Fashionista or fashion faux pas?


Enjoy our humorous parenting tips on how to deal with your little fashionista and any drama that might ensue from the “getting dressed” battle.

By Becky Horace

We just hit the phase of “I want to dress myself.” My son is almost four years old and has never been interested in what he wears as long as it has a train, plane or automobile on the shirt. I am sure with little girls this happens much sooner and parents of little girls probably have loads of tips and advice they could share with us here—and please do so in the comments section.

I thought I would share our recent fashion escapade and how what looked like a fashion faux pas was actually an opportunity for a fashionista to be born.

On Sunday, as we were getting ready for church, my son wanted to pick out his outfit. Normally for church, I would put him in a cute collared shirt and shorts but today I didn’t have the strength to fight the battle that would ensue had I said no and really what harm can it do to let the kid dress himself.

He picked out the best outfit in his mind and was so proud of how he looked with this backwards elephant hat, camo pants, camo crocs, a yellow shirt with an embroidered tie, and binoculars made from toilet paper rolls that were all busted up. I couldn’t be mad all I could do was smile and tell him how good he looked.

Here are some tips I thought I would share if you are experiencing something similar on the daily with your toddler:

  1. Allow your kids a few choices not an entire closet: If you are a total control freak and I know as a mom most of us are and you can’t handle the thought of your little one going out in public in the Halloween Spiderman outfit maybe you should hide that bad boy in the back of the closet and only allow for a couple of options each morning.
  2. Be prepared the night before: If you are giving options set them out as he/she is asleep. Think of everything that might cause an argument. You are going to need shirt, shoes, hat, sun glasses, bracelets, and probably a matching toy! Just consider all possible reason there could be a meltdown but I would suggest you do this as you sip your evening glass of wine.
  3. Organization can help: I have seen an organization style that people use in the closet and set up each outfit for the entire week. It is a hanging shoe rack/storage bin with several bins that hang down– see this link for an example (Richards Homewares Hanging Ten Shoe Large Shelf Organizer-Canvas/Natural (2 PACK). If you think your little one can commit to this type of planning try it out, I personally think that this might be for older kids.
  4. Go with it: You might be the free spirit mom that can just “go with it” and if you aren’t maybe you should give it a try. So what if your kid is wearing a pirate hat and cowboy boots to the mall? Haven’t we seen adults do much worse? I am sure you have seen the show “What not to wear” on TLC. The advantage the kids have is that “they are cute” when they do this.
  5. Creativity boosts development: I know you might think you have a total fashion faux pas on your hands and if you are a fashionable mom it probably hurts a little. Remember this phase will end eventually but while you are in it enjoy it. This use of creative thinking on your toddlers part really does boost brain development and I am sure no parent wants to stifle any form of their child’s development. Read more in our Early Years Cognitive Development and Childhood Cognitive Development section for more information on what is going on in their brain!

As we arrived to church, we did get a few looks but as the parents we were so proud of his individuality that we didn’t mind. I can sometimes be the control freak mom but there are something’s that I want to just let go and how my son wants to dress (at the moment) is one of those battles I will gladly surrender. He is being creative, asserting his independence, at times he is probably role playing and I don’t even realize it. These are all great things to boost his development and to grow that brain.

Let us know in the comment section below how you handle the daily battle of getting dressed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: