How I Feel About Getting Dressed! - Valerie

How I Feel About Getting Dressed! - Valerie

In this blog mini series we chat to children about how they choose what to wear: what they love and what they avoid, and how they imagine they’ll dress in the future. We want to capture and celebrate how children are motivated by how clothes feel and what they let them do (play! move! imagine!). 

Nurturing these good associations in our young people can protect them as they grow up and become more exposed to the cruel world of fast fashion, which wants us to feel that clothes are about keeping up with micro trends, looking ‘right’ rather than feeling right, and not caring what happens to items after one wear. Growing good feelings about getting dressed means growing good feelings about our Earth’s resources – we want clothes that make us feel good, and which we care for in return. Encouraging children to love how clothes make them feel is a wonderful climate action! 

We chatted to Valerie (age 9) one day after school all about colour matching, the feel of fabric, and dressing for the weather! 

AXC: Do you have a favourite piece of clothing, Valerie? 

Yes! It’s this dress, which my mum got for me 2 years ago in a preloved bundle from an online marketplace. I love the bright, flowery colours on the skirt, and the white ‘sporty’ feeling at the top. I love the gold zip! The fabric feels lovely: the silkiness puffs up and down with the springy under fabric when I float around. It’s really comfy and I wear it as much as I can. At first it was a bit big, but I made it fit me, then it was perfect. It’s getting a bit short but I still wear it everywhere – for special occasions, in my bedroom, in the garden, whenever I can! 

AXC: I love that your dress is like a friend to you – for special days, but not too precious for the garden and playtime! 

AXC: What is important for you when you choose what to wear? 

When there is a special occasion, I like to plan my outfit ahead and imagine what it will be like to wear. I have already planned what to wear to the school fair on Saturday! I ask my mum to check the weather, because it’s really important for me not to be too hot or too cold. I like to wear cardigans, because they can keep me warm, but I can leave the buttons open so you can still see my lovely outfit. 

AXC: What about colours? 

I love to match colours – sometimes I’m in the mood for darker sea colours, so I like to put purples, blues and greens together. Other times I like to match reds, oranges and yellows. My little brother just grabs 2 bits of clothing at random and says ‘I’m dressed!’ but I like to take my time and get it just right for me. It has to be colours that make me feel cheerful, and comfy so that I can move and focus on the games I want to play – nothing too tight, or digging in me. 

AXC: Is there anything you avoid in clothes? 

I don’t like denim jeans much – the fabric is stiff and there is a hard button and zip that I hate! They stop me playing happily. And they are a bit boring because they are all the same plain blue. But my mum did get some decorated with flowers, butterflies and unicorns, with elasticated waists and I am interested in those! 

AXC: How do you feel about having to wear school uniform everyday? 

It’s okay. But I like the summer more than winter as you have more choice with skirts and dresses. And you don’t have to wear tights! If I could design school uniform myself, I would like more bright colours and patterns! 

AXC: Do you like imagining how you’ll dress when you’re a ‘grown up’? 

Yes, loads! In school I love seeing my teachers’ nice clothes and imagining them in different ways for me. I’d like my classroom teacher’s trousers, but in dark turquoise, then the other P4 teacher’s purple high heels, and another teacher’s yellow flowery t-shirt. And I would add a lovely cardigan. My granny gave my mum a cashmere cardigan she didn’t wear anymore, but it shrunk in the wash and now it is mine and I love it! It feels amazing against my skin. 

AXC: that was a happy accident for you! Now that cardigan has been a friend to 3 generations in your family! 

AXC: finally, how do you like to shop? 

Valerie: I would love a big place with lots and lots to choose from! A little bit of music, but not too loud. Not too busy, I don’t like to feel crowded. 

AXC: do you like the idea of a personal shopper? 

Valerie: someone who I tell what I like and then they bring ideas to me while I sit on a sofa? That sounds brilliant!! 

Thank you Valerie!

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