Trust me I get it. Before you have a child, the idea of dressing them in a smaller version of your clothing seems silly or frivolous... or perhaps a bit narcissistic. Yet if you fast forward just a few short years into their lives you'll discover there's an abrupt drop-off point in the world of little girls' clothing. In the world of children's apparel, little girl's clothing goes from innocent layette to Miley Cyrus faster than you can blink. It's astonishing.
So where do you go for clothing that's age appropriate, demure and stylish? Your brands. Milly, Lilly Pulitzer, J. Crew and a small handful of others are all helping us transition our very small girls into clothing that is classic and chic - while still offering little kid sensibilities.
Am I naive enough to think that dressing your child as a prepster instead of a tart going to make a difference in their life choices as a teen and beyond? Obviously it's not as simple as that. But age-appropriate dressing is part of a larger "whole" of standards to be defined for young girls. Demure dressing may not be a solution, but it's a start. Those foundational standards begin at home when they are very small children. You lead by example (yes, you) and you demonstrate by way of solid example.
Can they still shine bright like a diamond? You bet. Sequined sweaters & pretty little coats make a girl feel special. Quality pieces make a difference in the comfort and wear. It just "feels good" to wear well-made products. A preppy sweater might not prevent her from a stint at teen rebellion years from now, but it will certainly be one brick in the foundation towards building her high self-esteem. And that has value anyone at any age can appreciate.