As you can see, I really haven’t had chance to write. I had such good intentions when I started my new job, but quite honestly I could never have imagined how full life would become with the start of my new post.
I have spent a lot of my “spare” hours (I use quotation marks because they are really hours that I should be doing housework, or the garden, or something else useful…) browsing independent online kids clothing stores, Facebook, eBay and Instagram looking for new and different things. I am in a few Facebook sales groups, and this year have joined a group that shares lots of information about different brands, shops and where to find good bargains. I have been able to dip my toe into buying more expensive brands than I used to, and have really enjoyed the different styles and qualities of clothes that I have newly discovered.
The kids have enjoyed some (not all!) of these new explorations. I have questioned myself and my values at times with the clothes I have chosen to buy for my children this year. Not because of ethical issues – in fact I have found new brands that do good things for charity and lots more organic brands in my wanderings. I often worry that I should be buying “fun and comfy” for Rory, and constantly embrace Kaitlin’s desire to cartwheel in pink and sparkles, because I would imagine that would keep them happy.
But what I have been reminded, with all this trial and error, is that they sometimes surprise me. They enjoy things I would not really have considered would interest them.
As a case in point, Rory’s current absolute favourite outfit is his bats tracksuit, from Mini Rodini. I bought it half price in a sale (its an expensive, organic Swedish brand that attracts a fairly high price tag; although its very cheap compared to the Dolce & Gabbana, Stella McCartney, or Guccis of this world!). I didn’t ever imagine he would love a pale grey sweater with big, and lets face it, fairly ugly, bats all over it. He is still two, and you would think he would want cartoon character animals and bright colours. Not always, it seems. In fact for Rory, not often at all!
Kitty adores a dress I bought her from Bobo Choses. She chose it herself. I was surprised; I thought she was swayed by the fact that it had ocean creatures on it, and she loves marine life. It is floor length, and I warned her so many times before I actually bought it that it wouldn’t twirl. Its navy blue, and she doesn’t usually like dark colours. But she made a good choice. She quite clearly feels like a princess in it. It swishes. She dances. I couldn’t ask for a happier looking child when she swooshes about the living room and stands at 10cm taller than she usually seems to. But I would never have chosen it for her. I chose her a bright neon pink velour twirling skater dress with silver stars from M&S for one of her Christmas presents. She loves that too, but not like she does the Bobo.
So I allow myself to indulge, and to explore. I love seeing my children in different cuts of clothes, looking stylish. I am not ashamed that I like to see photos of them that (very occasionally!) look like they could be in a trendy magazine. I think they are good looking kids, and I like their clothes to look good too. I want them to stand out, in a good way, and have the confidence to be different.
And so in 2017 my interest in children’s clothes changed and grew, morphing into something different than it was before. I continue to search and discover, and piece together wardrobes for my children one item at a time; I love investing, selling and replacing, as I mould the colours and styles in their drawers into capsules that they enjoy as much as I do. There is definitely a long way to go until I nail it, and maybe I never will… but that’s ok. 🙂
I still have a fire of passion for kids clothing, and would happily embrace the fashion world and let it soak into every part of my being… But that is not for now.
One day, perhaps.