If you’d told me that I would find almost no enjoyment in shopping for my children’s wardrobe, I would have taken it almost personally.
Six months pregnant and happily none the wiser about said impending monumental change in my life, I had visions of mini mes running around in Liberty prints and soft pastel shades, sporting fabulous independent labels and frolicking in stylish shoes. But instead, my eldest daughter, Nancy, knows exactly what she wants to wear. Every day is a hardcore Brexit style negotiation. There are few tantrums, just lengthy deliberations: “Can I wear this stripey top Mamma?” (I wonder why the pyjama trend can’t simply filter down to children’s wear and save us some much needed morning time).
Nancy has a purist obsession with Breton stripes. She rarely opts for a dress. In her perfect world, she’d wear tights and her ‘horsey top’ (Ralph Lauren). No trousers or skirt necessary (try explaining that tights aren’t trousers). And then there is the, well, quite frankly, mind boggling obsession with the colour orange. I should point out here that Nancy is not 16, she is two and half year old.
“I wonder where she gets it from” friends say with a smirk. “A mini Voguette in the making, don’t you love that she is interested?” Well, yes but to be honest you try and find a half decent orange jumper or orange pair of jeans for a two year old girl. Strangely enough, the design teams at my go-to brands of choice – Boden, M&S, Gap – do not give orange the time of day in their toddler collections. They are too busy with princess outfits and fairy dust sparkles. And if orange does take centre stage, there are tractors, diggers, sharks, and pirates dancing all over the place. It would be verging on bullying.
The Rules of Mother-Daughter Dressing
My dreams of having a daughter dressed head to toe in Bonpoint or Olivier Baby are a long way off just yet. Instead I’ve had to turn to other areas of our life to fill in the orange void. The other day I found a neon orange cup for Nancy. I loaded orange Play-Doh into my trolley at the supermarket, I threw some Haliborange vitamins in for good (orange) measure. I found some orange sunglasses, an orange whistle, and I have promised Nancy that when she grows out of her current Crocs, we will replace them with an orange pair (do you know how long it takes to grow out of Crocs?) But Christopher Kane, if you’re listening, please can you do a children’s line of orange Crocs to save my sanity?
If anyone stumbles upon orange must-haves that shout pretty rather than pirate then answers on a postcard… For now, we will embrace butternut squash, orange lollies, mango puree and a lot of Lancaster suncream this summer. And just wait until Nancy learns about Hermès bangles…..