I've been thinking about doing this post for a while now, but was totally inspired to get my butt in gear when I read this post earlier in the week on Ruffles and Stuff (which has been one of my favorite blogs for a long time).
I let my kid dress herself.
And I love it.
Raina wakes up in the morning, gets out of her pj's, and gets herself dressed. She saves the ties, back buttons, and bows for a grown up, but for the most part, she is dressed, head to toe, all by her 3 year old self. Her uninhibited, imaginative, confident and happy 3 year old self. Also, no lie, I love that it's a time saver for us most mornings! One less body to get dressed, because by the time she knocks on her door from the inside and yells, "Mummaaaaaaaaaaaa Daddyyyyyyyyyyy, come out come out wherever you are!" ...she just needs breakfast and shoes! Awesome!
Even when she was too young to really be dressing herself, Raina still had a unique sense of style:
1. Fine, we could tell her she had to wear the rockin' guitar jammies, but she'd be darned if she wasn't going to accessorize with pink sunglasses and a puffy purple purse!
2. (and 5) She strongly believed that a skirt was not a skirt unless it was pulled up to the armpits!
3. When in doubt, go without. All you really need is animal crocs and a fleece scarf if you don't have anywhere to go!
4. At about 20 months, she picked out this one all by herself. Orange under layer of tshirt and tights, awesome socks, hand knit pink sweater.
5. see 3
6. Fashion kitty! Always accessorize your hipster jeans and high tops with an earflap hat! And you better believe she could strike a pose!
When I was a preschool teacher, I LOVED watching the girls who picked their own clothes come in every day. All florals, head to toe; skirts layered with leggings and turtlenecks; tights with rainboots and party dresses... When possible, I even used it as inspiration for my own dressing! When you're working with 3 year olds all day, you can get away with certain things :) So when Raina started showing interest in picking her win outfits, I went with it. And when she showed she had the ability to not only pick the outfits, but put them on as well... I decided to let go and let her do her thing....
I LIKE giving her choices, almost to a fault. (I wont get into detail here, but it goes beyond clothing, and I'm sure it annoys people sometimes...) And with clothes, what does it matter, really? She doesn't get to choose whether or not she sits in a carseat, or whether I cancel a playdate because the car needs to go in to the shop. But she can choose her outfit. She can be creative, imaginative, and in control of a piece of her world. I like that. It also gives her the opportunity to practice zippers, buttons, snaps, buckles... all important skills to master.
2. "Hey guys! I'm just at the mall in my rainbow pants! Can you meet me by the elevaators?"
3. Her purple boots! Raina was very specific when we went to the shoe store that purple boots were her NEED to have item for the fall.
4. Why limit yourself???
5. Cat face boots. I secretly wish they came in my size.
6. CHiPS? Diego? Super zoo patrol Raina to the rescue!
7. Her go-to gardening outfit... ballerina panda chic. The mailman loves this one
8. 3rd birthday attire - tutu, party shoes, pj princess shirt, and neon hair clips
9. Queen of layering and mixing patterns
10. Ice cream dress, purple boots, hoodie... and, obvi, purple hairnet!
11. "It's RED day!" (and red day wouldn't be complete without her glitter shoes!)
12. Rockin' her toddler hippie chick style at the Wake Up the Earth festival - rain boots, rainbow patchwork dress, rainbowsaurus rex hoodie.
2. What? You didn;t get the memo?! Knee pads are so in this summer!
3. Two bathing suits, SO much more comfy than just one!
4. White dress, pink pants, fancy bows in the hair... if you guessed we were headed to a FARM, you guessed right!
5. Just the right outfit for a hike in the woods!
6. Leggings under romper, pushed up to knee level... converse and mismatched socks... awesome hairpoof by mom, toddler approved.
7. Looking awesome for a stroll through town... sunglasses. panda pants, glitter shoes, flowered dress... check!
8. Bumblebee cowgirl! Clothes found at Yaya's... and had to be peeled off for bathtime under extreme duress!
9. Both top and bottom have hearts on them, so they must match... right?
10. Purple boots at the farm. These boots go everywhere!
11. "POOF! You're a goon!" ...or a master at layers!
12. ...but honestly, how could her fashion sense stand a chance when mommy dresses baby sister like THIS on purpose?!?! :)
I have only claimed veto power a few times - my grandmother's funeral, and a few times for church and family holiday parties. Other than that, it's a runway every day!