27 answers

Picky About Clothes

My three year old knows what he does and doesn't want to wear and makes it very clear. A couple examples are that he is still wearing his boots with no snow in sight and insists on wearing jeans every day. I am trying to "pick my battles" and I was wondering what your opinions where on if I should let him pick out his clothes or say this is what I picked out, end of story.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for your input. I have decided to set times that I have say in his clothes (like for church) and the rest of the time let him pick it out. If we are going somewhere I will bring alternates, like his shoes instead of his boots, in case he wants them. Anyway, basicaly, I decided not to stress about it.
The funny thing is my 4 year old daughter, who has always let me have say, got dressed by herself today while I was in the shower. I came out to green and pink camo pants with a orange flower shirt and she was so proud, I just said "great job."

Featured Answers

My daughter started dressing herself at the age of 2. I wanted to tape a paper on her everyday that said "I dressed myself!" because she looked like such a ragamuffin. Now she is ten and a fashion plate all on her own. When I would tell my boys (now ages 12 and 13) that their clothes didn't match, they didn't care, but they do now. It is just part of growing up. I totally disagree with the mom who wants to make every decision for her children incl. what movies they want to watch. Why are they not allowed to have an opinion??

1 mom found this helpful

I always let my kids pick their own clothes. It was very interesting at times, the not matching, haphazard outfits, but they enjoyed it, and I believe it has helped give them a more sense of self worth.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi B.,
I'm with ya!!! My son wore his boots yesterday because he felt like it. I don't worry to much about it. Every once and awile I cringe a little because he doesn't match or looks ridiculous. LOL!! He is very receptive when I tell him that it doesn't match and to try again. Usually the second time around it does match. My son will be 5 in August so he is a little older. I think that around that age I would pick out 3 shirts and 3 pant or shorts and let him pick. I like that he is independant. I wouldn't worry about it. Any person that has kids will probably laugh and know that they have been there. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

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I totally disagree with the mom who said he needs to wear what you tell him. These are little people, not robots. My taste in clothing is not the same as my sons, even at 3 years old. I can tell him that he needs to pick long/short sleeves or if he needs to pick something nice for church...but why would I want to micromanage his every decision? We are supposed to be teaching our kids how to be grownups making good choices and yes, that starts with simple logic like what to wear. What does it hurt me if he wants to wear blue instead of the red that I grabbed?!?! I say, as long as he is not whining/fit throwing/arguing, then this is a battle best left unfought! My son wore boots the other day when it was warm enough for no coat...silly, yes but only to us grownups who think we need rules!! :)


3 moms found this helpful

I read your update. There is a great book called "Aura Soma". It explains about colors...when a child picks out a color combination that we don't think matches it is really about an expression of what they are feeling inside or on a subconscious level. There are many color combinations and excellent interpretations of them. It may help you understand yourself and children better. Children have no say in our society...they are told what to wear, when to get up, to go to school, all types of structures....unfortunately these little flowers are trimmed and structured to be "picture perfect" instead of allowing them to grow in their most natural, creative, and individual way. I have my daughter who is 2 1/2 and needs to change her outfits min. 5 times a day...maybe she needs her independence and maybe she is expressing how she feels...it is very frustrating since I am alone with her and my 7 month old son all day...like I have nothing else to do but a fashion show, but on Saturday when we go to Temple it is my decision what she wears and that is the end of discussion...she needs appropriate attire...so I call them her "Shabbat Pretties" and now she knows that we are going to see all of her friends and to hear the Torah. It works in our house.
Good Luck with everything.

2 moms found this helpful

I had this problem with my 5 year old when she was three, she would want to go outside in 90 degree weather with her winter boots on. I would get into heated discussion with my 3 year old every day about these boots. One day I went to work and discussed it with my co worker, an older lady who told me of the story of a child being kidnapped at Disneyland. The mother would get into stressful discussions about her daughter and these pink rain boots the child wanted to wear all the time The child had been kidnaped and the kidnappers took the little girl into the bathroom shaved her head and dressed her like a little boy. The only way that the mother and police ended up recognizing the child at a distance was from the pink rain boots. After hearing the story I was in awe and every day my daughter wanted to go outside in these hot winter boots I would let her. I would take an additional pair of shoes along (she was claiming her identity). Naturally she grew out of it.

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter picks her clothes out every day. Sometimes several times a day.. but I actually encourage it! I would rather her know what to wear... now this winter when she put on a tank top if we were at home it was ok... if we were heading out we put on a sweater over top.


2 moms found this helpful

Some are more picky than others... My 3 yr old is currently obsessed with a turtleneck that has race cars on it...
I let him pick out his own clothes... kids and really old people are not looked down on if they don't match clothes wise... its only us middle people that are looked at weird if walking thru the store wearing a tennis shoe and a slipper... lol
He's practicing what his style is gonna be and exploring his independence. I would say that the only time to really be firm about it would be times of importance... Like if he wanted to wear swim trunks to a wedding he was the ring bearer in... etc...

1 mom found this helpful

You do need to pick your battles and I don't see why this would be a battle...let him wear what he wants unless it's shorts in a foot of snow. You could maybe suggest a few options, but he should beable to pick his own cloths. With 4 kids I'm thrilled when even one of them can handle the getting dressed task with out my help!

1 mom found this helpful

Personally, I'd go with 'pick my battles' - if you find his clothes embarrassing, try wearing a button or t-shirt that says 'he dressed himself today'...

My husband often got overly-involved in what our kids were wearing, and it was always about the mythical 'what other people will think.' I figured if they were clean, modest and in no danger of dire weather consequences, it really had nothing to do with me -- or the mythological 'thinkers' in the crowd of judgemental onlookers.

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried picking out a couple of things and letting him choose between those items? I do that with my 2 year old, who also can be very particular about whating to pick out her own stuff. Since she started that, I started picking out 2-3 things and letting her choose between those items. If she asks for something else, I tell her that what she is asking for isn't one of her options for today. At first, we still had some issues - and occasionally she still disagrees, but gets over it much more quickly when I say 'that's not one of your choices today - which one of these do you want?'

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