Our Kids Shouldn’t Have To Be Fashion Plates

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When I was a kid, I had a pair of red tights that I loved, loved, loved to wear. There are photos of me wearing these things under sneaker socks, under shorts – basically I wore them with every outfit. My poor mom had to hand wash them constantly. That may be a little bit of an over-the-top example – but I miss the days when kids weren’t expected to be little fashion plates.



When exactly did we collectively decide that kids needed to look like miniature, hipster adults? Looking back through my old school pictures, there was nothing any of us were wearing that could double as something a Brooklyn 20-something would wear to a bar. Unless somehow Brooklyn 20-somethings start being into Garanimals. Are parents today too concerned with how their kids dress? I’m including myself in this question.

I started thinking about this because as I was getting my kid ready for preschool yesterday, I noticed that none of his “good” clothes were clean. I didn’t get to the laundry like I had planned the night before, so all of his short sleeve shirts were faded and most had stains on them. I was thinking, “I can’t put him in this!” What? I can’t put a three-year-old in a faded, stained t-shirt to go play on a playground and make some crafts? Of course I can.

His shoes are always clean, his outfits always match – this may be a little over-the-top, no? He hasn’t shown any interest in picking his own outfits out, but when he does – I’m going to let him have at it. I have a friend whose daughter loves sequins and the most over-the-top outfits you can imagine. She always lets her put her look together, no matter how outlandish it is. I love that.

So this strange fixation I have on my kids always being put together is something that I am going to ease up on. Kids are kids – they don’t have to look like little fashion plates. I am guilty of dressing my kids up because some of these outfits are just too cute. You should see what I put on my daughter for her birthday! There’s no harm in it, I just want to make sure I never become the mom that doesn’t let her kid where what he wants to wear because I think it looks “silly.” I would have been crushed if my mom didn’t let me don the red tights. I need to remember that stuff now that I’m the parent.

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Maria Guido