February 21, 2018

What My 5-Year-Old Has Taught Me About Fashion

My 5-year-old daughter has reminded me of a lesson lately (call it a lesson in organization, fashion… hoarding, I’ll let you decide).


Since she started kindergarten earlier this month she has taken her 5 new school outfits very seriously.  I hadn’t even noticed there were 5 at first, but boy do I know the exact description of each of them now. I bought her 4 simple ensembles before school started and her grandma gave her a special pink dress that she’s also adopted as school worthy.


After the first 5 days of school, she has continued to recycle these 5 outfits, remembering which one comes next in the precise rotation of wear, throwing the others to the curb (or to the dark recesses of her dresser drawers), in a very matter of fact way.


Picture Day is tomorrow, falling on the day she is to wear the white shirt with butterflies and the skirt with the matching colors, or so I’ve been told.  And so that is what she has decided to wear (despite my unvoiced feeling that a solid colored shirt would look better in pictures, yet I can’t dampen her enthusiasm, or squelch this innocent system she’s so meticulously devised).


Don’t all great organizers say to get rid of those pieces of clothing you haven’t worn in awhile?  My own mother instilled in me only to buy those pieces of clothing I “love.”


“If you don’t love it, don’t get it,” she’d say to me over the years, whether it was about school clothes, my prom dress, or even my wedding gown.  I even found myself echoing those words when my daughter and I shopped for these new school clothes of hers recently.  I just never knew she’d take that advice so seriously.


I still hear my mother’s voice in my head when I go through my closet, when I’m in the mood to purge those items that have been overlooked, those pieces of clothing that are already discarded by my disregard.


Have I worn that in at least a year?  No, but I might this year, I rationalize.

Do I still love that top?  No, but I just can’t bring myself to throw it away (just yet).


My daughter has reminded me that 5 loved outfits are more valuable than 20 that are just OK.  And though cliché, less is definitely more.  5-Year-Old


  1. kira took the less is more cliche to the extreme in preschool and kindergarten. she wore the same dress nearly every day for 3 years! i washed it with darks, whites, towels, sheets… at least it was a pretty dress made of durable fabric. it actually looks almost just as nice today as when she got it hand me down from a neighbor girl who is the 8th child of 8! we think of it as a magic dress. it now has a home in kira’s memory box.

  2. The magic dress- I love it! And thanks for the reminder about memory boxes :)

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