Parenting, Thing 2

The Rise and Fall of Our In-House Stylist

4808511674_0eaa0c2073_bAnyone who has been around these parts knows we started letting Nikki dress herself around age 3. This was partly because didn’t care enough about what she wore to lay out clothes for her, and partly because she cared SO MUCH about what she wore I had no desire to squash that. We went through some pretty insane years where she seemed to have one goal: ALL of the colors and ALL of the patterns and ALL of the fabrics in ONE outfit. It was epically awesome.

She eventually started getting a more normalized style and even seemed to care about how I dressed, encouraging me to step it up a notch even though I worked in an office full of guys in cargo shorts. She encouraged me to wear scarves and tights and kinda got me into fashion for a little while.

But then I started working from home and the athletic clothing I wore the other times of day went back to being my uniform.

And this is fine…except y’all? Now she’s the same way!

And I’m torn between thinking, “Yay! She wants to wear running clothes 24/7 just like her Mom!” and thinking, “Oh crap, did I squash the fashion maven in her with my own fashion apathy?”

That’s the thing about parenting…none of us have kids who are exactly like us. THANK GOD. But…BUT…sometimes we accidentally mold them in our likeness without even trying to. I loved that she was into fashion! But I didn’t do anything really to encourage it since it’s not my thing, so now I’ll always wonder, did she give up because her tastes changed? Or did she give up because she lived in a house of useless style regects.

It didn’t help that her older brother – the only other person in the family who has any sense of fashion – now lives 2 hours away.

So, she wears my race shirts with her running pants just about every day now. She has no desire to accessorize or style her hair. This is – of course – my mode of living so I support it 100%. But I hope that she wasn’t a style guru in the making, and we damped her fire with our neon and spandex.

How about your kids? Are there any pursuits you fear you accidentally squashed simply because of your own lack of interest?

5 thoughts on “The Rise and Fall of Our In-House Stylist”

  1. Eh, I don’t think you did anything to discourage it. They either want it or they don’t. I have one girl that’s so totally into fashion and another that dresses only for her comfort, jeans and t-shirts every single day. I’m pretty much middle of the road and they are the extremes. I think she might get more into again as she gets older, the creativity is there.

  2. My niece was similar younger and now lives in athletic pants and hoodies or tees and my sister really tried to keep her dressing nicer…I think they just change

  3. Between the ages of 18 months to 5 years, my daughter refused to wear pants. It was pretty skirts and dresses or nothing. In elementary school, she wore mostly skirts and dresses but would occasionally wear jeans (as long as they were cute!). Then in middle school, she went through a phase where her favorite outfit was a pair of sweatpants and her soccer team sweatshirt. She would have worn that outfit EVERY SINGLE DAY if we had let her (we let her wear it twice/week). Now, at age 16, she has quite a substantial wardrobe (mostly from sale racks) that seems much larger than it is because she is always pairing different skirts/jeans with different shirts/sweaters. She loves creating different looks – it’s rare that she wears the same outfit the same way twice within a couple of months. She loves finding unusual shoes and she ALWAYS gets compliments when she goes out. She looks back at pictures of herself wearing her sweatpants and soccer sweatshirt and says “What was I THINKING??” I think most girls go through phases when it comes to clothes – your daughter will probably come back around in a few years.

  4. Completely unrelated:

    I would normally overlook spelling errors because eh, shit happens, but I LOVE “regects”. It makes me think of the Nerdist podcast with Wil Wheaton wherein they discuss the correct pronunciation of gif. The then spend the rest of the podcast pronouncing g’s and j’s as the opposite.


    I don’t think you did anything to squash it. From my personal experience, myself and my friends went through many clothing incarnations growing up, each changing our style drastically every 9 to 12 months. I feel that if it’s something she likes, she’ll go back to being the fashionista.

  5. My daughter has gone through similar clothing phases. Ages 3-5 she was all about dresses and wearing every color and pattern. Then we sent her to private school where she wears a uniform. Since then she’s gotten much more mundane about her fashions, preferring race or camp tshirt and pants that now look like capris but are really just too small. She has just recently gotten interested in hair accessories, so maybe her sense of fashion is coming back?

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