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As your child ages and fashion trends change, keeping your child looking his or her best can often be a challenge. As the seasons turn and weather plays a role in your child’s wardrobe, you are often likely to be at the crossroads between what a child “needs” for their wardrobe and the types of styles that you or your child would prefer to wear. This is when a wardrobe upgrade is in order. Here are a five tips to help you upgrade your child’s style.

 

  1. Step outside your comfort zone.

If you feel as if you are in a “style rut” when it comes to your child’s clothing, you may have to accept that you are your own worst enemy. As humans, we become accustomed to liking and disliking certain colors, tastes, smells–and clothes. While it's unlikely that you dress your child in the exact same clothes every day, you should examine your current wardrobe to see if you do, in fact, tend to follow the same types of wardrobe patterns. If you want to upgrade your child's style, you may need to start considering styles you have not considered before. This is easier, of course, when your children are younger and you are still their CEO of style. As your children get older, they may be more likely to branch out when it comes to picking clothing for themselves. And even if your children are already older, the ability to see the beauty in mismatched styles and unusual materials and textures will give you more flexibility when it comes to choosing–or simply accepting–your child’s style.

 

  1. Let your child participate in the clothing selection process.

Depending on the age of your child, your role in his or her clothing choices will change. When they are babies and toddlers, you generally have full control over how you dress them. But as they age, children want to have more autonomy in a number of areas of their life, and that includes their clothing selections. Finding clothes you love for your son and daughter do you no good if only you love them. Differing style choices between children and their parents have provided fodder for dinner conversations for generations. But there is nothing that says that by allowing your children to choose their own clothes, that you are actually giving anything up. The next time you shop, ask your child to pick five articles of clothing that he likes, and tell them you will do the same. Keep the request specific (five short-sleeved shirts, five sweaters, five pairs of jeans, etc.). Meet back in the fitting room and check out the results. You may be surprised how close some items may resemble each other. To the extent possible, allow your child to choose some of his own favorites. Yet even if nothing he chose is appropriate, you can always pick ten items yourself and allow him to pick the five of those that he likes the most. Either way, involving your kids in the decision-making process is important.

 

  1. Build upon what you have.

Just because you are looking for a style upgrade does not mean you cannot use what you have. Go through your child’s current wardrobe and pick out the pieces you wish to keep and which still fit. Then, using these pieces as your base, choose accompaniment pieces to give them (partly) new overall looks.

 

  1. Look for inspiration.

Nobody says you have to do this alone. Remember that the fashion world neither begins nor ends with your children, and that much more experienced shoppers and designers do this for a living. Follow their skills and incorporate them into your own shopping trips. Discover inspiration in magazines, on television, in movies, and even on the street. Photograph, draw, or just jot down details about what you like, and use those components to discover inspirational items on your own.

 

  1. Do not forget to accessorize.

Accessories can upgrade your child's style in a heartbeat. In the winter, accessorizing is simple with scarves and gloves. But scarves can actually be worn year-round, and the soul of a new outfit can simply be found in something as simple as new laces or a sought-after backpack.