Many of you have written asking me to write a post about clothing: how do I do it with so many kids, how do I dress them… Many of the things that I will explain I grew up with in my family when I was young, so of course, I learned a lot of it from my own parents.
When my kids are young I dress them all the same for various reasons: functionality, it’s easier to choose clothes, they don’t fight, and they’re easier to find in large crowds…
During the week it’s easy, because they go to school in their uniform. On the weekends they ask me, “What should we wear today?”, and I tell them the red outfit, or the green, or the jeans depending on where we are going (to the museum, on a hike in the mountains…). On the weekends we do not usually stay at home very much since we live in a flat and the kids needs to run in the fresh air. For this, we usually try to make plans outside: go watch soccer or basketball games, after lunch maybe we go to a museum or go for a walk/skate down to Diagonal.
I try to pick dresses for my daughters that are printed and have a lot of colors. I don’t like white very much, because the minute they put them on they stain them with some tomatoes from the pasta at lunch… My daughters help each other to fix the buttons when they fall off, and if the buttons are on the back, they help each other to fasten them while standing in a line so it’s much easier.
I usually like to choose shoes for them that don’t have laces (it’s impossible to tie the shoes of 10 kids). My first daughter had a different pair of shoes for each outfit, but from that experience I learned that a couple pairs of shoes is plenty. The day that they break we either get them fixed or we go buy some new ones. They also have a pair of running shoes and slippers. The boys always have one pair of soccer shoes, of course 🙂
One of the blessings of a large family is that everything is re-used and passed down. Of course, there’s the difficulty of having very limited space. So when we have to buy a new outfit it means that an older one has to go. In the spring we usually buy an outfit for the communions and other parties we might have. We never buy anything that is brand name. We don’t pay five times the price for a shirt just because it has a label. I explain this to them, and they understand, but sometimes the pressure of friends and society is quite difficult. The ones that they do have that are brand names they either bought themselves or it was a gift from a friend or family member. To dress well you definitely don’t need to buy the most expensive clothes. They need to be creative and recycle pieces to fit together with a personal touch or maybe some different accessories.
I try very hard to teach them good taste. As I understand it, the term elegance comes from Latin and it means to choose, or to select. It’s important to understand how to choose the right clothes for every occasion: you can’t go to the beach in a suit and you can’t wear a bathing suit to the church… Sometimes I have to remind my children and their friends if they come to visit our house, “you made a mistake, right now we are in the city not at the beach.” Sometimes my kids when they open the door tell me, “Mom, don’t say anything… they’ll never come back if you do…” Of course I still tell them, but I make sure to tell them with love and the next time they come back they come with a smile, because they know that I love them. The friends of my children are my friends.
I educate my children with modesty so that they know how to defend their intimacy and how to reveal it in the appropriate time. I tell my daughters that their friends should be focused on them, not on their legs or their chest because of the way that they dress.
For party dresses there are so many amazing options online. One of my favorite stores for my children is Primark. The underwear, which they need a lot of, socks and pajamas are very reasonably priced and my children love them.
I don’t change the wardrobe between summer and winter. Everything is always in the same place. This way I save a lot of work. However, in order to make this work, the kids have to give away or recycle clothes that they no longer use. If I see something in their wardrobe that they haven’t used in a year… It takes work not to accumulate too many unneeded clothes. The order gives a lot of peace to families.
And when I organize their wardrobe I never do it alone. I always do it with the children so that they can learn.
This post was originally published on comoserfelizconunodostreshijos.com on May 1st, 2018.