Saturday, April 26, 2008

Summer wardrobe

Here it is. I meant to include Margaret's sandals in the picture, too. I've finally discovered something that makes girls easier to raise than boys: their wardrobes have fewer pieces. I know the possibilities for accessories are endless but those sorts of things are optional. I did not set out to outfit my daughter exclusively in dresses but this summer I found myself needing to buy her entire wardrobe myself whereas we have always relied mostly on hand-me-downs and gifts for the kids' clothes. I spent all winter griping about ill-fitting pants for little girls and I doubt that shorts are any better. Even if we didn't cloth diaper many of the styles for babies are ridiculously tight fitting. I kept reaching for dresses even in cold weather just so Margaret could move her legs freely. Then my radical clothing purge got me thinking in terms of simplicity. Each article of clothing needs to be folded individually, put away individually, and is a potential piece of clutter needing to be picked up individually. Eric always dresses the kids in the morning and struggles with needing to match tops and bottoms. Dresses are a single piece of clothing requiring nothing to match in the summertime. Summers last for about six months in DC so for half the year Margaret's entire wardrobe is five dresses and a pair of sandals. We reserve the nicest dress for Sunday. Easy, right?

It's not a perfect system. People do give us stuff sometimes. We have a sixth two-piece outfit that was a gift. We also have a formal dress that is too fancy to wear every Sunday--also a gift. There is also a cardigan for the occasional chill, two pairs of pajamas, and a bathing suit. And someone else just gave us a generous bequest of shoes so that Margaret now has regular sandals and snazzy, waterproof shoes as well. And Joseph's wardrobe is still a mess.

I don't know if dresses will work as well in the winter. Part of the attraction for me is that one dress costs less than a top and bottom separately. But the addition of tights in the winter might negate the cost savings and I'm not sure daily dresses are really practical in cold and snow. But I'm keeping my eye out this summer for sales on long-sleeve play dresses.

6 comments:

majellamom said...

I love dressing my girls in dresses as well, but the tights thing was driving me nuts. My older daughter (3 1/2) would constantly get holes in her tights. My younger daughter also has managed to destroy quite a few considering she's not yet 1 1/2!

A while back in my own quest for sanity and more simplicity, I started over with underware, socks and tights for my girls. My oldest had outgrown all of her socks, and I found that Hanes makes white socks with color coded sizes. I ended up donating all our socks to charity (as all the socks that the eldest had worn from birth were in their sock drawer) donated all of her too small underware (she was still wearing some two sizes too small, so I figured it was too streched out to keep for the little one) and donated our leftover tights (usually the pink ones that come in three packs.)

For about $20 I replaced everything, and found that by buying the heavier weight more expensive tights (that were on clearance at that point), I actually save money because my daughter doesn't destroy them as easily (she hasn't managed yet!)

So, if you do decide to go with dresses in the winter, try to find the heavier weight more expensive tights on sale, get a good pair of winter boots with good tread on them, and I think it would work out just great!

Mrs. B. said...

I love her summer wardrobe! Very simple and beautiful. My daughter loves a summer dress and I always buy (If I can find) white cotton shorts (like 6 pairs) to wear under them. She simply won't wear a dress without "bloomers". A few dresses, bloomers and a pair of slip on shoes make dressing girls a joy!

Robyn said...

oh hey...we on for pretzels this week? Loralee is in! I am going to make half of the batch cinnamon sugar...because, well, I love cinnamon sugar and half salty. Thursday? You in? Anyone else up to a baking challenge?

Susan said...

I'm in! Joseph loves pretzels these days. And I like the cinnamon-sugar idea . . .

Rebecca said...

I love the idea of simplifying down to a few dresses for each of my girls. Summer wardrobes are far easier than winter, imo!

Emily said...

Hopping over from Danielle's blog!
Nice blog! We EC too, though I haven't started with my 5 week old and am not sure I am going to do it this time around (I've EC'd two already). I am a little over-addicted to my bumgenius diapers.
Anyway, I love your blog... the EC, the minimalism posts, all the food things you do... so cool!