Tips for Dads: choosing an outfit for your toddler daughter

Choosing an outfit for your toddler daughter

Disclaimer: This post is written firmly tongue in cheek. After some very questionable outfit choices recently, I have developed a checklist for my husband. I’m sure not all dads are incapable of creating a co-ordinated outfit..! And, obviously this is all to suit my taste in clothes :)

I love my husband dearly, he is a wonderful father. However, his colour sense is non-existent. In fact, he firmly believes that the only colours that exist are those to be found on a snooker table. As for colour co-ordination, not a chance. Throw in patterns and he’s in full on panic mode.

When the boys were little and he was left in charge, they occasionally resembled clowns, or rainbows. But, short of a picture on a t-shirt, their clothes were largely self-coloured. He couldn’t go too far wrong, clowns aside.

The introduction of a girl into our midst however, with the accompanying flowers, stars, stripes, spots and sparkly things… Well, it’s been too much.

Now, granted, the easiest thing would be for me to lay clothes out the night before. But, I never remember until we have switched out the light and closed the wee girl’s door. Equally, I could get her dressed every morning, but during the week our traditional division of labour involves my husband dressing the kids while I have a shower… Not willing to give up my morning shower, or get up any earlier than I already do, I have tried to develop a simple checklist for him!

This is a work in progress, each time she appears in another creative outfit, I add a further point…

1. Tight top plus baggy bottoms (e.g. T-shirt and jeans)
2. Baggy top plus tight bottoms (e.g smock/dress and leggings/tights)

I admit, I’m not a fan of a short, tight t-shirt with leggings, and as for a big baggy top over a pair of baggy jeans: she’s not a teenage boy!

3. Shorts are not appropriate in the cold and rain, even when they qualify as a baggy bottom with a tight top, unless worn with tights…

Checking the weather before dressing her avoids having to change her…

4. One pattern at a time (just to avoid disaster)

Two patterns can work, but choosing two that do is beyond my husband’s fashion skills.

5. One bright colour at a time (no clown outfits…)

As lots of her tops have multiple colours, points four and five have generated point six:

6. Leggings/tights should match the predominant colour in the top (certain unlikely colour combinations do work, but sitting down with a colour wheel and explaining complimentary colours would take too long, so this rule keeps it simple!)

And, following on from that:

7. Although it may be tempting to dress her head to toe in a single colour to avoid the above issues, resembling one of the Blue (pink, yellow, purple) Man Group is not a good look.

8. Tutus are appropriate wear at any time (!), but try to at least co-ordinate with a nice t-shirt and leggings/tights.

Last week we had a tutu over baggy tracksuit bottoms…

9. Allowing her to choose her own clothes is fine, but try to limit that to one item at a time, this will make creating an ‘outfit’ easier :)

And, last, but not least!

10. If at a complete loss, please ask!

The aims of this list are two-fold; to minimise sighs (mine), irritation (ours) and bickering, and to limit the number of days where I change her outfit at the first available opportunity…

Do you have any tips to add?!

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34 thoughts on “Tips for Dads: choosing an outfit for your toddler daughter”

  1. I don’t think I can think of anything to add! Although I am going to point my husband to the direction of this post ;) I have the same issue when he gets my daughter dressed. Luckily she is 6 now and probably has better sense than him when getting dressed!

  2. This is funny. My husband was fine when it came to choosing clothes, but he was a firm believer in freedom of choice. I would often find one of the kids dressed in all sorts of mismatched items only to find that he had encouraged them to choose their own outfits. I relinquished all control and said ‘fine’, but was tempted to put a big sign on them saying ‘I did not dress this child’.

    1. Lol, I often tell people that I had nothing to do with outfits… :) My 5yo gets himself dressed, has done for a couple of years, and always looks smart. My 8yp looks like his dad… The wee girl, well, at 2yo it could actually be worse than my husband so I do try to give her choice within boundaries :)

  3. How about – this child grows therefore not all clothes in the cupboard fit! Or is that just something I need to remind myself of on yet another last minute dive into the next size up drawer!

  4. Lol.My tip would be to learn the difference between tights and leggings. The kids once came to visit me in hospital with Belle wearing a t-shirt an a pair of tights. I made her put her coat on and keep it on until she got home. #sharewithme

  5. Great post and it has made me think how now my daughter is 8 she sometimes has a face of terror if my husband picks up some clothes for her. He still thinks she#s 3 and wants pink dresses with lots of bows!
    It always makes me giggle.

    1. I look forward to when my daughter is able to just choose her own clothes. Her choices are still a little too, um, creative!

    1. Oh, I wish my husband could! I’m going to be away for a few days soon… Dread to think what they will all be wearing!!

  6. I love this! I love the one tight item with one loose item rule, it’s so easy to follow and makes perfect sense.
    My husband has always loved choosing outfits for all of the kids and, once he learned what tights were for, has always been good at it. He always insists on helping my daughter choose her outfit on a Saturday morning. I was in trouble the other week for buying new clothes for herr, because he wanted to choose them!

  7. I am so handing this over to Mr P I have had to resort to leaving outfits for him to put on the kids especially our daughter. The things he puts on her you would believe it. So funny how they can’t coordinate. Ok maybe it’s just my hubby and yours. Lovely post thanks for linking up to Share With Me (See you tomorrow for #theprompt) #sharewithme

  8. My husband always manages to find the 1-2 items that my daughter has outgrown. And he’s just as bad getting outfits for my boy–either getting sweatpants for a nice occasion or my son’s finest for a trip to the park. *shakes head*

  9. That’s a brilliant post, Sara! I have to print your checklist for Hubby. Whenever he is left in charge, the girls look like they got dressed in the dark!

  10. I am going to print this off and tape it the wardrobe door – my husband has dressed our daughter and taken her out in public without me seeing her in all kids of disasters… green long sleeved top under a red spotty dress with stripy tights – Christmas elf anyone?
    I would add that pyjamas are not acceptable attire for a toddler during the day… especially when going to tescos!

    1. Have to admit when the wee girl was tiny I kept her in her PJs on swimming mornings, was so much easier getting changed! But, yes, they are not suitable attire for going anywhere else :) And your description of your Christmas elf made me laugh out loud!

  11. I am one of those who always lays out an outfit the night before, If hubby had dressed one of the girls I nearly always change the top or trousers as I can not bear to go through a day with them looking like that!! Even outfits that she always wears together eg sets he will still manage to put the top with something else even though he has always seen it as a set! #sharewithme

    1. I think my husband really just doesn’t ‘see’ her clothes, so he wouldn’t have a clue what’s supposed to go together :)

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