What Not to Wear: Encouraging Self Expression: What's She Wearing Today: Mayhem Fashion

Encourage Self Expression to Create Self-Esteem

Mandy Mayhem, Fashionista Extraordinaire. She is one of a kind. We let her wear whatever she wants, wherever she wants. There are some misses, but way more hits! Allowing her to pick her own clothes and letting her know we accept her choices encourages self-esteem. Enjoy!

Layers of Ruffles paired with Cowboy Boots (Wal-mart Special) and a Magician's Hat (Reminds me of Slash). Never leave the house without a purse accessory. Today, the teddy bear backpack.

Encourage Self Expression to Create Self-Esteem
And yes, she almost always picks her own outfits.

I refuse to let grown-up stereotypes or 'you have to do this' or personal insecurities stifle her creativity. Life is too short to be boring. Live a little.

Purple witch skirt over dark, denim jeans.

Even in this one, her favorite tie-dyed onesie.

Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the many trips to the grocery when Clifford, The Big Red Dog, or Bob the Builder's friend, Wendy, or a Kitty or a Dalmatian in footie PJ's escorted me to the grocery store.

Creative outlets are important around here, ya know.

Tinkerbell Backpack.

Foam cowboy hat, Tinkerbell backpack, pink sundress (too short), 
knee-length skirt, pink monkey rubber boots.
So, wherever you go, strike a pose and never, ever, stifle your child's creativity. It's the stuff of superstars. A real superstar needs a supportive network to thrive.

Green Disney socks with plastic ballet flats.

Recommended Reading:

Innovative Interventions in Child and Adolescent Mental Health*

Building a Chicken Coop in a Tutu

Lora Langston
Lora Langston

Lora is a homeschooling mom, writer, creator of Kids Creative Chaos, and Director of the Play Connection.


  1. I agree- as long as it's not going to create a health issue, I pretty much let my older son dress how he wants (I did not let him wear the sweatsuit he wanted to wear outside during a heat wave, however)

  2. I love how creative she can be!

  3. haha, gorgeous! Our daughters would be kindred spirits :) Madeline loves choosing her own clothes and adds all kinds of quirky things here and there. Gumboots are a favourite too, as are tutus and fairy dresses and mixing lots of patterns and spots and stripes together haha. I really must put up some pics some time. Those pics of your daughter are gorgeous!

  4. Adorable! I do love her outfits. What fun.

  5. It is so wonderful for kids' self esteem to let them pick their own clothes. I actually feel bad sometimes for kids who are always really well dressed (by adult standards). I love the top hat outfit :) We were playing with Daddy's top hat yesterday!

  6. My kid always comes up with the craziest combos too. Only he always wants to wear long sleeves when its 100 degrees outside!

  7. Creativity and self-expression through fashion - love it!


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