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How To Dress Your Kids Up For Success

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Have you ever noticed that there are some shockingly well-dressed toddlers walking around? Or have you seen pictures of a cute kid online and noticed that he or she is looking particularly sharp? I’d venture to say that younger kids are usually well-dressed and my case for this is the fact that I don’t often hear people complain about how younger kids dress (dressing failures this early are on the parents). The problems really seem to begin during the transition of our children into adolescence and sometimes early into their young adult lives. Why is that?

Dressing with a sense of style, individuality, or fashion isn’t something that everyone can do well, it might even be called a skill of some sort depending on who you ask. Even more interesting is the idea that the standards for how kids dress change gradually from their late middle school years to their college years. While kids struggle through the melodramas of adolescence and attempt to figure out their identities, many also seem begin to come to terms with the relationship between clothing and their individual image in relation to their peers and society.

Success in the context of teenagers and young adults can be interpreted in two main ways: social success and professional success. So, the question really becomes, who do we help dress our kids in a way that’s representative of their developing sense of a social self and how do we help them understand and develop a sense how to dress presentably for casual occasions, professional occasions, and everything in between?

Enter Swap.com, the largest online consignment and thrift store, and an tremendous source of inspiration and fashion ideas for parents looking to dress up their baby or toddler or even parents looking to explore some options for their older, teenager children with more complicated tastes. Let’s look at some of the most important points towards dressing your children for success.

Getting the Right Fit

It’s back to basics with this tip. Whether you are a professional or novice, fit is absolutely essential to looking good. Though it might be inconvenient to find nice fitting clothing for a developing body, it’s still one of the key points to good fashion and not walking around in public as a faux-pas (think double plaid). One of the problems for parents trying to instill the importance of good fit in the choice of clothes towards successful dressing might lie in the cost of finding and buying the right clothing multiple times.

Know Your Complementary Colors and Color Schemes

In addition to fit, choosing the right colors and matching the appropriate colors also constitutes a cornerstone of successful dressing and fashion. The set of complementary colors relates to the color wheel and these colors have the quality of canceling each other out. Here’s a reminder and example from Wikipedia to jog your memory in case those elementary school lessons on art have slipped your mind.


The basic principles to choosing colors correctly usually have to do with choosing colors that are not too bright or have a neon-like quality. Too many bright colors often results in an unstable and uncomfortable color scheme resulting in an undesirable look. Blue, black, grey, and navy are usually considered neutral colors and safe choices, for example. Meanwhile, once you explore some more color relationships by yourself, you might try going more creative combinations, like a green top, khakis, and brown shoes.

Understanding the Difference Between Professional and Casual Clothing

The tags provided by Swap.com outline the usual setting in which a piece of clothing is worn, so that can help greatly in helping advise your children on what types of clothing are appropriate for respective social situations. However, Swap also has a helpful blog site that provides a number of examples and exercises that both you and your children can participate in to foster a better intuitive sense of how social settings determine what types of clothing are appropriate.

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