Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

Winter is coming. Are you ready to argue with your fashion-focused daughters about wearing clothes that won’t lead to hypothermia?

I’ve been facing this annual struggle since our youngest daughter, Anika, could pick her own clothes (which started happening even before she could actually dress herself in them). Anika is a fashionista who marches to the beat of her own style. She has an older sister and three older female cousins and a beautiful auntie who have influenced her from birth, and she is incredibly comfortable putting together original outfits. In addition, she is a confident and happy little girl who likes to make a statement. She loves to add accessories like hats, scarves, suspenders, flashy socks, and fancy headbands.

Unfortunately, her ensembles tend to revolve around dresses and skirts and preferably sandals. As it becomes colder, the thought of getting her into a pair of pants or socks and shoes is dreaded as much as the onset of the flu season. When she was young, we had trouble getting her to dress for the season, and never wanting to break her spirit, we had to get creative about finding ways to get her to dress warmly for winter without ruining the fashion statement.

If you have a daughter who is more worried about fashion than freezing to death, these tips may help you survive:

1. Instead of making her skip the skirts and dresses, buy some cute leggings and warm tights she can wear underneath. Adding layers works for the top half, too, with turtlenecks and long sleeve shirts.

2. Keeping the head warm is the best way to fight frigidity; Anika likes hats anyway, so each year I pick up several hats and gloves in different colors (from the thrift store and from the previous year’s clearance sales).

3. Let her feel like she is in control. While we won’t let her walk out the door in a pair of sandals when there is 2 feet of snow on the ground, if Anika wants to wear winter boots and take shoes to change into during the school day, why argue?

4. Set out the clothes and accessories the night before to save time in the morning.

5. Communicate with your child about the weather and expected changes and help her get excited about what the different seasons can add to fashion fun.

Our daughters are beautiful no matter how they dress and what they wear, so never forget to let yours know that who she is on the inside is what really matters.