20 October 2011

Mix Match

When it comes to clothes for my kid, I'm pretty laissez-faire - to a point. I won't buy clothes with writing, I don't let any branded characters into the house, and pajamas have to be 100% cotton. If she wants to wear tights with holes and a purple skirt and several shirts layered together with a fake fur vest over the whole thing? So be it. She has a certain panache, and clothing is - to my mind - one of those battles not worth fighting.

It goes further: we talk about what's appropriate. You'll break your ankle in high heels, Ugg boots are too friggin' expensive for a kid whose feet are growing so fast (not to mention the fact that they're fugly). Belly buttons need to be covered up, unless you're on the beach in a two piece bathing suit. No, you cannot dress like a pop star; it's age-inappropriate.

In short, she can wear whatever she wants, within a fairly generous set of parameters.

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Last month, the girl and I, along with a handful of other bloggers and tweenish girls, were invited to spend the afternoon in the showroom/offices of Little Miss Matched. The girls were sent off to "raid" the closets, while the moms heard about design development and the philosophy behind the brand. I confess that I was susceptible - it's why I accepted the invitation in the first place - because I really like their punchy bright mismatched products and I've been buying them for years.

We weren't disappointed. The girl had a great time trying on clothes, and I was kind of fascinated by the creative process. Sitting in a room with fabric swatches and magazine clips pinned everywhere was energizing. And the ethos of the company feels right - colorful clothes that foster individuality - what more could you want?

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Little Miss Matched has decreed tomorrow - Friday 10/21 - to be Rock Your Socks day. And the best part about that? All this month, they are donating funds to support creative projects in schools via Donors Choose - with their gift card, I helped an elementary school teacher buy 15 ukuleles for her classroom.

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Raising girls is hard. Navigating through issues like body image and peer pressure and pretty vs. smart is tricky. Having fun products out there like the mix and match 3 packs of colorful socks makes it a little easier. Besides, how awesome is she, all mixed and matched?

Little Miss Matched fed us popcorn, and gave us some socks and other tchotchkes, as well as a $5 gift card to spend at Donors Choose. No one paid me to write this, and all the opinions are mine.


MARY G said...

Interesting. And interesting that the brand is going the route of finding good and popular bloggers to court.
My take on girls' clothes is this: until they hit the self conscious stage, buy cheap and lots of it in colours they like; once clothes become a competition, co-operate as much as your budget and common sense allow.
Your parameters seem really sound to me. The only one I would add is that short shorts do not go to school.

Bibliomama said...

I love the Little Miss Matched stuff - Eve just found an old pair of tights today and put them on her lower legs and hopped around. Our parameters are much like yours, except slightly more bourgeois, naturally - there might be a couple of Aeropostale shirts in my son's drawer (confession is good for the soul, right?)

shrink on the couch said...

First I've heard of Miss Matched - is this a national brand? Like you, the concept is appealing. Free spirited is a good thing.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

My neighbor girl did mismatched 15 years ago--she wishes she would have been old enough to start a company!

You have excellent parameters.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

We don't have a Little Miss Matched out here; I only knew about it because you blogged it once before. And? I just bought two pairs (triplets?) of leg warmers for my daughter. Online, of course. She suddenly grew an inch, none of her pants fit, so for $20 I got her leg warmers & she can continue to wear the too-small pants... Ha!

S said...

If I had had a girl, my rules for dress would have been uncannily close to your own.

InTheFastLane said...

Those are excellent rules, and ones I still try to enforce at 17....

And my daughter often wears mismatched socks on purpose. It seems to be a fun game to play and she loves this company.

mayberry said...

Yes - we like LMM too, and my girl has also moved on to simply mismatching all her socks all the time now.

I really don't understand the point of arguing with a child over whether her clothes match. Who has that kind of time?

leanne said...

No doubt... Uggs are fugly.

And clothes with personality sound fun. Especially when you have a child with a certain panache, as you put it (my daughter wore a German soccer shirt and a pink skirt the other day).

And yes to some parameters and discussions about what's appropriate.

anymommy said...

She is completely awesome. I love this! Makes me want to live in NYC & visit you and have access to fun stores.