Les Tabliers de la Rue de Rivoli, Paris - Robert Doisneau, 1978
You'd think dressing kids would be easy. I mean, kids are little and open to suggestion, and let's face it, clothes always look cuter in mini form. Plus, kids sizes go by age, not by girth. How nice would that be?! And yet, dressing little ones can be the most challenging thing of all. Take my 3 year-old daughter; a fun-loving and normally polite little girl, but when it comes to her wardrobe? Stand. Back. Hell hath no fury like a toddler girl in the princess phase. Merely show her a pair of pants and she shrivels to the ground like someone's poured molten lava down her back, volcanically spewing a garbled mess of desperate, "NOOOO's" and "Aargghhh's" as she shields her eyes from the horror. Some days, I'll remind her gently that, "Honey, mommy does this for a living. I'm a STY-LIST. And you haven't worn half the things in your closet since you'll only ever wear pink dresses. Don't you think that's a little silly?" Arms crossed, eyes squinted menacingly, all I get back is, "NO. PANTS."
And then there's my husband, a super smart, stylish guy. There are days when I'm in Toronto for work and he'll dress the kids for daycare. When I pick him up, my son will run at me for a hug and I literally do not recognize him. Hawaiian print, UV-protected rashguard, with red fleece pants, finished off with the piece de resistance, a pair of white sport socks and sandals. And this is in February. My advice to my perplexed husband is to consider the following:
1) Does it fit?
2) Does it match?
3) Would you ever wear that in public? If the answer is 'no', then you've probably made a bad choice.
Rather than succumbing to the frills and OTT glitter and ghoulish cartoon characters I see on so many kids' clothes, I dress my children as I would want to be dressed (with the exception of a few cute backpacks. I mean, monster backpacks rock) And, when they look back at their pictures in 15 years, they might even thank me. Maybe?
I've put together some cute (yet not TOO cute) looks to help your little ones look styling for back to school, whether they're first-timers or old pros. As for the inevitable tears when that school bus drives away for the first time, I'll be right there with you, since my own daughter starts JK next month. Sniff...
PS - For more great BTS inspiration, check out the segment I did this morning on Breakfast Television for GapKids! (at the 31:50 mark)
On her: Outfit from Gymboree
On him: Outfit from GapKids
On her & him: Outfits from GapKids