Our 41/2 year old granddaughter is a true fashionista. She has certain favourite items of clothing, such as a tiny white denim jacket, which she judges to be really cool. Being cool is one of her main criteria for deciding what to wear. And it is definitely she who decides, often choosing her next day’s outfit before she goes to bed at night. We’re not really sure how this has happened. She hasn’t been especially forced into a stereotypical girl role. She’s as happy in trousers as in a frilly dress - so long as the outfit is cool. The whole thing might be the consequence of having much older siblings, especially a teenage sister who watches all sorts of “shows” on the computer. No doubt some of it rubs off.
We make efforts, the doting parents and grandparents, not to spend silly money on clothes for her, and for her small brother ... she likes him to look cool as well. As a rule we look out for “cool” bargains when shops have sales going on. Hence the super cool white denim jacket from Gap, bought at half price! Occasional expensive items creep into the wardrobe via the other set of grandparents, items bought from El Corte Inglés when they’ve been on holiday to Spain. I never do that as I always travel hand-luggage only and have no room for extras. But nobody has been on holiday to bring expensive goods home with them in the last year.
Even with a (mostly) sensible mother, the child has ended up with a bigger wardrobe than is really necessary. Gone are the days when you had your school uniform, some “playing out” clothes and your “best clothes”! I exaggerate somewhat there. My mother used to make us dresses copied from the window displays of posh children’s clothes shops and we always had new white pleated skirts for the Sunday School Whit Walks. But we had far fewer clothes than children seem to have these days. Some were far less practical as well. Little girls had difficulty being tomboys!
Even babies nowadays seem to have huge wardrobes. All a tiny baby needs is a few babygros and little cardigans but new mothers end up with huge collections from baby-showers, often including tiny denim jeans! Crazy!
Our daughter has always passed on to friends, donated to charity and often sold via the internet excess items from her children’s wardrobes. And now, according to this article, there is a viable business in renting children’s clothes. Not just special occasion clothes: it is possible to rent a bundle of everyday clothes in your child’s size. Now, I already knew that young women going out on the razzle could rent outfits but I hadn’t imagined parents doing so for their children. Presumably it works out cheaper than buying a lot of clothes and when the children grow out of them, you don’t have to worry about how to dispose of them to make space in the wardrobe. You just send them back. All good all round! Such is modern life!
Maybe Boris Johnson and partner should have sought a similar solution to furnishing their Downing Street flat. It wouldn’t work for the wallpaper but sofas and tables and the like could be hired, I should think.
This morning I was rained on during my run. Goodness! I had almost forgotten what that wet stuff was like. As one of my nodding acquaintances commented, we take a while getting used to it not raining and then, just as we have adjusted, it all changes again. Good English weather!
I have just had lunch out with an old friend, both of us thanking our lucky stars for teachers’ pensions that allow us to do things like that. It was my friend’s birthday. Last year we were unable to celebrate it, so we took the opening-up opportunity to set the world to rights and catch up with each other’s doings over the last year. Very civilised, we must do it again soon.
Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!