Growing up is overrated. Little kids have it so much easier: naptime, ten minutes of homework a night. Not to mention really awesome snacks.
Plus, little kids really know how to dress (or maybe their moms really know how to dress them). They have fun with their clothes without worrying about trends or what’s professional. Maybe that’s why I distrust Jessica Alba’s new fashion line for babies and toddlers, which she says will be “similar to what their stylish parents wear.”
But why should our clothing be in a hurry to grow up? Considering all the studying (torture) we’re put through, why should we take our winter wardrobes super seriously? Have a little fun this dreary season with clothing inspired by 5-year-olds.
Animals: No, not animal prints, and not animal fur! Rather, rock the lion-shaped mittens or wellies with frog faces on them. The more exotic the creatures, the better: unicorns, dragons and dinosaurs are prime 5-year-old real estate. The key to making this work is to only wear one of these accessories at a time, but wear them proudly! You and that ladybug umbrella? Stylin’!
Mismatched colors: Vogue is probably telling you that gray is in this season, but how many first-graders do you who know read Vogue? Dressing like a little kid is all about doing what you like, regardless of what other people are going to think. If pink and yellow are your favorite colors, who cares if that girl down the hall tells you they clash so much they make her eyes hurt? Don’t worry about matching your purse to your shoes, or finding the right shade of green earrings. If you want to layer purple, green and orange over each other, go right ahead. They make you happy. So wear them.
Glow-in-the-dark: It is my personal belief that every single one of us has, at some point in our lives, owned a glow-in-the-dark shirt. For some reason, once you hit middle school, these blacklight wonders were no longer cool. Whoever made this decision was completely wrong. These shirts are not only cool, but usually educational: that one with the constellations on it might even help you with your Modern Cosmology midterm. And glow-in-the-dark details make it really easy to find your clothes when you’re picking them off of someone else’s floor at 3 a.m.
Funky hair clips: This one is mostly for the ladies, as there probably aren’t many boys among us whose mothers did their hair before they went to school. Seriously though, why are the options for girls’ hair now limited to curled, straightened or up in a ponytail? Where are the pom-pom scrunchies and holiday-themed barrettes of yesteryear? While butterfly clips are a fad that died and should stay buried, other festive and creative hair decorations deserve a second chance. Tie your braids with ribbons, or get one of your friends to give you one of those hair wraps that were so popular back in the day. Or make your own hair clip: you just need a barrette, glue and decorations from a craft store (glitter, charms, paint, etc.). You’ll look awesome and have a great conversation starter.
Sneakers: The ultimate status symbol. Whether you’re a kindergartener or an NBA player, sneakers are a great way to show off your personality (and bank account) to everyone else. What better way to do it than with a pair of pink Dora the Explorer kicks? Those of you with small feet are in luck, because America’s children are getting big enough that their shoes just might fit you. And never forget: the coolest shoes in the world are the ones that light up when you walk. You’ll be a huge hit at dance parties and you’ll look great running around the track at SPAC.
So kids, take another look in your closet. Give the pea coat and pressed pants a break. Bring out the pom-pom hats and shirts that have pictures of lizards. Dressing like a five-year-old won’t just make you look cool, it’ll make you happy, too.