From the moment we found out we were pregnant, most of us begun to plan. And of course, this included planning our children’s wardrobe. We carefully selected sweet clothes and adorable accessories. And if you’re a twin mom like me, the need to buy matching and/or coordinating outfits was strong. We didn’t know it then, but when our children were born, a small window of time begun. During this period, our children didn’t have any say in their fashion choices. We had total control. We put them in any outfit of our choosing and could always ensure that they matched.
However, one day this blissful time ends and suddenly our kids have very strong opinions about what they wear.
For my girls, this new stage hit around their third birthday. With almost no warning, the days of having neatly dressed girls became a thing of the past. My idea of “cute” and “stylish” did not match up with theirs. I wanted trendy and cute while they wanted bright, sparkly and anything with a princess or unicorn on it. My twins went through a “dresses only” period and a phase when one would only wear her Moana costume. Also, I soon discovered that the time when they would happily match each other was over.
I will admit I was a little bewildered at first. As a child, I hated anything fancy, only wore a dress when forced, and basically aspired to be Kristy Thomas from The Babysitter’s Club. My lack of experience with all things princess and glittery, combined with my slightly Type A personality, made accepting my twins’ “creative” fashion choices tough. I cringed on the inside when my girls insisted on wearing shirts and pants that absolutely didn’t match and styling their own hair (often without any use of a hairbrush…).
However, with time I have grown to love my girls’ individual style and their unique fashion sense. They are now four and each have an independent style that I have grown to admire. I never know what to expect when they get dressed in the morning. Sometimes they base their outfits on a color they love or whoever they are pretending to be that day. This often results in Christmas shirts being worn in July, unusual pattern mixing and socks that almost never match.
Occasionally, I do have to put my foot down and play the mom card when it comes to what they wear. For example, they aren’t going to show up to church in a bathing suit or to the playground in a snowsuit in the summer. Also, I have to ensure they wear appropriate attire if certain clothing is required for an activity or if they need to wear something specific for a family photo. But I do my best, even in those situations, to include them in the outfit decision making process. Almost always, my philosophy is that if they feel comfortable and like their outfit, they can wear it.
Would I love it if they still wore matching outfits and let me choose what they wear? Definitely. Do I miss the days of coordinated monogrammed dresses and bows? You bet. However, I am happy to be raising independent thinkers. My hope is that letting them express themselves and wear what makes them happy, will foster confidence in all areas of their lives. I want them to learn to be who they are and not feel the need to follow trends to fit in. I also never want to crush their creativity. When they come out of their room so proud to show me their outfit for the day, I am not going to criticize them.