As moms, we all have that versatile dress – the one we can throw on with flats (or ratty Ugg boots as the case may be) or add some jewelry and a wedge and be ready for date night. You remember your long, lost friend, date night, don’t you? I apply the same concept to dressing my daughters. Between my daughters and myself, we have a a few mandates when it comes to wardrobe choices: (1) the clothes must look like they are for little girls, not adults (my rule); (2) they must be colorful (shared rule); (3) pants are our enemy (their rule, obviously); and (4) bonus points are awarded for sparkles and fur and feathers (their rule, but I can appreciate the spirit). In order to minimize the pieces that I have to purchase and to maximize the budget, I gravitate towards dresses that can work for multiple occasions. I love dresses for the tiny set that are church appropriate with a pair of tights and are school appropriate with a pair of leggings. I am especially impressed with myself if all the layering pieces can be mixed and matched. I love a wardrobe challenge.
Let’s take this versatile dress. By itself it meets all my rules and almost all of their rules. Remember Benetton? Didn’t you wear a Benetton sweatshirt constantly in late elementary school until your friends began to comment and the stitching began to unravel? Just me? Fine. Benetton is still around and has revitalized its kids clothes with lots of colorful basics. This bright red number is the perfect building block for numerous outfits.
For those days when my littles are feeling fancy, which honestly are most days, we add a fluffy vest (criteria 4, check), fanciful tights, and shoes that look fancy but feel good. I am, at my core, a lazy shopper, so I consider it a coup when I can shop at the same online store for myself and the girls. So for the casual portion of this challenge, I made selections from Zara, Boden, and Zappos, all of which have some of my favorite adult-sized options. My daughters love a furry vest. I am not sure how this will go over when they are adults, but for now, I can indulge them and can keep them warm. Who’s winning? As for the warming of the legs, I must confess that my children don’t love tights. Not my fave either, but at least these knits ones from Boden placate their complaints with their cuteness. And of course, our shoes must sparkle. My kids love the quirkiness of Chooze shoes, most of which are mismatched in some way.
For those casual days, we take the same dress and layer a bright sweater, comfortable leggings, and shoes that sparkle on top but have traction on the bottom for the playground! The mixing of patterns and colors is exactly what appeals to my quirky kids, but I can get on board as well considering how many other outfits to which these pieces can contribute.