"Kids definitely know how to have fun. So it makes sense they would understand fashion in its purest form:as a place to escape, let your imagination run wild and totally express yourself. ... when it comes to the business of getting dressed, I've found that my kids already get it.
They constantly remind me about the essence of style:that it's not trendy looks or fancy labels that matter, but how much fun you can have expressing yourself."
Cynthia Nellis. What Kids Teach us About Style. http://fashion.about.com/cs/kidstrends/a/kidsteachabout.htm
Cynthia Nellis talks about children expressing themselves through the clothing they wear. This is one of a number of considerations that we need to keep in mind as we clothe our children.
Have a look at these 7 points to do with clothing your children ~
What is your child going to be doing 80% of their time?
If they are a newborn they sleep, so 80% of their wardrobe needs to be clothes to sleep in. This means that twenty satin, lace-covered, heavily embroidered dresses no matter how exquisite, will not get much wear.
If your child spends 80% of their time digging holes in the dirt, hanging upside down from the swing, climbing five metre trees and playing rough and tumble, they won't survive well on a wardrobe essentially of skinny jeans or mini skirts with skin-tight crop tops.
- Think about what your child does and what clothes will help them in those 'doings'. -
Years ago my husband took our three eldest for a few days to the snow so they could learn to ski. The ski instructor complimented my husband on how well our kids were dressed for the snow, and then he went on, "You wouldn't believe the number of parents who come to ski all snug and warm in their ski gear while their kids barely have enough on to keep warm."
- Think about where you plan to holiday and if necessary borrow clothing or buy second hand so they have what's required for the conditions. -
Feeling or comfort considers things like -
* has the child grown lately and therefore need the next size up in shoes or clothes?
* does a certain fabric irritate their skin? One of our children found 'clingy' fabrics uncomfortable to wear.
* are some clothing designs more troublesome than others? Some kids hate belts of waisted clothes. Very thin children look out of proportion in baggy tops.
* for little children, check bulky winter jackets don't restrict their arm movement.
4. Durable. (from Nancy)
When buying clothes that are durable quality is important. Better quantity items may cost a little more initially, but work out cheaper in the long run as the item lasts longer and doesn't fall apart. I also look to purchase items that don't date - popular characters or licensed merchandise could be hugely popular one year but out of favour by the next year, not to mention they are often more expensive to begin with. I prefer to stick with colours and patterns that are easy to work with, that can be matched with many options.
5. Share. (from Viv)
One of the great things about a large family is that the children learn to share everything from food to toys, time, ideas and even clothes. Apart from being a great way to save money when it comes to clothing 7 children, this has been a lovely aspect especially among our 5 girls, who as they have entered teenage years, have all got used to lending out and being willing to share each other's clothes. There are drawbacks of course, such as an item not being returned as clean as it was, or worse still being ruined, or not returned at all! But these are little things compared to the benefits of sharing. Firstly they see their clothes being worn in a new and interesting way, with different colour co-ordination and combinations, they learn to understand their own physique, what suits them and what doesn't and to be gracious enough to admit that it may even suit others better. They learn to respect one another and have consideration for one another and it also teaches them to not hold on too dearly to possessions which are only after all things which moth and rust destroy.
6. Economy. (from Nancy)
I have a box for each of my kid's clothes. What one child has outgrown will go into the box for the next sibling down. This allows me to plan in advance as I can see what essential items are missing from a child's wardrobe. With my list, I take advantage of sales to stock up mid season for this year. End of season clearance is a great time to purchase items needed for next year. This ensures my money stretches further, and I don't end up impulse buying while out shopping. If you don't mind pre-loved items, quality labels are often good as new after being worn by one child for a season, and can be picked up for a fraction of the original cost either at secondhand, op shops or online sites.
Each child is unique and what they wear should reflect their uniqueness. As Cynthia Nellis in the introduction quote, said, children can express themselves through the clothing they wear. From a young age let them have a say in how to dress, for example a 2year old can easily choose their shoes or socks. By 5, they can make choices of combinations they like to wear together. By 10 they definitely have preferences in types of shoes, clothes and accessories they enjoy wearing. Letting them practice develops taste and helps them feel confident in making choices as they find the style of clothes that reflects them. I think this is important, in an age where the fashion industry even with children, can so easily dictate what should be worn.
THISWEEK ~ To help you keep the 7 points in your head, by rearranging them they form an acrostic -