*collaborative guest post
Choosing clothes for your kids can be just as much fun as choosing them for yourself. The same goes for putting together little outfits and admiring as they trot off to nursery or a playdate looking gorgeous.
If anything, it’s more fun than choosing your own clothes, but only if you know how to get it right. Get it wrong and you’re facing months of whining every morning and perhaps even an emergency trip to your local shopping center.
To choose the right clothes for your kids, make sure you can balance what you want and need with what they want and need.
Let them help choose
Under-twos don’t usually express much of an opinion about their clothes. But once they get to age two, and certainly three, kids will start to become vocal about what they do and don’t want to wear.
It can be hard to make the transition from a pliable baby who’ll wear whatever you put them into an expressive toddler with big opinions. It can be tempting to ignore those opinions, especially if you’ve got your heart set on a particular look.
Don’t do it. Kids need to feel that they have some control over their lives, and clothes are a big part of that. If they’re at nursery or school, they’ll be subject to peer pressure and their likes and dislikes will be forming along with their friendships.
You might love the funky rainbow stripes or understated greys you’ve been dressing them in since they were newborns. They, on the other hand, might want to wear princess dresses or generic supermarket sweatshirts.
Try and meet your kids in the middle. If they really hate that lovely jumper you’ve picked out, don’t force it on them. Find things they do like that you can also live with (and are happy to pay for). Pick out a few options and give your child a choice between those, rather than a completely free rein. Compromise can be tough but it’ll make all your lives easier.
Balance practicality and style
Kids run around, get muddy and sometimes rip and damage their clothes. You need to recognize this and know when to dress them up in designer gear and when to send them out in hand-me-downs. There’s no fun to be had in cramping their style just so they can look good.
That doesn’t mean they have to be scruffs all the time. Look for high-quality, hard-wearing, washable basics as that will take a bit of a beating but still look good once they’ve been through the wash.
Remember that favorite jumper you had as a kid that you wore to death? Or that amazing party dress? Clothes can create lovely memories for both you and your kids so don’t be afraid to choose something a little bit out of the ordinary. Look for unusual colors, funky prints or memorable cuts that both you and they love. Always try and have a few things in their wardrobe that you think you’ll want to hold on to for the memories once they’re outgrown.