A Homeschoolers’ Wardrobe

Homeschooling has an interesting side-effect for my boys, that I’m not sure I started to pay attention to until fairly recently.  My children have no clue about clothing.  What’s in…what’s out.  It’s all Greek togas to them. 

Case in point…if I happen to leave both summer and winter clothing accessible to them, it is not unusual to see someone sitting around in shorts and a turtleneck.  Their idea of picking out something to wear is reaching into the closest drawer (hopefully one that is still j0283903 drooping open from yesterday so they don’t actually have to open it) and pulling out enough clothing to cover the parts they don’t want seen in pictures. 

Now this is fine and good while you are sitting in your bedroom, hidden away on your computer.  But what about if mom wants to take you out into the real world?  Now it get’s complicated – – not for them, but for mom.  Because at that point, we begin the repeating ritual that happens on a weekly, if not daily, basis at the Topsy household that I fondly like to call “the who-cares argument.”

It always begins with my suggestion that they look in the mirror.  I lead with this because having seen the ridiculousness that is their current wardrobe choice, I have this hope that someday they will “see it” for themselves.  Never happens.

So on to part two. 

Me: “We’re going out in just a little while, and I was hoping you might put on something a little more appropriate for the weather.  While the fuzzy vest was probably pretty cozy back during January, it probably just isn’t the best clothing choice for mid-June.”

Them: “Mom…it’s just clothes.  Who cares?”

Me: “I know it is just clothes, but besides being wrong for this climate, that outfit is also not really in style right now.  I think tube socks and sandals might have gone out a few years back.”

Them: “Mom, if we are running errands, we will probably never see those people again in our lives.  Who cares whether I am in style?”

Me: “You never know who we might bump into out there.  A neighbor, a church member, or God-forbid a future employer.”

Them: “Why would THEY care what we are wearing?  Do they own a clothing store?”

At this point my voice always starts getting an edge to it, and I am wearing down, and they sense it.  Time to pull out the big guns.

Me:”For all I know, some hot teenage girl will have started working at the pharmacy, and she will be the one to ring up our purchase, and you will have a chance to tell her that you like her nose ring, and she will giggle, and you will say something clever back, and then she will flash you her best smile, and you will brush your hair back over your ear, and she will lean forward over the counter to commence flirting and suddenly see that you are wearing a fuzzy vest, green shorts, and tube socks with sandals, and in horrified amazement, she will not only ignore your existence, but short change me, which will make me ill, and I will probably give you extra chores.” 

Works every time.  Off goes the fuzzy vest and the tube socks.  On goes the purple t-shirt which just happens to create some sort of 3-D effect with the green shorts.  But hey, I’m happy.  If you think I’m going to argue color schemes too, you’ve got another thing coming.  I’m going to let their wives worry with that one.

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13 Responses

  1. I would tend to agree with them — “it’s just clothes; who cares?”

  2. I breathed a huge sigh of relief reading that. PL isn’t the only one. Total lack of care about “being hip” – a blessing and a curse.

  3. Seriously? Because I thought this was a “Oh, he’s only 6” kind of thing, not a “this is because he doesn’t go to school” kind of thing and I’m going to have to tell him forver that at 100 degrees it is simply to hot to wear fleece pants, no matter how comfy they are.

  4. I’ve been thinking about that; the fact that my daughter (who is only one) will be less in-touch with current fashions when she gets old enough. This is nice, since I look at all the 12-13 year old girls in my neighbourhood and I wonder where the heck they shop. They dress like 18 year olds! I realize that part of that is the responsibility of the parents, but if none of the other kids were wearing those styles, these girls wouldn’t even think to wear it anyway!
    Example: super micro mini skirt with tights, boots with 4″heels, and halter tops! WTH!!!! Or corset shirts with skin tight jeans…
    Is it just me or is this a little age-inappropriate?

  5. I have such mixed feelings about this one.

    Our family recently got together with tons of family for Grandma’s funeral. Teen son chose to bring shorts with bleach stains on them! Ugh!! He did have a suit for the actual funeral, though.

    Also, it’s amazing how differently you are treated depending on what you’re wearing. It’s a nasty bit of human nature, unfortunately, and can actually be used to your advantage in some instances.

    Remember the old saying, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”? It’s true.

    Sometimes I’m in the middle of painting or a big building project and need to run to the hardware store. I don’t change clothes because I think people will realize I’m in the middle of working really hard – look at all the dirt and sweat on me for heaven’s sake!

    Then on some other day, I see someone dressed like that at the hardware store and think, gosh, they really shouldn’t go out in public like that. Of course, that’s when the light bulb goes on and I realize people must think the same of me when I make those runs to the store!!

    Who the person is underneath the clothes is what matters, but very few people take the time to look past the fuzzy vest – unless they’re really into fuzzy vests and think they’re cool.

  6. Oh, I wish that the Opposite Sex argument worked for my 4-year-old… today at the grocery store, he wore beige cutoffs accented by soccer pads, a tie-dye shirt, a long purple cape – and, the piece de resistance, a fire hat.

    Great post!

  7. Baby Boy wears sweats every day, no matter the weather- winter – spring – summer – fall . . . sweats.

    I don’t let him actually leave the house in them during the spring and summer months, the rest of the year, I just figure what the heck.

  8. OMG I know this all to well with my daughter as well. Her saying to me is ” remember mom it isnt how one looks that matters, its whats on the inside.” So we tend to go to walmart with her looking all crazy oh well gotta love her.

  9. We suffer from this condition as well.
    Sigh, but I suffer from it too, being the classic nerd mom who’s nearly always dressed incorrectly. Plus I like vintage things, so I’m dressed incorrectly from a generational standpoint as well.
    But we seem to have pals and we don’t get too many crazy looks. Is it because we live in a town of less than 500 folks?

    Good luck. I hear that boys can be tricky on this subject.

    BTW-I agree with earthfriendlymaidservice, there’s way too much tramp fashion going on out there. Ugh!

    • Davis – – now tell the truth…were you homeschooled??!! 😉

      Obi-mom – – “a blessing and a curse” – – my thoughts exactly

      Holly – – did I give you a Xanax moment there, gal? Sorry ’bout that!

      EarthFriendly – – yep, I’ve blogged about that before…the slutty fashions for kids drive me NUTS!!

      Laura – – doesn’t matter how many times it happens…when I head out to the hardware store covered in gunk and with my hair in a kerchief, I will ALWAYS see someone I know. In fact, instead of a high school reunion, I think I’m just going to start going to ACE hardware with no make-up and sweats. Works like a charm.

      SAT – – pics, please! That sounds adorable, actually.

      Mom1 – – I guess I’m a hypocrite on this one, because I WISH I could wear sweats every day of the year!! LOVE sweats!

      Jammie – – She’s so right! So why does it still bug us so bad as moms?!

      Sarah – – Hey, I’ve said before on my blog that my closet basically looks like Garanimals for Senior Citizens. I dress like I’m 75 years old. But I’m always weather appropriate!! 😉

  10. My mum and I constantly had this argument. I take your boys side sorry, at long as I’m not hot or cold, who cares? and if they go out in something not climate appropriate they’ll learn very quickly what they need for what weather.

    It’s an argument neither party will ever properly win 😛

  11. First off, I want it noted that I am here, showing you some bloggy love. Not just Facebook love 😉

    Second, we used to have this problem. Want to know how I solved it? I know that you do. It was simple, really. My military obsessed son now has a closet full of things that are either: camouflage, olive drab, denim, or black. In other words – it can all be worn in any combination and STILL match!

    Like you, I’ll let his wife worry about clothing him (unless she keeps to his current wardrobe scheme 😉

  12. HOORAY! I think we need to set up a playdate! My oldest is wearing long pants and a sweater this morning. (The middle one is completely unclothed, which is how she does.)

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