When Ilona started to go to kindergarten, a little over two years ago, I tried as much as possible to temper the “extravagant” clothes. And this wasn’t at all an easy thing, as I think you’ve already noticed. I admit, I still have nostalgia for school uniforms and although the kindergarten Ilona is attending doesn’t require children to wear one, I tried, step-by-step, that the clothes she wears in collectivity to preserve elements of the school outfits because later, when she will have to wear a uniform, to be much easier for her.
I had some work to do in order to convince her, as you can imagine. “But, maman, I want to wear the blouse with Elsa and the dress with kitty-cats” was the response I received invariably whenever I tried to advise her to wear a one-color piece, without any print or even a neutral color. What did I do? I cheated, as I am convinced you often do with your children.
So I convinced Ilona, through negotiations, that she can take her kitty shaped bag, that she hardly can leave behind, but, in order to do that, she should wear a white shirt with a navy cardigan over: “We’re moving to serious business, Ilona, you are grown now and you should dress accordingly”. The classic headband, which, if you remember, on our times was supposed to be in an immaculate white, I allowed her to replace it with one that had a bow and applications. I said that she’s free to experiment with accessories – they can never be too extravagant. “They season the outfit, right, maman? Just like Papa adds basil to food so it would be good, n’est-ce pas“? They don’t miss anything, as you see!
She also accepted the skirt to be in a neutral color, but she didn’t compromise when it came to textures – she chose a nude one made of satin, with two layers of veil and shining applications. The “kitty” reason was the criteria after she chose the shoes, and when it came to knee sockes she didn’t say anything. “Winter is coming, maman, I can’t walk so uncovered!”. Ilona, simply Ilona!
Ilona is wearing a button-up shirt, cardigan, skirt, bag, headband, shoes and socks, all from Bonpoint.
Photo: Lasc Media