Before I had children, I had grand visions of what my life as a mom would look like. It involved a home straight out of a design magazine, with hip furnishings and organic wooden toys. It involved children whose style was a perfect mix of bohemian chic and preppy cute. There was probably a meadow involved. We were probably eating homemade granola. This vision was so lovely, so ready for Pinterest. . . so perfect.
AND THEN I HAD CHILDREN.
As it turns out, children have their own opinions on everything, from clothing to food to home decor. When they were little, mine seemed to be instinctively drawn to mismatched clothing and clashing prints. As shallow as this may sound, I had to surrender my own desire for well-dressed children as my kids have developed their own sense of style. My preference for simply appointed outfits in tasteful colors was trumped by my daughters, who preferred to be wearing cartoon-branded clothes in clashing neon colors, or leotards and tights paired with pieces from the costume bin. Sometimes, this has led to some interesting ensembles.
Since my kids were little, I would let them choose their own outfits. I feel like, in the list of battles we parents often have to face with her children, clothing is not one that I want to choose. I want them to feel the freedom to express themselves. As my kids have gotten older, their choices about clothing have become more specific and unique to them. And I am happy to report, as they have matured, their choices have gotten much better as well.
The truth is, I have four kids who are very, very particular about how they dress. Each of them have their own style, a style that represents their personality and interests.
Jafta is a huge fan of the skinny jean. The skinnier, the better. He has been known to wear his brothers jeans just because he prefers them really tight. He is also a fan of clever message tees, and on most days, you will find him wearing a plaid shirt unbuttoned as a jacket.
Kembe takes a lot of interest in his clothing. So much so that we have found the one punishment that is most effective for him to be forcing him to wear a polo shirt and cargo pants to school. Whenever he gets in trouble at school, he has to wear that outfit the next day. And he is so mortified that his behavior is always improved the following day so that he can earn his privilege back to pick his own outfits. Kembe is a big fan of the skinny Jean like Jafta, but he prefers his in bright and loud colors. He also loves any shirt with a skateboard on it. He is a big fan of this puffy vest, too.
India’s style may be the most unique in the family. She is completely obsessed with all things vintage. I attribute much of this to her favorite movies being Little shop of Horrors, Hairspray, and Teen Beach Movie, all of which take place in the 50s. She is also a fan of dresses, and you will rarely see her in jeans. But she still has her own unique flare. She’s known to pair her vintage dresses with black tights and funky shoes. The teachers at her school are always commenting on how much they love her clothes.
Now Karis… Karis absolutely refuses to wear pants OR dresses. She will only wear skirts, and usually likes to pair them with loud kneesocks. She loves any shirt with an animal on it. She has a closet full of clothes but really grabs the same skirt and shirt just about every day. She gives me the most fits about clothing in our house. And every pose in the pictures on this post were completely her idea. Bless her.
As I am shopping for new clothes for the kids this Christmas, I am mindful of the kinds of things they like to wear, and I try to find clothing that matches their own style. I don’t like taking the kids shopping for clothes themselves… I feel like there are too many options and it quickly becomes chaotic. I really like shopping online, and the clothes they are wearing in these photos I got from Crazy 8
. I tried my best to pick clothes I knew they would each individually enjoy, and I have to say, I nailed it. They love these outfits.. And I was pretty thrilled that I was able to find clothes that represent each of their unique styles at one place.
Do you let your kids pick their own clothes? Do they have any unique quirks about what they wear? And do you take your kids shopping with you, or do you order the clothes and pick them out yourself?
Crazy 8 is launching a month-long #ShineOnCrazy8 photo contest, where you are encouraged to share photos of your kids, describing their personalities in one word and tagging the photo with #ShineOnCrazy8. Fans can upload photos via Instagram, Twitter or direct upload on the Crazy 8 Facebook fan page tab. They will be awarding $88 gift cards to a winner each week during the month of December!