Encouraging your child’s sense of style
When the time finally arrived that my pre-teen son refused to let me choose his clothes I was a little hurt. I was also proud of his growing independence. It was time for him to develop his own individual sense of style. What did I have to worry about anyway? His mom is a fashion diva. I’d always chosen fashionable clothing for him to wear. Shopping for clothes was something I really enjoyed and I was pretty good at it. Surely, I passed my fashion sense onto him?
I let him start shopping for his own clothes and it was not long before a pattern was obvious. Lot’s of patterns! My son decided that he really liked plaid shorts. We lived in Florida and he wore shorts pretty much year round. The collection of plaid shorts quickly grew and he soon had plaid shorts in just about every color imaginable. I wasn’t overly concerned because I like plaid well enough. Maybe not quite so much plaid, but I could live with it. I think plaid shorts can look very nice with a coordinating t-shirt. Next were the stripes, except the stripes were on shirts. There were shirts with wide stripes, narrow stripes, multi-color stripes, stripes at the top, stripes at the bottom, button up stripes and pull-over stripes. The striped shirt collection quickly grew and I didn’t mind. I like stripes well enough. It wasn’t very long before his individual sense of style became apparent. Plaids and stripes would be the foundation of his wardrobe.
The problem arose when he began wearing the plaids and stripes together. I’ll never forget the first day he walked out of his bedroom wearing brown plaid shorts with a brown and orange striped polo shirt. I think I must have laughed out loud! Surely he was joking around and didn’t plan to leave the house like that. When I pointed out my concerns over his wardrobe selection, he was quick to his own defense pointing out that the plaid shorts were brown and the shirt also had brown. There was no reasoning with him. I thought that maybe he was just joking around. Perhaps, I was more hoping that he was joking around.
The pattern of many patterns continued. You could say it became his signature look, his personal sense of style. He no longer worried so much about matching the colors of his plaids and stripes. I was often mortified over his sense of fashion. But what could I say, really? Shouldn’t we be happy when our children discover themselves and become more independent?
I think over time I just became use to his eclectic and individual look. I saw it often enough that it was no longer unusual to me. At least he wasn’t wearing his pants hanging half off his butt. He wasn’t wearing all black or coloring his hair purple. I could better accept his fondness of plaids and stripes, even if they were often worn together. My son is now a young adult and still likes to wear his plaids and stripes. It is his own personal sense of style and I love him for it!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and JC Penney blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.