Dress Your Family In Moonboots And Awesome

February 8, 2011

(Disclosure! This content series and the giveaway below is brought to you by Old Navy. Check out the Kids & Baby Sale in store with great deals starting at $5. You will see how relevant this is if you read on!)

Emilia likes clothes. Emilia likes clothes a lot. Except when she doesn’t, during which times she embraces private nudism, but those times are mostly restricted to mornings, evenings, hot summer afternoons in the backyard, and pretty much anytime that she’s at home and we don’t have guests, but still. The rest of the time, she embraces fashion with a passion and eccentric flair that reminds one of Lady Gaga, or Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

I’ve written about this before, about how she has a zeal for putting together her own (and, to a lesser degree of success, her brother’s) outfits and about how and why I more or less just leave her to it. My reasoning basically comes down to these two principles: a) I believe in allowing her to express herself creatively in any way that is reasonable and appropriate (so, for example, tagging cars with Crayola markers or going to the playground clad only in body paint are not acceptable forms of creative expression, whereas going to Picture Day at school in full Sk8r Grl Meets Snow White costume is), and b) I am too lazy to be bothered with battling her on the issue of whether she layers princess costumes over Spiderman pajamas and pairs the whole outfit with moon boots. Not everybody approves of this approach to fostering creative expression – for some, allowing children to express personal style is a surefire way to raise a quote-unquote freak (or, per the controversy around Nerdy Apple’s son, make them – horrors! – gay) – but whatever. I’d rather my daughter and son dress themselves in glitter and moon boots – or however they like – and face judgment from bland critics with Gymboree frequent shopper cards than that they experience even a moment of angst over whether I might disapprove of them putting on tutus over snowpants. Hell, I want to wear a tutu over snowpants. I want to live in a world where everyone does that.

Because, why not? Why do we not walk into shops – or our closets – and survey the shirts and skirts and pants and shoes and say to ourselves, I am in the mood for silver and sparkles and shiny things and, oh, maybe a touch of space ranger, and then just go ahead and layer it all on? Why do we not approach dressing ourselves as an opportunity to wrap ourselves in things that feel good and that make us happy and that make us smile and forget all about whether or not it’s slimming and/or age-appropriate and/or on-trend or whatever? Why do we not look in the mirror after we’ve put together an outfit and, instead of following the age-old rule that states remove one thing, we just go screw it and add some more bling? Why do we not wear tutus over snowpants with moon boots and mouse-eared baseball caps?

Why do we not put together outfits like this?

All of which is to say: I think that there might be something to Emilia’s I WEAR WHAT I LIKE BECAUSE I LIKE IT philosophy of fashion. I know, obviously, that we can’t all just turn up at the office wearing pajamas and moon boots or tutus and sneakers; I know that we can’t really turn up at parent-teacher meetings or weddings or job interviews that way, either. But we could – I could – make the effort, more often, to approach getting dressed from the position of what do I like / what makes me happy / what is going to make me feel good, rather than (primarily) according to considerations of what will people think and will I look fat in these pants. I think that we might be – that I might be – a little happier for doing so. Maybe we’d also start easing up a little bit on judgment – of ourselves, and of others.

We might also teach our kids a thing or two about how to really get the space ballerina effect with only a few artfully layered pajama tops, a tutu and some glitter. THE MORE YOU KNOW.

What lessons are your children teaching you about personal style? Or, to put it another way, what of your kids’ personal style – or just their wardrobe – would you borrow if you had the nerve (and they had your size?) What would you buy and wear if you weren’t worried about people would think? Would you wear a tutu over snowpants? (For the record, I totally would. I would also wear sundresses over pants and stripey tights under everything. And way more sparkles.) Or are you just totally against creative sartorial expression and wish that we could all just wear uniforms and be done with it? Leave a comment and you’ll be eligible to win a $150 Old Navy gift card, with which you can go to Old Navy and have your kid pick out his or her own outfit, and also one for you. (Full contest rules here.)

(Coming up in this series: I let Emilia dress me. HILARITY ENSUES.)

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    Lindsay February 8, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I have to go with a recent http://www.beggingtheanswer.blogspot.com post on this and say, pajama jeans… and the hooded sweatshirt footie pajamas.

    I like dressing to disappear into the background ala jeans/t-shirt. Unfortunately, I’ve been ridiculed for this approach multiple times by women with the why-don’t-you-dress-to-impress-like-a-woman-should mentality.

    Let’s all just stop caring about how other people look, and be ourselves.

    Her Bad Mother February 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    @Lindsay, like five year olds do ;)

    Donna February 8, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I, too, am a jeans-and-t-shirt woman – mostly Old Navy, coincidentally, because I live overseas and they let me have free shipping and returns. I hate paying to return things that don’t fit. My daughters, on the other hand, dress a lot like yours: princess dresses over pjs, oversized flip-flops with Easter frocks. I do love the way my 4-year-old can pull off the dress over pants look. But yeah, it would look not quite as good on me.

    HPom February 8, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I’ve never been one to spend a ton of money on clothes and with some recent lay-offs we tend to be very frugal with out shopping. That being said I still like to buy the occasional “fancy” shirt for the dude (aka my 3 year old). His most recent acquistion was a vintage Animal (muppets) shirt. Otherwise we simply keep him in simple but colourful clothes and this seems to work well for him.

    I do have a comment about wearing things that make me feel good. I work in cubicle land and tend to wear the uniform; black pants, dress-shirt or sweater. I love my black pants! Not only are they super comfy but they make one less decision for me in the morning. I like to accessorize with some fun necklaces and funky winter outerwear. These are my creative outlets and make me smile while still mantaining the “corporate image”.

    Megan February 8, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I would wear little boy one-piece cotton suits every day – you know the ones that have zero waist and are basically just like your hot pink hoodie suit thing? Every day, seriously. Comfort rules!

    Her Bad Mother February 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    @Megan, oh hell, yes! ONESIES. Also, footie pajamas with a full zipper. (Which, yes, hot pink hoodie suit is close, but it does not have FEET.)

    Megan February 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm
    CrystalC2B February 8, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I would wear more things that I love. Like vintage dresses and high heels, or hipster clothes.

    Or I would just have a wardrobe big enough to wear ANYTHING I feel like, on any given day. Instead of a wardrobe where I have 6 tshirts, 1 pair of jeans and 2 pairs of ‘dress’ pants to choose from.

    domestic extraordinaire February 8, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I have been dressing more and more to what makes me happy. And as a victim of the moonboots when they weren’t cool anymore, I just can’t get on board with those, but to those that can…more power to them.

    For the most part I let the girls wear what they want. Sometimes they have to go back in their rooms and put on a cami (hello girls you shouldn’t jump out at me when I look at my teenager) And The Chicken’s tutus are a little too short for school so we really need to make or get her more, but aside from that I let them be who they are. I am raising confident women who will know what makes them happy and they will be content with themselves. I never want them to try to fit in and be something they aren’t because they think that they need to look or act a certain way. I did that for way too many years and look back with nothing but regret.

    Can’t wait to see what your outfit designed by Emilia is.

    Her Bad Mother February 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    @domestic extraordinaire, Uggs and Ugg knock-offs are the new moonboots.

    Kairos February 8, 2011 at 11:23 am

    My 5 year old daughter’s personal style is layers and as many different patterns as possible I like you let my daughter dress the way she wants as long as it is seasonally appropriate.. She likes to wear tights under pants and tank tops under long sleeve shirts under sweaters. Partially this just allows her to wear more polka dots with her stripes and plaid, but it is also so she can take parts of her outfit off as the day progresses (and then make me have to have her put them back on before we go outside again)
    Accessories are important, especially the pink sparkly purse and the pink and green hat that has holes for her pigtails.

    Her Bad Mother February 9, 2011 at 10:24 am

    @Kairos, oh my – a hat that has holes for pigtails??? REALLY??? WANT.

    Kairos February 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    @Her Bad Mother,
    Her hat is from a pattern called Piggle and it is a knitty pattern. You can find it here. http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter06/PATTpiggle.html

    corasmom February 8, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I can relate. My daughter wore to school today black leggings, a yellow and green plaid, pleated kilt, and a pink cat-in-the-hat shirt. She looks splendid.

    I live in jeans and t-shirts, except when I have to dress like a grown-up and go teach people. My favorite part of every workday is when I can come home and change into *my* clothes.

    Elisa February 8, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Show your toes! My little one is always removing her socks and shoes. Maybe she loves to feel the ground –hardwood, carpet– under her feet. She also loves hats. Hats! Except for winter we never wear hats. I think we should bring them back. I have a few in my closet, but never, ever wear them. This just isn’t a hat town… yet!

    My latest thing is leggings. I never thought I could pull the look off. But I got some pant-leggings (pleggings?) and am loving them. East to tuck into boots, throw on a cozy long sweater. It’s the best!

    Her Bad Mother February 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    @Elisa, ‘show your toes’, yes. although with my daughter, at home, it’s more ‘show your bare bottom because underpants are OPPRESSIVE.’ I have not yet embraced that look.

    Saisquoi February 8, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I blogged about personal uniforms not terribly long ago. http://saisquoi.blogspot.com/2010/11/uniforms.html My personal uniform is incredibly boring. But comfortable. And safe. Perhaps I am incredibly boring and should just embrace it…

    My 2 year old is starting to choose her own clothes, which is its own level of awesome and terrifying. Because usually her choices are fine. Striped shirts and flowered pants? GO FOR IT. And yes, your multi-colored Chuck Taylors go with everything, my darling. But not always. You need to wear more than training pants to school, kiddo. It’s OK to only wear legwarmers and a shirt at home, but you really need pants for school.

    She is, though, showing me that Because I Like It is a perfectly acceptable reason to purchase and wear a garment. Even if I am in my mid-30s. I miss wearing outlandish tights with…everything. You’ve reminded me that I need to do that more often. God bless part time work in an academic library for giving me the freedom to do that without raising too many eyebrows. And also, why don’t I own multi-colored Chuck Taylors anymore? Must get on that…

    MLB February 8, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I would buy and wear a bikini on my upcoming beach trip. Stretched out skin or no.

    a February 8, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I do sometimes object to color combinations that assault my eye (like the other day when her father put her in the red sweatshirt and dark pink sweatpant combo that I had vetoed previously). Aside from that, I care not what my daughter wears – but like me, she values comfort above all. She rarely wears jeans because she can’t climb in them. She prefers boy clothes, but she adores her leopard print shoes. As long as she’s warm (or cool) enough…

    Her Bad Mother February 9, 2011 at 10:40 am

    @a, Emilia is a lover of boy clothes, but she layers them with sparkle cords and tutus and the like ;) (also, tutus are the only skirt-like thing she’ll wear – she refuses dresses.)

    Geena February 8, 2011 at 11:28 am

    If I could dress however I wanted…I’d own a slew of dresses and tons of stripped leggings…and leg warmers. I’d also wear my tutu outside of the house, I love my tutu. In the meantime, I live in jeans and cotton tops…

    Tiffany D. February 8, 2011 at 11:34 am

    My daughter loves to dress up, while I stick more to jeans and t-shirts. I would love to be more like her in not waiting for a special occasion to wear pretty things.

    MFA Mama February 8, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I’m a “Vera Bradley lounge pants are TOTALLY okay to wear in public” kind of girl, myself. That’s my usual uniform–some loose, comfy pants in a funky print and a FCKH8 or This Is What A Feminist Looks Like or Shut Your Whore Mouth t-shirt. My kids are all boys, and don’t seem to care what they wear that much; the one time I argued with a kid over clothing was when my middle one wanted to wear his new Spidey PJs to preschool. I tried to talk him out of it at first, but finally I decided it wasn’t worth making anybody cry. When I dropped him off, after he was out of ear-shot I pulled his teacher aside and said “So uh, listen, I know he’s wearing pajamas, and I promise you I’m not a bad mother, but–” and she grinned and said “but he really wanted to wear his cool Spidey PJs? He’s three–who cares?” <3 her!

    Katy Greenbauer February 8, 2011 at 11:44 am

    When my girls were babies I would usually wear an artsy splash of spit up on my left shoulder.

    Now, I quite often wear honey nut cheerios in my hair.

    And I have started buying jelly only in colors that bring out the green in my eyes.
    Who needs jewelry? An artful blob of jelly and glitter smeared on your cheeks and neck is so much better.

    But if I had to choose one thing that my youngest wears that I wish I could wear are her pull-ups after a night of 1 (ok 2) too many martinis (3).

    Her Bad Mother February 9, 2011 at 10:45 am

    @Katy Greenbauer, this comment made me laugh out loud.

    Katy Greenbauer February 9, 2011 at 11:00 am

    @Her Bad Mother, Thank you and I am touched that you typed out the words “laugh out loud” and not lol. I believe you.

    Rhia February 8, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I can’t wait til my little guy is old enough to choose his own clothes. Right now his version of choice is picking up every item of clothing and settling on none, but wearing whatever I choose happily (mostly).

    Myself… I am always seeking my personal style. I want to wear dresses and skirts and pretty clothes in my head, but go for the same old pants and sweaters when I get dressed.

    Still, a few pieces of jewelry always make me feel so so pretty that I need to push myself to pay more attention… You’re right, to dress to feel happy and confident, not to be clothed and conforming.

    Jaden February 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I would totally wear more tutus, and dress up like a princess on days I was feeling down if I had the nerve and the wardrobe for it! I’ve learned from my three year old that when you want to feel pretty, sometimes just putting something pretty ON you helps :) Thanks for the chance, loved this article and I really cannot WAIT to see the outfits Emilia pulls together for you. :)

    Her Bad Mother February 9, 2011 at 10:50 am

    @Jaden, Emilia styled me last night, and really was pretty epic. Results will be posted tomorrow ;)

    Mom in MN February 8, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    My 10 year old daughter wears whatever she feels like wearing. I really just pick my battles – and clothes, hair, and nails don’t fall under my radar. As long as she’s appropriately covered and not violating any school dress code rules I’m fine. She’s kind of a glam-rocker chick at the moment and I’m just fine with it. It’ll probably change again soon anyway…

    Robyn J. February 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    If I have learned anything from my monkeys, it is that comfort counts and I should only care about what I think when dressing myself. Thus, I wear sparkly scarves and scrabble tiles for jewelry. I have striped socks from Nelson, Canada that make me happy. I have a pink cloche hat that brightens any day.
    And have you ever noticed that kids rarely wear black? I am picking up on this little fashion hint from them…

    Her Bad Mother February 9, 2011 at 10:52 am

    @Robyn J., VERY interesting observation. I’ve actually tried to foist black on them – what better color to hide dirt? – but neither of them go for it, and Emilia is outspoken in her disdain for it. “It’s NOT A COLOR, MOMMY.”

    Kate February 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I have learned from little ones to wear a lot more bright color – even if Gap has decided that black is the new black. :)

    rebecca February 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Currently, my younger daughter is wearing a tutu and my argyle socks. this is the only thing she will wear for more than five minutes. Last week, my elder wore a cheetah costume to the grocery store. My husband is usually sporting a mohawk and beard. I am definitely boring by comparison, but still embrace my dangly earrings and adidas superstars. I think i will start incorporating more sparkles into my wardrobe, though.

    Alli Worthington February 8, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    I think the hat makes the whole outfit! :)

    Jessica February 8, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    My oldest wears whatever is comfy, and my youngest prefers a diaper and high heels (or, as she calls them, “up shoes”). I’ve been a jeans and t-shirt girl for a really long time now, and I’m in the process of trying to break out of that. I mean, if I can wear the ugliest snow-pants in the world and a ridiculous ear-flap multi-coloured toque every day for months to show my girls a good example of how to dress for the weather, then maybe I ought to start trying to be a good example of dressing to please yourself instead of trying to look like/fit in with everyone around you. But you could always use some jeans and t-shirts, and I love Old Navy. :)

    moosh in indy. February 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    I’ve taken to buying the most ridiculous and colorful items I can find wherever I end up and just letting her loose to put them together however she wants.

    One of my personal favorites is her bright pink sequined tshirt with her glittery blue tutu, leopard print leggings and sparkletastic shoes.

    She owns that look better than anyone out there and I adore her for it.

    WestendMom February 8, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    My daughter has become my fashion fairy. I take her shopping with me and she inevitably picks up something bright, and or sparkly and urges me to just try it on. Well, much to my suprise, many these first sneered at items which were only tried on to appease my little gal, have turned out to be my most favorite articles of clothing.

    Her philosopy is simple…wear pretty things when you want to feel pretty, and wear comfortable things when you want to be comfortable. The best is when you combine the two…then never take it off!

    Rusti February 8, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    we have a dress-code at work, and now even jean-Fridays are out (and I LOVE me some jeans!!) also, jammies. I’m okay with wearing jammie pants out in public – and not because I’m lazy or a slob (although those could be true) but because I like to be comfortable… I’d also love to be able to pull off the leggings with petty skirts, fingerless gloves and lots of necklaces like they did in the 80′s… minus the pegged pants, ratted bangs and fluorescent headbands… I could live without those.

    Goose dressed herself the other day… her wardrobe included jeans, a long sleeved sports-related shirt, and a petti-skirt… another recent outfit was a sweater dress, pink cowgirl boots, a winter coat and a yellow plastic hard-helmet… she certainly has her own style already :)

    Beth February 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    My son is two and hasn’t really got an opinion on his clothes yet, other than not wanting to stop moving to change his clothes. The one thing he has taught me is that he loves me in whatever I wear. Especially my big fluffy purple robe that he loves cuddling with. But I do look forward to seeing his personal style emerging.

    Mel February 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    My 17 year old daughter keeps me young.I am 39 and a few years ago when I was about 34,right about the time she started to really get into fashion, around age 12 or so I realized just how out of touch with the fashions of the day I was. Not only that I was stuck in a complete rut, wearing track pants or the horrid “Mom jeans”. As she started to find her own sense of style I started to remember what fun it was to be a girl and dress up. I was a Mum, not dead dammit! Now I am not saying I run around in ultra low risers with my thong showing or in ruffled mini skirts. I dress age appropriate, but I have fun, I wear jeans and nostalgic rock band Tee’s around the house instead of track pants. I paint my toe nails, I wear more jewelry etc. I no longer feel guilty for spending some time on myself. The kids will not die from having to wait for me if I want to do something special with my hair one day. I was diagnosed with Lupus about in 2003 and I know that life is short so I am going to have fun being a girl, and I have some wonderful bonding moments with my daughter too. She will be off on her own before we know it and I treasure our fun fashion romps together. One more thing, in answer to your question of why don’t we wear “silver and sparkles”? its simple, peer pressure and bullying keeps all humans, no matter their age or gender from really being who they want to be. If a young boy wants to be Pocahontas for Halloween the world implodes, yet a girl can be a cowboy. How different the world could be if we stopped judging and started accepting.

    Fabs February 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I used to cringe when my daughter would come out in mis-matched colors. Now she is 11 and she still doesn’t match her clothes, but I’ve learned to let go, so I smile because she doesn’t care, she is just wearing what she likes! Although sometimes I have to remind her it’s 30 degrees out so the capri pants might not be a good idea!

    Tway February 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    S has two closets full of clothes. TWO! Mind, they’re kid-sized closets, but still. She’s only 16 months and wearing 12 months, so we’ve got baby clothes coming out the wazoo–with stuff up to 24 months stored away.

    Yet, yet… I almost always dress her in jeans and a shirt. Cause that’s what I wear. She just has more of a girls’ take on boys’ clothes, with a little pink trim and a sparkle on the jean flare and frilly cuffs. I don’t know what she’ll eventually pick out all on her own, but her favourite plaything is the clothes-basket, so I’m thinking she might be a clothes horse. Although she does seem to crawl around a lot with 2 pairs of PJ’s wrapped around her neck…

    Cindy February 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, I applaud allowing children to define their own personal sense of style and self-expression in safe and creative ways. I sometimes cringe at what our daughter wants to wear out the door and am still trying to explain to her why long sleeves are best for winter, but still, she is developing her sense of self and learning to know her own mind, which is really important for young girls.

    Eliza February 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I actually sew and make many of my own clothes, so i have a lot of fun with it. I am constantly coming up with new fun colorful things to wear to the office (though i have been told that my hot pink pencil skirt needs to stay home)
    that being said, if there was on thing my daughter wears that I would love to be able to too? those awesome patterned wool tights. With hearts and stars and polka dots. I have looked and for the life of me can not find ones in adult sizes. :(

    Eliza February 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    In addition, I remember my mother telling me that i looked liked something out of BeetleJuice. But she still loved me, and she even bought me the crazy clothes I loved. I’ve never had the clothing insecurity issues some of my friends did, and when i was insecure about my body the freedom to cover however i wanted helped immensely. go creativity embracing moms!

    han February 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I think I’d have to go with, in summer, a very short sundress with matching bloomers. If I dared. Which I don’t!

    Katie February 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Is it bad that I wish we could all just wear some kind of uniform – only because that’s one less thing for me to think about? And he clothes should automatically fit you as you grow.

    Danyelle February 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    My oldest (4 yo) constantly accessorizes her outfits with necklaces, beads, bracelets, rings, belts, hats and she urges me to do so also.

    Karina February 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    I usually wear what I want, when I want, and yes, this includes dresses over jeans. I’ve always had a very strong sense of personal style and thankfully my hippie mom fostered it. I love military jackets, leggings and ruffles!

    My kids are still little and generally will wear whatever I put them in. So my 2 year old has a sort of rocker cool wardrobe. This includes a zebra stripped fedora and a big blue and purple, leopard print pettiskirt. Her favorite is naked though. Diaper changes are a struggle because she will bounce up as soon as it’s off yelling naked and running away from you. She is so fun!

    Elizabeth in Chicago February 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Considering I wore clothing “inspired” by the Baby Sitters Club when I was growing up, I will have not right to let my future children anything other than what they want. Also, I bought myself a dress with a tutu a couple of years ago, but I haven’t worn it since my birthday. I should fix that, STAT.

    sashalyn February 8, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    My daughter Sophia really just prefers any outfit in which she doesn’t have to wear pants. I am usually putting her pants back on every few hours as necessary- but if there are no guests, the pants usually stay off, too.
    I am also in the club of folks who love hats and awesome, bold patterned tights. I have a great Tootsie Pop Owl hat that I get compliments on constantly- and Sophie wears a puppy hat with floppy ears that she likes to flap back and forth… We are quite the pair. Since I can never find awesome tights, I substitute knee high socks- socks with owls, rainbow stripes, argyle, pink with black & white skulls, whatever! Even if you have to wear the most bland outfit ever- socks are free reign! I figure I gotta be freaky somehow! :)

    Dawn February 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I’m not sure who makes the more interesting sartorial choices for my 4 year old daughter, her or my husband as HE has been know to pair a flowered shirt with a pair of flower print pants because they BOTH HAVE FLOWERS DAMMIT! She, however, will choose her current favorite articles of clothing (pants with a dress, favorite short sleeved t shirt over a hoodie and the entire outfit MUST be topped off with either a princess costume, super hero costume or brave knight complete with ‘mail helmet’. Eh, as long as it’s seasonally appropriate, I don’t care. And her teachers love seeing her each morning; it’s almost like a game. In fact, I get the sense that they are disappointed when she arrives wearing something I picked out, ie. matching.

    Her Bad Mother February 8, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    My husband once put Emilia down for a nap – when she was, like, six months old – in a party dress, because he ‘couldn’t find her pajamas, and it was pretty.’ And swaddled her, over the dress. I still wish that I’d taken a picture of the moment of swaddle-unraveling.

    Amy B @ A Chase After Wind February 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    I love love LOVE clothes as a concept, and The Sartorialist is one of my favorite blogs. But I just hate to dress myself. I am hopeless at it. I don’t know what my style is, and so I waste money and anxiety and time over trying to be fashionable. I just can’t seem to express myself through clothes at all, and usually feel most comfortable in something plain and comfortable. And so I AM one of those people who would be fine with just wearing some kind of uniform. I liked wearing the uniform in Catholic grade school and high school. I liked my Girl Scout uniform. And that 3 year stint I spent in a convent (yes, you read that correctly) I LOVED wearing the habit. It’s what I miss the most about not being a nun.

    All that to say, I want to allow my kids to express themselves with clothes if they want to…but I also want them to be so comfortable in their own skin and so absorbed with the wide and wonderful world around them that they will also be ok with treating clothes as utilitarian only. I don’t want them to feel the pressure of being fashionable that I impose on myself.

    Her Bad Mother February 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    My uniform is yoga pants and Uggs. It’s pretty boring, but it’s comfortable, and I kind of like that. Although I do yearn to throw a tutu over it all, sometimes ;)

    (And – you wore a HABIT? WOW. COOL.)

    Erin February 8, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    While I like to imagine that I would wear fabulous evening gowns with knee-high combat boots, in reality I would probably be too lazy for all that and wear nothing but adult-sized footie pajamas.

    Her Bad Mother February 8, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    or you could wear footie pajamas UNDER a ballgown. that could be a look.

    Hellostacey February 8, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    I’d most surely wear footie pajamas, the kind with the “peek-a-boo” pocket in the rear. I’d wear ruffly socks under sandals, like I did when I was a kid. I’d wear sundresses with no bra. And most importantly, if I really didn’t care what anyone thought, I’d never comb my hair – ever.

    Amy K February 8, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    My daughter will turn 2 in a few weeks, and I think she would wear a tutu every day of the week if we owned enough of them. (Do they make day-of-the-week toddler tutus like they do with undies? I think I’m onto some marketing genius here.) She also loves to match stripes with other stripes. So yeah, rainbow striped shirt, purple tutu, black and white striped leggings underneath. I’d wear those leggings in a larger size.

    Betsy February 8, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I vowed never to intrude on my kids’ choices of clothing and hair style. I just remember how embarrassing it was to have to wear my hair and clothing the way my mom dictated. Both areas are truly a way we can express ourselves. My kids are 10 and 8 and I haven’t damped their spirits yet! Maybe I would have more of a sense of style today, or at least feel confident in my clothing choices, if I had been free to choose. I heard orange is in this spring — I might just try it!

    carrien (she laughs at the days) February 8, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Yesterday my 7 yo spent the day in multicolored striped tights, riding boots, a tutu and a stained leotard. Since she’s all legs she really did look like a pixie missing some wings.

    My 4 yo of course also need a tutu, and a tshirt, and whatever else she could find that was “pretty”.

    Most of the time I let them dress themselves, and on occasion I guide when it’s in their best interests to do so, and occasionally cull through to remove stained, torn or too small clothes.

    My daughter’s sunday school teacher took me aside one morning to ask if she had put her outfit together herself. She was impressed to hear that she did, “I would wear that outfit,” she told me, “it’s so stylish.

    I feel good when I look good. I love pretty things but I only end up wearing the things that I like that way they look on me. Often I feel like I’m pretending or look more frumpy dressed up than in my regular clothes so I tend to avoid needing to dress up if I can. I would change that I suppose, to enjoy wearing pretty things without worrying that I look out of place in them when I do.

    Kate H February 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I’m in grad school, careening towards a career (if the good lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise) as a professor. That means grown-up-professional-not-too-feminine-but-not-too-butch costumes, all the time when I’m on campus and interacting with my students or, in many cases, my professors. Now, I love me a good sweater dress, but sometimes, I want to make up for my anti-femme childhood and just wear something glittery. Or even sequiny. Maybe once I get tenure…

    Her Bad Mother February 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    When I was a lecturer, I expressed myself through my shoes. Standard pants and sweaters/dress shirts/blazers, but ALWAYS rocking heels. My students were always disconcerted by the heels ;)

    Christina D. February 8, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I totally want the space ballerina effect! And moonboots (unfortunately, the last pair I saw at Nordstrom were like $150 – peh on that). I wholeheartedly support wearing whatever the F strikes you on any given day – fashion police be damned. If I could (and they came in my size) I’d wear my son’s pink, purple, teal, and white horizontal stripe leggings because they are very Rock 1978. But because I’m currently lazy and want to make sure everything matches, I wear a lot of black and denim. Not my most creative phase, admittedly.

    Kristen February 8, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I subscribe to the “whatever’s comfy and makes me feel confident” line of fashion. This includes baggy jeans, leggings with zippers up the sides (so 80s!), Halloween socks with skeletons on them, oversized sweaters, chunky necklaces, tight t-shirts, floral prints, indie band t-shirts, tennis shoes, and funky heels.

    My older son has a pretty conservative sense of style (though if it’s emblazoned with the image of Darth Vader, ALL THE BETTER). My younger son may have more daring tastes, however. (His favorite outfit-du-jour includes a pair of Spiderman snow boots, a bicycle helmet, his Caillou t-shirt, and a pair of shorts.)

    Her Bad Mother February 8, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    oooh, Emilia has Spiderman snow boots and a Caillou shirt. And I have a Darth Vader sweater. Your children would be very comfortable with us ;)

    Jenifer February 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I pretty much wear the same thing day in day out…at home it is yoga pants (Old Navy ones!) and long sleeved t’s over tanks. When I go out it is jeans, hoodies and sweaters. I have been trying to adopt more colour in my wardrobe…the problem is I love grey and navy and black. I am trying to add in pops of colour though and last year I got some bright summer t’s.

    So far my girls are fairly easy and wear whatever I put out the night before. On the weekends they pick their own outfits usually and want to look “cool” so right now it is jeggings and long tops.

    For Eliza…have you tried Little Miss Matched? They have awesome stuff for adults too!

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