If you let your 5 year-old son dress you up, you might end up looking quite fabulous and discover new ways to wear your clothes. Which was what our mummy writer discovered.
Ever wondered what kind of fashion sense your child has? I must say, I was curious, and this simple experiment has been insightful for me in unexpected ways. Yes, I let my son dress me for a week – and here’s what I discovered.
His definition of pretty
As a busy SAHM, I’m most often in shorts and a tank or tee, my trusty sandals on my feet. Skirts and dresses are reserved for church, dates with my husband, or other special occasions.
But for the past seven days, I have only worn shorts ONCE, and that was paired with a pretty chiffon blouse. Every other day, my son has unwaveringly veered towards the skirts and dresses in my wardrobe, picking out pieces that I would definitely not have worn on a typical day for school runs and trips to the market.
When I asked him why, he replied “I think the dress is prettier mummy. I like you to wear the dress, not pants.” Wow, that definitely took me by surprise!
“Would you like me to wear dresses every day?” I hesitantly ventured.
“Yes, ok! I think so,” was his reply.
Balancing fashion and function
I was pretty proud of him for being able to also take into account function in his choice of wardrobe. For example, he asked me to wear heels on Day 03, and I commented at the end of the day that my feet were tired. The next day, when it was time to choose my footwear, he remembered.
“Mummy, today maybe you don’t wear that one. Why don’t you wear this one with the sparkly stones?” (It was a pair of flats, thankfully.)
On another day, he wanted me to wear a cheongsam. We had plans to go to the beach with friends, and I could envision my poor cheongsam getting all sandy and grimy, so I gently reminded him, “We are going to the beach today. What do you think Mummy should wear to the beach? Is a dress a good idea?”
He was deep in thought (very cute to see), and finally piped up, “I know, mummy! You wear shorts! Ok?” Boy, did I heave a huge internal sigh of relief!
Learning to trust
The night before the first day, I must confess I was pretty anxious. I kept worrying that my son would pick out some strange outfit with clashing prints for me to wear in public! But I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised by his choices for each day.
I began the week with some trepidation, but by the end of the week, I was confidently flinging open my wardrobe doors to let him have full view of all his options.
I have grown to trust that he really wants to make his mummy look pretty, not silly. And he, in turn, has grown in confidence in the way he makes a decision for me, declaring assertively, “Mummy, you wear this today, ok?” Hilarious and sweet all at the same time.
Day 1 – Star Wars T-shirtand Black Polka Dot skirt from Uniqlo. Gold sequined sneakers from Skechers
Day 2 – Blue Printed Cheongsam from Joli Pretty. Red Sandals from Holster
Day 3 – Pink Owl dress from Patch (stocked at BHG). Black Peep-toe heels from Jelly Bunny
Day 4 – Pink Polka Dot dress from Uniqlo. Black and wooden heels from Charles & Keith
Day 5 – Black Polka Dot dress from Uniqlo. Black and wooden heels from Charles & Keith. Light grey sweater from Uniqlo
Day 6 – Blue patterned tank top from Old Navy. Light grey shorts from Uniqlo. Gold sandals from Birkenstock
Day 7 – Floral maxi dress bought in Tokyo, Japan. Gold sandals from Birkenstock
Taking it forward
In some ways, I feel like this exercise has served as an invaluable experience for both of us.
I have watched my son grow in confidence in making wardrobe decisions over the past week. Before this, he has often not put any thought into choosing his own attire, simply fishing out the tee shirt closest to the top of the pile. Now I find myself asking him, “Choose a tee shirt and shorts that you want to wear today” instead of “Go and get dressed”. And he no longer settles for the one on top.
Personally, I have been reminded that, just because I’m not working in an office or spending time in town should not mean I care any less about my appearance. While I don’t think I have ‘let myself go’, there’s no denying that I really have not taken much trouble with my appearance on regular school days because I have prized function over fashion.
This week’s experiment has shown me that I can (and perhaps should) dress up a little more on a daily basis. Not to become a fashion plate, by any standards, but simply to take pride in looking the best that I can be, on a daily basis.
Clearly my son cares that his mummy looks pretty every day, and I’m sure the husband welcomes the change too.
Would you let your kids dress you for a week? I would be curious to know how a little girl would style her mother.
Why not try this little experiment out for yourself – you might be amazed by the things you discover along the way!
Writer’s note: Some of the photos featured above were taken by her son who dressed her.
Photos and text by Dorothea Chow