Both of my girls have always been jeans and T-shirt girls, dressing for comfort versus style. As my 11-year-old matures, she has become more concerned about the type of T-shirts she wears and how the jeans fit, but for the most part, she is what we would have called "preppy" in my day. Let's put it this way, she has no issues complying with her school's dress code.
But this school year, my younger daughter has gone through a fashion metamorphosis of sorts. Suddenly, she wants to wear flouncy skirts, colorful knee socks (that don't always match one another), T-shirts with cute sayings, and high-top silver Converse sneakers with hot pink laces. These outfits are occasionally paired with a faux fur vest or Mardi Gras beads for that extra little pizzazz. Some of the clothes still have the tags on them because my older daughter vetoed them shortly after a shopping trip with her grandmother or they were given to her as gifts, and thus, they make the best kind of hand-me-downs, brand new.
I have watched with great interest as my artistic, creative child experiments with her bold new style. I have tried to put my finger on why the change this year? Why now? And then it hit me: This is the first year that she and her sister are in different schools. She is still in elementary school, but her sister has just started middle school. I realized that in a way she was breaking away from her big sister's shadow, trying to figure out who she is as an individual, not just as a little sister who naturally looks up to everything her big sister does.
Frankly, we all get a kick out of her outfits. We never know what she will come up with next, and her spunky personality is a perfect marriage with this new fun sense of fashion that she has developed. Every day I look at her and wonder the same thing: Why can't I wear a blue sparkly skirt and Sponge Bob knee socks to work?
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including two on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.