Tuesday, February 24, 2009

wardrobe malfunction

I sort of promised my kids that I would not post photos of them on this blog that are embarrassing, which presents a problem today because I want to write about their wardrobes. However, I think I can take some editorial license because I am certain that we have a vastly different interpretation of what is considered “embarrassing”, so I feel that I can ethically post photos of outfits in which they felt they looked good.

A couple of weekends ago, I asked my children to go through their drawers and remove any clothing that they considered unwearable for whatever reason. I had grown tired of the illogical difficulty we faced each morning in choosing an outfit. It should be easy, take something from the ‘bottoms’ drawer, another something from the ‘tops’ drawer, throw in some undies and socks, grab your shoes and call it a day. (for the sake of argument, let’s say that our clean laundry is folded and put away in said drawers). I was perplexed about how it came to be that most of us were so often standing at the door, backpacked and lunchboxed and coffeed up, while one of our family members stood naked in her bedroom, unable to find an acceptable item of clothing to put upon her delicate self. So I offered this rending of garments, a virtual spring cleaning in which all offensive items could be rejected without penalty. This would surely improve the probability of success in our morning dressing routine.

My boy tackled the task methodically, he knew what he had outgrown and quickly filled a laundry basket with his cast offs. There were a few items in there that were perfectly fine, but not enough to warrant negotiations. He was done in about ten minutes.

In those same ten minutes, my girl started the project by removing every single item from every single one of her drawers, creating a heap on her bed. She then tore through the heap, leaving the keepers on the bed and relegating the rejects to the floor. Honestly, I was simply too stunned to intervene, she has a way of making these things work sometimes. Like her Aunt Ellie, that girl loves a project. When she was ready to fold her whittled down wardrobe back into her drawers, I noticed that she had discarded all but about 4 pair each of underwear and socks. I was not surprised, for this was almost always the pea for our princess. Somehow, the underwear just didn’t often feel right. I am not opposed to her going commando, but she is concerned that some nasty boy will be able to peer up the leg of her pants and get an eyeful of her girly parts. I am, however, opposed to her wearing the same pair of underwear for more than a day, at least until she starts doing her own laundry and/or bathing more frequently.

So, we’ve been limping along with this inventory for a while now. I did repossess a few pair of new underwear from the giveaway pile, and now simply refuse to discuss the matter. If she’s naked when it’s time to go to school, she’s going to school naked.

You might think that with such a delicate fashion palette, my girl would emerge each day as a vision of successful wardrobe creation. And really, she’s not that bad. She does put together some cute layered ensembles that I would not have thought of as complimentary. But there are a few … issues… with her fashion sense, and that of her brother.

First, the highwaters. Call them what you will, but know this: if the river seeps above its banks in this neighborhood, my children will be unaffected.

My girl’s general position is that if your pants are short, you can just wear longer socks.

Another length issue involves the bottom of one’s skirt.

Or shirt

For the most part, all of this falls under the parenting category I like to call “choose your battles”. If they are dressed and happy with what they’ve got on, why sweat it? The day will come soon enough when they demand particular brands and styles, and when my girl’s issue with waistbands is no longer the complaint that they don’t come up high enough on her back. They’re kids; they’re supposed to be goofy.

This is exactly what I was thinking as they walked toward me at the beach on Sunday with Beth’s girl. Incidentally, Beth’s younger girl (not shown) has a true gift for assembling the most insane creative wardrobe combinations, and was also the lucky recipient of that giant heap from my girl’s floor. She will never be without underwear.

What’s most important is that my kids are clothed, and if they need help or advice to determine how to dress for the day’s weather forecast, I’m happy to step in.

As long as I don't embarrass them.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Oh Jacquie, these photos are hilarious. And oh so demented. But not the least bit embarrassing. Like your girl I, too, hate trousers that strangle my waist, socks with the line in the wrong place, and underwear? Strictly for chumps.


Rita.the.bookworm said...

Well, you know I have tactile defensiveness, too, especially when it comes to socks and underwear, so I can relate to your poor girl. Apparently, quite a few people have it, hence the new line of seamless socks and tagless shirts.

If it were me, I'd ask her what she liked about the particular underwear, then I'd take her shopping, buy a little of everything until she sorted out which she liked and which she didn't and then buy her a hundred pairs of those. Then do the same with the socks.

As far as the rest of it, well, my big girl actually does all right with her clothing choices. My little one has her clothes chosen for her. My boy? Well, you know, it was just recently that I described him as looking like "an absurdly giant Caillou" because of his aversion to pants with a fastened waist.

The clothing thing is just one of those issues you never saw coming when you first held that tiny baby in your arms.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Oh yeah. Another thing your girl and I have in common (along with our love of projects and our hatred of sock lines): we both wear our bathing suits with the tags sticking out.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

I've greatly benefited from your girl's very particular clothing likes, well, more her DIS-likes. As you mention, my youngest will never be without underwear (or socks, or shorts, or shirts).

Come to think of it, my oldest was wearing some of your girls cast offs today too!

At least your annoyance is my windfall, right?

And if it makes you feel any better, my youngest now just looks more insane. The more material she has to work with, the crazier her outfits become. I should really do a post on her ensembles someday, since I didn't make any promises to my offspring about embarrassing photos....

Kathi D said...

They look fine to me. I can't bear tags on the inside of anything, especially underpants, and even cutting them off usually leaves something prickly. I nearly went insane on an overnight flight once because something inside my clothes was poking me and I couldn't fix it!