Call the (Toddler) Fashion Police


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The warnings came – enjoy dressing your daughter in sweet dresses with matching bows while you can.  One day she will wake up and insist on dressing herself in some crazy combination or will only wear her Cinderella dress every day for a month.  That day did come when she was around twenty months old. My daughter woke up one morning and said, “I pick.” That was that. If I’m being totally honest, with the exception of about three weeks where she wore rain boots with everything, it wasn’t totally bad because she was choosing from clothing I still had the power to buy.


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As she rounded the corner to three, the opinions got stronger.  She also started to request to go shopping with me or would refuse things I brought home. I spent a few mornings trying to fight with her but finally decided for the sake of getting out the door in the morning to just give in.  

And you know what?  It wasn’t terrible (mostly). I would describe her style as very girly, favoring dresses, shunning tights in favor of multiple pairs of socks at a time, and only wearing her hair in a variety of “unicorn tales” that must “touch the sky.” She does have some questionable favorites, such as her all-royal-blue athleisure look or her love of wearing a vintage Snow White costume, but mostly she looks like a regular toddler.  And she does it all on her own.


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Shopping for her wardrobe has become a chance for us to have some special mother-daughter time.  We set aside special shopping dates every few weeks to pick out an outfit or two. She has favorite stores and styles already.


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I see her carefully choose her outfits each morning and request accessories or shoes she feels finish the look.  Most days she compliments herself on her “beautiful” choices, giving my husband and me a good chuckle. The sense of pride she has also led her to be much more conscientious in taking care of her clothing, such as hanging up her coat or putting her shoes away, which has been a pleasant bonus.


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She also has begun to compliment her friends’ outfits and ask if she can help choose her brother’s clothes.  She comes home and pulls out her “presents” for him. I love seeing her confidence grow and evolve. So yes, it’s true – the day does come when you can no longer control your child’s wardrobe choices, but it is also a rite of passage.  I encourage you to let your children experiment and figure out their own style. I can’t promise you won’t get some questionable looks from strangers, but I promise most will smile and remember the days their own children began dressing themselves.



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