Your little one's clothes don't have to make a "statement" beyond the obvious ones: "I'm dressed and ready for school" or "I'm comfortable and ready to play." Your child has better things to do than be a walking advertisement for mall stores or brands.....Having fewer choices simplifies getting dressed. Young kids can still adopt all sorts of flash and style, playing with different looks, roles, and fashion statements in their dress-up play......"Choice" is often a false distinction when a child is more interested in what they are going to do, once dressed, than in the clothes themselves.
-- Kim John Paine, Simplicity Parenting
I love that quote from the book Simplicity Parenting (one of my all time favorite books!). It articulates quite nicely the way that I think about my girls' clothes.
I try not to have their clothes be a walking billboard for companies. Whenever possible, I try not to have their clothes say anything at all (there are the occasional cute little saying or Kansas State tees, but in general my rule is becoming more and more "no words"). My goal is to have a few simple, weather and size appropriate shirt/pant or dress/legging combos for each girl.
(Meghan's shirt collection for this fall/winter - a dress with leggings, 5 tees (four appliqued by my mom!), and a denim shirt for layering. Minimal. Simple. And she loves it!)
I try to purchase basic jeans/jean shorts or yoga pants. When it comes to shirts I pick stripes, dots, or other patterns as well as basic single color tees. My mom has an embroidery/applique machine and LOVES to make the girls custom shirts according to their interests on single color tees. (I know, seriously, how lucky are we?!?) Thus, the only "statement" that my kids clothes might make is "I like dragons" or "Ask me about butterflies" because of the images my mom has added to their shirts.
I feel like these kinds of clothes can be hard to find. But, I spend the time and energy to seek them out because I would rather my kids clothes not make a statement for them (especially since the statements on many shirts aren't ones I would want my kids to make anyways!). I want my kids to make their own statements with their own actions and words.
(Katie's shirt collection for this fall/winter - she has more than Meghan since she will be in SMO's and needs onesies to wear with them. Katie has a dress with leggings, 3 tees (two embroidered/appliqued by my mom), and 5 onesies. She has two words on a few but they were special exceptions - she's a rainbow baby & is great at making us smile!)
I also choose not to have super cute frilly clothes for my girls (though, I drool over them when they are on Zulilly!). They have some super cute (though still simple and comfy) clothes for church that fill that "Awwwwwww, how cute" need Mamas of girls have. I would rather my girls be free to play and be wild than burdened by super nice or restraining clothing.
I've found that with simple clothes for the girls, I'm less stressed as well. I don't have to think about their outfits and what we're doing for the day and what outfit would be best for that purpose, etc. etc. etc. I simply grab whatever outfit is in front of their closet or allow Meghan to choose which shirt she wants to wear today, and we move on. No stress. No nice clothes that can't be worn to play outside. No clothes that we don't wear out in public. No stress. I like having one less thing to stress about!
Homemakers are busy people. I think it's very important for us to have routines for the mundane tasks whether they occur daily or every few months or once a year. I share our routines not because I think they are perfect or will work for any other home than ours, but as encouragement that we can find routines that work well for our families. It's always something we can be working to improve. I also share our routines as a springing-off point for planning a routine if you don't have one in place. I often find that reading what others do, trying it, and tweaking it for our family's needs can be a very helpful way to grow as a homemaker. I pray that these peeks into how we do the mundane are a blessing and an encouragement to those that read them!