who knew fashion was so important at the age of 10?

Only Daughter went through her daily fashion crisis this morning. I don’t remember it being this big of a deal how I dressed when I was ten, but I guess I was wearing uniforms to school until I was in high school (good Catholic girl that I was), so the only choice in the matter was what color shorts we wore under our skirts so we could play soccer and climb trees and not be made fun of by the boys. Even the color of our socks was regimented.

Anyway, this is obviously a big deal to her, and I would like to be more sympathetic, but the logical part of me wants to point out that 1. she’s only 10 and 2. aren’t there more important things to worry about, like eating breakfast and packing a decent lunch and making sure she put her homework in her backpack and maybe taking the dog out to pee?

I guess not.

The specifics vary, but the crises can usually be categorized into one of two groups:

1. This outfit was made for a 10 year old (and she’d rather look 20).

2. This shirt/jacket is too “baggy.”

The solution to each problem is, in order:

1. Wear big loud flashy jewelry or the sparkliest scarf she can find

2. Rubber band the shirt into a big knot in the back, cinch the waist with a belt, and/or tuck the bottom 1/3 of the jacket up underneath itself so it looks like a shrug, never mind if the jacket is made of denim or filled with down.

When she comes and asks how it looks, and it usually looks either chronologically inappropriate, or ridiculous, I feel the need, out of concern for honesty, to tell her what I think, no matter how hard it may be for her to hear. Inevitably she stomps off in a huff with a toss of her hair over her shoulder and a lot of muttering as she goes off to find something else. Often my suggestion is simple, such as “remove that rubber band from the back of your shirt, you look like you’re growing a tail,” or “you really shouldn’t wear a tank top, a sweater, a jacket, AND a belt, plus you’re going to need a coat. . .”

. . .and yet it requires a complete wardrobe change.

After 25 minutes of trying to look like Tavi

this morning, she came back out in jeans and a tie-dye sweatshirt.

1 Response to “who knew fashion was so important at the age of 10?”

  1. December 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    She’s hitting a stage where her hormones are just beginning to change her inside and out, and fashion is a way of expressing herself in ways that emulate both the people she would like to be, and explore who she might be, but isn’t sure of yet.

    My daughter’s been aware of fashion in a sense, since she was little, but it had more to do with being able to make choices about how she presented herself to the world. I always have had veto power over her choices (especially those that aren’t weather appropriate), and since my mother and I are the primary sources of her wardrobe, there’s nothing in there that’s going to look too trashy or abnormal for her age.

    Because she’s now 11, and adores art, as well as fashion (she thinks most couture, though, is silly), I encourage her to read books on fashion design and practice drawing her own creations. Last spring, she won two awards in a local sci-fi/fantasy convention for her original character and costume design. She’s entering again next spring, and I think it gives her a boost of confidence in herself, as well as focusing her exploration of self through clothing by allowing her the ability to make her clothes as well as choose them.

    But you’re right to say it looks silly to have a tail in the back (I did that at her age! Or I’d tie my blouses in the front to show off my midriff). If she really wants a cinched waist, she could learn to hand sew the seam to fit her body the way she desires, or add darts, (and if she doesn’t cut the fabric, she can let it out as she grows so the clothes last longer).

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