"Mom, why do you always like to be so fancy?"

So my daughter occasionally makes comments like this, asking me why I always wear nice clothes and like fashion or why I wear lipstick or why I always wear "loud cloppy high heels". Today she saw me in this dress and said, "Mom, why do you always like to be so fancy?" I told her it's fun, like how she likes to dress up in her princess dresses and tiaras. I said I'm too old to wear tiaras, so this is how I get to play dress up. She then took off her tiara and put it on my head and said, "You can wear mine, your Majesty." LOL! :D

But seriously, should I be concerned? I don't want my daughter to think I'm vain or give her some unhealthy complex. I remember thinking the same thing about my mom dressing up when I was growing up and she was always trying to get us to dress up more and wear makeup--"Mom, why do you always like to be so fancy?" I don't pick out DD's outfits (she picks everything out herself) or put makeup on her or say anything negative about her body or my body or anything (I remember my mom was always on a diet), but I don't know whether I should change what I'm doing or what to say to DD. Because her comments do make me feel a little guilty. She also tells me to stop eating so much candy. ;)

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

29 Comments

  • lyn* replied 6 years ago

    I think you look great! I wish that I had a good style role model - I think you're in a good position to teach her about balance between looking good and caring too much about your outward appearance. :)

  • replied 6 years ago

    I don't think you go overboard or look excessively fancy -- nowadays, I think just even wearing a dress can be seen as "fancier" than pants. I think it is a good way to model nice dress for your daughter, especially if you don't let it get in the way of life. If you were telling her always you couldn't give her a snuggle or not to touch because you are dressed up or whatever, then I think it is a problem.

  • Mochi replied 6 years ago

    Ha. Your daughter is a smart little girl of a certain age, and little girls are bossy and opinionated. Which is really a great thing. Plus they just tell it like they see it. Maybe she's just at the age where she is starting to compare people, like outsiders and those in her inner circle. I wouldn't get too worried about it. She might pose another question if you were always wearing jeans, or something. Can't win! 

    I remember Sarah Jessica Parker saying her son, as a little boy, hated to see her in high heels because that meant she wouldn't be going down onto the floor to play with him. I think this is not the case here; she's just wanting to voice an observation. 

  • Gabrielle replied 6 years ago

    No!  I don't think you should be concerned in the least.  You exhibit excellent self esteem.  You are teaching your daughter that she is a woman that can enjoy being a woman and dress to please herself.  I wish my Mother had spent more time and energy taking care of herself.  

    Don't change anything.

  • Gabrielle replied 6 years ago

    By the way, today's outfit takes my breath away.  

  • Kim replied 6 years ago

    "Cause I'm fancy on the inside, honey, so I want to show that on the outside too."

    Your little girl is too cute!

  • Karie replied 6 years ago

    You are being a positive role model for your daughter, and are providing an excellent example for her to follow when she is older. My mother provided that example for me, yours did for you, Angie's did for her, and we didn't turn out so bad, right? (I hope you're nodding your head right now!).

    My female students at school often ask me why I dress up so much. My answer is pretty much the same as yours, and I have noticed that as I compliment them on something in return, they often start to dress better and take better care of their appearance. Although these are not book lessons, they are life lessons and are still very important.

    Don't change what you're doing, and you have nothing to feel guilty about! Except maybe eating too much candy ;)

  • Krista replied 6 years ago

    I think Mochi makes a great point - she's right at an age where she's figuring these things out and expressing her thoughts exactly the way she sees it.  But I don't think it's cause for worry. One of the greatest connections I have with my mom is through clothes and fashion - when I was a kid, she was always sewing outfits for herself (very matchy-matchy ones, actually, so now I know where I get it from!) and I learned a lot about fashion, clothes, clothing construction, etc.  I think she was/has been a key influence in my lifelong interest in fashion, but also in about how I wish to present myself to the world.  I'm actually having a ton of revelations about my mom by reading and responding to this post, Natalie.   It's so interesting!  

    I wonder if, in addition to being fun, putting together your outfits is a creative outlet for you.  And maybe that's how you explain it to your daughter - it's an opportunity for you to create something colorful and unique each day and if she'd like to participate - great! But if she's happy doing her own thing and if she finds her own creative outlet that is different - that is okay too.   

  • replied 6 years ago

    You're perfect just the way you are, Natalie.  Don't change a thing!

  • krishnidoux replied 6 years ago

    Natalie, I totally agree with your vision and attitude! What a great mom you are too. And, all the while, looking absolutely fabulous.

  • modgrl replied 6 years ago

    Like everything else we do as parents, even how we dress is a way to model good behavior for our children. It shows that we care enough about ourselves and those around us to look both appropriate and attractive for any occasion. She may not be able to articulate this now but she will get it and appreciate it over time.

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    Your DD is a scream :)

    And you have never looked better than in 2013, Queen Fun & Flirty! You pull off Matchy-Matchy with humour and sass!

  • ironkurtin replied 6 years ago

    You can't make your daughter think anything. She's going to think what she thinks. *You* did! (Besides, as you point out, there's a big difference between dressing how you like and forcing someone else to do it too, right?)

    IMO the best thing you can do for DD and your boys is to be happy and unashamed of it.

  • Peri replied 6 years ago

    If your answer is "because I like to" you are teaching your daughter to be independent and do what makes her happy. You are doing it for yourself and no other reason.

  • TraceyLiz65 replied 6 years ago

    I think it is extremely important for girls to see their mother's take good care of themselves.  So many mother's take a back seat and set a give all of yourself to others example that to me is far more dangerous. 

    Letting her be herself and not talking about body issues is fantastic!  

  • replied 6 years ago

    As long as you are still able to play with your kiddos,I think it is awesome that you are dressing nicely!

    For me it becomes a problem when I am too precious for my family. When I won't do certain activities because I don't want to ruin my clothes. My clothes have become the priority instead of my family. Unfortunately that happens quickly for me because I have worked so hard at finding the right items. Sometimes it was easier when I bought whatever was on sale so I didn't care if it got ruined.

  • Hil replied 6 years ago

    Natalie, your post reminded me of two articles that I have read earlier that had a profound effect on my and my ideas about myself. 

    One was this huff post article about moms never being in the pictures because they felt unattractive and unhappy with themselves and the other and probably more relevant was this blog post. Reading these had a profound effect on me. 

    Don't change a thing! 

  • Nicole D replied 6 years ago

    Nothing wrong with taking an interest in your appearance as long as it is in balance.  You are a professional and looking "fancy" can enhance that professional image. 

  • Adelfa replied 6 years ago

    Natalie, I have an opposite story.  When younger DD was a preschooler, she was generally mortified at how I dressed, which was gear/leftover hippie/dull preppy and generally anything but pretty and elegant. My footwear of course was strictly practical.  I can still hear her  howling in agony, "No, Mommy!  Your pretty shoes! Wear your pretty shoes!!!!!" She also insisted that I wear paler shades of lipstick.

    I did not understand what her problem was and generally ignored her, on that topic I mean. She grew up to be an extraordinarily elegant young woman. We love talking about clothes now and we love shopping together, where we find we can really help each other.

    So viewing your situation through my lens, I think it's possible that your DD will grow up to be a more down-to-earth dresser than you, which is fine. You and she may have different tastes. There are of course several other possible explanations for what she's saying, but I'm focussing on the one that I lived through.

    But this post really brought me back! Memories, which make me laugh, of tiny DD critiquing my style.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    LOVE IK's response!

    And you look gorgeous Natalie :)

  • Mia replied 6 years ago

    You look great and as has been discussed in many other threads it doesn't take much to be "fancy" these days.  I took my son and his teenage friend to a local casual dining restaurant last summer wearing polo shirts and shorts with closed shoes (sneakers) and we were asked if it was "a special occasion".  I think it was the collars on the shirts??!

    As for you daughter, she is too funny and hopefully she will continue to provide you with "teachable moments" as to why you take pride in your appearance and you'll have lots of fun together with fashion in the coming years.  

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    Agree that this is just a sign of your very bright daughter trying to figure out the world and categorize things. You are a wonderful role model for her and also agree that you should not change a thing.

  • Echo replied 6 years ago

    I agree that she is likely just starting to notice how other people dress versus how you dress. That isn't a judgement, but a legitimate thing she is curious about. You should be proud of the way you dress - you look great - and of the role model you are for your DD. Even children her age have preferences, and hers might be different from yours. My DD is 9 and while she loves dressing "fancy", shoes are already non-negotiable. No matter how many impractical shoes she sees me wear (which she loves and comments on), she will NOT wear something that even requires a few wears to become comfortable. At her age, I was already yearning to buy shoes just to HAVE them, even if I couldn't wear them, so we are quite different in that regard!

  • rachylou replied 6 years ago

    Well, let me play devil's advocate and mention that I was raised too fancy and sophisticated. It does come with its own set of problems when you hit the teenage years. I'd get hysterical when I found out someone didn't have books or pictures in their homes (your wedding and prom photos and Impala poster don't count). I still don't understand how any girl can look at a guy in saggy pants and say to herself, "That's the man I'm gonna marry!!"

    And let me tell you, that IS a problem. That eliminated right there 80% of my own generation when it came to dating. The remaining 20% were eliminated because they were too fancy and useless, like myself.

    I'm thinking maybe a stint in 4H might have helped me a lot...

  • unfrumped replied 6 years ago

    I had the reverse, like Adelfa, since I wear a lot of rubbery-soled shoes even at work with dress slacks or skirts.

    My younger DD, perhaps age 5 or so,  looked adoringly at a somewhat overdressed lady in high heels and said wistfully, "Mommie, why don't you ever wear shoes that make noise, like the other ladies"? This DD loved all the dress up play heels (though  had to wear "sensible" and age-appropriate shoes growing up)  and still really rocks HIGH heeled pumps. My other DD is a more casual dresser and flats kind of gal. So we let them do their own thing.

  • Vicki replied 6 years ago

    Your look gorgeous, gp, as always and I think you're teaching your daughter well.  These little remembrances won't be forgotten as she grows and finds her own appreciation for fashion.

    I laughed about the candy, because in that moment, she was being your mother!  She's trying on different roles right now, perhaps.

    I'd be so honored to have a daughter say something like that about you being "so fancy."  How cool is that!  Your explanation was spot on and how sweet and generous she was to offer you her tiara!

  • cheryl replied 6 years ago

    Don't change a thing. She is curious and yes I would tell her because it makes you happy just like her clothes make her happy.

  • Charmian replied 6 years ago

    What a sweet story!

    I agree with the ladies on the forum -- I think your sense of style is fab, and you should keep dressing the way that makes you feel good.

    I hear your concern about your daughter, though.  Perhaps the next time she asks those questions, it would be appropriate to ask her why she's asking?  At this point, we're all engaging in speculation anyway; why not ask the source of truth herself?

  • Jjsloane replied 6 years ago

    Kids have no filter. I think your DD is just curious about something that she realizes matters to you. It sounds like you explained it well and how sweet she offered you a tiara. I feel it's important to instill that mommies have lives other than as mommies (not you being vain) kids can only recognize their part in something. You're wise to let her select her own outfits in expression. I still buy all DD's clothing, but give some guidance and then step away for her to make her own choices on how to put it together. I even ask her to choose between 2 items for me. We'll talk again when she's over 4... 

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