There are some children who love to dress up. Given the opportunity, you will find that kid wearing a bow tie and suspenders to the grocery, or a tutu at the park. There are other kids, though, who you have to force into a clean pair of pants and a nice sweater in order to go visit Grandma. Every kid is different, that's for sure.
How can you find that comfortable middle ground when it comes to the concept of dressing up?
Don't make it a battle. If your children are anything like mine, the moment that they know we are arguing, it becomes a life or death struggle that they simply must win, no matter what. The minute that I declare that a particular outfit simply must be worn - well, I know that there's absolutely zero chance of it happening.
Instead, work on a compromise that you may need before it becomes necessary. When you change clothes over for the new season, take the opportunity to put together a few acceptable outfits and share them with your child.
What if your child refuses to dress up? Talk it over, try to find an area of compromise, and realize that you may just have to set an edict - your son can wear jeans whenever he wants, but it's non negotiable to wear dress pants to church, for example. Try to save the absolutes for times that truly need them - the fewer times you force them to dress up, the more important those times are.
Take your child's comfort into consideration. I have a child who is a high functioning autistic, and she is very overly sensitive to many articles of clothing. No matter how adorable that red and white striped turtleneck is, there's absolutely no way that I will ever be able to get her to wear it. Same thing with tights. Instead, we look for a nice pair of seamless cotton leggings that will work with her dresses, and wash everything several times with sensitive detergent.
What if your child loves to "dress fancy", and you'd like him to relax once in a while? Well, that an be more difficult that getting a child to dress up. I know that I've had to just go with it sometimes, and be that mom in the grocery store with a daughter wearing a tiara and tutu. Luckily, being overly dressed up doesn't hurt anyone, and most parents have been there at least once in their parenting career and understand what you are going through.
How do you compormise when it comes to dressing up? Are your children more apt to be overly dressed up or more casual?