Thursday, October 28, 2021

Second Hand Fashionista

Over a year ago, our community launched a Buy Nothing Group.  The overall purpose of the group (don't quote me) is to encourage minimalism, reduce waste, and share our resources.  While the group has had a huge positive impact on my life - from playdates with families in the group to feeling the satisfaction of meeting someone's need - my wardrobe has definitely benefited.

I've received three or four traveling boxes of clothing in my size. Each time, I've taken what works, passed on what doesn't, and also added in some of my own clothes that are no longer bringing me joy - thanks Marie Kondo.  I've updated my wardrobe through my early post-partum days through working entirely at home to returning to full-time in person work - I have lived in very different bodies throughout the last two years, and I'm incredibly grateful that each transition didn't necessitate a budget-busting wardrobe.

But really? 

Second Hand Fashion is an inspiration palette for my first grader. She is my fashion icon.  No matter what colors and patterns she combines, it works.  And what a diverse set of clothes she has to work with, from little business jackets to polka-dot tights. Ankle boots and jellies. Hoodies and leopard print coats.  My six-year-old is living my childhood dream.  It's no wonder she takes forty minutes to get ready in the morning - her wardrobe is my ideal dress-up closet.

And. I. Am. Here. For. It.

My parents opted for a private education for me. It wasn't until college that I needed to choose my own outfits on any sort of regular basis. Some days, I'm still struggling to find my style, but my daughter has a confidence that means every style is her style.  Soccer socks, flowered shorts, and a Yoda t-shirt? Yes. Fluffy dress with Puma sneakers? Yup.  Rain boots, Hello Kitty rain jacket, patterned leggings, and a striped sweater? Absolutely.

If she relied entirely on the fashion choices of the awesome family members who buy her new clothing, she would not have nearly the amount of choices she does.  I am grateful for the multiple older girls who share their clothing - from various styles of their own - and funnel them down to this one creative elementary school student.  

Through her clothing, my daughter can showcase her vibrant personality.  When she's feeling sparkly, she's got the shoes to express it. When she needs a pick-me-up, she can find her comfiest shirt and the leggings that match mine (you'll hear no complaints that she wants to match me), and her whole day is refreshed.

I love watching my daughter get to be herself. A preschool teacher once told me, "I love how you dress her!"

When I responded that she 100% dresses herself, the teacher responded, "Then I love how you let her be who she wants to be."

I carry those words with me, years later, as I watch my daughter pile a pink duster over a flower dress, over the leggings with the dice all over them.  

It's not the patterns or the colors that make her outfits work (though those elements certainly help), it's her confidence. She loves how she looks, how she feels, and what she's wearing.  And maybe it's that confidence I'm here for.

Fashion doesn't make my daughter confident. Confidence makes my daughter's fashion shine.

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