We all know that when you wear different types of clothes they project different images of that person and they also give the wearer a particular frame of mind. There are tons of studies on all this stuff, it’s very important as a way of expressing oneself, fitting in, or not fitting in and the sense of identity.
This is why I think that it is actually vitally important to let children choose what they want to wear, within reason (obviously a swimsuit is not good in the snow). Fifi is a master of mis-matched, too small clothes. Boy is happiest when dressed exactly like his dad, or as a superhero. That’s fine.
Over the years I have realised that I associate events with the clothes that I am wearing. Thus the outfit I wore on a day when I had a very bad meeting with my boss, was soon after sent to the charity shop. I can still remember outfits I wore when I was dating my husband. Sometimes I forget that particular things which I have worn on happy days have now been retired. With thought, I could probably tell you what I was wearing during every single lecture I have ever given as I find them particularly stressful moments.
If you knew me you’d know that I spend 80% of my time wearing jeans, this is usually because I cant bear to decide what else is appropriate and I don’t wish to run the risk of my new dress etc being associated with a particular event.
I’m, a closet fashionista, there are several key pieces that you need in your wardrobe, most probably which you will have in your wardrobe without even realising:
- The black dress
- The white shirt
- The pencil skirt
- The t-shirt
- Capri pants
- The black cardigan
It’s not worth hanging on to these things forever though as there will be subtle changes in them through time which will date them. However, the beauty of these pieces is that if you love your black dress, for example, and associate it with the best day of your life, you’ll be able to get away with wearing it when you are sixty. It may look dated but it will still be a key piece. Genius eh?
What does this all mean for kids clothes then? Well, I think there are several key pieces that any child needs:
- jogging bottoms
- jersey dress (for girls obviously)
- the superhero t-shirt
If your child has these in their wardrobe you can’t go wrong, they can choose and express their personality adapting items with things from the dressing up box. I often think they (at least my kids) do also remember what they were wearing at particular moments, don’t force your child to wear something if they don’t want to. They may remember falling over and hurting themselves or getting told off. Also, try not to impose your mood and identity on them too much, I do find this hard to do but am aware that I can do it quite easily.
Clothes are a way of expressing identity and since we are all born individuals why not let your child embrace this with gusto!
*image above shows Fifi wearing one of my 1970’s baby dresses with jeans. She chose this outfit and was about 1 at the time…