My daughter is a little fashionista.
This will come as no surprise to those of you who follow me on Instagram. She loves mixing and matching colours, prints and textures. Each night before her bath, she pulls her clothes from the wardrobe, lays them on the bed, and painstakingly compares and contrasts each item with the others until she’s put together the perfect outfit for the next day.
And quite often, she’ll ask to have her pic taken for #everydaystyle when we capture mine.
Months ago, my daughter asked if she could please choose the clothes that I wear. And I said no. Because while she always looks gorgeous, she always looks five years old. She’s meant to pair purple with yellow polka dots and blue stripes and look like she’s having a whole lot of fun with it.
But she kept asking. She really wanted to play around with someone else’s wardrobe. And why not let her? What was so important in my week that I couldn’t ‘risk’ wearing an outfit put together by a five-year-old?
So last week, I said yes. From Monday through to Sunday, I wore clothes, shoes and accessories as selected by my daughter.
And here are the outfits.
Monday. We started with a colourful BANG! with a bright, geometric dress. (Arcade clown face sold separately.)
I have a pair of leggings in this print (in different colours), and thought my daughter would pair them together. She loves nothing better than matching patterns. But no. She let the dress speak for itself with black tights and boots to finish off the outfit. While I felt a little overdressed for the library, the post office and the supermarket, this was something I’d happily wear most days of the week.
Tuesday. Layers were the order of the day. My daughter chose a black maxi, a favourite cardi, a hat and my polka dot flats.
I quite liked this outfit when she put it together, but the pic is deceptive. This maxi is a light and breezy summer shirt dress, with buttons that quit mid-thigh, and two thigh-high side splits for good measure. It was a cold, blustery day of medical appointments and a client meeting, so I spent most of the day battling the lower sections of my dressed as they whooshed around.
Wednesday. Another dress (I’m sensing a pattern here). My polka dot shoes again (I’m sensing another pattern here).
I love this dress, and my daughter kept it very simple. The knit got a little warm as I jumped around hosting music group in the morning, but apart from that, it was perfect for the day we had planned.
Thursday. A polka dot shirt, a polka dot skirt and – you guessed it – my polka dot shoes. With a heart scarf just to break things up a bit.
This is the sort of outfit I thought I’d be in all week. Matching patterns. My husband asked our daughter that night why I wasn’t in polka dot tights. “Silly dad. Mum doesn’t have any! Silly mum! You need to get some polka dot tights!”
I spent the morning at a shopping centre with my son, feeling rather self-conscious about my head-to-toe spots. But no-one batted an eyelid. Possibly because the goosebumps on my arms (it was 11 degrees and raining) tied the whole spotty dotty look together.
Friday. Another skirt, teamed with two tops (layered) and – you guessed it – my polka dot shoes. All pulled together with the matching polka dot belt.
When my daughter picked out all of these elements on Thursday night, I cringed. Spots! Stripes! Spots! Checks! More spots! Surely, it would all be too much! But somehow, I think it all worked. I still felt overdressed for a day of play and fun with the kids, but I’ll have to add monochromatic print-clash of epic proportions to my mental list of outfit possibilities.
Saturday. Back to dresses with another bright, geometric dress, a scarf and boots.
This dress arrived on my doorstep on Friday, and my daughter’s eyes lit up when I opened the package. “You HAVE to wear that tomorrow! With your scarf with the blue and orange on it! And your grey tights and boots!” And so I did. It was the quickest she’d come up with an outfit all week. Probably because she forgot a jacket, cardi or jumper to go with it. Once again, I was FREEZING!
Sunday. My daughter’s grand finale included all sorts of elements, all sorts of colours and all sorts of textures.
Orange dress (although, on me, dress is a generous description). Yellow cardi. Cream beanie. Grey scarf. Navy tights. Beige flats. It was all happening on Sunday, and while it was fun to play up to it, I was glad we didn’t have any plans that saw us leaving the house for extended periods of time.
I thought this would be a whole lot of fun, and it was. But I learnt a lot too.
What did I learn?
- I might not be a fashion and beauty blogger, but my daughter may very well become one. A very good one, at that.
- It’s good to get someone else to look at your wardrobe. They’ll see it with fresh eyes and put together combinations you’d never thought of.
- It’s worth wearing your ‘special’ clothes for everyday activities. Why save a dress or skirt that you love for ‘special’ occasions? Why not make every day special?
- The grin on my daughter’s face every time I wore something she chose was worth it. In fact, it would have been worth wearing a paper bag all week for that grin.
- Listen to your kids. They let you know loud and clear (and early) what their interests are. Encourage them, even if it means wearing some interesting outfits!
I’ll definitely be repeating this exercise in the future (perhaps when the weather is warmer!), and will also be looking for other ways to give my daughter more decision-making opportunities. I know she enjoyed this exercise because of all the clothes she got to play around with, but she also enjoyed simply being trusted.
Have you ever handed control of your wardrobe to one of your children? What do you think you’d be wearing if you did?