should i let my daughter choose what to wear?

Grace - posted on 05/29/2012 ( 62 moms have responded )

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i have a daughter who is 1 this year but i want to know for the future should i let her choose her clothes and if i should what age should i let her?

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Sarah - posted on 05/30/2012

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P.S. There was a whole week in January we left the house every day with my son wearing a dinosaur costume from Halloween. It didn't hurt anyone and it's what he wanted to wear, so why not?

Michelle - posted on 05/29/2012

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My daughter has been picking out her own clothes since she was about 13 months old and color coordinating not everything goes well but realistically she is now just turned 3 and definitely has her own sense of style and we let her go with it. However she chooses her clothes quite well as for makeup as long as she doesn't go out of the house in it I don't care.

Vicki - posted on 12/05/2012

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Choosing ones clothes and what to wear is the first freedoms of expression children get. CREATIVITY stems from this.

Erica - posted on 06/05/2012

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At that young of an age letting them pick their own clothes probably isn't too big of a deal. It can help them gain a sense of independence. With my kindergartener, I select two outfits and let her choose. That was she still has a sense of control, but I don't have to worry about her going to school dressed like a circus clown.

Cassandra - posted on 06/01/2012

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I let my son, who is 3, pick out his cloths. If what he picks is really inappropriate, like not enough to cover him in the cold I'll help him out with the choice. Really, who's it gonna get hurt when he wears his ninja costume or knight costume to the store or the library.

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Anna - posted on 07/23/2014

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I am a kid I don't know should my mom let me choos what to ware she pick things girls HATE in schoole I am humiliated what do I do I pick somwthing I like and she says NO I DONT LIKE IT and then she says its ugly or I cant where it to SCHOOL same with shoes I choos high heels she says they are to high for school BUT I SAWA SOMEONE MY AGE WAREING THEM TO SCHOOL THE SAME ONES!

Vicki - posted on 12/05/2012

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yes in a hurry haven't got time -Lay out three selections - she chooses faster everyone's happy :-)

Hilary - posted on 12/05/2012

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It depends which way you want to go here. My mother chose every outfit of mine from birth to 15. On the plus side, I now dress impeccably, but I also have extreme emotional issues. You cant really be in charge and your child's friend at the same time.

Grace - posted on 08/17/2012

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hi i had to make a new account cause i could not get on to my old one so im excactly the same im just on a diffrent account and thanks stacy james.

Julie - posted on 06/20/2012

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It depends on her desire to choose. For some children, it is important to them. For others, they could care less what they wear. If it is important for her to chose her clothes, then at any age it is appropriate to give her choices. I'd say 2-3 choices max. These choices would be age appropriate, weather appropriate, and occasion appropriate. From there, you both should be able to have fun with it!

Grammie - posted on 06/16/2012

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learn to dress her appropriately for the weather, when she is about 3 she can start coordinating colors, etc. What age were you when you started choosing your own clothes...
A 1 YEAR old should not be responsibile for dressing herself. That is up to the MOM...

Lorraine - posted on 06/11/2012

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I usually choose what my 4yr old daughter wears but she does also decide what she wants to wear and if its not right, I'll tell her why and suggest putting leggings etc on underneath. I think if your daughter wants to choose, give her a choice. It also depends on time. If you are trying to get ready to go out ie Nursery (we live in UK) and time is not on your side, then choose the clothes for her. There have been few things she wanted to wear I have not been keen on but she is very insistent and as long as warm enough I let her as its not doing any harm. Sometimes tho if she wants to go out in something like just a t-shirt I have to remind her to put on pants, socks etc. Its all down to what works for your family really. There'll come a time when she'll insist on choosing all what she wears so I do enjoy choosing her clothes while I can still do it! Hope that helps? xxx

Janessa - posted on 06/05/2012

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As soon as my kiddos insist upon dressing themselves I let them. They have worn some crazy outfits. I have some basic rules based on my standards and the habits I want them to have, it has to be modest, and if it is cold, it has to be warm, ect. My oldest just had her first year of kindergarten, and her dressing habits have improved, but she still went to school with some interesting outfits, and I let her. I'd mention that some things might not match, but if she didn't care, neither did I.

Pamela - posted on 06/05/2012

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It is obvious that you are missing ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT MESSAGES LIFE HAS TO BRING!!!!!!!!!!!! Live in THIS moment. That is ALL that you are ever given. When we live in the future or the past we MISS the opportunity to FULLY BE who our Creator meant us to be.....alive and connected to the HERE and NOW!

None of us are promised tomorrow, so why worry about guiding your child when she is 4 or 5 or whatever age you are referring to for her choosing her own clothes?

Take advantage of what you have TODAY!... Enjoy your daughter each and every moment of THIS day and be thankful she is here with you. Do the same for yourself and ll others in your life. LIVE IN TODAY......not yesterday or tomorrow!

Diane - posted on 06/05/2012

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just let it happen naturally, if she starts insisting on wearing certain things give her a choice e.g do you want to wear the blue top or the pink one, don't give too many choices.
if she wants to wear her doc martain boots with her dress like my daughter did most of the time what does it matter
good luck
Diane mother of four

Heather - posted on 06/05/2012

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It is good to allow them to make choices but not to do whatever they want. Give her two or three options and let her choose from there.

Stifler's - posted on 06/04/2012

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When they care about what theyre wearing. My son is 2.5 and only just started caring about which pyjamas hes wearing etc. and developed taste for certain shirts

Brittany - posted on 06/03/2012

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I believe in letting them pick there own clothes. But with parent approval... So what if it don't watch just as long as it is weather and event appropriate! It gives them there own sense of style and independence!

User - posted on 06/02/2012

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My granddaughter was less than a year old when she started picking out what she wanted to wear. Her mother would show her an outfit and if she did not want to wear it she would throw a fit until she learned how to say no. She has been very opinionated since she was born! She is 27 months now.

Pam - posted on 06/01/2012

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When my daughter was yound (about 2 or 3) I did let her choose what to wear within limits. I would layout two complete outfits and ask her which one she wanted to wear. As she got older I would add a third outfit. After she reached about 7 or 8 I let her wear what ever she wished to wear with my approval. I hope this helps you.

Carrie - posted on 06/01/2012

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I say pick your battles. By age 3 when my daughter wanted to start dressing herself I had plenty of other battles so that was one I choose to let slide. She knew that there were certain occasions where I had to pick, but from a day to day basis I let her. I can't tell you how many times we went out of the house with her wearing her princess dress, or an outfit with her dress-up shoes on, or mismatched stuff. My daughter is 7 now and when I see little ones dressed like that it reminds me of my daughter & it gives me a little chuckle! I will say that, with both my kids, I always commented if things matched & taught to look for certain colors in each piece & my kids would always try to match. I also have to say that I am a big shopper for kids clothes so I rarely had stuff in there that I didn't like & when I put stuff in their drawers I would group stuff together so it made it easy for them to pull out a shirt & matching shorts. Also, if there is something you really want them to wear, don't hang it...put it in a drawer or hang low so they can reach it otherwise it doesn't get worn much if they are picking. They like to be in control of some things & that one was an easy one for me to give up.

Michelle - posted on 06/01/2012

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I think there seems to be some people that think you are talking about purchasing clothes that they choose opposed to simply choosing what to wear that day, If it's purchasing, maybe let them have a choice out of what you choose, if it's what they are wearing its up to you, my daughter is 2 and when I buy her new clothes (if its at the shops and not online or second hand) then I give her a choice, if it's at home and shes chosen something she wants to wear I let her because it's what she wants to wear and I feel comfortable with all the clothes she wears, when I can't decide what I want her to wear I'll ask her what she wants out of what Im stuck on.

Vicki - posted on 05/31/2012

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YES.. GUIDE HER..SHOW HER HOW TO MATCH,BUT IF SHE INSIST LET HER DO IT HER WAY. EVEN IF IT'S A MISS MATCH OR PLAIDS AN POLKA DOTS , CHILDREN FEEL PROUD WHEN THEY WEAR THEIR OWN CREATIONS.

Dove - posted on 05/31/2012

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18?! Um... wow. Can I ask how old they actually ARE right now, Heather Kelly?

Lyndsay - posted on 05/31/2012

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My two and a half year old started insisting on picking her clothes out by about 11 months old. We tried to give her a choice of 2-3 outfits, but she would simply lock her hands on top of her head to keep us from dressing her if it wasn't exactly what she wanted, so we switched to giving her free reign. We have a few rules to keep it weather appropriate, but that's it. She will not get dressed in the morning if she doesn't pick the clothes (she's even picky about her pajamas) and we have had some looooooong battles on days when she can't decide what to wear. There are certainly days she leaves the house dressed a little like Lady Gaga (earlier this week she went to school wearing a pink mouse ears headband), but she gets to exercise some control.

Anita - posted on 05/31/2012

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My son has been dressing himself since he was about a year and a half. I say, if she knows what she wants, then let her go for it. As long as it fits with the weather and it's appropriate for where we're going, I could care less what he wears. He's five now and asks me every morning what the weather is going to be like and, if he's not sure, where we're going that day. Even if he's mis-matched and backwards, I really couldn't care less. His preschool teacher had a problem with it sometimes as she's a bit anal-retentive (but so am I so it didn't really bother me most of the time) so when he came to school backwards or inside out, she'd try to get him to change it but he's pretty headstrong and knows exactly what he wants!

Melyssa - posted on 05/31/2012

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I started at that age giving my daughter choices of what to wear. I laid out three acceptable tops and bottoms and let her pick. During the summer, I let her pick whatever. The 2011-2012 school year she lived the kindergarten dream, and had lots of "practice" picking out clothes. She had her own sense of "awesome-ness" and individuality set that I felt like I was sending my mismatched Punky Brewster to class. She is happy she is involved in choice making (it's the best lesson yet!)

Daniell - posted on 05/31/2012

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let them pick. If you are truly worred about matching, pick out two pants and let them pick one. then pick out two shirts (that would match the pants) and let them pick a shirt. I have always let my daughter have free range on socks. two choices are easier than having a drawer full of choices at such a young age.

Jill - posted on 05/31/2012

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When she gets a little older and has an opinion, let her choose what to wear. It is a safe way to let her have some control. All you need to do is make sure the clothing you buy is age appropriate, and keep it in weather appropriate rotation. In winter, keep the tshirts packed away, in the summer, have the sweatshirts in storage, etc. Don't worry about color matching and other little preference details. Save it for when it matters, like attending an event.

Jennifer - posted on 05/31/2012

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My son has been picking his clothes and putting them on since he was roughly 2. When it gets truly cold out, the shorts go away, so we don't have an argument about wearing those at 40 degrees. Same with the jeans when it gets too hot. And if we have a special occasion, I find his khakis and he has to pick "a collar shirt", meaning a button-down or polo. Other than that, I don't care if he matches, he gets himself dressed and that is more important than whether the blue camo shorts go with the OD green helicopter shirt.

Katy - posted on 05/31/2012

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My 4 yo has been picking out her clothes since she was about 2. My husband says she has a blatant disregard for fashion, but it's who she is. My almost 2 yo is starting to show some interest, but I still pick out her clothes for the most part. I agree with everyone else as long as it is appropriate for where we are going, I'm happy that she has clothes on.

Heather - posted on 05/31/2012

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18. She can choose what to buy with her own money, then she can choose her own clothes. That is what I think and feel. My kids can help me choose, but with in reason. Right now, my daughter and son can pick between one shirt and another shirt for me to buy them. But it's still, mostly, my choice, and it will be for a long time.

Kirsten - posted on 05/31/2012

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it won't hurt, yes she might look a little unmatched. but it's only clothes. and if it's not to a important event, like a wedding, birthday party ect. just tell her it has to be pants when it's cold out and shorts when it's hot out. same with tops long/short/tank accordingly, that way you have some influence but she still has her independence, it's less of a struggle.

Amber - posted on 05/31/2012

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I have a 2 daughters and both of them at a very young age knew what they liked, so what I did, was give them 2 choices one that I could live with and one that I loved...they always chose which one they wanted and I was happy too. It wourks every time, and even now I won't pay for anything that I absolutely disagree with. soooo lol up to you.. give them choices earlier and they end up being more independent children...

Andrea - posted on 05/31/2012

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Really it just depends on the kid. My oldest daughter could have cared less about picking out her clothes most of the time. She didn't really care until she was about 9 or 10. My youngest, however, has been picking her own clothes out since she was 2. Now at 5, she still wants to pick them out. I let her within reason (i.e. wrong season, etc.) She now wears uniforms during school time (which she hates), but it does make things easier on me :)

Jessica - posted on 05/31/2012

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You will learn to choose your battles. If she has strong opinions about wearing certain clothes, let her. If it's not weather appropriate, help her make it so. My now 5 year old, wanted nothing but dresses every day. So I told her she would have to wear long sleeves underneath, and either thick tights, leggings or pants underneath, and maybe even boots and a jacket. By almost 4 year old could care less what she wears, so to speed the process up, I pick her clothes for her and everyone is happy. Obviously, you would only have appropriate clothes available for her to pick (unless you're considering letting her pick what you buy her), and you can even rotate what's in the drawers/closet based on the season, so the temptation to wear shorts in the snow isn't available. I'm in CA, so I don't really have that problem as much.

Cherie - posted on 05/31/2012

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I've allowed all of my children to dress themselves as they see fit. We've had some interesting combinations and with 8 children the styles varied. My oldest daughter would rob her father's closet for items to pair with what she had. Many people thought that she was an only child because she was able to vary her looks. Number 2 daughter insisted on wearing two different colored tennis shoes, that was her style and she liked it. The only thing that I have done to regulate the clothing choices is to set the standards such as length and coverage. As long as my girls have a clear idea of what is appropriate and what is not they were able to make good choices for themselves. If colors or patterns really clash I would make suggestions but in the end it was there choices that matter. This is a small way to give them the independence that they need to make decisions on there own. A good start for a long life of making decisions.
PS I know I didn't say anything about the boys but that's because they really would put on jeans and t-shirts and be happy. Clothing decisions were of no interest to them as long as they had something to put on.

Mazy - posted on 05/31/2012

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My son is almost three & he often gets up so early in the morning that he just dresses himself. Sometimes his outfits are rather interesting, but most mornings they actually look pretty good! In general I let both of my boys pick out their clothes as long as they are seasonally appropriate. If we are going some place like a restaurant or grandparents' they know they need nice pants & a collared shirt. I don't know yet if their schools will require them to wear uniforms (they aren't school aged yet), but if not, then I will probably let them pick their clothes from the store as well, as long as they follow my guidlines. I just think, Freedom With Responsibility. If you gently guide them while they are small, they will be just fine when they are big :)

Christy - posted on 05/31/2012

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I was letting both of my children help me pick out what they would wear by the time they were about 8 months old (maybe a little younger) I would pick two outfits our and ask which one they wanted to wear and what everone they grabed at or pointed to was what they got to wear. They may have not realized what was going on so early but they did think that it was a fun morning time game. I think that it also helped get them to they point where they were picking out their own clothes earlier and bring them to me so I could help them put them on, best part is they normally matched!

Stephanie - posted on 05/31/2012

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for my 5 year old: If it's a school day I usually pick her clothes out. But I have a pretty good idea of what she likes to wear. She'll even tell me the night before "I want to wear ____" and I'm pretty flexible if in the morning she expresses a desire for a particular shirt or dress. She knows the days that she has gym at school and understands that she has to wear pants/shorts and sneakers on those days.

For my 2 year old: she loves dresses so I pick her out a dress every morning. If it's cold then she knows she wears tights or pants underneath.

During the weekends, though, both have free reign over what they wear. It gives them a sense of independence and makes them more agreeable during the weekend. :) And yes, we have walked around town with both my daughters in tutus.

Lee-ann - posted on 05/30/2012

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Hi, my daughter is 4, almost 5. I generally take out her clothes for her, but sometimes she surprises me and takes out for herself. If its a dress, and its cold, i say to her she may wear it, on the condition she wears a tights underneath it and a jersey or jacket. That way we both "win". To me its a way of defining herself as a person, and i prefer it that way. Good luck x

Maya - posted on 05/30/2012

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My daughter is the fashion police in our house ;-)

Up till 18 months, we dressed her like a tom-boy, but when she could express what she wanted, it was pink, pink, pink.

She actually looks darn good, when she picks her own clothes out. And now, she's started telling me (mommy) to wear a dress. And picking something out for me to wear, cause she thinks I need something a little more glam.

Most of the time, it doesn't really matter what they wear out of the house, it's just play-school, granny's house, or the shop. And if it is quite an eye opener of an outfit, you usually get "She dressed herself, didn't she" comments, with smiles, and knowing looks.

Medic - posted on 05/30/2012

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My now 5 son has been picking out his clothes since before 2 and even for school. Very seldomly do I have to send him back. My daughter is almost 2.5 and she has been dressing herself for a while now. She has learned when I say its cold that its cold and when I say its hot it is actually hot. I have let them both go out dressed inappropriate for the weather just so they learn on their own. I say whenever she shows interest in it.

Elaine - posted on 05/30/2012

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When your daughter starts to express an interest in wearing specific articles of clothing, pull out two or three outfits and let her choose between them. Otherwise you'll spend an hour waiting for her to decide, followed by an outfit consisting of pajama bottoms, a bathing suit, and dress-up heels.

Sandy - posted on 05/30/2012

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One day, sometime during her second year, my daughter decided that she did not want to wear what I chose for her. So, I asked her what she wanted to wear. It's been two years since, and some days, she likes to choose her own clothes. I usually give her two choices though, to limit the lolly-gagging. As long as the clothes options are weather and event appropriate, I see little wrong in letting the children choose their own clothing. After all, it's us as parents who buy their clothes, so it should all be something appropriate in some way.

Lori - posted on 05/30/2012

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My daughter is almost 3. If I ask her what she wants to wear the answer is always "Minnie". She LOVES Minnie Mouse and if all of her clothes had Minnie on them that would be all she ever wore. I usually pick out a few items and let her pick from those for now. If her daddy dresses her though, she doesn't usually match unless I match up several outfits for him to choose from for her to wear. I would just suggest if you let her pick out her own clothes make sure that the options don't include anything that you wouldn't want her to wear.

Sherri - posted on 05/30/2012

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For school I didn't allow them too until around 5th grade. However, as long as they look decent and match when we are around the house I started letting them when they showed interest.

Pam - posted on 05/30/2012

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Let her dress herself. There was no telling my daughter what to wear--she's stubborn as an ox. When she was 3 she announced, "I only wear pink and purple clothes!" I had to take her white cowboy boots off when she was sleeping and hide them so she wouldn't wear them 24/7. She liked her winter sweater coat so much she wore it in summer & juist sweated a ton in it. She & my son always ran hot, so n the winter if she & her brother wore shorts and a T I'd check their noses & hands & if they were warm, I was OK with it, as long as they didn't get sick (she didn't). One hot summer day I was concerned she was wearing long pants & a long-sleeved shirt & later when we got home I realized she was wearing FOUR shirts and FOUR pairs of pants, but she said she washn't too hot, so OK. Once she wanted to wear a dress and I said it was too cold so she had to wear pants. She stood in the bathroom & peed in them just so she wouldn't have to wear them. She just turned 20 and has a great sense of style, but she still runs hot, but she almost never gets sick. My son used to get up at night and try on all his clothes, practicing for getting ready for pre-school I guess! He loved to get dressed up in a jacket & tie at 3--now he wears a Navy uniform!

Jenni - posted on 05/30/2012

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Depending on their personality and time permitting, once her vocabulary and understanding is at a point where you have no problems in understanding her of course start allowing her to make her own choices. We started with two or three items otherwise we are there forever!!! Now that Miss 3 is older I have placed all her clothes in places that she can reach and she dresses herself - especially when toilet training. Thou I do caution you our Miss 3 thinks it's ok to put on six different clothing everyday - especially if they are her favourite item. Fav items I tend to hide if they are seasonal clothing - summer/winter, so she is wearing appropriate clothing for current season. I was never big on "pink" clothing mainly because I hate shops dictating to me what my child should wear because she is a girl. She chooses alot of pink nowadays which I am happy with because it is her choice lol and I find it interesting to see what colour she does pick which can suggest what mood she is in!

Bernadette - posted on 05/30/2012

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OIthink it's important for their development to have some choices - it's practice decision making. But sometimes a little guidance is necessary. For example, a fairy dress with gum boots and a builder's hard hat might be ok for at home, but not for going out... and the expensive party dress is not appropriate for the park, etc. If we're just staying at home I let my three year old choose what she wants to wear, as long as it is weather appropriate, but if we are going out I'll choose three or four outfits that are appropriate for where we are going, and let her choose which of them she would prefer.

Michelle - posted on 05/30/2012

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Whenever she wants to pick out outfits is a fine time to start that but be clear what your own rules/tolerances are for clothing. For me, like Holly, situation and modesy count. If we're going to church you're not wearing ripped/stained clothing. At no time are you wearing something tight enough or short enough to see underwear (or underwear lines). Each person has their own rules so figure out what yours are before she starts dressing herself so you're not making up new rules constantly as you go along.

Kelina - posted on 05/30/2012

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my daughter is 18 months and picks her own clothes for the most part. She'll get out of bed in the morning, pick out her clothes, then bang on the door to let me know she's up. I just make sure that the clothes in her dresser are the right size for her and if she chooses a t shirt and it's too clod out I'll grab a sweater to go overtop. My son is 3 and has very little interest in picking out his clothes. His shoes on the other hand... lol I fought with him all winter because he always wanted to wear his sandals. Now that it's summer, I've had to hide his boots cause that's all he wants to wear.

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I agree that it will come naturally, you won't have much of a choice! Our 3 year old has had access to her clothes since she was under 2. Although I don't mind her picking out a summer dress to be in the snow. I give her my advice that it's cold and she will want to dress like mommy with snow pants and a jacket. Less than a minute outdoors and she'll learn for herself that summer dresses are not for the snow. Like today it's 80 degrees and she put on a tank top, long sleeve and a dress and realized a little later it's too hot for all those layers and asked to take off the long sleeve. :)

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