Monthly Archives: April 2009

Upscale, Everyday

“Dresses give me lots of freedom to dance. Plus, they twirl. This is my Easter dress from Children’s Place. So what if Easter is over?”

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The following is an interview with child style-prodigy, L (she’s so amazing, she doesn’t even use her full first name).  After only 4.10 years on Earth, L has already been credited with beginning and advancing the latest trend in young wear: Upscale, Everyday.

L was gracious enough to sit down with the editor of Child Design Magazine Jasmine Brockstone (in exchange for a cupcake) to discuss her beauty practices, clothing philosophy and the future of children’s clothing.

Jasmine Brockston: L, you are a fashion phenomenon.  Tell me how you came to such a sophisticated style philosophy.

"This is more of an indoor look."

"This is more of an indoor look."

L: Well, up until I was 2, my mom put me in a lot of jeans.  They were cute, sure, but I don’t have hips yet.  No matter how tight she made the side adjuster-things, they fell down. No self-respecting toddler shows her butt-crack. So when I was 3, and could dress myself, I officially stuck with dresses and skirts.

JB: How did your mom feel about this?

"I love my mommy."

"My mommy is my biggest fashion influence. Because she buys my clothes."

L: She was disappointed because there are a lot of darling tops out there. But once I explained that the buttons cut into my adorable, round belly, she understood.

JB: Do you and your mom argue over clothing?

L: (smiles) Only when I say I’ll wear something and then when she gets it home I refuse. (giggle) That drives her crazy. I used to purposely not match my clothes and watch her work hard not to say anything.  Now, though, I only mismatch my hair bands – much  more subtle.

JB: What is your favorite look for Spring?

L: Right now I am really into Easter dresses even though we’re Jewish and Easter is over. I have never been one for formality. I’m already wearing white and it is only April. I think kids should wear what they like and not be held to adult rules. We get enough of that at the dinner table.

JB: What about upkeep?  I mean, you are wearing Easter dresses to school.  Doesn’t your mom worry they will get ruined?

L: Well, apparently they are not too expensive because she always announces the price to my Nana when they shop together and then says, “That’s cheap!”  She has said that she can’t understand paying $50 for any single piece of clothing I will grow out of in 4 months, so she looks for bargains.  Plus the materials make it easy to remove stains.

JB: What was your most daring look?

L: I once wore camouflage pants with a tulle ballet skirt over them.  More recently, I wore two different shoes to school. Also, to the Father/Daughter Dance I added fairy wings – nothing says “special night” like fairy wings.

18 months and already showing fabulous style.

18 months and already showing fabulous style.

JB: Who do you typically wear?

Mom says this is a "Pucci" look. Sounds like a bad word.

"Mom says this is a 'Pucci' look. Sounds like a bad word to me."

L: I do a lot of The Children’s Place and The Pumpkin Patch because they carry cute dresses and skirts.  Love Carter’s still, just wish they offered more cotton jammies in my size.  Old Navy works sometimes but they are more on the casual side…

JB: Meaning they have a lot of pants and capris?

L: Right. (rolls her eyes)

JB: What do you think of the dust up with Michelle Obama and her choice of clothing for official engagements? She kind of takes an opposite approach to you – dressing a little more down scale.

L: I’m a big Barack Obama fan and I think those mean people should leave Michelle alone.  Name calling isn’t allowed in my class and those who say mean things have to sit at the Thinking Table.  I think Oscar De La Renta needs to sit at the Thinking Table and then say he’s sorry.

JB: How do you keep your skin so beautiful?

L: Um, I’m 4, so my skin is still good. I use California Baby shampoo/bath soap. My dad let’s me play with bars of soap in the bath, which is so much fun because I can make lots of good experiments with it.  My mom complains but Dad doesn’t stop me.  That’s why I like bath time better with Daddy.

JB: How do you see this Upscale, Everyday trend working with kids your age?

L: You know, much like the fashion trend setters before me, I am not too concerned with what others do. I have a style that works for me – it is comfortable and yet I feel great about myself. I make sure I wear leggings under the dresses and my skirts usually have shorts, so things are proper. I think we can get away with mixing high fashion with low brow fun, unless I’m making mudpies. Then my mom insists on old shorts and old shoes.

JB: Sounds like you’ve got it all worked out.

L: Yup….Can I go now? I need to go potty. (while running out of the room) Don’t forget my cupcake!

Birthday Diary

Surprise!Thanks to anyone who looked at my blog while I have been on hiatus (unofficially).

My life is upside down in the worst way, so to bring a little bit of cheer and “happy thoughts” into my brain I am going to review my birthday weekend.  Well, really the Friday night before my birthday party because that was by far the best part.

Years ago I told J I had never had a surprise party and always wanted one.  Unbeknownst to me, J set a surprise party in motion for my 40th birthday almost 3 years ago.  So all that complaining I was going about missing my friends and family on this significant birthday?  He was just chuckling underneath his compassionate expression.

For 3 years, J was taking money out of his wallet and hiding it around the house.  (“I can’t believe you never found any of it!” he laughed on Friday night.What can I say?  I’m not a snoop.) In 2007, he and my mom worked out dates and began to get everyone on board: my sister and her kids, my brother and her kids, my cousin and her husband and his family, none of who live in my state.   And I never knew a thing!

On the Friday night before my party, I thought I was meeting my parents for dinner.  J was, oddly, not rushing us out the door.  That was the first weird thing.  Second weird thing was him calling my mother on our way to the restaurant to see if they were there already.  I heard her say “David and Shaina,” my brother and sister-in-law, and I thought for a moment they might be in.  But that was ridiculous – they have three young kids. They wouldn’t come in.  At the restaurant, my parents were sitting at the bar even though we had a table.  That was the third odd thing.  The last one was J trying to hold my hand as we walked to the table.

I tried looking for my brother and his family to the right and when I turned to the left, all of my family was standing there (ironically, not my brother but he was on his way).  I cried my eyes out!  I was so happy to be with them all and couldn’t believe that they were there for me. (J tried so hard to get friends to come but the economic downturn made that impossible.  One friend, Laura, came in on Saturday night for my party, also a surprise.  It was awesome to be together, even for a day.)

After all that fretting over turning 40, I stood there with my family and basked in their love, forgetting about my age.  All I could think was, “They did this for me.”

I have the best husband.  Thoughtful, loving, compassionate and fun.  He took care of me, and I will appreciate that for a long time to come.