It's interesting to me, then, to witness my daughters' relationship to clothes. Willow has dressed herself since she was about two and a half, choosing her entire outfit each day--the only conditions I put upon her are that she has to cover her genitalia if she wants to leave the yard and she has to follow the school dress code when dressing for school (Montessori dress code isn't too big of a deal, since it's pretty common sense--play clothes instead of dresses; sneakers instead of cowboy boots or sandals; no pop culture media references; no jewelry; no costumes. Will's teacher only starts to get REALLY crazy when winter comes and she's telling you what kind of zipper she wants on your kid's snowsuit and hanging up an example of the kind of gloves you're NOT supposed to buy--after 40+ years in the game, the lady has her opinions).
I usually choose Sydney's outfit and dress her, because she has yet to have any interest in those activities for herself. Oh, and I'll occasionally make/sew matching articles of clothing for the girls and ask them to, in Willow's words, "be matches" now and then for my own amusement.
So for the past several days, when I've thought of it, I've been taking photos of the girls after they've finally gotten dressed for the day. I get a kick out of seeing what they're wearing and where it came from: This was yesterday, just before school. Sydney is wearing a striped onesie that her Grandma Janie bought her on clearance at Target two summers ago; white leggings with green butterflies that Grandma Janie bought at Old Navy and sent her last month (Willow has a matching one with pink butterflies, but the seams ripped in it the first time she wore it--I have my suspicions about Old Navy's workmanship); a wool vest that I bought at Goodwill; and red and pink shoes that I scored when I ended up transporting garage sale leftovers after a fundraiser (that I would be "going through" said garage sale leftovers before dropping them off at Goodwill was understood. Probably. (ahem)).
Willow is wearing a ratty old pajama top with planets and astronauts on it that I had intended to be a painting shirt when I dumpster-dived it; a pair of embroidered jeans from Goodwill; and a pair of pink and white shoes handed down from one of her little girlfriends--the growing-like-a-weed little girl blew through them in about a week, but they're still about two sizes too big for Willow, not that she cares.
This was not a school day, obviously--I don't know if you can tell, but the girls have removed the frame from my laundry bag in the closet and are using it as their "ballet barre" while they try to imitate the positions in the ballet book there in front of me. Willow is wearing a tutu I made for her while Sydney is wearing a dance skirt that was one of her birthday presents from a little neighbor girl; they're both wearing handmade necklaces, also gifts from the same party.
Oops, I shouldn't have let Willow wear those Powerpuff Girls pajama pants to school! With it she's wearing a grey velvet shirt from Goodwill, and Sydney is wearing conductor overalls sent years ago from Grandma Shoemaker to baby Willow in honor of Grandpa Shoemaker's career on the rails, and a dumptruck sweatshirt from the sidewalk exchange at our Recycling Center.
Here Sydney is wearing a flowered shirt and flower-cuffed capris (long pants last winter) that match but that I got from the Recycling Center on DIFFERENT days (wahoo!), and Willow is wearing a housefly shirt and comfy sweats from Goodwill. They're both wearing their matching candy-pink Converse Chuck Taylors from the mall.
This is Willow's school picture day, God help us. I've obviously just finished scrubbing her face to remove most of the black marker, but she chose a red shirt from Goodwill, a dumpster-dived kitty cat swing shirt (formerly a dress), plaid shorts from Goodwill, and mismatched socks. Sydney is wearing a vintage polyester dress from the Salvation Army thrift store and a blue Fuzzi Bunz.
And here Willow is wearing a ratty and poorly handmade dinosaur T-shirt that I picked up at the Recycling Center solely for the fabric but that is now, of course, Willow's most very favorite shirt that she wears everywhere so people can think I awkwardly and unevenly stitched it together for her and DIDN'T FINISH THE SEAMS! Anyway...Sydney has on a red dress with faux fur trim, also from the Recycling Center, and hiking boots that a friend gave me, assuring me her kid hardly wore them.
So I have no idea what patterns are revealed here, or what it's supposed to say about my children and their relationship to clothes. Does Willow wear whatever comes to hand first, or does she have some obscure reasoning as to color combination, material, or pattern? Does Sydney actually match in regards to what I dress her in, or sort of not? Do they look like all their clothes were originally worn by some other kids?
Or do they look totally awesome?