Diaries Magazine

on Getting Dressed and Keeping Our Sanity.

By Agadd @ashleegadd

One of my dear friends recently removed half her daughter’s wardrobe from the closet.

“She won’t wear any of it!” she tells me in my kitchen on a Thursday afternoon, exasperated.

“She only wants to wear Elsa leggings and cat shirts. If I try to get her to wear something else, she throws a tantrum and refuses to get dressed.”

I try not to laugh, but I cannot help myself. My (stylish) friend is 35 weeks pregnant and clearly losing this battle with her strong-willed daughter. I don’t blame her for giving up. You have to choose your battles carefully when you’re that pregnant.

“I’ve got a whole box of practically brand-new clothes sitting in the garage now,” she sighs with an eye-roll.

I make her promise to give it to me if we ever have a girl.

My boys, while not fixated on Elsa leggings or cat t-shirts, are also surprisingly opinionated about their wardrobes. Everett started caring about his clothes around age three, and Carson (adorably and annoyingly) copies everything he does.

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At first, I thought I could just buy them the types of clothes that I wanted them to wear, but then grandparents showed up with Paw Patrol t-shirts and what kind of mom throws out Paw-Patrol t-shirts?

(this mom.)
(just kidding, I’m not heartless, I simply hid them at the bottom of the drawer.)

I know that dressing oneself is an essential life skill that requires practice. I try to embrace this idea when Everett wants to wear a dinosaur pajama shirt with corduroys and light-up shoes, instead of the skinny jeans and striped polo combo I picked out for him. But there is a time and a place for letting kids dress themselves.

And there is also a time and a place for … helping them.

Janie and Jack-2

So here’s a trick we use in our house: I curate; they choose.

On preschool picture day and birthday party days and certainly on church days, I present two options per kid and let them point their tiny finger to the outfit of their choice.

It’s a win-win.

They feel empowered and independent; I feel happy and not embarrassed to be seen with them in public.

(just kidding, I’m never embarrassed to be seen with my kids in public!*)
(*only when they’re misbehaving.)

Janie and Jack-4

My current “we’re-going-to-be-seen-in-public” outfit of choice arrived compliments of Janie and Jack – linen-blend shorts and a button-down shirt for Ev; white pocket tee and suspender shorts for Carson. I mean, look at them. They might be rocking mismatched pajamas and socks behind closed doors, but when they try, they clean up well.

(lollipop bribes help.)

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Here’s to our sweet, adorable, opinionated kids. May we occasionally leave the house looking better than boxcar children.

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This post is sponsored by Janie and Jack, a company we love.


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