The other day I was trying to recall at what age I began to care about clothes. Was it my affinity for that striped sailor shirt and matching mini-skirt in first grade? Or those knickers I coveted while standing in line for my first Cabbage Patch doll? (Btw, can we just all agree that those pants should never, ever make a comeback?) Either way, I don't remember caring that much about what I wore to good ol' Beaumont Elementary back in the day.
Of course, these days, I do love a good Calvin Klein dress as much as the next girl. And my favorite color? Black, of course!
So I guess it shouldn't surprise me that my daughter's fashion taste went from Garanimals to Gucci at the tender age of five. But thank God she's more Hello kitty than Juicy Couture, at least for now.
It seemed to happen suddenly. Overnight she went from happily wearing all the frilly dresses and ballet slippers lining her closet to demanding that I give all her clothes away to GoodWill (or as she put it "kids with no clothes") and replace them with skorts and T-shirts. Because, as she mentioned, dresses were for babies and girls with curly hair. (Um, what?)
And so began the power struggle of all time. Each morning, I would mentally prepare myself for battle as she ate her waffle. What would I threaten this morning? To take away her beloved bear? Spongebob restriction for a week? Make her listen to me sing on the way home from school? Nothing seemed to work. It. Was. Ugly.
So using Fall shopping as my excuse to save face, I finally went to Target and bought every single skort I could get my hands on. And because she had developed some sort of affinity for early 80's punk fashion, (WTF?) I also picked up a bunch of ugly Gwen Stefani reject T-shirts. knee high socks and boots. Oh, and guess what her favorite color was now? Black. And no, the irony was not lost on me.
Realizing that her insistence about choosing her clothes had become more of an issue of power than fashion, I began to let her dress herself each day. And being the Type-A control freak that I am, it pained me to watch her put outfits together. But I bit my tongue.
Striped shirt and polka dot skirt? No Problem!
Red and orange together? Why didn't I think of that?
Wearing a Hello Kitty shirt, skirt, headband, barrettes and sunglasses all at the same time? Talk about brand loyalty! Everyone should look like Hello Kitty threw up on them!
Each day, I would ask, do you want Mommy's opinion? And surprisingly, her answer was always NO, MOMMY! So I obliged. And guess what? Each week she got a bit better at putting her clothes together. She started to look more Miley Cyrus and a little less Lady Gaga. In fact, she really seemed to carve out her own look and although it wasn't exactly my style, I felt proud that she was wanting to lead rather than follow. Even if it meant she occasionally looks like a cracked-out 80's rock star.
I just make my husband drop her at school those days so they blame it on him...