Cute dresses for all! | Living with Gleigh

I spent all of Saturday watching my youngest daughter mature beyond my level of understanding. We spent the day shopping for “cute little dresses.”

I was quite befuddled when she told me she wanted to go shopping for dresses. My confusion was understandable as this is a girl who hasn’t willingly worn a dress since she was five.

I feel like the gears in her brain cranked one more notch and her whole fashion sense changed right before my very eyes. I imagine a movie reel where the main character gets an epiphany, the light bulb goes off above her head and her eyes incline up to said light bulb as the realization sinks in.

For my daughter it came in with the entrance of warmer weather and her upcoming trip to London with a couple teachers and classmates. The chaperoning teacher suggested the clothing easiest to pack is summer dresses.

Also, to further justify her need for cute little dresses, my daughter said the teacher emphasized they need to properly represent their school and community by looking presentable; meaning no jeans, scrappy shorts or slinky tops, especially since they’ll be attending several theaters during their ten-day visit.

To further her cause, my daughter told me when the weather got nice she started seeing classmates with cute little dresses and it made her sad that she didn’t have cute little dresses.

I’ve watched this child go from girly girl in her toddler years to exclusively wearing blue jeans and t-shirts with “cool” emblems on them in her elementary/middle school years; her being the only judge of what was “cool”. She’s in high school now and the first inkling I had another fashion change was on the horizon was her desire to wear sweaters last winter (sometimes with those t-shirts with cool emblems). Now she wants to wear cute little dresses; and the circle comes back around.

So we went shopping. We brought a close friend of hers so she had a peer opinion. Fortunately, we were successful. There is no worse feeling for a woman, especially a teen woman, than not being able to find what you’re looking for. There are women all over the world whose psyches have been permanently scarred from the clothes shopping experience. It’s probably not as fortuitous for dad who ultimately has to pay for her changes in fashion sense.

For some reason the changes in my youngest daughter are more marked than my oldest. My oldest is very easy going and just kind of goes with the flow. With my youngest I feel as if I’m in the audience watching the performance slowly unfold.

However, I’m a big advocate for change in life so we don’t become stagnant. I’m not a much of a clothes person myself; my changes usually take the form of rearranging furniture or painting walls. Who am I to judge my daughter’s fashion sense?

One of the things I’ve learned from my youngest daughter is not to push her towards anything or have too strong of an opinion about something she’s wearing. Because though some of her fashion ideas have not been to my liking, I’ve held my tongue knowing it would eventually go by the wayside.

There have been shirts of hers I’ve seriously thought about tossing in the bottom of the trash when I was doing the laundry, I was so sick of looking at them on her. But I knew it was only a matter of time before she outgrew them; or rather matured out of them.

When my oldest saw my daughter’s new wardrobe she decided she wants cute dresses too. I guess I’m going shopping again. Cute dresses for all!

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is probably shopping. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website or on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh.” Her column is available every week at under the Lifestyles section.
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