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.