Gone are the days when children would have their clothes stitched by the friendly, neighbourhood tailor and siblings looked more like twins in the same fabric and material they sported. Cut back to present times and you’ve probably often walked into a store with your little one in tow and walked out feeling zapped at what you ended up buying. No, it’s not the bill that leaves you feeling light and dizzy, but what your child chooses to pick up, off the shop shelves.
Yes, most kids these days know what they want to be seen in and are very particular about having their wardrobe in place. Actor Priyanka Upendra, mother of six-year-old Aishwarya and seven-year-old Ayush, is going through a phase when her daughter is keen on deciding what she wants to wear.
“Aishwarya has a mind of her own when it comes to her clothes and more often than not, she has started saying no to something I suggest she should wear. She wants short tops and skirts and denims, contrary to the nice summer frocks I get for her,” says Priyanka, adding, “But my son Ayush quietly wears anything I pick for him without fussing the least bit.” She feels that boys tend to get influenced much later when it comes to their clothing, whereas girls are extremely look conscious from a young age, courtesy television and favourite on screen characters.
Designer Ramesh Dembla, father of 12-year-old Krishna and nine-year-old Rayan, has already stopped shopping for his kids. “The last holiday we took to Bangkok was the first time they shopped for themselves and I was amazed at the way they were sure of what they wanted for their wardrobes. I realised it was time for me to take a backseat when it came to deciding what they will wear,” he states, adding, “They do tend to imbibe some style from me though. While Rayan likes the denims I wear, Krishna prefers to be in sleeveless tees and bermudas. In fact, since the older one has a keen sense of style now, the younger one loves aping his brother.”
Mother of 15-year-old Mahin and 10-year-old Aman, stylist Gouri Kapur says that shopping, for them, is a family affair. “It’s a combined decision we take. Now, I’m at a point when there’s no way I can impose my decisions on the kids,” she states. Of course, children will always be children — whatever be the time and age — they’d like to have their way. “Though both my boys have a pretty decent sense of dressing, I also need to make sure that they are not blowing up hard-earned money on ridiculous clothes,” she explains. And as a mother, Gouri feels that every moment spent with the kids is quality time. “Even shopping with them is about bonding. We shouldn’t forget that children are our own reflection, but with their own identity,” she says.
Designer Manoviraj Khosla, father of 16-year-old Ahaana too confesses to shopping being a family activity for them. “Of course, she has a mind of her own, but if I’m around, she does ask me for suggestions and looks forward to advice. Sometimes if I see something nice, I suggest she try it out,” he says, adding, “In fact, there’s also been an odd time when I have made something for her. But I respect her individual sense of style and want to nurture it.”