Fashion Faux Pas & Other Important Lessons

My five-year-old son has become quite opinionated lately. Last night we had a bona fide debate about Pete from The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

So,” I said, “Do you think Pete is a bully or a friend?

Oh, he’s a friend,” my son said casually.

But he’s always doing mean things! Pete doesn’t seem like a friend.

No, he is, Mom, he is. He’s a friend because they’re always nice to him.

Well, if he’s a friend why is he always tricking them? Look, he just stole all the Easter eggs!

Mom, trust me. He’s a friend!

Just because they are nice to him doesn’t mean he’s a friend…

It went on and on. I conceded when I realized how emotionally invested I’d become.

His opinions about clothes are just as strong. Yesterday he wore underwear to the pool under his swim trunks. (After conferring with the Hubby, I now understand that dudes don’t do this. It’s not like the mesh ‘underwear’ included in swim trunks offers any sort of support.) Two days ago, in 90 degree heat, he insisted on wearing his knee-high, bright red soccer socks everywhere.

A week ago one of his cowboy boots broke and, rather than wear different shoes, he wore one cowboy boot and one other shoe. Everywhere we went (Even Wal-Mart. When did they develop standards!?) people either stared at his footwear or openly commented. The grandparent types were supportive but there were kids who just laughed at him.

As a formerly (I hope?) nerdy girl, I am sensitive to my kid being picked on. I want my son to feel proud and confident. My Mom-Debate is whether or not to encourage him to wear something more ‘socially acceptable’ so he won’t be embarrassed. I don’t want him to suddenly notice one day that he’s the only one intentionally wearing mismatched shoes.

But then, is fitting in really all that desirable? Social norms and conventions aside, if my kid is the one that likes how stripes and plaid look together, he should wear it! I suppose I run the risk of him one day being publicly shamed. A little adversity will be good for his character; I like to think it was good for me. And hey, someone has to start trends, right? Rather than this scenario:

Imaginary Mean Kid: “Dude, what are you wearing?!”

Boy Q: “Oh, uh….nothing, I guess…

Imaginary Mean Kid: “Well, it’s weird.”

I’m hoping for this scenario:

Imaginary Mean Kid: “Dude, what are you wearing?!”

Boy Q: “These awesome plaid shorts and this Army shirt. Because it’s my favorite.

I think I’ll save my suggestions for the future–what to wear to a job interview or how to treat a date. God knows he’ll only listen to me some of the time anyway. For now,  I’ll trust his instinct and let him fly his freak flag high.

My son when he was 2, developing his signature style:

???????-Mama Q.

6 thoughts on “Fashion Faux Pas & Other Important Lessons

  1. Love this! My kids went from wearing princess dresses all the time to critiquing my wardrobe choices. Enjoy it while it lasts.


    • I didn’t even think of that! I would totally expect that from my daughter. I’m hoping that my son grows up to be just like my husband, who still clashes daily. But I suppose Hubby’s color-blindness might excuse him? Or maybe that’s just an excuse…


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