At what age do you let your child decide what to wear?

40  Answers

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mmmm well I really don't remember exactly at what age let my daughter desses herself, I think between 4 and 5 years she starting to decide what to wear!!!
And I try to respect her decisions, children have their own style, are creative and I especially love the way they mix different patterns and colors.
In particular, I always enjoy to dress my little girl, but as has been growing, she has responsible for finding and creating her own style.
The most important is to respect our kids own decisions, they need to feel comfortable and happy wearing their outfits, so ....just keep it simple and let your kids have fun dressing up!!!

http://colloredelavita.blogspot.com/2011/05/small-style-school-days.html

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AHHHH! Yes! I don't even know where to start... Before I had kids, the answer was NEVER! Not until they are teenagers, with strict rules and guidelines to follow... Then I had Mister M, a boy... easy going, no complaints. But he is only 3 1/2! And then I had Miss E, a girl and she's been complaining since the day she was born. And that's when my "NEVER" has been slowly shifting to "sometimes", and she isn't even 2!!! So ask me the question again, now that I've had almost 4 years experience, and I'll answer: well it's complicated!
First, I do believe that we express ourselves with the way we dress, and I would love my kids to have some freedom into choosing what they wear. But at such a young age, it is only normal for them to choose things that they can relate to, like characters from movies they watch, or toys they have. So to make my life easier, I limit these type of items to pajamas, underwear, towels, and some bedding. If you've been reading my blog, then you probably realized that I'm not so much into character design and that I like things to be "less logos", more neutral. But, since my kids closet comprises mainly of hand me downs, I, myself don't always get to choose exactly what my kids wear.... So let me tell you that when I buy things for them, and I don't buy much, I want them to wear it!!!! With Mister M, I always find a way to persuade him into wearing something I like. I'll tell him, that all fireman wear such things, or cowboys or whatever he's into at that moment. With Miss E, it's a little harder... She will complain if something bothers her, for example if the waistband is a little tight, or somethings up with her shoes, but if I insist a little or get her to pay attention to something else, she'll give in! For how long will I be able to trick them for? I'm not sure... but I will try to keep them out of the stores for as long as I can and I will fill their closet with items of my choice and then they can choose what they want to wear! They can't do any worse than Daddy Cool!!!! Sometimes I pick up Mister M from the daycare, and I think to myself: "what in the world are you wearing?". Yup! Daddy Cool, usually dresses Mister M in the mornings... Oh! and he refuses to dress Miss E! Seriously, I think it's important to try and teach our children to have good and educated tastes, wether in clothing, music or the arts, but let's not take ourselves toooo seriously!!!! It's only fashion after all...
My final answer: any age is good with a little guidance ;) For the full answer go check my blog!

http://petitapetitandfamily.blogspot.com/2011/07/freedom-whats-in-your-closet-dyi.html

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As soon as my girls took an interest in and wanted to choose their own clothes I had to change the way I dressed them. They were around 2 years old when they suddenly had strong opinions about what to wear, like their favourite nightie to a party, bright red tights on a hot summer day and summer sandals in the middle of a snowy winter. We had our battles before I realised the trick that worked for us. I really didn’t wont to kill their genuine interest for fashion either as I strongly believe that children also express themselves with what they wear. So I found a few steps I followed in order to allow my children to be dressed appropriate and at the same they they felt like they had freedom and a choice.

1. Clear out
Clear out seasonal clothes and shoes, away in boxes and out of sight. Keep dressing up clothes away, with the toys. Keep swimwear with the towels. Clothes that are too big need to be away, in your wardrobe perhaps. And the clothes they have outgrown must go, even if it’s their favourite tee. I’ve created a “treasure box” with their absolutely favourites that they’ve outgrown, that we’ll give them one when they’ve become adults themselves. As a child hood memory box, together with their favourite toys.

2. Limited selection
Give them 2-3 options that they can choose from. Be aware of the occasion, and explain why you have laid out 3 dresses if you’re going to a party and why they only can choose between jogging bottoms or shorts if you’re visiting a farm. Leave enough time for them to choose, at least 5-10 minutes.

3. Leaving the house rule
In the house at home I let them experiment and choose completely, but as soon as we’re leaving the house they need to follow the above steps.

They are now 6 and 9 years old. My 9 year old chooses clothes that are practical and comfortable. My 6 year old loves to experiment, mixing colours and fabrics, and dress in layers. But most importantly it seems like both girls have found their style that will allow them to be their own person and to grow up and flourish.

To make a long answer short;
As soon as they show an interest they should have a say with your guidance. Best of luck finding a way that works for your family!

http://littlescandinavian.com/2011/06/30/dress-your-child/

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I couldn't have said it better myself. This has worked with my kids as well.

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I like this approach, which can be put in place as young as 2 or 3 years of age: you "pre-select" 2 or 3 outfits that you approve of and let your child "choose" between them. In this way, he/she feels some control over the situation and you can live with either choice.
THAT said, there are children who adamantly insist on tutus for pre-school and snow boots in summer. Having been a parent for over 20 years now I can honestly say, pick your battles - and clothing should NOT be one of them. As long as they are warm and dry and covered up it's all good!!

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At this point, my daughter is almost 2, and she really doesn't have much interest in what she wants to wear. However, there are some things she likes to wear one day, and cries when I put it on another day, so I always pay attention to that. I don't want her to be miserable just because it looks cute. I think at whatever age she begins to show an interest in what she wears I will start to allow her choices. I'm not going to let her look like a crazy, but give her 2 or 3 options to choose from. It's great to allow kids to express themselves even at a young age, and giving them choices really helps them to develop important skills.

http://www.taylasjourneyhome.wordpress.com

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Age is but a number! It is never too early to develop your own style. As Children develop little personalities, many want to use clothing to express themselves! Lets face it, your angel is going to look gorgeous no matter what they wear. There are times, however that we as parents need to ‘guide’ our child’s style. After all it is not always appropriate to wear a swimming costume and wellington boots! Why not try and give you child a ‘choice’ from 2 or 3 outfits that you select. This way the child still feels that the decision is theirs, and you are still making use of your favourite pieces :-)

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Our whole philosophy at Belle Parish is that children should dress like children. We believe in age appropiate clothing , and celebrating each phase of a child's life, because we all know that they grow so fast.
With that being said, I believe that of course you should give your child some independence and allow them to make some of their own choices but it is important that we guide those choices. After all we ARE the parents:)

http://belleparish.com

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Well, I have a little boy, three years old, therefore for us the question is not so much about style, patterns etc. but more about "is this suitable for the current weather situation" ;-)
Sometimes he wants to wear his snowsuit in summer, or his sandals in pouring rain. That is not possible of course, no discussion period. But apart from such obvious no-go's, for example if he wants to wear his wellies on his bike, well I let him do it - and secretly pack a normal pair of shoes in my bag that he can put on once he realised that Mum was right when she said that this is not a clever choice (after two minutes or so).
So to answer to your question, I think it starts with about two. Then you have to try to find a balance between letting your kids make their own decisions and giving them guidance. As always, sometimes easier said than done!

http://www.menschenskind-blog.de

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I think you let them decide what to wear at the age they become interested. My daughter is almost two years old and she tells me what shoes she wants to wear everyday.

http://www.livelovesmall.com

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We have made a deal we both can live with. I let my child decide and dress up at home, but I decide when we go out.

http://frufly.blogspot.com/2011/04/skattekammeret.html

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My daughter starting having a opinion on her clothing options at a very young age. I think at about 3 is when I really let her decide what to wear. I encourage my kids to express themselves through their clothing. She is 5 now and has style some very fashion forward outfits at times! You also may have spotted her wearing princess heels at costco or a minnie mouse costume in July at our local Target.

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I think its important to encourage independence in our children, so my answer is, as soon as they show an interest in picking out their own clothes, you should let them. Start slowly, give them choices. Ultimately, we hold the purchasing power, so just make sure the closet & drawers are filled with clothing/shoes that fit your taste, and then let your child's intrinsic love for eclectic style take the lead! fashion is art!

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I would answer that I think it is different for boys and girls. That girls have definite ideas and are far more opinionated about what they want to wear younger. I know for many parents this begins as early as 3 or 4 years old although as I only have a boy I haven't experienced it myself. My boy was very easy about clothes and only began to have a strong idea and preferences at around 12 years old. I think the key with the younger girls is to let them have some leeway with choices but to give them the variants so its not complete anarchy. You know, would you like the pink top or the red. That kind of thing, then there is some autonomy for them but you retain control of it too. By 8-10 years old however they will want to be shopping with you and will have very clear ideas in mind. Then its a case of trying to steer them to the more age appropriate styles and by then peer pressure will come into play as well.

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I absolutely love the creativity and imagination that goes with dressing up! So I think as soon as your child would like to choose their own clothes let them. Putting different fabrics, texutres and colours together does promote creative thinking so go for it I say!!! My son is now 2 and he absolutely loves to dress up and has already started to choose his favourite pieces!!

http://www.stylemilk.com.au/kids

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It is important to let children make their own decisions as soon as they start becoming aware of choices. I do feel as a parent we have the ultimate say, especially if it is a special occasion etc. But as far as just knocking around the house my boys (2 and 7yrs) are free to choose what they want to wear as long as it is weather appropriate. Our 2yr old has a couple of favourite tops he will always want to wear and also his Buzz PJ's!

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I started by picking out 2 shirts for my kids and they would pick from those two. I have 3 kids who are 5 ,6 and 6 show they all learned at the same time. My two oldest started dress them selves at about for and them I might have to send them back to their room to change something. Now both dress themselves. My 5 year old has a few issues so I still help her chose by offering choices.

www,kidsfashionmore.com

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I decided when we went somewhere important and I allowed them to pick when we went other places. As long as they were clean who really cares?

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My daughter is four and she insists on dressing herself at the moment. I've just arranged a few outfits on her lower shelves and she generally only wears things that go together, so it's not a problem. And unlike my sons she freaks out when her top or shorts go on backwards- I'm just looking at my nine- year old son who is walking around with shorts on backwards and when I pointed it out to him, he shrugged and said; "So?"

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Unless it's really important, like a wedding, as soon as they're old enough to express an opinion. If I think it's a bad choice I explain *why* I think it's a bad idea. Most of the time my 8,6, and 4 year olds listen to me. I think it's because I don't impose my opinion without a good reason. But if they do make a bad choice, depending on the outing, I'll either pack an appropriate alternative (sweater, better play shoes etc) or just let them live with it!

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2 years with a choice between 2 items.

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I think I need more info before I can answer this question. My rule before I even gave birth was that clothes were not going to be my battle. As long as it was season appropriate, I didn't care. I was never one of those people that felt my kids had to be dressed a certain way because of what other might think. If you're asking for teenage girls/boys and their sense of style... well, I'm not there yet so we'll see what happens in a few years. But my 8 yr old girl continually dresses in plaid shorts and tourist t-shirts. When we go to church or a special event, well, then yes, she gets a couple of choices and she can choose from what I've already deemed appropriate. My 10 yr old boy will wear whatever I put in his drawers for the most part. But on an every day basis, they pick out their clothes and get dressed! It's really nice to not have to fight over something so trivial.

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I think it really depends on the child's personality. Some kids have very strong opinions and style ideas. I let my son pick his clothes but step in when he looks like "a parrot" or a "clown". SO he knows he needs to done the rainbow down:) He is 5.

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I let my 2 year old girl pick between two or three outfits that I feel are appropriate for the occasion. For example if we go to the park I select some shorts and shirts for her to pick from, or if we are going to grandmas house she can pick from a couple of dresses.

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Right now Alice is 3 years old and already decides for her clothes and also for the combinations they might have. Although some times this can drive me crazy I really believe that it is also a sign of an autonomous personality, AND self confident thus I don not try to change it!

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When my daughter began to express a preference (between 18 mths and 2 yrs) I began to offer her a choice of two things. It makes dressing time less of a battle, and more fun for both of us. I never offer her more than two options so that I am maintaining some control (and so she doesn't go out wearing CRAZY things!). I think the system works really well.

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For my husband and me, I think we will let Max decide what he wants to wear when he starts to show an interest in it. Working at a high school, I see some fashion trends that I would love to choose for Max and many that I hope that he stays far away from, but I think ultimately clothing plays a huge role in self expression. If he has an interest early on in picking out his clothes everyday, then I think it is a great opportunity for him to start to explore who he is, what he likes, and eventually who he will become. I want him to be comfortable with himself and tolerant of others and that begins at a young age through encouragement to explore and to begin to develop a sense of self worth. I was never all that stylish when I was younger and my husband wore silver pants in high school, but we each found our own style, our own way, without being told what we could and couldn't wear. I can only do the same for Max.

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Thought I'm not at this point yet, my first instinct is to say whenever my child expresses interest in making his own choices. Obviously, I'm here to guide him and teach him what is appropriate for different types of weather, days and events, but as far as him "looking silly" if the colors don't match for a day at the park - I'm totally fine with it. I'm a firm believer in letting children express themselves with guidance.

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My son is six. His unassisted clothing choices are a catastrophe every time. I still choose his clothes for important outings. My girls (ages 5 and 3) have a little more freedom as they tend to chose choose clothes that are somewhat seasonally appropriate and slightly in the same color family. I guess it depends on the child.

http://buffysunshine.blogspot.com/2011/06/dollar-well-spent.html

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That's tough as it depends on the kid and you can be sure they will have an opinion on what they want to wear as soon as they learn how to express themselves. I am all for kids mixing in their Halloween or dress up clothes with their everyday clothes, self expression is important so allow this at any age. But when deciding on the head to toe outfit stick with my rule: buy simple and classic basics then you won't be horrified by their creations!

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This is a question much talked about among friends and also among customers. Boys do not want to wear 'difficult' clothes like blouses and most girl's would like to dress up as a princess every day. Personally I think that children up to 6 years old just have to wear whatever the parent chooses. If we are letting kids decide what to wear, when to go to bed and when to hit the shower, we can pack up. But that doesn't mean that you have to ignore your child wishes. However I do feel that only sweatsuits or washed down clothes are terribly depressing. Try to mix their wishes with what you feel is nice or good or practical. We have some super nice blouses in our shop made out of vintage fabrics. So mom's try to make combinations with a cool blouse and a comfortable sweat pants.
A great distraction or tip can be wearing an accessory. A nice belt or a necklace can give your kid that special feeling. Or dressing in a certain colour. Let your kids express themselves. Lot's of nice brands out there that have great prints or colours. It's almost impossible with all the (web)shops out there to not find an outfit that both you and your kid like.

http://wewantwow.tumblr.com/post/6135231294/a-selection-of-fine-shops

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As soon as they can!
My 2 year old daughter has just started picking out what clothes and shoes to put on lately and I really love it! They don't have any clothing or shoes I wouldn't want them seen in so it really doesn't matter! As long as they are comfortable and weather appropriate then its fine by me. Learning to dress themselves is a great thing!

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I think that there is no a fixed age to decide them what to wear, when they show interest in their wardrobe and want to get dressed with something specific is ok, whenever it that does not involve collateral damage as catching a cold for wanting to go in short sleeves in winter!

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My daughter is only two and I already let her decide in a way. Example: I choose three tops and let her decide which one she'll wear. It's also a big fun while mommy tries to ask her is she wants the mioooowing cat, bloobbbing fish or rufffless... I want her to start expressing her own taste in fasion as soon as possible although I'm about 99% sure I'll regret it one day :)

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Since my 3 girls were able to speak, so very very early ;)
I have few rules: skirts not to short, jacket (closed) in winter, never midrift !
All three have their own style and I love their mix, no rules.
I think they have a great feeling for crazy mixtures, because they do not even think about it.
Enviable!

Please close the eyes for my "sad" English!

http://www.lineundliv.de/blof

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My eldest daughter turned 4 in April and every day she tries to tell me what she is going to wear but i am determined to avoid that for as long as possible. If she had her way she would wear a dress every day regardless of the weather.

http://www.alittlebitofcheek.com.au/blog

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My four year old has had an opinion on what she wears ever since the age of two! Nowadays she pretty much decides what she wants to wear on a daily basis although it's a 'limited' choice. I generally just pick two outfits from her wardrobe and she makes the final decision. What clothes to buy on the other hand - now that's a different story altogether...

http://www.minimusthave.com/accessories/2011/01/what-she-wore-a-merry-princess-crown/

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