Help! My kid will wear only one set of clothes!

Our seven-year-old daughter will only wear one particular set of clothes. This is one of the many reasons we are grateful for our new washing machine.

Lucy has always had an affinity for a set of “favorite” clothes. She went through a phase of wearing a bright pink tutu every day when she was four. There was a period when she only wanted to wear her rainbow pajamas. And how can we forget the week when her dear friend loaned her a treasured red leotard?

But few of these heartfelt attachments have rivaled Lucy’s current passion for her “favorite blue clothes.” This uniform has been worn daily for the past ten weeks, with hardly a variation. I insist on washing the ensemble at least once every three days, encouraging Lucy to perform a “sniff test” on the morning of the third day to make sure she does not offend her neighbors. (Luckily, she does not yet seem to be exhibiting signs of her mother’s Sicilian sweat genes.) Lucy has agreed to wear a set of back-up clothes when we are traveling and unable to launder her uniform as frequently as needed. This is a great concession. 130804 L at Shedd-2
Lucy, recognizably dressed, reaches out to touch stingrays at the Shedd Aquarium. Rosie and Mama lurk in the background.

You can see here that Lucy’s favorite clothes include three main elements:

  1. The blue tank top.
  2. The multi-colored blue shorts.
  3. The blue and white headband. (“It is a not a bandanna,” Lucy would be quick to tell you. “It is a headband, with elastic.”)

It seems that this particular outfit has three things going for it that no other combination can rival: comfort, practicality, and attractiveness. I have tried purchasing other blue shorts and tank tops for Lucy (not comfortable enough), encouraged her to try a blue skort (not practical enough), and even raised the possibility of purchasing an identical tank top in another color (not attractive enough). I would have acquired another blue tank top to ease our laundering requirements, but by the time I realized how valuable a spare would be, they were out of stock. Perhaps other seven-year-old girls are similarly devoted to this shirt? Thank goodness it’s a Hanna Andersson and can withstand the incredible number of washings it is experiencing.Lucy wears her favorite clothes at the doctor's office.
Comfortable clothes makes for a nice, relaxed blood pressure. But, wait — who stole my headband?

I can respect Lucy’s principles of dress and her devotion to this outfit. Sure, it means we need to do a little extra laundry. Sure, it means that I overreact a bit if Lucy starts to wipe her mouth on her shirt. But comfort and confidence are good reasons to choose clothing.

And now that I see Lucy is serious about limiting her wardrobe, I am thinking ahead. We just bought two Lucy-approved long-sleeved blue shirts while they were still in stock. Winter, here we come!Lucy and Rosie on the el.

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