Coco Chanel once famously said “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” It is a philosophy that many fashion outlets have tried to embrace and so it is that with children’s fashion, especially girls, that their style should reflect what is happening in the season as well as the child’s own individual personality.
There is no better time for fashion, I think, than the season of autumn. It’s gold, red, yellows, oranges and browns framed against a clear blue sky offer a fantastic backdrop against which to show off fashionable ideas at their best. Children are so often ignored when it comes to ideas on fashion. Parents assume that children have no sense of co-ordination or style, but they could not be more wrong! Is there any other time in your life when you are completely free to experiment with colour and style and when mistakes can be seen as quirkiness and character, than when you are a child?
Fashion should not be taken too seriously at this age, it should be fun, something to be played with and experimented on. If you want to get your daughter into fashion, if you want to help her find her own style, then you need to give her the freedom to do so. Here are a few pointers to make sure she heads in the right direction:
- Don’t insist on buying her skirts if she refuses to wear skirts or trousers if she hates the sight of them, you’ll only make her more rebellious.
- Ask her opinion on what you and other people are wearing, encourage her to look at the fashion choices of others.
- Take her to a reputable high street store such as Gap and let her look around on her own.
- Take a camera into the changing rooms (make sure you ask staff first) so you can have a second look at the clothes when you get home and ask other people’s opinions.
- Never criticise what she is wearing, instead offer praise on what you do like about the outfit.
Children soak up ideas and information like a sponge and it won’t be long before she forms her own opinions on fashion. Remember that this isn’t about what you like, it’s about her and her own individual tastes, don’t try to turn her into a ‘Mini-Me’.
All too often you see parents try to dictate their fashion choices onto their children, by buying clothes they think suit their child without consulting their child or even asking for their thoughts! If you want your daughter to grow up with a sense of style and panache then you have to let her make her own mistakes and feel free to develop her own ideas. Once children feel pressured in a certain way then they quickly lose interest.
Luckily children’s clothes stores now offer a great selection of inspirational pieces such as Gap for girls which manages to get a sense of vibrancy and energy into their clothes. Once fashion used to be a grown-up pursuit, but now children’s clothes are designed with just as much care and love as adults and in some ways they are even better, because you can be freer and more creative when designing clothes for children.