shirt every. single. time. it's clean...which would be like 2-3 times a week (unacceptable to me)
2)Color matching. Whew...that is exhausting (no you can't wear a red shirt with orange PE pants!)
3) Types of clothes that go together (no you can't wear a t shirt with church kahki's!)

My daughter has had her own opinion on clothes since she was able to point I think!! Honestly, mostly I let her pick her own (even if they don't match) because I want to build up her self esteem right now. Even if I don't think it looks good (and most of the world doesn't either) as long as she FEELS good in it, I'm all for it. The only issues we have with her are understanding what's appropriate for the weather (no leggings or thick tights under her skirt in December, etc.)

Sorry for such a long comment, but it's something that Lincoln and I have talked a lot about!! :0)

Chrissy said...

Thanks for the comment, Ashley! Josh and I have never talked about this, mostly because...

1. I don't think he cares what the kids wear!


2. I do care...ha! :)

Nel said...

Libby is 5 and she usually has a specific shirt or pair of pants she will want to wear each day and I make sure that the other half match... but this doesn't happen everyday. If we will be home all day - it's free game!
Abby.... has a favorite shirt and pants that she wants to wear everyday... EVERYDAY! So we battle sometimes ;o)
But I figure you only live once... and clothes not matching won't hurt a child...
But I do try and make sure that they girls have matching clothes on - with their hair done and matching bows anytime we go somewhere!

Andrea said...

I do clothing much the same as food. Limited choices. This morning I said, "It's going to be cool today. Which long-sleeved shirt would you like?" When she chooses, I then tell her, "That will go best with dark jeans and boots." If she's against jeans that day, I let her choose a pant, then tell her a couple shirts that will go with pants and let her choose. Sometimes I just let her pick the shirt and then I lay out the matching bottoms based on her decision.

Also, I teach as I go. If she wants something and I say no, I tell her why. We only wear print on one article of clothing. Black goes with everything...except black. Whatever "fashion" rules I want her to obey, we discuss as we go, so hopefully when she is ten and choosing all for herself, she will hear my voice in the back of her head telling her stripes and plaid don't mix ;)

Anonymous said...

Great post!!

My kids are 10, 8, and 6, so they almost always pick out their own clothes. Since we stay home (sometimes days at a time) I don't really care what they wear. When we have to go in public, they usually pick something out and it's fine by me. It also depends on where we're going whether or not I make them wear nice clothes and fix their hair. (the girls always have to brush their hair, but depending on where we go, I may braid it or give it an up-do)

If I see kids out in public that are wearing costumes or mis-matched clothing, I really don't think a thing about it. I know some moms do, though. So, I guess to answer your question, it depends on whether we actually care what the other moms think of our children and whether or not WE think it reflects badly on us!

Anonymous said...

I let my 5 year old pick out clothes for herself and her 3 year old sister, except on Sunday. If she picks something crazy and someone looks at me with THAT look; I tell them her Father dressed her.


MIndy Roettgen said...

My kids are 8, 4 and 3. I usually always pick the clothes out for my boys. They don't really care. My oldest goes to a private school and has a dress code so his choices are limited. I will usually ask what color shirt he would like to wear but that's about it.

My daughter may have a certain shirt she wants and I may sway her pants choice, a tiny bit, just to make sure she does match. But she does pretty well on her own.

I don't pick their clothes out just because I want them to match. I am a bit of a control freak (but that's another story) and just want clothes picked out before bed each night (well at least on school nights) so I typically do it to make sure it gets done.

Sometimes I find myself acting just like my Mom...and I'm not sure I like it. But that's another story too! lol

otherwise known as mom said...

This has been talked about frequently lately here. My kids are ages 12, 12, 6, 5 (just turned) newly turned five year old insists on wearing shorts, tshirts and flip flops even when it is thirty degrees outside. I get some pretty dirty looks from a few people every trip out with him. I figure in the big picture it is trivial. He never complains of the cold. I've never been pushy with what they wear. Sometimes I think you can make them too conscious of fashion if we as parents put the emphasis on it at such a young age. My kids are always confident and comfortable whether they wear the latest abercrombie (consignment purchase) or Wal-Mart. They don't seem to mind either way.

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