Fifteen Things I Learned About Style From My Three-Year-Old Daughter

MeMegKidsSeveral months back, Delilah George — who even as a crawler had been picky about what she wore — started to make it really clear that she had a passion for fashion. I came out one morning wearing earrings, makeup, and a skirt, ready for a meeting and her response? “Oh Mommy, you got dressed today, you look so pretty! I like that skirt.”

She’s not quite three-and-a-half.

Another morning, as she watched me getting dressed throwing on a head wrap thingy over my bedhead to take her to school, she raised a skeptical tiny eyebrow:

“Mommy, what are you doing?”

“I’m putting on a headband” I replied.

“But…Teacher Brittany will see it…” she contended.

“You don’t like my headband?” I asked, pulling another option from my drawer — “how about this one?”

“Mommy,” Delilah leveled… “Teacher Brittany doesn’t want to see ANY headbands on you.”

For what it’s worth, Teacher Brittany is a birkenstocks loving free-spirit who has a penchant for bright colors and leopard print and enthusiastically complimented my lavender hair. She’s definitely not judging me over my gold turban and bedhead. But the point is, my little girl’s message had been received loud and clear. She officially had opinions about style, and she wanted me to know that in that not-so-humble opinion, mine was officially lacking. My toddler was…as my therapist used to say…holding up a mirror.

Growing up, what I wore was how I shared my personality with the world. (That’s actually me at age five up there, with my friend Megan on the right.) If I felt it, I looked it (or at least, wore it) and as I got older I loved every second of thrifting and styling and changing and changing and changing again that went with it. I loved it actually doesn’t even really cover it because I lived it, I was it, it was me. My personal style was the sole form of self-expression that was inextricably engrained in my every day.

I’m not exactly sure when that stopped feeling true. There was a good period in college when I wore nothing but Velour Jumpsuits (I blame Madonna and a constant craving for comfort) but even that was peppered with getting dressed in things like Bubble Wrap ensembles for parties and occasional nights out in lower east side consignment store finds. And when I first started working post-college and quickly realized that every day was Casual Friday in Hollywood, I still remember curating my dressed-down duds with care, ensuring to let some personality show even if I was wearing ripped jeans with a bulky walkie in my pocket and a thermal under whatever top I chose to keep from freezing to death on late-night location shoots.

When I try to pin point the total loss of personal style, I *think* it was somewhere between losing my job and giving birth to my daughter that my relationship with fashion ran ashore. At some point in the throes of the peripartum depression and anxiety that would claim the next 18 months of my life I started feeling uncomfortable in everything I wore. I started feeling self conscious about every style choice I made. Stupid, even. And eventually I just sort of stopped trying. A great outfit makes you stand out and I all I wanted to do was disappear in to the crowd.

I’ve blathered on plenty about being lost in that dark abyss of mental illness in posts all over this big bad internet, but just when I think I’ve said all there is to say about the journey, I realize that I’m still climbing back out in to the light in some ways, and I stop, and look around, and am awed all over again by how different the world looks from the other side.

But most of all, I’m grateful to have Delilah George as my guide through this new phase of life — this amazing new stage where we get to refine our personal styles and figure out what versions of ourselves we want to present to the world together. So without further adieu, I thought I’d share some of her very best wisdom with you. {All outfits self-styled by Miss Dee.}

  • A Favorite Frock Can Make You Feel Like Dancing. 1 of 15
    A Favorite Frock Can Make You Feel Like Dancing.
    ...and dancing and dancing and dancing.
  • Dress For The Job You Want 2 of 15
    Dress For The Job You Want
    Even if you're just making rainbows in the backyard.
  • You Don’t Need A Party For a Party Dress. 3 of 15
    You Don't Need A Party For a Party Dress.
    Casual shoes and outerwear can dress down your favorite party dress for every day wear.
  • A Sick Day Is No Reason Not To Look Fabulous. 4 of 15
    A Sick Day Is No Reason Not To Look Fabulous.
    Dee's dress courtesy of Tog + Porter.
  • There Are Sleeping Clothes, And There Are Daytime Clothes. 5 of 15
    There Are Sleeping Clothes, And There Are Daytime Clothes.
    When I suggested one Saturday that we leave for her favorite ice cream shop while she was still lounging in pajamas, she looked horrified and informed me: "I'm wearing a sleeping dress. You can't wear a sleeping dress outside! Everyone will be wearing daytime dresses at Menchies."

    On the other hand, if you must wear jammies out, dress them up with a tutu and fabulous socks.

  • Every Outfit Is Better With Accesories. 6 of 15
    Every Outfit Is Better With Accesories.
    Yesterday as we left the house to meet up with her Cousins (who live 300 miles away so it was a special occasion) she screeched to a halt at the door and shouted "WAIT! I THINK I NEED JEWELRY!"
  • The Bag Makes The Outfit 7 of 15
    The Bag Makes The Outfit
    Also, there are few things that can make a girl giddy like a new designer handbag, AmIright, Dee?
  • Every Girl Needs A New Birthday Dress. 8 of 15
    Every Girl Needs A New Birthday Dress.
    And to try it on right away, of course.
  • Day-To-Evening 9 of 15
    On Ballet days, Dee, who doesn't like to change in a rush, usually opts for a dress with some solid spin to it so she can just switch her sneakers for ballet slippers and make her outfit work for her afternoon engagement.
  • Go Bold. 10 of 15
    Go Bold.
    Pink and purple are her favorite colors. She integrates them in to her outfits whenever possible.
  • Hand Me Downs Rule 11 of 15
    Hand Me Downs Rule
    Every few months we get a box from her older cousins. She busts it open and does a fashion show immediately every time.
  • Mom-Me-Downs 12 of 15
    There are few wardrobe items you'll treasure as much as a dress your Mom saved for you from her own early years. And purple glittery Mary Janes, of course.
  • Everyone Needs A Signature Look 13 of 15
    Everyone Needs A Signature Look
    Dee's is polkadots.
  • Work Clothes Can Still Be Fashionable 14 of 15
    Work Clothes Can Still Be Fashionable
    When we tell Dee she has to wear work clothes to do art projects, she has an arsenal of dresses she likes to wear for just that occasion.
  • Go Big Or Go Home 15 of 15
    Go Big Or Go Home
    Not just hearts for Valentine's Day. HEARTS ON EVERY ITEM OF CLOTHING.

I do for work what you do to waste time. (I don’t know how that happened either.) Follow my productivity on, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

More from Morgan:
My Mom Had A Wardrobe Malfunction At My Bat Mitzvah
“Doc, Are You Telling Me This Sucker’s Nuclear?”
Social Media is a Warm Gun

Article Posted 3 years Ago
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