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Teach your child to dress appropriately

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To accord success in your parenting goals, a child’s dress sense should not be ignored. Like the saying – you are addressed the way you are dressed – children should be taught to be clothed right, for the right occasion, season and times. We should put them in the consciousness of knowing that dressing plays a path on how one is perceived.

“Dressing is an art that children must learn and the first people we learn dressing from is our parents, says Ezinne Dinne-Okpara, Creative Director Zedd Couture and parenting enthusiast.

“Personally I think it is very important that parents pay a lot of attention to the way their children dress in order not to expose them unduly. People would quickly ask questions like, ‘whose child is this?’ when they see an inappropriately dressed child.”

The mother of two who is passionate about designing outfit for kids noted that the increase in rape cases could also be traced to indecent dressing. It is also important to pay attention to the way they dress because the essence of dressing is comfort and confidence. Good dressing boosts the confidence of the person wearing it. Besides this, it is also the parents’ way of teaching the children how to be responsible.

Dinne-Okpara said that there are appropriate ways of dressing for different occasions as well as weather conditions. “Overdressing could mean dressing more than required for a particular occasion while under-dressing could mean dressing below the required standard for a particular occasion. I think parents should always ensure their children are dressed right to avoid discomfort and undue exposure of their body parts.

“The way a child dresses has a way of affecting his or her confidence. When a child is dressed right, he/she knows and this will boost their confidence anytime. I look at my two-year-old son who would come and tell me that his dress is not beautiful. I laugh about it but deep down it passes a message. We need to strike a balance in the way we dress our kids to help their confidence.”

On what should parents look out for when choosing an outfit for their child, she stressed that comfort should be the key word. As parents, this should be at the centre of our decisions when choosing outfits for our children. We can also look at the under-listed as a guide to choosing what is appropriate for our children.
. Make sure it’s appropriate for the weather and occasion
. Fits right, not too tight and allows for easy movement.
. Fabric is body-friendly and won’t cause an irritation on the body.
. Style is child appropriate and doesn’t make them look older.

On specific fabrics or styles children cannot wear, Dinne-Okpara said that there are fabrics that are not body-friendly for children. “With children’s wear I think it’s better to stay away from sequined fabrics, stiff laces and heavyweight fabrics because they can be itchy and cause irritation. With styles it is better to keep it less busy but still beautiful and age appropriate, not revealing private parts of the body.”

Describing a decently dressed child, the fashion expert said the child whose dressing is not revealing any private parts of the body, is said to be appropriately dressed. It could also mean wearing the right dress for the right occasion and whose dressing is not unnecessarily loud.

In conclusion, Dinne-Okpara said that our children need to understand that dresses are a cover for the body, and that “dressing well is a form of good manners,” according to a saying by Tom Ford. As parents and guardians we need to make sure that the way our children dress do not rob them of their childhood innocence and expose them to danger. Always remember that how we dress our kids also affect them even when they are grown. Decency should always be at the back of our minds whenever we are thinking of buying or making clothes for our children.


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