Can Letting Your Child Dress Like A Cirque du Soleil Cast Member Build Character?

Our lovely intern Caitlin Adams is back with another installment of her “Lessons from My Mom” column. This week she extols the benefits of sartorial freedom for the pint-size set.


By Caitlin Adams

When I was little, my parents let me dress myself. Actually, I’m not certain whether it was a conscious decision on their part or that they simply tired of my inevitable temper tantrums. (I was the only girl of four kids… I had an excuse to be a diva, right?) My daily uniform typically consisted of purple sweatshirts with dancing elephants and stirrup leggings. I might have even worn a diaper bag as my backpack through my preschool years…talk about catching onto the whole “oversize tote” trend early.

My mom had this idea that allowing me to dress myself was a way for me to express my individual style and creativity. I know it sounds kind of whacky — surely a seven year old donning a multicolor leotard doesn’t say much about who they are — but I think there is something to this thinking.

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Wish List: Maison Martin Margiela Peep Toe Ankle Boots at Forty Five Ten

I am an open toe shoe girl — ideally an open toe shoe with a little strap action and a wedge heel. Luckily, our balmy climate is the ideal companion for my preferred footwear…

Most of the time.

There are those few chilly months when open toes are not ideal (ok, ok, they’re downright impractical). So I bite the bullet and slip on shoes that cover my entire foot. It’s usually a pair of boots, with, yes, a wedge heel. And I usually can’t wait to slip them off.

But these Maison Martin Margiela peep toe ankle boots (spotted on Forty Five Ten’s new website) seem like the perfect compromise. They would cover pretty much all of my feet (and heck, even my ankles). But my toes, well my toes would be happy and free.


Comme des Garcons’ Neon Wallets Make Your Handbag Infinitely More Functional (At Least That’s What I’m Going With)

When it comes to sartorial matters, I consistently eschew color. Ok, ok, I’m actually a little scared of color… There I admitted it. (But then again, my steadfast devotion to a wardrobe brimming with black, grey, and white is not exactly a secret.)

However when it comes to accessories, I’m willing to throw caution to the wind. Cobalt blue scarf? Bring it on. Emerald green wedges? Sure, I’ll go there. And, if it’s something I can hide (i.e. wallets and pouches), heck, I’ll even embrace a little neon. (Watch out, I’m going crazy here friends.) And if the neon wallets and pouches happen to be the Comme des Garcons numbers I spotted at Five & Ten earlier this week, well…I’m all in.

If I possessed one of these bad boys, I can’t help think that I’d never lose my wallet in the black hole that is my handbag again. And that alone is worth the price tag, yes?

Mommy Chic

I love it when a blog lives up to its name. Like, say…Mommy Chic. The site is the brainchild of a Dallas mama who sports some serious maternity style. I can safely say I never (ever) looked remotely as pulled together (and yes, chic) as she does when I was pregnant with the girlies. (Evidence above and below…)

In fact, her spot-on style makes me (almost) want to get pregnant again…Well not really, but her sartorial prowess is really quite something, yes?

The Quest for A Chic Bag…

I am in constant search of a big “schlepper” bag that still manages to look chic (without costing me more than my first car). It’s an elusive enterprise, but I’m not giving up. I am determined… I know it’s out there.

My holy grail is a big monogrammed (I am obsessed with the monogram) Goyard tote, à la Gwyneth’s number to the right… One of my very stylish co-workers carries a giant Emerald green one that manages to look cool even when it’s brimming with work files and pacifiers and baby gadgets (and given that said co-worker is also the mom of a toddler, it is usually is). The true mark of a bag’s chicness is, after all, its ability to stand-up against lovies and goldfish crackers and plastic toys, yes?

Sadly, the Goyard is decidedly out of my price range, but the replicating my beloved monogram *might* just be doable.

I snapped up that exact roomy camel leather tote below from Banana Republic last year, and it’s proved a perfectly good bag — it’s functional; it sports buttery leather; it’s ideal for schlepping — but otherwise it’s a pretty basic enterprise. There’s nothing especially chic about it.

Enter operation “paint my own Goyard-esque monogram”. (I know, I know, that’s an awfully long name for an operation.)

I spotted a tutorial for adding a stripe and monogram to an existing bag here, and it’s possible that (with a little help from my artistic husband) I might actually be able to pull this off. A chic, schlepping tote could very well be in my future.

I’m headed to Michaels for leather paint this weekend…I’ll let you know how it goes!

Chooze Shoes

The girlies are in the midst of “discovering” their personal style. I’m trying to be laid back about the whole enterprise, but it’s hard when one of them comes out sporting teal gym shorts, a white sequined poncho-like top, and two different shoes. But I don’t want to squelch their creativity…plus I figure this is a make or break moment, setting the tone for how we interact on matters of clothing for the rest of our lives.

So I’m chilling out, going with the flow… and buying some of these genius Chooze Shoes stat.  My lovely co-worker Krista turned me on to them, and I’m totally smitten. The line was founded by Dallas mom and artist, Sharon Blumberg, in an effort to, wait for it…give her sartorially daring daughters (they were constantly wearing two different shoes), options for their non-matching kicks.

The shoes are colorful, fun, made completely of vegan materials, and they give back. As a Good Returns company, at the end of each year CHOOZE invests its profits in anti-poverty programs that provide training, support, education, and loans to women so they can start their own businesses and lift themselves out of extreme poverty.

Sharon Blumberg, you’re my hero…

Freckled Chicken

My friend (and fellow Dallas mama) Pam Stroffolino turned me on to Holly Hester’s line Freckled Chicken. I’m loving her one-of-a-kind skirts featuring pops of fruit print fabric above. They’re like a child version of the Prada and Stella McCartney fruit action that ruled this spring.

Très chic.

(Stella McCartney and Prada skirts in action via The Man Repeller.)

into the weekend

I think it’s safe to say that most of us grew up hearing the story of Charlotte’s Web. I’m sure my dad read it to us at least four times, and each time we were a rapt audience. To see E.B. White’s classic tale played out in live-action, schlep the fam over to Casa Mañana where the story is staged from Feb 10-26. (For free tickets this Friday, check out this giveaway over here.) (image courtesy FrontRow)

For all you fashion savvy who like good things on the cheap, you’re in luck. F.I.G’s  Finale Sale is this weekend. Grab a ticket to score designer duds for a fraction of the retail price. (image courtesy pink memo)

And on Sunday, absorb some culture at the Amon Carter in Fort Worth for Family Funday. Make art with the kiddos and explore the galleries. Be sure to check out the newest show, Romance Maker: Watercolors of Charles M. Russell, which is sure to delight any wannabe cowboys in your bunch.

tiny loves

Classic clutches by Herringbone (and pretty much everything about the ensemble above, right down the to red nails.) via sacramento street

Fiddle-leaf figs, and Joslyn’s D Home post with scoop on where to find them in Dallas.


Ottomans made from Indian textiles spotted at st. michael’s women’s exchange.

Festive paper straws, perfect for Valentine’s parties. Spotted in the DMA gift shop.

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