The first time my girls saw someone with pink hair they couldn’t stop staring. And it wasn’t very long after that encounter that both of them told me they wanted to dye their hair pink.
I guess I thought this might happen in the teenage years, but it wasn’t something I had expected from my then three and four year old girls.
So, I gave them a vague reply about how maybe one day they could dye their hair pink, but not now. Thankfully, that ended the conversation. But I’m fairly confident this, and other questions about fashion and appearance, will arise as the years go by.
How am I going to handle them? Honestly, I don’t know. Because there are certain things about fashion that aren’t wrong. Just different or maybe not my preference. But does that mean I don’t allow them?
And what about when they want to wear a plaid shirt and a flowered skirt? Or put ten different colors of nail polish on their fingers? Or wear their hair parted oddly? Or put on a sweatshirt in the middle of summer?
These are real issues I face and my girls are now just 6, 5, and 2.
I want them to be free to express themselves, but I also want them to have some basic guidelines to go by as they learn how to dress themselves, fix their hair, put on makeup, and even purchase clothes and accessories.
I am not a fashion expert. You’ll rarely find me wearing any jewelry other than earrings. And I don’t wear designer clothes or change my makeup style from day to night.
So this is a straight-up simple post on some fashion/beauty/personal care tips that I want my girls to know before they go out on their own.
Understand which colors go together. I’m hoping they’ll get this as they learn more about the color wheel in art class at school; some of this just comes with age and observing the world around us. But when they come to me with a pink skirt and a cherry red top, I will say No. It just doesn’t look great, and helping them navigate these small things now will teach them how to put colors together on their own. I found this article to be helpful.
Know how to mix patterns. This article has some great tips. Basically, I want the girls to know that not everything looks good together. Yes, creativity is fun, and someday if they want to put houndstooth and plaid together, go for it. But not while I’m making the decisions.
Apply makeup simply and beautifully. There are probably thousands, maybe millions, of makeup tutorials online. I learned how to put on makeup at a Mary Kay party back when I was a teenager. I still use those basic tips today, and as mentioned before, not changing it up very much. Real Simple has some easy tips for basic application. And I’d love for my girls to understand these. Then, if they want further tips at some point in life, we’ll research and figure them out.
Know how to appropriately groom. Plucking their eyebrows, shaving and/or waxing, and keeping their hair healthy with trims and/or cuts as needed. I don’t want them entering their teenage years and finding out how to do these things from their friends, so I want to be proactive about teaching them some of these simple tasks.
Basic hygiene. Brushing teeth, flossing, applying deodorant daily (or more as needed), washing hair, showering and/or bathing on a regular basis. These things seem like common sense but it’s amazing how many people neglect these daily tasks.
Put a wardrobe together without breaking the bank. I’m still figuring this out, and much of my hesitation in investing in a capsule wardrobe or really finding ‘my style’ as an adult, is because I’m waiting to be out of the baby-bearing stage. For the past seven years I’ve been in and out of maternity clothes and just trying to get through another season with what’s available in the closet. Once I have this baby and lose the pregnancy weight once and for all, I’ll be researching further and putting together my own long-lasting wardrobe. Again, there are tons of articles on this, but I found this one to be helpful and straightforward.
Fix their hair. Brushing hair, putting it in a ponytail, braiding, blow-drying, curling, flat irons….there’s so much they could learn here. But if they can get some of the basis, we’ll go from there if they want to know more. I love the hairstyle tips that Kate shares on The Small Things Blog. I would do well to spend more time perusing her site and learning from her techniques.
What fashion/beauty tips would you want your girls to know?
This is Day 17 of a series “Lessons for my Daughters”. Click here for a complete list of posts.