Since 18 months, my child has had an opinion about her wardrobe, an opinion that has only grown in strength. Once she could dress herself all bets were off. At first I cared. After picking out all her clothes, I wanted to continue to coordinate her outfits. I very shortly lost that. Now I love her strong sense of style. I would never think to pair gold lame leggings with a fringed suede skirt and a floral tank. I just don’t have that eye. The near-constant wardrobe changes however? They became a source of aggravation. A change after each activity meant it was not unusual for our child to cycle through half a dozen outfits each day. It’s hard enough to get clothes put away after laundry, so suffice it to say there was a perpetual pile of clothes sitting somewhere in the nursery.
When I could not take it any more I would try something even more complicated than simply putting away the clothes – installing new limitations (she could only change twice a day and the second change had to be from the previously worn clothes pile), taking all the clothes out of her room and putting them in my already cramped closet and more. Nothing ever worked because I didn’t really care how frequently Leila changes her clothes. I just wanted to be free of the chaos of clothes.
After a day with a particularly wearisome tantrum regarding a wardrobe change, I had an idea. Why not create a weekly capsule wardrobe. I cleared out all her clothes and sorted through those that were stained and needing attention and those that were clean. Then I picked out 10 outfits – 7 top/bottoms and 3 dresses – and 2 sets of pajamas. It seemed like an ample selection for her to choose from for one week. And displayed them lovingly on the couch.
The next morning when she woke up I brought her to the circumstance with as much pomp and circumstance as I could muster. After she’d picked out her outfit for breakfast, I neatly folded everything else into one drawer. It worked. She loved it. She showed Papa when he got home. She told me she wanted to show her cousin. She could hardly believe her luck that she could change as much as she wanted all day, every day.
Then week two rolled around. She’s appeared a little less enamored by this collection, but the fact that all would change within a week seemed to be comfort enough.
Week 3 starts Friday. I think I might have figured this thing out. (Famous last words)
Here is what I am doing:
- Picking out 10 outfits and 2 pajamas (and adding a cardigan or two now that the weather is getting “cooler”)
Here is what I am not doing:
- Coordinating the outfits so everything goes with everything. I love Leila’s style, and I don’t want to hamper it.
I think I might have figured this thing out. (Famous last words)