About a month ago, Elvie started bringing me necklaces and showing me that she wanted them put on. Around that same time, while I was away on errands, she dug a tutu out of her big sister’s drawer and brought it to my husband to help her put on. It was like a little fashion light bulb went on inside her head, that there were things she liked that she might wear, if only she could bring them to the right people to put them on her person.
She gets so excited about things that it’s hard to say no, and most of the time, there’s no need for anything other than a yes.
For Elvie, the most important element of her ensemble is accessories. While bracelets and rings don’t stay on for long, she is now wearing six necklaces every day. While on the changing table in the morning, she’ll start handing them to me before her pajamas are even off. If I miss one, she will let me know. Lately she’s been trying to get me to put them on at bedtime, with her pajamas, but I’ve said no. I’ve got to draw the line somewhere.
When it comes to clothing, Elvie prefers items featuring animals. If I show her something floral or with another pattern, she might nod her head in agreement, but if I show her something with an animal on it, her nods become more pronounced, almost emphatic, and a big grin spreads across her face. YES, she wants to wear the kitty shirt. Of course she does.
You’ll notice in this photo that one of Elvie’s shoes is off. While she sometimes removes them just for fun, this time it was because she didn’t want to wear the shoes I chose for her. She wanted her bird shoes. She adores anything glittery, but if her mind is made up about a shoe choice, she will not waver.
In her hair, Elvie is sporting a big bow. If I don’t add a bow, clip, or headband when I spritz her curls with product to refresh them in the morning, she will point at her head until I get something acceptable. As with shoes, she is very opinionated. If I bring a headband or clip she doesn’t want to wear that day, there’s no way she’s leaving it on. Luckily, most days we’re able to find something that she approves of that also matches her outfit.
Finally, there’s her outerwear. San Francisco weather suits Elvie, as she adores wearing cardigans and jackets. When this jacket arrived in the mail, she tried to put it on herself, and then when she got stuck partway through, she tugged at my leg until I reached down and helped her. It was hot in our house that day, but she was still all about the jacket. When I bring out this jacket or one of her favorite cardigans, she claps. I am also a fan of jackets and cardigans, and I love having this in common with Elvie.
Dressing Elvie is incredibly fun, and at first when she started expressing preferences, I’ll admit that I thought, “Oh no! Already? But I’m not done having fun dressing her in what I want her to wear!” However, it’s clear that she enjoys putting her clothes on, and so far most of what I pick to put in her wardrobe has been met with enthusiasm. So while I may not have all the say in her daily outfits anymore, I still have plenty, and it is still plenty of fun. Maybe it’s even more fun now that it’s fun for her, too.