My Eyes Are Hurting

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  • By Josée Bournival
My Eyes Are Hurting

The kids are rushing out the door. I am the last one out. I stare at my little ones and let out a sigh of despair: my brood looks like a psychedelic rainbow. I plead guilty! Their drawers are filled with colorful clothes with all kinds of patterns and prints. I have never been one […]

The kids are rushing out the door. I am the last one out. I stare at my little ones and let out a sigh of despair: my brood looks like a psychedelic rainbow.

I plead guilty! Their drawers are filled with colorful clothes with all kinds of patterns and prints. I have never been one to dress my children as mini adults. My own wardrobe contains neutral, « wear anywhere » clothes. But I like childish prints, flashy colors, etc.

Every time I buy clothes for them, I always try to get coordinated pieces, hoping they will wear them together. But as time goes by, I realize that this is seldom the case.

Apart from my older one, whom at 7 years old is a bit more self-conscious; the other ones dress pretty much according to their whims and fancies. Simone often puts her clothes on inside out and could easily give you a headache with her color choices. Blanche rather appreciates fabric softness and animal prints in particular. Going out in public with them can sometimes be a somewhat embarrassing experience.

I have rarely vetoed their freedom to self-expression when it comes to clothing. Simone often went to pre-school with inside-out leggings, seams and labels proudly sticking out. Blanche accessorizes her dress of the day all by herself (she refuses to wear anything else, begging the question: why should I keep any pants or shorts in her drawers at all?). I will, from time to time, put forward some « recommendations » but she usually does pretty much as she pleases.

My children also do not exercise much judgment on what is appropriate to wear under what circumstances. Blanche will always ask to dress with a princess outfit to go play in the sand at the park. The more formal clothing is often left aside during special occasions at the benefit of clothes that are much less appropriate.

I finally turn the key in the door lock and smile. I’m pretty sure when my children are all grown up, I will look back with much nostalgia at their fashion mishaps…

Which makes me curious… do you let your children be their own personal stylist or, quite the opposite, do you tend to be a guiding influence on how they dress? What boundaries do you set on their self-expression?