Monday, August 2, 2010

The Gurly Side of Things

In high school my favorite color was black. To even think about the color pink, let alone wear it, was completely forbidden in my mind. Pink was for preppies. For the pretty, popular girls. By the time I hit college, I added in the occasional splash of purple, just because in goth world, purple is acceptable. I remember when I was a kid, pre-high school, my mom would tell me that black was for funerals. She had one black suit, saved for just such an occasion. My, my, my how things have changed. Black is the new, uh, other-than-black, and a black suit (at least one!) is a staple item in any working-woman’s wardrobe.

Also in college, I fantasized about having children that I would dress in black, boys whose hair I would allow to grow to unacceptable lengths, girls decked in velvet or lace. Silly me. Yes, I grew out of it. And while it took some time beyond even that, I did eventually learn to embrace color. Lots of it. For three years I was the manager of a high-end women’s and children’s clothing store called Oilily, designed in the Netherlands. Oilily’s fundamental idea is that kids should dress like kids, not like mini-adults. Kids should be able to wear washable, fun, colorful, high-quality, beautifully-detailed clothing for all occasions. Their mothers should be able to be fashionable, yet still young at heart. Oilily never sold black. As the manager, I had to wear their clothing every day. Color and pattern became my mantra, and I knew then that any future child of mine would wear similar free-spirited apparel (although I knew I could not afford Oilily).

While I still cannot afford Oilily, I have tried to replicate their general tenets and beliefs when dressing Samantha, only on a shoestring budget. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of it. I have learned to love pink, orange and turquoise, both for her and for me. I love the balance and juxtaposition of whimsical and wearable. Play and pose. Fun and frill. Princess, mixed with a dollop of tomboy. I do worry that one day she will rebel against all things girly and decide that she’d prefer to wear black, but for the time being, she doesn’t mind what I put her in (except for her decision this weekend to change out of my initial offerings into her own selections, but I’ll save that for another blog post about independence). My photos today are a) from my cell phone, so please ignore the quality, and b) a glimpse into her exploration of the girly side of things.



11 comments:

Debbie @ Three Weddings said...

My oldest went true tom boy and is still in that phase. It's either jeans and t shirt or ultra dressy. Kind of a strange combination. Diva lives up to her name. Peanut is a little mixture of both, but very opinionated on what she wears. I really can't shop for her anymore without her input. Why waste good money on something she won't wear.

And, like you, I used to hate pink and now it's one of my favorite colors. I guess having 3 girls will do that to you.

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

love her adorable painted piggies!!! :)

Cathy said...

Ahhhh...love the little painted toes! I love dressing my girl in all things girly. I prayed for a little pink bundle of joy and got her. I hope Lily continues to let mommy have her way...lol. I'm off to go check out the website of the store you used to work at. Not that I can afford high end stuff either...

Renee said...

Great job on those little toe nails! Lydia loves to get her toe nails painted and amazingly she sits very still for it.

I have always admired the way you and Steve dress Samantha. She always looks so adorable (and comfortable).

CJ said...

I really hated pink for a long time. A really long time! Now that I have a girly girl and another on the way....pink isn't so bad! I just think of it as light red!

Melissa M said...

I won't be caught dead in a dress, but my little girl is in one almost daily. Go figure...Love the painted toes. :)

Heather said...

Oh I need to adopt your new mantra.I still prefer black and my girls,the older ones,dressed like little tomboys will long curly hair.That was about the only girly thing going on.Now,they still prefer a nice worn pair of bluejeans,as do I but we do break out of our boxes on occasion!As for Miss Zoey,pink was her color from NICU days and it hasn't left!

Darling pictures and love the toes!

my family said...

girls are so fun to dress. cute painted toes picture

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

Aaaw, look at her cute piggies! :) Like you, I never ever wore pink or purple in high school. It was dark or bland colors every day. And now? I love pink! I love purple! :)

Carol N. said...

Cutest little toes ever! Love that she's powdering her nose - who doesn't love that?

Nathan'smama said...

I was all about black in high school too, and never pictured myself having kids, much less doing the gender-stereotype thing. My neighbors down the street are so anti-pink for their baby girl they gave away any girly shower gifts and only dress her in gender neutral boy hand-me-downs. But not me. After Nathan was born, and we had to come to terms with ots of things (prematurity, DS, heart issues, etc), I really craved the normalcy of blue baby boy clothes for him!