Many of us have read about the woman who let her toddler dress her for a week. And if you ask me, looking to our toddler years for fashion inspiration is an excellent idea. Remember the days of frolicking in the garden in your Wellington boots and overalls and not worrying about much other than what you were having for your dinner? A time when it never crossed your mind that horizontal stripes were "unflattering" or that a tutu might not be the most "appropriate" thing to wear to the store.
Fashion didn’t matter to you then, mostly because your parents bought all of your clothes for you and on the rare occasion you did get to pick something out for yourself, it was a hugely exciting opportunity. Before the days of adolescence, when your clothes became the way you branded yourself to fit into a particular group and impress the right people, or to disguise or accentuate certain aspects of your developing body.
In the days when clothes were mainly for fun and for keeping you warm, dressing had a completely different dynamic and it is with great sadness that I have observed that many of the best clothes on the market are only available in children’s sizes. So here’s a run down of some the childrenswear concepts I’d most like to see in adult sizes, along with suitable adult alternatives where applicable, so we can all allow our inner toddler to dress us.
1. Hoods With Ears
I’ve written before about my love of animal-themed headgear and hoods with ears are no exception to this rule. There is nothing cuter to me than a baby with bear ears on its hood, so why not carry this trend on into adulthood?
Children's Coats By Little Goodall, $150, Etsy
ASOS Cosy Fleece Onesie with Hood and Ears, $50, ASOS
I never really grew out of my love of overalls, but they seem to be much more popular on toddlers than adults these days. The range of dungarees available to children fills me with envy, be they cute animal ones, dotty ones or ones with a really unique print... let’s get these in some bigger sizes! Not only do they look super cute, but they’re also extremely comfortable to wear, so there's no excuse.
Bunny Rabbit Dungaree Overalls, $62, Etsy
Retro Dungarees, $93, Etsy
I’m not a huge fan of the overly princess-y look, but a tutu looks so cute, especially when paired with something casual like a t-shirt. Like, "No big deal, I’m just wearing my tutu, what of it?" Wearing a tutu to work would bring a little more magic into everyday life.
Baby Tutu Skirt and Headband Set, $35, Etsy
Custom Ballet Tutu, $35, Etsy
4. Patterned Tights And Leggings
There are actually some amazing patterned leggings and tights available for adults, but all the best and most interesting ones are in kids’ sizes. When I look at these, I don’t even know why plain tights and leggings exist anymore.
Organic Cotton Leggings, $32, Etsy
Kawaii green apple print leggings, $25, Etsy
5. Costumes For No Reason
I think that people are just more accepting of children wearing costumes than they are of adults doing the same. If as an adult, you dress in costume, you’re supposed to have a reason. But bring back pointless fancy dress, I say! I’ve mentioned before that I love it when kids wear their superhero outfits for regular day to day activities, and I think I would possibly love it even more if adults could pull this one off, too.
Kids Cape Set, $20, Etsy
Women's Wonder Woman Costume, $44, Etsy
6. Quirky Headwear
Kids can just pull off headwear so much better than we can. Probably because they’re not worried about how silly they look. Confidence is everything, right?
"Samantha" Floral Crown, $10, Etsy
Floral Showgirl Headdress, $56, Etsy
7. Wellies, With Anything
I remember playing out in wellies all the time. Maybe because it rained a lot or because I was such a messy kid, but wellies were the outdoor footwear of choice for most of my childhood. And on a child, they look cute with any outfit. I still love a bright pair of wellingtons, though. They make you feel indestructible and protect your crazy patterned tights from anything you may wade through.
Range of Colored Wellies, Various Prices, Just-Wellies
Backpacks are so useful but always make me feel like I’m back at school. In a good way. I feel young and geekily cute. Novelty backpacks are even cuter. Let’s forsake stylish and sleek baggage for these goofy and practical beauties, especially ones that look like animals or turtle shells.
Tiger Toddler Backpack, $35, Etsy
Cat Ear Canvas Backpack, $33, Storenvy
9. Novelty Shoes
They quickly become annoying, but remember how much fun it was to wear sneakers with lights in the soles? Jumping around just for the sake of flashing your lights? And animal booties for babies are abundant. Whilst the Fitbit seems to be motivating many people to try to take as many steps as possible in a day, novelty shoes may also have this same effect — imagine the enjoyment of two little kitties bounding along with every step you take. Works for me!
Owl Baby Kix, $32, Etsy
Kitty Mary Janes, $82, Tukshoes
10. Not Necessarily "Flattering" Clothes
Wouldn’t it be great if we could take into adulthood the childlike lack of interest in how "flattering" our clothes are? Children don’t care if their butts looks big — especially if they’re wearing diapers. Without even paying much attention to it, as I grew into adulthood I began choosing only clothes that make my body look a certain way. For example, I would never choose anything that made my belly look bigger. I would love to reclaim the childish naiveté of not worrying about body image, of unquestioning acceptance of my body and celebrating what it allows me to do rather than worrying about how it looks.
Monster Hoody Set, $89, Color Me Whimsy
Custom Adult Dinosaur Sweatshirt, $38, Etsy
Images: Etsy/PiaMia Boutique; Courtesy Brands