Lessons in fashion
I remember two years ago – not soon after the ultrasonographer’s jellied wand proclaimed that the baby on the way was of the female persuasion – going to Target just to take a quick look at the little girl clothes section. Five minutes later I very much felt like I might break out in hives from all the pink and appliqued butterflied-ness of it all. Dressing Noah had been a simple pleasure – I was a sucker for a striped shirt in a nice navy blue or some striped OshKosh overalls, but I also didn’t feel like there were racks and racks to go through in order to find something that wasn’t overdone or too…much. Girls clothes are mostly designed by people who have graduated from the School of Too Much. Why make a plain striped shirt when you can make the stripes sparkly? Or add a rhinestone? Or seven? Or put a ruffle on every single hem? Boys clothes are often miniature versions of adult clothes. Girls clothes tend to look like they are made for a totally different species.
And let’s not even talk about the fact that up to the point in time that Rosie came into the world I thought about fashion only slightly more than I did about cooking, which is to say that it wasn’t zero, but it wasn’t a lot, either. I have since started to become more aware of what should (and should not) go on my body in order to make me feel good about how I look, and I gotta say – I’m kinda into it. It will be a lot easier to be “into it” once our monthly income is not a negative number, but every once in a while I cash in on my consignment credits (I tend to go through massive clothes good-grief-what-was-I-thinking purging episodes and have a long standing account at several stores) and raid their racks or sift through the thrift store for hidden gems. I am working my way up to accessories, because, you know, baby steps.
But! There was one thing that didn’t occur to me when contemplating my tiny girl’s outfitting, and that was that she would have opinions. And oh my, but does she. You have never seen someone go apoplectic faster than Rosie when you tell her she cannot wear her fleece footie pajamas to the playground. And bathing suits – lawmercy. I had to remove them from her drawers so that she would stop almost strangling herself while attempting to put a new one on every ten minutes of every day. It became a problem. She truly seems to love clothes, though, and I am often amazed at how her outfit selection far outdoes my original idea for what she might wear that day. I totally take credit for it when we’re out though.
Sometimes she just goes simple, like when she lets her hair just be free and dons this dress made for her by one of our friends.
Sometimes she raids my closet (I know! Already!) and insists on wearing a shirt of mine, that we jury-rig as a dress. Inexplicably, she works it.
Sometimes she decides to go pants-free. (Those are monogrammed bloomers with white ruffles on the bum she got as a gift. They’re size 9 months. Nine months! I am guessing the gift-giver purchased them in Brobdingnag.) Here she is, worried that the Braves are blowing their shot at the playoffs. (Don’t worry, baby girl, they clinched it one last time for Bobby.)
Sometimes she gets into the hand-me-down clothes I have tucked away for when she’s bigger and totally rocks a 5T summer top (safety pinned in the back) with a suede skirt and winter boots. It’s pretty clear that Rosie’s philosophy is that fashion knows no season.
Sometimes she puts together a nautical look and pretends to be a fashion model who is unhappy because all the top photographers want her to get her weight down under 30 pounds.
Sometimes she adheres to the old standards and takes care to match her shoes to her sippy cup.
Sometimes she actually agrees to wear what I’ve picked out for her.
And sometimes I just let her win the bathing suit battle. After all, she does seem to have some keen sense of haute couture that I lack. Who am I to block her fashion forwardness?
Sure, it can be frustrating some days when we’re running late and Rosie insists on standing for a full two minutes over her drawer with her tiny finger to the corner of her mouth in concentrated decision making mode, but for the most part, she’s redeemed my faith in little girl fashion with her funky sense of style, and she inspires me every day to think outside the same ol’ box when I open my closet and peer inside. How cool is that?
It’s way cool, dudes. Way cool.