My mom adventures in Fort Collins


What the frock?

Pre-school fashion is increasingly on my mind. This probably seems like a silly topic. I myself would have thought this not too long ago, but that was before I had a child who refused to allow me any input on her fashion choices. Since the age of 18 months, Scout has been making her own wardrobe choices. Forcefully making those choices, in many instances.

I have always tried to abide by a few rules.

1. Emphasize the weather. For example: She can wear sundresses in the cold as long as she wears a t-shirt underneath them.

2. Ignore the mismatched patterns, contrasting colors, etc. For example: Photo below.

3. Focus on the function of the apparel. For example: If we are going horseback riding, you wear pants.

4. Impose a wee bit of modesty. For example: We have a rule that if you’re going to wear a dress, you wear a pair of shorts underneath the dress so that no one can see your panties. (And she can still run around like the kid she is without me worrying about whether or not someone will see her panties.)

5. If any of the rules somehow fail (WHY? Why do the rules never work with this kid?), stand back and prepare for natural consequences. For example: When she insists on wearing her sweater tights on a day that is 90 degrees, anticipate some overheating and have some water readily available.

Well, these rules are all well and good, but then there comes the day when the rules are followed and yet every bit of the apparel is just wrong wrong wrong. Please indulge me.

Scout had dance class. She picked out a fancy tutu leotard. {Abiding by Rule #3} I told her it was cold out (it was an alarming 60 degrees on Thursday–whoa, where did that come from?). She picked out a coat. {Abiding by Rule #1} And she selected a footwear choice. And here’s what we wound up with…I don’t know if I can quite condone it, but I will say that my daughter is a fashion visionary. So, do I need to just loosen up? Or impart more rules? Hmm, Rule #6: No animal patterns? Rule #7: No ‘streetwalker chic’ before 7 pm? Seriously, what is appropriate or inappropriate for someone so completely innocent? How do you explain to a sweet, precious girl that a leopard print peacoat when worn with a lavender tutu and black cowboy boots might just be “over the top”?

I can just hear it now: “Why, Mom? Why can’t I wear this? I don’t understand.” Meanwhile, all I can think about is some Chester Molester out there who will want to take her photo with his smart phone. Is the point simply that if she looks ‘too old,’ then the clothes have to go? Kinda like when I tell her that little girls simply don’t wear lipstick, and that’s a very easy rule for me to enforce. I can honestly hear myself telling her, “Look, you need to look like a little girl at all times because you are a little girl.”

Please help me out if you’ve been down this road before. Or commiserate with me if you’re dealing with the same thing because I’m at a loss.

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