Getting dressed

I have a daughter. And she has clothes in her closet. Put those two together and you get a daughter who likes to dress herself. Oh my, is this an adventure!

The outfits my daughter comes up with are- I can’t even think of a word to describe them. Interesting? The word still doesn’t quite do it justice.

Those sweet dresses I purchase aren’t quite so sweet-looking when there’s a t-shirt worn OVER the dress. Or pants underneath it. (I've never actually been particularly fond of that look.) Or when those cute saltwater sandals are worn with socks.

That little pink and grey stocking cap her great-grandmother made is darling, but not so much so when it’s worn with shorts and a tank top. In the middle of summer. Or when she chose the whole shorts-over-the-top-of-a-pair-of-pants look. (You know, for those cooler summer days.)

A few years back I remember being at the grocery store or the mall and I would see other little girls, four or five years old, and think: “Does that mother have NO fashion sense? Her daughter is wearing stripes with a floral pattern!” Now I know. My daughter wore that same combination just today. If each item has one like color- today it was pink- she figures it's a match!

And she thinks a striped shirt ‘goes’ with a striped pair of pants. No matter if the stripes are going the opposite direction. She’ll prance into the room in the morning and say, “Mommy, look! Stripes, and stripes!” (pointing to her shirt, then to her pants.) She is so delighted with herself I don’t have the heart to say, “Oh, honey, no. No, no, no.”

Or she’ll appear wearing ALL OF ONE COLOR. Red shirt, red pants, red socks. “Mommy! I’m matching! I’m all red today!” Nevermind that they are three separate shades of red, one bordering burgandy.

And she often chooses clothes for her brothers.

Here's the thing: I personally actually do like my own clothes to match. But I let her get herself dressed every morning but one. (That would be Sunday mornings). I realize I could inform her which clothes go well together, but I know we'd be having that conversation over and over again while she tries to figure it out. And honestly, I don't want to expend the energy and conversation over something as shallow as clothes. It just doesn't matter. She'll learn soon enough.

And then there's this verse: "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." So I am trying instead to focus my energies on her heart. On those specific patterns of sin in her life that we're aware of. And when we do talk about clothes, we talk about issues of modesty.

So her clothes clash like nobody's business. And some days I have to swallow my pride as other mothers gawk at or comment on her ensemble and remember that it's her heart that matters, not what clothes she's wearing.

1 comment:

  1. Sep. 19, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Anonymous

    My Zack has that same kindred spirit. He loves to pick out is own outfits, like when he wore shorts and cowboy boots to his doctor's appointment. Over time, I have learned to give up this control and focus my energy on more important matters as well, like showing kindness to others. So now when Zack wears one of his unique outfits, I smile and enjoy his creativity.



    Sep. 19, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by jengresak
    ROFL! This was a great one : ) Hang in there - she'll figure out "matching" soon enough. I like your new avitar - what a gorgeous family : ) Have a great Tuesday!


    Sep. 19, 2006 - HA!
    Posted by Michelle
    If I had that laughing-rolling-yellow-face-im -guy, I would put him HERE!!! Very fun post! And great approach! I LOVE it when kids come into my office wearing outfits they have obviously chosen!!!! Good mama!!!


    Sep. 19, 2006 - Great Post!
    Posted by dawilli
    Yep, I have little girls, and fairly picky fashion tastes myself. And I too, have had to learn to let them wear some imaginative ensembles as part of growing up and growing a wee little bit of independence...
    How sweet it is, how sweet they are,
    Enjoy them all,


    Sep. 19, 2006 - One more from me
    Posted by jengresak
    My three year old son dressed himself today and while it matches very well, EVERYTHING is on backwards! LOL! I love kids : )


    Sep. 19, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Anonymous
    My daughter is almost 4 and she has been dressing herself for about a year now. She loves dresses, but loves to do the pants under them combo. She comes up w/some crazy outfits, but I don't make a big deal about it either. We are choosing to pick our battles on things that are more important issues. And, when we are just going to be at home it doesn't really matter. It makes me smile.



    Sep. 19, 2006 - um...
    Posted by Mike
    This is one of those posts that really needs pics!!! Don't you have a scrapbook page of outfits or something? I need more.


    Sep. 19, 2006 - Alright, Mike. Picture added.
    Posted by
    This was her outfit yesterday, when I wrote this entry. Today she's faring much better in the matching department. She has on navy pants with a navy baseball shirt. Both the same shade. Nevermind that the baseball shirt is about 3 sizes too big and wears more like a dress! Oh well...


    Sep. 19, 2006 - Ali, jengresak, Michelle, ali, and Wendy-
    Posted by reformingmama
    Oh yes- boots! I can't believe I forgot to mention those. She wears her pink rubber boots with everything! :) And she'll pull out her snow boots from time to time, too... but I am usually able to convince her that it's too warm for snow boots! :) Sounds like your Zach is equally creative. I love it! :)

    You are the first one to comment on the new picture! :) Sorry, no prize, though. But thanks for noticing! :) And that is great about the backwards-clothes day! :)

    I know! Where is that laughing IM guy when we need him? Man!

    I know. It's very sweet. I really do love it. :)

    Isn't it great? Pants under the dresses and skirts?! I mean, where DO they come up with that? You'd think they would just emulate what they see, and I promise you this, I HAVE NEVER WORN THAT COMBO!

    Thanks for commenting!


    Sep. 19, 2006 - okay..... but
    Posted by Mike
    ... that seems to me to be what little girls look like. That doesn't match? Maybe I'm colorblind.

    Oh well. Aidan likes to wear two pair of pants--like jeans over jeans, so it's not just a girl issue. Of course, I imagine the pants are supposed to be some kind of body armor or something.


    Sep. 19, 2006 - mine too
    Posted by MicheleinNZ
    My 3 yr old daughter does the same thing. She's been dressing herself for about four months and, except for saying that she needs to wear long pants or long sleeves, she gets to choose. She obviously has her favourite because whenever they're clean, they're on. I've decided that this is an issue that I simply don't want to fight so off we go to the shops with her funny ensembles. Gotta love it.


    Sep. 23, 2006 - Fashion Laments...
    Posted by CandidReflections
    Hi Stacy, New blogger here and having fun taking a look around. Be careful…allowing this “creative fashion statement” may come back to haunt you in 20 years! LOL Our girls have asked several times over the years (usually while looking at old pictures) why I dressed them like that? I just smile and say “I didn’t…I let you choose your outfits and trust me…it wasn’t always easy!” In fact, my 24 year old daughter and I just laughed over this topic yesterday during a lunch outing and I told her I was going to record our conversation and play it back for her in 10 years when (Lord willing) she is lamenting on the outfit choices her children are making! Blessings, Diane


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