Early in life, children develop their own unique personality, which may be exhibited by putting together wild and crazy outfits. A parent may frown on stripes with polka dots and green paired with purple but this experimentation is an important step in allowing children to express themselves. Fashion is all about establishing the perfect look to display each child’s diversity.
Watching a young one put together his or her own outfit may sometimes test a parent’s patience. However, these poorly paired coordinating combinations lead to opportunities to teach a child about color matching, patterns, flattering shapes and fun, quirky materials.
Fashion Freedom within Reason
At times, a parent may have to say no to an outfit a child adores. This then becomes a gateway to discussing the appropriateness of certain clothing for different occasions. That fun denim skirt, floral tee-shirt and those kicky outdoor boots may be fine for a day at school but are completely not fitting for wear to a religious service or funeral. Boundaries can be established while not completely taking away a child’s feeling of having a choice in their fashion decisions.
Fashion on the Cheap
Young children generally are not on the lookout for designer labels in their clothing. The most important fact for most kids is whether they like the color, fit or shape. Whether a parent buys their children clothing from a thrift store, name-brand outlet mall or from one of many chain discount stores, fashion can be extremely affordable.
What a Five Year Old Loves, a Teen May Hate
There is one rule that is universal; a sixteen year old will not have the same opinion of what constitutes fashion as they did when they were four. Four was for fun, while at sixteen the goal is to fit in, find a niche and feel confidant while doing so. In what may seem like the blink of an eye, a tomboy who once thought corduroy pants were cool now will only wear perfectly matched combinations that consist of a short skirt and fitted novelty logo tee shirt. To be perfect, it must be topped off with a pair of the hottest designer sandals, lest they find themselves under dressed. Naturally, where a young child will not care about accessorizing, a teen will use finishing touches like funky earrings, perhaps a color-block scarf and a bracelet or two.
Children may inherit certain style sensibilities from either one or both parents. While these initial influences may shape certain immutable fashion concepts, they will not inhibit the flow of creativity. Children learn many things from fashion. With a bit of give and take, parents can free their children to be themselves and to be wise in their fashion decisions.
Ken is a proud father who often writes articles about the joys of parenthood. He currently works at The Little Gym, which is gym that provides fun and exciting activities for kids from 4 months to 12 years old.