Most parents I know start out with having set clothing style for their babies. Often it's an extension of their own style or something they wished they wore as kids. As the babies turn into kids they start to develop their own style and sometimes the battles begin.
From a really young age, Lil-lil has been very particular about what she wears. It must be "beautiful", it can't be pants and it must be pink, purple or another occasionally another beautiful colour. This started around the age of two and has stayed strong ever since. I can't for the life of me get her in jeans, "Jeans are just yucky, Mum" so last winter it was skirts/dresses and tights. She won't wear sneakers, just beautiful ballet flats or mary-janes. She likes to accessorise. The only time she will wear pants in when she goes to get an early coffee with her dad on the weekend, but she'll change out of them as soon as she gets home. She looks really cute in pants and she also looks amazing in blue, but it's not a beautiful colour apparently.
Goose will pretty much wear anything but it's dependant on her mood. Like this morning, she decided it was a checked shorts and sparkly singlet kind of day, despite being freezing cold. Once she's made up her mind on an outfit, it takes some convincing. In the end a compromise was made, she wore jeans and a long top under the sparkly singlet. She looked pretty ridiculous, but she thought she looked great.
Lil-lil tells me she wants to be a 'fashion star' when she grows up. Well, actually it's a fashion star vet, but we're talking fashion today. She loves to put outfits together, most of the time they are mismatched and clash, but she's over-the-moon with her creations. As she has to wear a uniform during the week and spends Monday to Friday being told what to do, I figure her outfits on the weekend give her a choice, freedom and creativity. Even if I do have to bite my tongue at some of the things she wears. Sometimes I make a suggestion, but if the clothes are weather and occasion appropriate, I let it slide.
One of Lil's friends is a complete tomboy, she only wears her brother's hand-me-downs (including school uniform). Her mother is very stylish and always looks put-together. I asked the mum this morning how she felt about her daughter not wanting to wear pretty or nice clothes, she just shook her shoulders and said: "That's just her."
I know that this would kill a lot of parents, who feel their kids' appearance reflects upon them. I know parents who feel it's really important to dress a certain way, which is fine and I understand that. For me, I'm not too bothered, the only thing I don't really like is kids dressing like adults.
In saying that, one of Goose's friends dresses like a miniature of her mum - skinny jeans, cropped cardis, ballet flats, maxi-dresses. I always thought it was strange, until her grandmother told me it was the little girl who insisted she wear the same type of clothes as her mum, not the other way round.
There are those kids who wouldn't think twice about clothes and will happily put on whatever is laid out for them. Then there are those who want to be a fireman or a fairy, all day, every day. Or want to wear their PJs to the park or only wear a certain colour (I knew a little boy who would only wear purple) or a certain item of clothing (or won't wear a certain item of clothing as in Lil's case). Often it's just a phase and another odd fashion phase will come along soon. Sometimes it's long-lasting, just like Lil's pant aversion.
Yesterday, Lil got mud all over her winter tunic and so I said she had to wear trackies. She put them on and when I asked how she felt, she said she was worried her teacher wouldn't recognise her. The tunic went back on today, but I think she just might wear trackies again. The world didn't end after all.
Do you like your kids to wear certain clothing or have a certain style? Do you enforce it? Do you let your child go out in clothing of their own choice, even if it looks odd? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one.