You want to dress your little ones in cute, modest clothing. Your kids just want to dress themselves. Encourage their independence AND guarantee a matching, modest outfit. We’ll tell you how.
To pretty much guarantee your children can pick out their own clothes all by themselves AND look presentable and modest, I have two words for you: Neutral bottoms.
This is a great trick I discovered years ago. With plain bottoms—knee-length denim skirts or jeans are a great example—your kids can spice it up with colorful tops, but still coordinate. (Though my daughter does have an interesting habit of pairing neutrals with neutrals. “If I wear a brown skirt, I should wear a brown shirt.” Yes, if you are dressing up like dirt.)
Tips for Easy Self-Dressing
- Avoid “outfits.” Stay away from any skirt+ shirt or pants + shirt combo. I dislike “outfits” because the colors and patterns are designed to look good only together, so you can’t pair them with a different top or bottom. This is limiting! I protest! And it’s a morning fashion disaster waiting to happen, because you just know one of the pieces will be AWOL. (Tip: It was used as a blanket for a stuffed animal, fell behind your child’s bed when they were “cleaning up” and is serving as the local community center for a population of dust bunnies.)
- Knee-length denim skirts. Many schools require modest length skirts for girls. Or maybe you just hate the child-in-a-miniskirt look. Either way, there are plenty of knee-length denim skirts (or longer lengths) to choose from. Denim, truly, is a girl’s best friend—it goes with anything, and during the colder months, it looks great with a cute pair of leggings underneath.
- Sport skirts. For a change from denim and a softer feel, go for a versatile and functional knee-length “sport” skirt. Sport skirts are made of a soft knit material and move easily. In shades of blues, brown, black or gray, your daughter can pair it with a brightly colored shirt and be ready for an action-packed day.
- Jeans. Like the denim skirt, a good pair of jeans is a must-have for boys. It’s easy to coordinate with shirts and very comfortable. A dark wash of jeans could even be appropriate for a more formal occasion. (Really! Try pairing a dark pair of jeans with a button-down shirt and see how debonair he looks. Sunglasses not included.)
What are your tried and true kid-dressing tips?
Modest fashion is attainable while on a budget.
In truth, most of the time you only need a few items to refresh your wardrobe. I am a bit partial to basic pieces, because I am always on the run with my 4 kids. I have to be in and out of the house in a hurry, and the last thing I want to worry about is what I am wearing. I own a few must have items that not only look great all year round, but are also affordable!
- Long black pencil skirt – The knee length black pencil skirt is a great versatile piece in your wardrobe. It is a staple item that is classic because it can be worn anywhere at anytime. The great thing about this modest fashion item is that you can wear it with a variety of shirts and it is a style that is never outdated. Celebrity mom, Victoria Beckham, often opts for this modest fashion choice and looks extremely confident and chic. Designers also like the knee length pencil skirt and was featured in Christian Siriano’s fall 2010 collection, Gap’s fall 2011 collection as well as Ann Taylor’s collection.
- Knee Length Straight Denim Skirt – I just adore straight knee length skirts, especially in denim! The knee length straight denim skirt is great for winter and summer and can be worn to many occasions. You can dress it down with a pair of flats or dress it up with a pair of heels with the right accessories. The denim straight skirt has also been a favorite among celebrity moms such as Courtney Cox and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Long Black A-line Skirt
- The scarf – When you are wearing basic modest fashion items, have some fun by adding colorful scarfs! The scarf is the easiest way to update your wardrobe and it is also the chicest way to cover up. It has been spotted on many 2011 runway shows, such as Yigal Azrouel, Kenzo, Just Cavalli and William Rast.
- Long Black A-line Skirt – The long black A-line skirt is also a great fashion basic item! I have several long black A-line skirts because they are so comfortable without looking sloppy. Whatever shirt I put on always looks better with a long black A-line skirt.
- Basic ¾ Sleeve Shirt – The ¾ sleeve cotton ribbed shirt is a definite must have in your closet! This basic T comes in a variety of colors, and looks great with a long black A-line skirt and a knee length straight denim skirt.
I have a confession to make. Even though I hold my own where style is concerned, my 12-year-old daughter is the resident fashionista in my house. Not that I don’t pay attention to what’s new and exciting, but let’s just say that she is the one who follows the latest trends. So when she came running into my room today and shouted that we ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY must go out and buy a pencil skirt (or two or three) because ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY EVERYONE is wearing them!!!, I was a little nervous. In my mind, I had immediate visions a barely knee length pencil skirt; very tight and very revealing. Not to mention unbearably uncomfortable! This did not bode well for the preference to dress modestly that both my daughter and I share.
Ughhhh! How uncomfortable does THIS look???
But, I was intrigued, so I did some research. Here is what I found: the knee length pencil skirt actually evolved from the hobble skirt of the early 20th century. The hobble skirt was a full length skirt, gathered at mid-calf, which, although nice and modest, seriously impeded the wearer’s ability to walk. Well, if you ask me, that sounds like fashion hell. Thankfully, the French uber designer Christian Dior re-introduced a much shorter version of the hobble skirt that also included a slit in the back for ease of movement. Thus the modern-day knee length pencil skirt was born. But could I find long pencil skirts that would appeal to my discerning, modest daughter???
Long Pencil Skirt
So my daughter and I hit the mall for some serious shopping. As she tried on pencil skirt after pencil skirt, I had to admit that although I very much liked the silhouette they created, most of these skirts where waaaay too short and tight. So back home we went to try and find something more suitable online. To our delight, we found some great stuff: a decent selection of long pencil skirts that hit well- below the knee, which meant they were both age-appropriate and modest. We decided that the slenderness of the long pencil skirts would be nicely balanced with a loose tunic top or a flowing, soft jacket. We found a couple of terrific denim pencil skirts that would look really cute with leggings underneath, and elegant black pencil skirts that would be great for more fancy occasions.
The added bonus was that these long pencil skirts were made in nice stretchy materials that made them incredibly comfortable to wear. Oh, did I mention that I found some amazing long pencil skirts for me, too?
Even Posh often wears classy, modest long pencil skirts!
So at the end of the day, my daughter ended up with a new wardrobe replete with long pencil skirts that completely fit our modest way of dressing, and I ended up a way cooler, fashion-forward mom!