Before my daughter even came into this world, I stood in her nursery after my first baby shower staring at the abundance of clothes we received. Immediately, I put together coordinating outfits with a cute bows, tutus and tiny, little shoes.
Look at all these adorable outfits I could create.
I couldn’t wait to dress my real life baby doll. It was a little girls’ dream come true. My girl was going to be better dressed than her mom and it is going to amazing!
Then, she turned three and got an opinion.
Choosing clothes for the day became a battle of the wills. She no longer liked the outfits I laid out for her. After several weeks of morning arguments, I paused to contemplate if this was a fight I had to win.
The more I thought about it, something clicked in my brain. This was more about me wanting her to look a certain way instead of respecting her individuality.
Even though she was a little girl, she had specific tastes and knew what made her feel comfortable. Once I stopped caring about what other people would think or say, her outfits became a source of entertainment.
Throw Societal Norms Out The Window
Everyday for about a year, she wore a tutu over leggings, or even a dress for extra fluff. She personified the essence of a girly girl.
She even wore a sleeveless Easter dress in the dead of winter stating she wasn’t cold. In order to keep her healthy, I suggested she put leggings on and a long sleeve shirt without compromising her style. She complied with that most of the time.
As she got older, the ability to piece together outfits or were seasonally appropriate started to make more sense. At 10 years old, her clothes became a non-issue for us because I let her take the reigns when she was preschooler.
Our daughter is confident in knowing what she likes to wear and feels comfortable in her skin. I’m sure when she’s older she’ll buy the prettiest La Femme formal dresses & gowns with extra tulle.
As a parent, the best part of giving our child the confidence to choose her outfits was having more time in the morning. The stress of her wardrobe was behind me, so I could focus on feeding the kids breakfast and getting us out the door in one piece.
Raising A Confident Child
This is not gender specific either. My boys are the same way as their sister.
They will find a shirt they love and comfy pants to wear for the day.
Who cares if they don’t match at all?
Choosing their clothes is about giving them responsibility to know what feels good to them. And then they wear the crap out of it.
My oldest son wore a red outfit indefinitely: a shirt and sweatpants combo. As soon as it came out of the laundry, it was his first pick. I believe he was sad the day it stopped fitting and he had to pass it down to his brothers.
All three boys love the monochromatic look.
My five year old came downstairs the other day in a blue polo shirt with blue jersey knit shorts. He was so proud of himself for “matching.” As long as they are able to physically dress themselves each day, I am a happy camper.
Seeing them figure out their own sense of style is an accomplishment, if their reds sometimes clash.
Experimenting In A Safe Place
Yes!!! More power to them.
As younger children, they are in a developmental stage where expression comes freely and usually without judgment. Most people think it’s cute.
At home, with their loving parents is a safe environment to test the waters and it’s not hurting anybody. This helps them grow as a person and grow into a more confident child.
The only time I question their choices is when they wear winter clothes in 100 degree weather and vice versa. My kids are all about simplicity and comfort.
There may come a day where they start to care about their clothes. For now, they know their worth isn’t based off the clothes they wear but who they are as a person.
Clothes are a way for my children to individualize themselves and not worry about fitting into a certain mold. They really don’t care what their peers think about their choices and that make my mom heart soar.
Since we’ve never made a big deal out of clothes, the kids are aware their real friends are the people underneath the outfit.
Is their an outfit your kid wears to death?
Original Post Date: October 9, 2018 (Updated March 2, 2023)