From a TCS point of view...
Compromise is not optimal, when it comes to having no one being coerced. If any one of the parties involved can look back at the solution and say 'I would have rather had X than what I got', then a better solution could have been found. Compromise is a win-lose or a lose-lose proposition. EVeryone has to give something up, that they want. Finding common preferences is the only way I know at present to find/create win-win solutions that everyone is happy with. And it doesn't have to mean throwing the children back on their own resources to figure it out (unless that is what they want). A parent can be a big help in figuring out common preferences- in fact, the more trusted advisors and sources of information and ideas invovled, the better. The larger the pool of potential solutions.
A parent makes a statement of hir theory that the parent does not tell the children what to wear just as the parent does not want to be told what to wear. This is a fine statement of supporting each other's autonomy- each person has the absolute right to say what goes on with their own body. However, hiding some of someone's clothes that one knows they might prefer, even though they are not the best clothes for the season or whatever, puts the lie to the statement of autonomy that goes before. The parent has all the power, and decides how it will be meted out. Just a couple of days ago, I was with a child who had thrown on a pair of sandals before getting in the car, and then on top of the mountain, wanted to get out and play in the snow. A lovely snowball fight ensued, child got cold cold cold, and was happy to get back into the car and go on, wrapped up in mom's snuggly shirt and a towel around hir feet. Yahoo! and not one ill effect.
Little kids are dressed by someone else from the beginning, and when they show their preference as best they can, they are often misinterpreted, and somight end up being over or under dressed, or have something uncomfortable sticking them in the where ever, for many months before they can effectively make that fact known. What a person is dressed in is not set in stone in this society any longer- thank the powers the be!!!
Why not ask children what they'd like to wear, out of the entire set of clothing available to them? Why not ask them if they think parent's clothing is appropriate? "Does this look alright? Do these shoes look ok with this? They're the most comfortable, and we will be doing lots of walking, so even though they are purple, I think I will wear them so that my feet feel good and carry me through the day" This kind of interaction gives kids lots of information about why people wear clothes without it having anything at all to do with them and so no implied pressure risking coercion.
Kids learn from their clothing choices. They learn if someone tells them 'that looks really stupid' and they might not care if it looks stupid to that person because it is their very favorite pajama shirt and cape and they like to wear it. The kid wearing sandals in the snow might not want to do it again, or might, in the face of the propect of playing in the snow or not just because of the sandals, choose to play in the snow in sandals again because s/he knows that s/he can warm up effectively after having fun and getting cold. Or this kid might prefer to change into shoes and socks before stepping out into the snow.
Kids know what they want. Some don't care about being cold, if the experience holds great promise of fun. Some don't want to be cold, so will avoid the cold experience or be sure to be bundled up so they can enjoy the fun. We parents can bring along the extra clothes so they are avaiable for those who want them. hypothermia is certainly something to be guarded against and prevented- that is something we parents can prevent.
But I am getting away from the 'child telling parent what to do' scenario. Most kids don't try it very often. They learn early on where the power lies, and it ain't in their court. Except for the stuff they can get away from behind a parents back. or manipulate or tantrum over. That is their only power, in those cases. imo. Kids will own their autonomy, any way they can. Why not help them own it straightforwardly?
'Mom, wear the red shoes!" "Why?" "Because I say so" Is this how children experience the world? Being told what to wear, with no explanation that makes sense to them? If a kid will talk to a parent, parent might find that child has a perfectly reasonable explanation for whay they want parent to wear a particular shoe or sit in a particular chair or eat with particular chopsticks. A discussion can ensue, where both parties can learn about each other and the things they are discussing. Coercion cuts off these opportunities to learn.
off for a walk...