As far as I can remember the evolution of my own fashion sense went something like this:
- Phase one, around when I started dressing myself: any and all combinations of patterns - plaids, stripes, polka dots, you name it.
- Phase two, most of the rest of my childhood: things get a little vague here, I remember specific articles of clothing rather than any one general "look" - my Chuck E. Cheese t-shirt, striped pajamas, and a matching top and bottom outfit with fuchsia and orange stripes.
- Phase three, the early awkward teenage years: plaid shirts, baggy blue jeans, turtlenecks. I remember in ninth grade being aware that the other girls had clothes from Gap and Express, but not really knowing what that meant, and despite a vague desire to be more like them (yes, even the hair-sprayed bangs), not caring enough to investigate further.
- Phase four and five, the later teenage years (this one is two phases because more than any other time I feel like one led directly to the next): Manic Panic hair (pick a color, any color) and Converse with tie-dyed shirts, cutoff shorts, jeans with holes in them and possibly a few patches became Manic Panic and Converse with wild patterned tights (argyle, plaid, stars, the crazier the better) and super short mini skirts.
- Phase six, the rest: jeans, sweaters, t-shirts, hoodies, black boots, sneakers, lots of black and blue and brown - pretty standard (read boring) stuff. Comfortable. Functional.
My favorite part about Matilda's newfound fashion sense is that it's all her. I mean, sure she lives in the world and has seen a bit of the good the bad and the hideous when it comes to fashion, but, as I'm sure you can tell by my current "look," I don't exactly follow the latest trends. And the best part is she's not pulling her look from the Disney channel or whatever tween magazines the kids are reading these days.
Because I want to remember this properly, Matilda has agreed to work with me on a project. Beginning on her ninth birthday (today!), I will take her picture every morning for a full year. I will post the pictures daily at yearofmatilda.tumblr.com. Since she is only nine, the blog will be password protected, but please email me at nell.meanwhile [at] gmail.com if you'd like to follow Matilda's fashion evolution over the course of the coming year. It should be good one, she's finishing up third grade, gearing up to move back to her native Berkshires for a joyous reunion with her once and always BFF Aurora and start fourth grade at a new/old school in the fall, and who knows what other adventures might be ahead! Follow our blog and find out - it's going to be fun year.