-8 comfy dresses
(for the future: 6 is probably a good number for dresses and 4 is plenty for top layers. i really thought that 2 of the dresses and one sweater would be too small by now, so that's how we ended up with extras.)
here's what julia has to say about her simple wardrobe:
julia: i love all of my clothes, because they are really comfy and cute. i think i have more than enough clothes, because i always have a lot outfits to choose from. By mixing them up, there are even more choices to choose from.
a few more notes:
-choose patterns that are sublte enough to keep from getting tired of them and to enhance mixing
-think through all activities for practicality- all of these clothes are actually good for schoolwork, cello practice, taking walks, raking leaves, going to church, hanging out with friends, going out to dinner, reading in bed, etc.
-think in terms of things that can span the seasons for added wearability and value
-think of things that can grow with them a bit- the dresses are not too fitted and will look cute as tunics with leggings as they get shorter
-choose pieces to go with lots of other pieces, if not every piece
-i don't buy single use items. julia has plenty of choices here of pretty things to wear for christmas or a recital. i understand this might be different in each situation, like if normal wear is sweatsuits or jeans. but even then, maybe a skirt is all that is required to mix with a top and sweater already in the wardrobe.
-make an agreement in advance that both of you have to agree on an item in order for it to come home with you from a shopping trip
-if there are frequent disagreements about clothing, talk about clothes at other times than when you are going shopping or have an opinion about an outfit. talk, talk, talk…and explain your logic and reasoning behind values. find ways to explain your thoughts that makes sense to your son or daughter or mother. :)
p.s. i don't force my girls to have simple (minimal) wardrobes. i understand that these years are ones in which they are especially searching for and asserting their identities. playing with clothing is a fun way to experiment, and i wouldn't want to take that away from them. we do talk a lot about lots of thing... especially values, identity, ways of thinking about material possessions, and our responsibility to consume thoughtfully and with concern for others and our planet. we talk together, all of us having a voice. and we listen to each other. i think julia naturally tends toward wanting a bit less. imagine if i overloaded her with stuff that she felt she had to wear and show appreciation for (um, i think i may have done that in the past. girls' clothes are so cute!). it would be ridiculous. i know that every family is different and just want to present how we approach clothing. we are so happy with what we have. it is much less than some, and it is so much more than others. we are grateful.
jane + julia