Do you pick out there clothes or let them choose? Is it ever a HUGE battle? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 32 Old 09-22-2011, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 5yo DS has become really picky lately.  I've always laid out his clothes and recently, pretty much ever since he started Kindergarten, he's been particular about what he wants to wear. It's not so much a fashion issue, I think, but when it's cool out, I give him pants to wear and he wants to wear shorts - so we compromise and he wears pants and a short sleeved shirt.  Things like this.  But the whining and the fussing is really what is getting to me.  Do I just need to pick my battles here and go with the flow?  Or maybe set up some sort of compromise where I get to pick the pants and he gets to pick the shirt? 

 

I don't know. I just take a lot of pride in picking out there clothes when I'm at the store thinking that they'll really like whatever I've chosen.  DH thinks I do this for me and not for them.  Who knows.


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#2 of 32 Old 09-22-2011, 07:26 AM
 
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Clothing is not a battle I would personally pick. When it's too cold for shorts, box the shorts up and put them away for next summer, but otherwise I'd just have his clothes in his room and tell him to get dressed and let him pick out what he wants. If he's really picky, have him come shopping with you so you don't waste money on clothes he doesn't wear. This is a common area for kids to assert autonomy, and it's a healthy thing for him to want to be autonomous and this is a safe place for it.
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#3 of 32 Old 09-22-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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Hmm. Is he being any more particular about what he wears than you are? It sounds like he's learned from you about picking out clothing, but his preferences now differ from yours. It's not surprising that a 5 y.o. will assert a little independence.  Maybe I'm reading too much into your pride when shopping (if so, apologies), but since you've put some attention on clothes and appearance, that's where he's putting his efforts too. I think your instincts to pick your battles and go with the flow are good. Let him choose, after all, he's the one who has to wear the clothes. 

 

If you are really concerned that he's not dressing appropriately for weather or for the occasion, perhaps you can set out 2 or 3 choices that you both can compromise on, and let him select the final outfit. It also helps to do this the night before, rather than in the morning when you are trying to get out the door. 

 

This time of year can be tough too, because of changing seasons. He may be seeing sunshine and not realize that it will be a cool autumn day, not a sweltering summer day. Layers can help a lot. I don't know about your ds, but my kids are way more comfortable in light clothing in cooler weather than I am. I've had to accept that just because I'm cold, they don't have to put on a sweater, lol! 

 

 

 

 

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#4 of 32 Old 09-22-2011, 07:50 AM
 
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I get to set safety rules which mean no shorts if it is under 35 degrees out or the weather is supposed to change to colder later in the day. (He's 12 now, might have been a 40 degree F cutoff when he was younger.)

 

For a few years in elementary school, ds was a shirt chewer so we had the "no shirts with holes in them worn to school" rule. (That one backfired since eventually all his shirts had holes chewed in them--in retrospect I should have just had him wear the chewed on shirts until he broke the habit LOL.)

 

If I suggest he wear a jacket and he chooses not to, we have the "no complaining about being cold" rule. Of course I won't let him freeze (see safety rules above), but if you choose not to wear a jacket, don't expect to borrow mine!


Otherwise I don't worry about what ds is wearing unless it is a special occasion.

 

 

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#5 of 32 Old 09-22-2011, 07:51 AM
 
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I would stock a small shelf or drawer of stuff he can choose from each day. Make sure you are OK with the items in any combination.

 

Take the shorts out of sight if the weather is cooler for a few days....etc.

 

That way he can choose-- but you are offering the selections (in a way he does not see--- you filling the drawer/shelf is way different than facing him and asking him to pick one of two).

 

Go over the routine with him before the morning: HEre is your shelf- these are for things you can choose to wear! Pick out what you want- but you need x , y, and Z (shirt, pants, socks?? undershirt? sweater?) because it is X (rainy, cold, snowy, etc) out.

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#6 of 32 Old 09-22-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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If he's dressed right for the weather, I'd let it go for a bit. Both my kids had a stage of mixing stripes with plaid or polka dots. They do gradually get the idea that one pattern and one solid just looks "righter" somehow.

I always had a system of checking the weekly weather on Sunday afternoon and my kids would match a whole weeks worth of clothes into a bin like this. That way, there's no decision time each morning, they just get dressed.

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#7 of 32 Old 09-22-2011, 08:09 AM
 
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My kids have picked out their own clothing since they were 3-4. When they were 3-4 I would often take along extra clothing if I felt their choices were inappropriate, but 99% of the time they were fine. I will ask that they bring a light jacket if the weather is under about 55 degrees and they're wearing short sleeves. They usually follow along.

 

But the reason they usually follow along is that they've experienced the consequences of not dressing appropriately. So, they've been hot when I suggested shorts and they declined. They've been cold when I suggested long pants/long sleeves and they wore shorts and a short sleeved shirt. Now, we live in a relatively mild climate (rarely under 40 degrees, rarely over 85). But I find spring and fall were the times when they had to LEARN with their own bodies what they needed to wear. Remember they're still very physical learners at this age. There's nothing like experiencing cold legs to realize, "oh, mom was right, pants were a better idea." (they'll never say that mind you.)

 

At about age 3, my ds started to read the weather page each morning. At age 6, he'd start using that information so he could tailor what he wore. Dd is 7 and her wardrobe is still hit or miss. Today she wore pink shorts, a tie dye t-shirt, and over that a long sleeved t-shirt that was black with polka dots. She added blue snowman socks and pink shoes. She's not exactly a fashion plate, but it meets her needs -- it's cool in the morning and she wants the extra warmth on her upper body. When it gets hot, she can take off the long sleeved shirt. OK, none of it really matches. Either she'll learn to care or she'll grow up with a quirky sense of style.

 

All of this long message is my way of saying: Picking out clothing is a perfect way to learn natural consequences of your action, at very little risk to your child. Unless it's below freezing, the biggest risk is discomfort.

 

Instead of telling him what to wear, I'd help him see what the weather would be like and have HIM choose. Then you can talk about how he felt during the day. Remember, kids move a lot more than we do. They're often much warmer than we are. Even if it's cool, he might be uncomfortable at recess in pants.

 

If YOU take pride in what they're wearing, then yes, you're doing this for you and not them.

 

 


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#8 of 32 Old 09-22-2011, 09:56 AM
 
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I let my kids wear whatever they want.  So not worth fighting over for me... Again, for the very small ones, i will bring a coat if I think they will be cold...

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#9 of 32 Old 09-22-2011, 10:41 AM
 
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We let our dc's pretty much decide what they're going to wear.  Like a previous poster, we check the weather regularly in the morning and yell out a forecast so the older two get a good idea of what they should be wearing.  My oldest ds can still wear shorts/t-shirts on cooler days but my dd will want to be warmer.  They have different body temperatures and tolerate the cold or heat differently.  They have always asked for more clothing if they need it or taken off clothing if needed.  Although I can't convince my MIL of that eyesroll.gif.

 

Now, as for fashion, my ds (almost 9) couldn't care less about what colours he wears.  Dd (6.5 years), on the other hand, is starting to notice these things and tries to put outfits together.  We make a point of picking out her clothes in the evening for the next day so we have a bit of time to discuss it.  You can see that she wants to pick out a nice outfit but struggles so instead of picking out pink pants and a pink shirt to "match" I might see her pick out the pink pants and ask her if she has a shirt that might have some pink in it to create a matching outfit.  Although the other day she wanted to wear all striped clothing to school (pants, shirt, socks, underwear) because they were learning about patterns.  We have some great pictures of her in her outfits of her choosing wink1.gif.

 

I do guide my younger two (3 years) in their clothing choices but they pick out their clothes a lot.  Ds2 will still look out the window and say "I can wear shorts mom, see, it's sunny".  Usually when we go out in the morning it's just to the bus stop so he quickly realizes that just because the sun is out does not make it warm and we are home within 15 minutes and he can change.

 

 


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#10 of 32 Old 09-22-2011, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

I would stock a small shelf or drawer of stuff he can choose from each day. Make sure you are OK with the items in any combination.

 

Take the shorts out of sight if the weather is cooler for a few days....etc.

 

That way he can choose-- but you are offering the selections (in a way he does not see--- you filling the drawer/shelf is way different than facing him and asking him to pick one of two).

 

Go over the routine with him before the morning: HEre is your shelf- these are for things you can choose to wear! Pick out what you want- but you need x , y, and Z (shirt, pants, socks?? undershirt? sweater?) because it is X (rainy, cold, snowy, etc) out.



I like this idea a lot!!  Thanks, mama.  I will be clearing out the summer stuff tonight (for him AND his younger brother).

 


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#11 of 32 Old 09-22-2011, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

Hmm. Is he being any more particular about what he wears than you are? It sounds like he's learned from you about picking out clothing, but his preferences now differ from yours. It's not surprising that a 5 y.o. will assert a little independence.  Maybe I'm reading too much into your pride when shopping (if so, apologies), but since you've put some attention on clothes and appearance, that's where he's putting his efforts too. I think your instincts to pick your battles and go with the flow are good. Let him choose, after all, he's the one who has to wear the clothes. 

 

If you are really concerned that he's not dressing appropriately for weather or for the occasion, perhaps you can set out 2 or 3 choices that you both can compromise on, and let him select the final outfit. It also helps to do this the night before, rather than in the morning when you are trying to get out the door. 

 

This time of year can be tough too, because of changing seasons. He may be seeing sunshine and not realize that it will be a cool autumn day, not a sweltering summer day. Layers can help a lot. I don't know about your ds, but my kids are way more comfortable in light clothing in cooler weather than I am. I've had to accept that just because I'm cold, they don't have to put on a sweater, lol! 

 

 

 

 



I'm not offended, but I will say I do not spend a ton of time on my appearance, I keep it simple, but sharp, I shop consignment, sometimes thrift (and he's been right there with me many times), I buy new things when we have it in the budget, otherwise it HAS to be on sale for me to even consider it or I will save gift cards from birthday's and holiday gifts.  DH is much more appearance conscious than I am...so maybe he's reading it from him?  He's also started a new school, has made new friends, so maybe that might have something to do with it as well. 

 

I think I'm going to try out the drawer thing that another mama had mentioned.  I think that might get his attention better and give him more options of what he can wear than just me setting out choices.  When it comes to special occassions like the upcoming holidays, we'll have to burn that bridge when we get to it. :)

 


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#12 of 32 Old 09-22-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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I pick out their clothes the night before depending on the weather, then I ask them if they are ok with what I chose. Usually they are and if they're not and they want a different shirt or pants then we have time to take care of that. I don't allow changes in the morning unless the weather has changed. I doubt at this point they would even freak out over it since they get up early enough and spend that time doing their own thing before school. They don't want to be bothered by the fuss of it all.
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#13 of 32 Old 09-22-2011, 02:17 PM
 
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ds is 4 usually picks his own clothes, although not always.  We pretty much say, "pick some bottoms" (he has a drawer full of bottoms: pants, shorts, skirts etc that switch out depending on weather) and then we say "pick a top" (he has one drawer of short sleeves/tank tops and one of long sleeves) then we usually say "its going to cool/cold you might want long sleeves today" or something like that.  

 

We always have changes of clothes in the car (for weather, accidents, mud etc) and he has changes of clothes at school too, so I figure if he's hot or cold we can adjust later.

 

Personally, when I see kids in what are obviously self-picked outfits it makes me super happy.  I feel like clothing is not something worth fighting about.  I am certainly not going to get into a power struggle over "outfits".  

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#14 of 32 Old 09-22-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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I like it when DH does the picking, he lets them pick. I come home and their hair is hilarious and clothes are well... certainly interesting. DD2 will wear a tutu with anything and DD1 would wear camo all her life if she could. I'm sure she's hoping she fits into my old uniforms soon. She'd look so cute trying to pull that off.
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#15 of 32 Old 09-22-2011, 05:08 PM
 
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I started letting my dd choose what to wear and how to combine the clothes since she was about two.  She also picks out the clothes she thinks she will like when we go clothes shopping and has been doing that since she was old enough to have a preference.  I do require her to wear weather appropriate things but I don't care which ones she wears.  I tend to try to limit rules that control my dd's free choice over her body because this is an area where it is harmless to let go of control.  There are so many things young children can't do, some because they aren't able to and some because we don't let them, so it is nice to have things like this to let go of so they can feel more in control when they have the urge to exert their independence.

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#16 of 32 Old 09-23-2011, 08:29 AM
 
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This is one area DSD really still likes to be "babied" in. She is 8, and has NO desire to pick out her own clothing. I think she looks upon it as an act of love, that we do it for her. She does sometimes like for her dad to pick an outfit choice, and me to pick one, and she chooses which to wear, without knowing which of us picked which. In the last two months, she has started to like going to the store, or looking online with me, to pick clothes she likes- before that, she didn't care at all about even being consulted in the buying! She does prefer wearing dresses to pants.


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#17 of 32 Old 09-23-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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Clothing is not a battle I would personally pick. When it's too cold for shorts, box the shorts up and put them away for next summer, but otherwise I'd just have his clothes in his room and tell him to get dressed and let him pick out what he wants. If he's really picky, have him come shopping with you so you don't waste money on clothes he doesn't wear. This is a common area for kids to assert autonomy, and it's a healthy thing for him to want to be autonomous and this is a safe place for it.


yeahthat.gif  Clothes have never been something I fight over.  I started letting my kids pick their own clothes when they were about 2.  I will absolutely suggest things, matching, etc.  But for the most part, it's all them.  We have rules: jackets in the morning right now, winter coats when it's below 40 degrees, a hood when it's raining, stuff like that.  And I do pick out their stuff sometimes like for church or pictures. 

 

I think letting them decide on clothes is a big deal.  It shows that they have control over that one thing and it's a big thing when you're 5.

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#18 of 32 Old 09-23-2011, 01:43 PM
 
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All of my kids started choosing their own clothes by the time they were a year old. Maybe earlier. I'd hold up two outfits and let them pick.

By age 3, all my kids are expected to pick out their own clothes for school the next day and lay them out at night before bed. Makes the mornings smoother qnd avoids the inevitable battles and disagreements. It's about 50/50, whether they'll accept the outfit I choose or not. So they are supposed to set it out themselves. As long as it's weather appropriate, it's fine with me. They come up with some crazy combinations, but it's part of them having a say in their own lives, being independent. I usually take them shopping with me and give them the final say on the stuff I pick out. If I don't, we end up with super cute clothes...that never get worn.

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#19 of 32 Old 09-23-2011, 02:30 PM
 
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We have also generally chosen not to pick this battle. However, a word of warning--I have had teachers speak to us about DD's clothing when she was choosing not to wear her coat or to wear clothes they considered "not warm enough." We're talking short sleeves when it's 55, not bathing suit in snow here. rolleyes.gif I think there are adults who view it as neglectful or really worry about the kid...so, you know, be aware.

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#20 of 32 Old 09-23-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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I'm not offended, but I will say I do not spend a ton of time on my appearance, I keep it simple, but sharp, I shop consignment, sometimes thrift (and he's been right there with me many times), I buy new things when we have it in the budget, otherwise it HAS to be on sale for me to even consider it or I will save gift cards from birthday's and holiday gifts.  DH is much more appearance conscious than I am...so maybe he's reading it from him?  He's also started a new school, has made new friends, so maybe that might have something to do with it as well. 

 

I think I'm going to try out the drawer thing that another mama had mentioned.  I think that might get his attention better and give him more options of what he can wear than just me setting out choices.  When it comes to special occassions like the upcoming holidays, we'll have to burn that bridge when we get to it. :)

 

 

I knew that I was wording things badly (hence the pre-emptive apology), but I really wasn't suggesting that you were doing anything wrong by shopping or caring about his clothes. I wasn't trying to imply that you were spending excessive time or money on it.  I was just saying that if you care about something, it's natural that he will care too. FWIW, it's fine to take care of appearances. I like to wear flattering, well-made clothes and get a good haircut and recently I spent an hour trying to choose the most attractive frames for my new glasses. 

 

I just wanted to point out that you are a role model for your ds. If you enjoy choosing his clothes (as suggested by your statement that you take pride in picking out clothes at the store), then it's normal and natural that your ds will follow your example and will also start to care about choosing his own clothes. You have to expect it and it will cause a lot of conflict if you don't accept it. It has nothing to do with budgeting, and everything to do with modeling behaviour. In addition, at age 5, he's testing his autonomy and asserting his independence where he can. Wanting to pick out his own clothes is all natural and normal and your instincts to pick your battles are right on target  :-). 
 

 

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#21 of 32 Old 09-24-2011, 11:48 PM
 
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Mine usually pick out there own clothes though like others I will put away the things inappropriate for the season. I try to buy stuff that will mix and match pretty well, OK I have favourite combinations but whatever they choose usually looks OK. DD is starting to pay more attention to her combinations of colours and patterns at 7.

 

I do insist that a coat/sweater is brought along if I think they are going to get cold but they choose when/if to wear it.

 

 

 

 

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#22 of 32 Old 09-25-2011, 12:21 AM
 
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Nope, I never really picked out clothes for DS.  By the time he was 5 he was doing this himself.


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#23 of 32 Old 09-25-2011, 06:02 AM
 
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These days, I tell ds what kind of clothes to wear that day (short sleeve/long sleeve, pants/shorts) but I usually let him choose the outfit.

At the store, he's fine with me picking up some pants if he's not with me but he's super picky about shirts now.  He hates shopping but prefers to pick out his own clothes.


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#24 of 32 Old 09-26-2011, 06:29 PM
 
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At 5, DD was picking out her own clothes.

 

I have a few rules if we leave the house, matching, clean, and weather appropriate. We had to work on what matching meant, and I stacked the deck by making sure most of her mix and match stuff worked together at first.


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#25 of 32 Old 09-27-2011, 08:29 AM
 
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oh gosh. i am not big into clothes. i love the ecclectic look. 

 

so it was NEVER a big issue for me. 

 

since dd was 3 she has been buying and choosing her own clothes. so far i have not objected to her choice - even when she started wearing her underwear on her head at 2 as her funny hat. 

 

however i have a super independent child who knows her own mind. 

 

now she'd gotten into my clothes!!!

 

she also chooses her own school supplies - backpack, lunchpail, etc. while i raise my eyebrows at some of her choices (ugh hannah montana at 5) i have learnt its all a phase. the more i let her have her way, the sooner i can have my way. 

 

one thing i've had to let go. my idea of what i'd like my dd to wear and what she likes to wear are not v. similar. but now that she has gotten into my clothes i love how she mixes and matches and makes it her own in ways i would never have thought. 


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#26 of 32 Old 09-29-2011, 12:02 PM
 
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For my school aged child, 7, I only keep appropriate clothes in her drawers. This means, only seasonal clothes, school approved clothes, etc. She has a pajama drawer which she knows is only for bed or relaxing on weekends. She does have one drawer for dress up clothes but she is "trained" enough by now to know she can't wear those everywhere. Otherwise, all her clothes fit and she could virtually pick any shirt from her shirt drawer that she chooses, the same goes for shorts or pants. I don't keep hot pants or shorts in her drawers out of season. It does mean more organizational work for me but I find bc she grows so fast, it is really in my best interest to keep her clothes CURRENT, all the time. That is the best advice I can give. Also, make them pick clothes for school the night before! Saves time!! And if they need "help", you will have more time as well.

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#27 of 32 Old 09-29-2011, 01:42 PM
 
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I have a thing for kids clothing. I like good quality clothes and I'm a really good stain treater. I don't care how dirty they get in whatever they wear but things need to be in good shape, fit well, and not have really noticeable stains. 90% of the things in their closet/drawers is school appropriate. My kids like clothes too but in different ways.

 

DD loves to get new clothes. She knows that we shop during sales and usually use a coupon. DD is big into making sure that her clothes match. She likes me to hang outfits together but is good at finding matches that she likes, too. She loves skirts and dresses but has leggings and jeans, too. Picking out her outfit for the day is something that she loves.

 

DS is very sensitive to fabrics. Shirts have to fit "just right." Pants that were acceptable last year no longer feel good (even in a bigger size.) I "think" that Naartjie essentials might work for him this year but time will tell. He's still wearing shorts to school. He doesn't care if he picks an outfit or if I do. So it's about 50/50 right now. Basically whomever is closest to his bedroom when it's time to get dressed picks.

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#28 of 32 Old 09-29-2011, 08:02 PM
 
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We have a closet full of gorgeous hand-me-downs (Lilly Pulitzer and the like) and all my DD wants to do is dress like a gym teacher in training, i.e, sweats and T-shirts.  She has pretty hardcore sensory issues (once vomited and levitated off the ground in a temper tantrum over a sock seam) which became apparent at age 3, and that's when she became very opinionated about her clothing.  It pains me to do it but I rarely interfere in her clothing choices, even when it's clashing prints and things with stains (as I gaze wistfully at the Lilly Pulitzer sundress hanging unworn in her closet . . ).  I do draw the line at stains, and will not allow things with writing on the rear.  I save the battles for when it really matters, like a funeral.  I don't even really interfere when she dresses for church, as long as she is not wearing sweats.

 

My younger DD, who just turned 3, has been immune to my influence on her clothing since she turned 2.  She comes downstairs in very odd ensembles (yesterday had a long skirt scrunched inside a pair of leggings, making it look as if she were wearing 3 - 4 lumpy diapers underneath), often with everything backwards.  She is very offended if someone points out that she's wearing something backwards.  She's a really independent kiddo and as much as I desperately want to micromanage the clothing situation, I don't.

 

It does involve a huge amount of restraint! 

 


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#29 of 32 Old 09-30-2011, 06:56 PM
 
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my 7 yr old has been picking her clothes out since about 5. but I tell whether she will need pants and ls or shorts and shirt or ss and pants etc.


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#30 of 32 Old 09-30-2011, 07:35 PM
 
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My 6 year old DD picks her own clothes with guidance. When she needs to go get dressed, I'll let her know where we're going, what we're doing, what the weather is like, suggested guidelines for her outfit, and then leave the rest to her. In example: "We're going to the park. It's really hot today. You're going to be playing on the playground, and you're probably going to want to climb on the rock wall, which would be kind of hard in a dress or skirt. If I were you, I'd pick something cool and easy to play in, like shorts and a tshirt." If she gets it wrong, she gets it wrong. If we end up at the park on a hot summer day with her in a long sleeved top, a skirt, and flip flops (she's done it), she's going to be hot, that skirt is going to get in her way, she's going to trip over and lose her shoes, we're going to end up cutting the trip short because she's miserable, and next time she'll choose something more appropriate. If none of it matches, I don't really care. She wears bright orange jack-o-lantern socks all year long with nearly everything. It's not hurting anyone and it makes her happy, so more power to her and her spooky socks. 

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