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Vest Dressed

Sabrina James

Ever since I realized that I was stifling Kaia’s creativity and sense of independence by dressing her in my style (yes, that’s right, my daughter doesn’t want me, the fashion director, to pick out her clothes anymore), there have been many style rules broken. She wears water shoes with dresses, hides her skinny jeans under the bed (she prefers elastic-waisted cotton shorts), and has seriously asked that I buy her a pair of pajama jeans because they are “as soft as a baby’s blanket” (thank you, infomercial!). I am trying to grin and bear it. I want her to be herself. I want her to feel control over this part of her life, but watching her walk out the door some days in outfits that I think are best served as “lounge around the house” clothes is tough.

Thankfully, in the past couple of weeks, we’ve had a bit of a breakthrough. She’s taken a liking to vests. She first asked to wear one when we were getting dressed for my best friend’s pool party. Sure, she was wearing a bathing suit and beach cover up, but I have to admit... it looked good. She even threw on a pair of Harajuku Mini cat-eye sunglasses (imagine the smile on my face, it was huge!). I am sure our fellow party-goers thought it was a bit strange. After all, it was 90 degrees and she was wearing a furry vest, but I was incredibly proud. Since then, vests are popping up regularly in her outfit choices. Could she be developing her own signature look? My biggest fear was that she would try to conform to the norm to fit in with her peers, but I was wrong. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks she should wear (myself included), but you should see the look on her face when I high-five her and tell her that I love her style. It’s not just me who’s proud, my little girl is holding her head up high knowing that her style is earning mad respect. Not that she would change it if it didn’t. True trendsetters don’t conform, not even to their fashion director mamas. And whaddya know, there might just be a mini trendsetter growing up right before my very eyes.

Check out some cool versions of Kaia's favorite fall fashion staple: 1. Vest with Bow  2. Faux Leather Vest  3. Navy Vest  
4. Striped Vest  5. Fiona Vest

Does your child still let you pick out clothes? What does she wear that makes her stand out (and you secretly love)? Let's discuss!