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To ask you to help me dress DD?

(91 Posts)
AEJS Sat 13-Jan-18 15:45:47

My DD is 14 and would definitely describe herself as a 'tom boy'. Her outfit of choice would be dark skinny jeans and a black, oversized hoody. She has short hair, wears sneakers and rejects utterly anything feminine.

Normally I am perfectly happy with her style choices. I want her to be herself and be comfortable with what she wears.

However, DH and I are renewing our wedding vows next month. It is a very special day and I want everyone to look smart. We went shopping this morning for outfits. I had already resigned myself to the fact that she wouldn't wear a dress, haven't seen her legs since 2014 but I didn't think it would be so hard.

Nothing I picked out was right, she would choose nothing. Eventually we settled on a dark navy trouser suit which she consented to try on with a few different tops.

In the changing room she took ages to change and then when I asked to see she was standing there looking stunning in the suit but crying her eyes out. When I asked what was wrong she said she felt too feminine and not like her. We figured out it was the top she really hated and after discussing what she would like I found her a roll neck top to wear underneath the suit. Outfit purchased. She looks more like she's off to a funeral rather than a vow renewal though.

When we got home I couldn't stop thinking about it. A big part of me just wants her to wear what she likes and just be comfortable on the day. I want her to be able to express herself as she sees fit. BUT there's another part of me that just wants to say to her that it's only one day, please dress smartly.

I really don't want to fall out with her over this and I cannot explain why it's so important, it just is.


MrsNacho Sat 13-Jan-18 15:47:28

Could she wear smart black skinny jeans with a blouse?

Youllneverweealone Sat 13-Jan-18 15:50:17

The outfit you are describing sounds smart. Not traditionally wedding-y for a female guest, but smart.

If she was a boy, would you be happy with the outfit?

If it was me, I'd rather have a happy child in an outfit I didn't like, than a sad one in one I did. But my kids always look like scarecrows so....

Sorry not much help really.

TheExtraPickle Sat 13-Jan-18 15:54:27

There is nothing wrong with insisting she dress smartly- in the real world, she will almost certainly need to dress smartly for job interviews if not for work itself and will need to dress smartly for weddings and so on. That is part of life and she needs to get used to it. We can't always dress exactly as we want (I personally for example am very glamourous and would love a pencil skirt and killer heels for work but I have to wear a minging uniform which is in men's sizing)

However, I feel the problem here is that you are confusing "smart" with "feminine"

How would she feel about a men's suit with tie? I have seen women look stunning and androgynous in such an outfit. And definitely smart!

MrsNacho Sat 13-Jan-18 15:55:17

I think I would just be happy they compromised that far and meet them in the middle.

You will be the focus of attention any way 😊

EduCated Sat 13-Jan-18 15:55:56

Agree with everything Youllneverweealone has said.

Appraiser Sat 13-Jan-18 15:56:38

BUT there's another part of me that just wants to say to her that it's only one day, please dress smartly.

I really do feel for you because my parents generation (think 60 years old plus) would be of the view, you need to look smart for one day and you can wear what you want any other time. For some reason, we (myself included in this) are more aware of our children’s feelings / freedom of expression etc.

I think you’re right to compromise on a smart suit / polo neck but your dd needs to get over herself and understand it actually isn’t about her on the day, it about her mum and dad renewing their love for each other. Looking ‘smart’ isn’t necessarily about looking ‘feminine’.

What are you wearing?! I love a good nosey at other people’s wedding / renewal outfits

meladeso Sat 13-Jan-18 15:57:32

This might sound absurd and trivial but are there any people in the public eye she likes or admires?

What if she spent some time googling images of them at "events" which require a level of smartness? For inspiration I mean.

Definitely think black skinnies with a cool top could be non girlie and yet look suitable.

Pengggwn Sat 13-Jan-18 15:57:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Appraiser Sat 13-Jan-18 15:58:58

I meant to add, because we want our kids to express themselves, we almost allow it to go too far, in that they’re making every decision. Sometimes, the adult / parent needs to make the decision.

Also, would a shirt under the jacket work? Crisp white shirt looks lovely with blue, with some red shoes.

meladeso Sat 13-Jan-18 16:00:34

At a push even a blazer over regular jeans top and clean trainers could be survived?
I guess I'm trying to say that if you can find a picture that makes her feel excited that she could look like, however untraditional it might be, you have a starting point. It's so nice to feel nice.

Bambamber Sat 13-Jan-18 16:01:34

It's sounds as though she will still be dressed smart, just not how you'd like her to be dressed. I get it's just one day, but why is image more important than your DD happiness? It sounds as though she is trying but she just doesn't fit in with your image of the day. I feel for her, I was similar to her when younger and never felt like I belonged

Fifthtimelucky Sat 13-Jan-18 16:01:35

Agree with others that there is a difference between smart and feminine. Not unreasonable for you to expect smart. How about smart trousers, white shirt and a smart but colourful waistcoat?

Notreallyarsed Sat 13-Jan-18 16:02:47

If she’s distressed to the point of tears I’d let her wear whatever she wanted tbh. I’d hate to think that I’d put my own wants over my child’s feelings.

Ellisandra Sat 13-Jan-18 16:02:58

I'd let her wear what she wants. When you look back on the photos, don't you want to see your girl?

I'm getting married this year, my 9yo loves a fancy "feminine" dress. But has announced she's ditching it after the ceremony to wear crop top and leggings. She's currently dance obsessed. I will look back on photos of her in Pineapple Studios with happy memories, just as I look at photos of her at my sister's wedding in wellies, because she adored wellies aged 4.

Yes, she's going to have to conform to dress codes in future. But making her uncomfortable on a special day isn't going to make that any easier. Let her deal with that when she has to, and for now - let her be herself.

Ellisandra Sat 13-Jan-18 16:06:28

Just a thought on the "smart" clothes, if you insist / she wants to do it for you.

Is it possible you'll have well meaning relatives constantly telling her how great she looks? Either pointedly thinking they're helping, or just genuine niceness - but either way, putting her on the spot?

Can you imagine being in something that isn't you and having people comment on it all day? Would ruin the day for me. Even if she agrees - let her bring a bag of regular clothes to change into whenever she wants to.

AEJS Sat 13-Jan-18 16:08:06

The last thing I want her to feel is uncomfortable. It would just make the day miserable for everyone.

The outfit we chose is definitely smart and in my opinion not really feminine at all. I tried the dark jeans and blouse suggestion but she won't wear a blouse.

Right now I feel like saying just wear your normal clothes DD for an easy life. She can really sulk when things don't go her way and I don't want that.

On a more positive note DS 12 picked out his outfit easily. I think it's way easier for boys. And I am going to be wearing a long navy dress with lace around the neck line and shoulders. I will be keeping warm with a cream shrug. DH will wear his suit. I love him in a suit!

Invisimamma Sat 13-Jan-18 16:09:54

What about black skinny jeans with a blazer or waist coat, fittted shirt and a funky bow tie (or just a sky tie). It’s a good look!

ourkidmolly Sat 13-Jan-18 16:09:55


Hmm really think it is weird to wear a crop top and leggings to a wedding. Respect goes both ways, she can't be indulged in every whim imo. Respect and love for parents dictate that she should wear a dress at her parents wedding. Would you let her wear a bikini? It's ok to say no to a nine year old you know.

I'd be ok with the op's dd's choice. She sounds as if she's tried hard to compromise. I think it sounds quite smart actually.

ourkidmolly Sat 13-Jan-18 16:11:14

Sorry just seen it's after the ceremony. Was skimming.

Ellisandra Sat 13-Jan-18 16:16:24

@ourkidmolly thanks for that - I hadn't realised that I was allowed to say no, you might have just saved my parenting and her development hmm
Patronising, much?

As it happens, I said no to sweets about 5 minutes ago. Phew.

I don't find it remotely disrespectful for a child who is going to spend the afternoon playing in a large garden dancing to a band to be wearing her favourite dance wear. Laughed at the bikini comment... we're marrying in summer and have chosen the venue because it has a shallow stream running through it. The invitations will ask child guests to bring their swimwear. I'll provide towels as I want them matched to my colour scheme and table linen. Natch grin

Fine for you to not like my choices for clothing, but please DFOD with the patronising parenting tips confused

WeirdCatLady Sat 13-Jan-18 16:18:48

Dd came to my graduation in jeans, bow tie, a mans evening jacket, and converse. I wanted her to be smart as it meant a lot to me. We couldn’t find anything she was comfortable in so I just said for her to wear what she felt okay in.

I feel sorry for you both. I would have loved dd to wear a nice dress (haven’t seen her legs in years either), but that’s just not her.

You’ve already reduced the poor girl to tears whilst she tries to fit in with what you want. Just let her wear what she feels comfortable in for God’s sake.

mumsiedarlingrevolta Sat 13-Jan-18 16:20:31

Perhaps you can get her a lovely buttonhole to wear on jacket to make it seem more festive?

Sounds like you are both giving a bit and this is a good compromise...
just have a lovely day and enjoy the celebration flowers

sirfredfredgeorge Sat 13-Jan-18 16:21:38

I tried the dark jeans and blouse suggestion but she won't wear a blouse.

The suggestions were trousers and a shirt and waistcoat, not a blouse... The problem definitely seems to be what ExtraPickle said, you're confusing smart and feminine, insisting on smart is not completely unreasonable (although very slightly because as an adult you can opt-out of things where you completely disagree with the dress code) but insisting on feminine is.

diddl Sat 13-Jan-18 16:23:29

Has she since said that she doesn't want to wear what was bought?

If not, I'd be expecting her to wear it tbh.

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