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my kid’s ugly clothes

When I was pregnant with my first, I self-righteously informed Tom that I considered dressing to be a form of self-expression, and that I’d let my kid dress however he wanted, in order to help foster a sense of self-confidence.  Of course, when I said that, I had no idea that my kid would have bad taste.

That’s right, I’m judging my own kid for his lack of fashion sense.  I guess I assumed that, at worst, my kid would put together some colorful yet whimsical outfits, kind of like the one below, from two years ago.  Crocs + socks aside, I really wish I had this outfit in my size even though the shirt features a cat and I hate cats.  The ‘stache is all Finn, because he is physically incapable of drinking an Izze without sucking his upper lip into the bottle and forming a moustache made of broken capillaries.  The Izze ‘stache always lasts way longer than you think it will, is impossible to cover up with concealer, and usually makes an appearance right before Picture Day.

Anyway, I was prepared for crazy kid color.  What I was not prepared for was a five-year old who gravitates towards neutrals.  Left to his own devices, Finn now prefers monochromatic outfits in dung brown or dark gray, which usually leaves him looking like the world’s smallest UPS delivery person.

fashion weeps

My hatred for the outfit above is particularly intense.  Finn’s worn that shirt maybe 300 times, and only twice has he NOT worn it backwards.  As for the pants, I’d burn them if I thought Old Navy Performance Fleece was a material capable of being burned.  I don’t know what it’s made out of, but I’m certain that the only things that will survive the coming apocalypse are Old Navy Performance Fleece and cockroaches.

Even more paining to me than his penchant for drab neutrals is the fact that Finn has no natural sense of proportion.  He loves baggy sweatshirts and jerseys that are unflattering to his figure.  While he loves to go big on top, he prefers to go two sizes too small on bottom.

thanks dad for the dart gun--a solid montessori purchase

I’m hoping that he didn’t pick up the cropped pants from me, because if he did, his execution is really shoddy.  Surely, if I’ve taught him anything in life, it is that you never wear cropped pants with tube socks.  The outfit above is also a good example of Finn’s misplaced focus on “matching.”  To Finn’s way of thinking, why wear a blue shirt, when you can wear a blue shirt with blue pants and blue shoes?  Why indeed.  When he first came downstairs in this outfit, I crammed my fist into my mouth and bit down on my knuckles to stifle the scream of pure terror.

If you are wondering why I care what my kid’s clothes look like, join the club.  I don’t know why I care.  Probably it’s because kids, like handbags, have become an extension of one’s personal style.  I have stylish friends with kids so well-dressed that I want to date them.  But let’s be real, most kids look pretty cute no matter what they are wearing.  And no matter how much my kid’s clothes bug me, I don’t want to end up being the mom who’s picking out clothes for her 17-year old.  So here’s me, letting Finn be Finn, and trying to take Yoona out of the equation.

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26 Comments Post a comment
  1. SingleMomOnFire #

    Love this post. I feel the same about my 7 year old daughter. Her outfits are out there; stripes with polka dots and the dreaded crocs with socks. I let her wear what she wants and pretend I don’t notice the sometimes “interesting” outfits she has chosen :)

    March 14, 2012
  2. beth #

    smallest ups delivery person. best line ever

    March 9, 2012
  3. good for you not to make an issue – a friend of mine dresses very well, but let’s just say her daughter had other ideas about dress- my girlfriend constantly tried to control that side and her daughter would always pick the absolute opposite – finally my friend gave up and they’ve been getting along every since -lol!

    March 7, 2012
    • giving up works well in all aspects of parenting, i’ve found

      March 8, 2012
  4. Wow. Are you one balanced momma.

    Not me. I brainwashed my children. It worked with my daughter. She’s got one bitchin’ sense of style and makes me proud every day with her ensembles. My son? I turned him into a label ho and regret it every time we shop.

    But .500 ain’t bad for a batting average so maybe I’m okay.

    March 7, 2012
    • well he’s five. i could well reach a point where i have to take matters into my own hands. but i’m trying.

      March 8, 2012
  5. Courtney #

    I absolutely MUST HAVE that cat t-shirt

    March 7, 2012
  6. Having two girls does make me want to tear my hair out at times but I cope by leaving unwanted articles of clothes in the dirty clothes basket longer than necessary. By limiting their choices, I get to surreptitiously edit their outfits. But I think when the kids are cute – like yours – they can get away with so much more!

    March 6, 2012
    • not a bad idea. i like the casual deviousness of it.

      March 8, 2012
  7. Kim #

    Hang in there. I now think wistfully back to the days when Hazel wouldn’t leave for school without a Little House on the Prairie kerchief on her head. I wish I had more pictures of it. It’s still heinous, but I love to remind her of it when she gets uppity.

    March 6, 2012
    • Courtney #

      I so remember how she looked in that kerchief with her little braids. :( Time goes by too fast

      March 7, 2012
  8. love this — you are one funny lady! As for Finn, I say those rockstar glasses make up for his fixation on monochromatic gear.

    March 6, 2012
    • the glasses take the focus off a lot of things. as for the monochrome, maybe helmut lang dressed like finn when he was five?? a mom can dream

      March 6, 2012
  9. sarah beth #

    My mom was stoked when she had my younger sister and thought she’d get to reuse all my clothes. The my sister hit age four and absolutely refused to wear anything that wasn’t purple or orange. Refused. As in – strip down to naked no matter where she was – public or not. My mom had to re-purchase an entire wardrobe in order to coax her into staying dressed at preschool.

    March 6, 2012
    • please tell me your sister ended up going to clemson

      March 6, 2012
  10. Suzanne #

    I guess it’s been long enough now that I’d forgotten to care. I’m with you on letting them be. I try to rejoice in the fact that they dress themselves. I remember the phase where Lucas always wore his shorts over his pants – like every single day – and we would let him… the other parents were none too pleased about that, because apparently we opened the door for their kid to do the same. And he did set a trend. These days, Lucas has a uniform. If we don’t take his clothes from him and put him in the washer, he would wear the same thing: every. single. day. Nice post!

    March 6, 2012
    • quite the trendsetter, that lucas. and yes, there is something to be said for not having to make one more decision during the day

      March 6, 2012
  11. Grayson Dempsey #

    Love it. I think that there is a cosmic rule that someone in every family has to be poorly dressed – there just isn’t always enough energy to make sure EVERYONE looks good. You should feel lucky it’s Finn – in our family, my kids always look adorable and I’m the one in cropped pants with tube socks. So it goes …

    March 6, 2012
    • exactly. i prefer to expend my energies on myself and putting out tom’s fires

      March 6, 2012
  12. He’s quirky-stylish and so handsome! I dread the day when my daughter wants to wear nothing but pink head to toe.

    March 6, 2012
    • the thought occurred to me many times during the writing of the post that at least i don’t have girls

      March 6, 2012
  13. Meredith J #

    Love the posting and Finn! It was so great to see your boys at noodles on Saturday morning. Wish you’d been there too! Terra talked all about Finn that day, but she didn’t actually say much to HIIM.

    March 6, 2012
    • I was so bummed to hear I’d missed the little reunion! We’re there every Saturday so maybe we’ll catch you next time?

      March 6, 2012
      • Mr. David I. Bean #

        tell me more about noodles on saturdays. do they boil their bagels by chance?

        March 6, 2012
      • we’re usually at boke bowl on saturdays at 11:30, between swimming and soccer. it’s the spot, man.

        March 6, 2012

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