Kids Getting Dressed: Preventing Missing Pants and Fashion Fiascos


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Adapted from source

My sweet girls, 2 and almost 4, have an understandably hard time picking out clothes for themselves. Well, ok. It’s more about how much creative license I am willing to take into public.  


I know – that makes me so NOT the coolest mom. But it is what it is. I can only take so much! 


I’m far from a fashionista myself, preferring blue jeans and t-shirts almost all the time. But… but… They’re mismatched and not suitable for the weather! There’s usually a tutu involved! They put shirts on backwards and put their underwear on OVER their pants! 


Look at my eye twitching!  


My oldest (almost 6) has a little easier time except for the occasional blunder. For example, I took him to a playdate the other day and when I picked him up, my friend politely pointed out that my son had no pants on. 


Haha! What?!? How did I miss that? Well, I was rushing and distracted, and he was wearing boxers that I thought were shorts. About halfway through the playdate, he tugged on my friend’s arm and asked “Where are my pants?” 


Indeed. That is the question. 


Here are the solutions I am working on. Perhaps they will help you and your crew as well!


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My 4 year old’s clothes bags

Set Up Clothes Bags 


Once a week, the girls each help me stuff 6 gallon ziplock bags with undies, pants, and a shirt. Every morning after breakfast the kids are sent upstairs to “do their responsibilities,” which means making beds, brushing teeth, and getting dressed. 


I finally started setting up clothes bags for the kids again. I had tried this before but this time I simplified the process. The girls can just pick any bag they choose. I leave the bags unzipped for the 2 year old and often have to help her actually dress, but that’s ok!


Teach Them How to Choose Clothes


I don’t do bags for my son right now. I can take the occasional embarrassing “my son has no pants on” moment so that he can be autonomous. But as I am helping the girls set up their bags, he is there to overhear the conversation. 


We talk about matching clothes together by color and thinking about the weather. We talk about how we need underwear, pants, and a shirt. And how underwear goes under pants. Not over them. And not on your head. *good grief!*


Teach Them How to Get Dressed


My nearly 4 year old daughter took a long time to learn how to dress herself but it was quicker for my oldest. And I’m hoping my 2 year old will catch on quickly! 


When they’re ready to get dressed, lay out the pants on the ground, tag down, showing them how to do that. Lay the shirt on the ground, front facing down. Again, show them how to do that. Soon they’ll figure out how to do it on their own!


Am I the only one facing the problem of children getting reasonably dressed in the morning? I doubt it! 


What do you do to streamline the process? How do you teach them to look moderately presentable? Or perhaps you are more lax and figure that as long as they’re not naked, they’re good to go? 


Proverbial HomemakerTauna writes at ProverbialHomemaker.com about faith, family, homemaking and homeschooling. She has been married 8 years and has 4 kids 5 and under. By necessity, she has a decent sense of humor and a love of coffee. Stop by and say hello!


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4 thoughts on “Kids Getting Dressed: Preventing Missing Pants and Fashion Fiascos

  • Missy

    I love this post! It made me laugh, and I can totally relate! We live on a farm, an hour and a half drive from the nearest city. I took the kids to the city a few weeks ago and when we got there and we were getting out of the van my 6 year old son informed me that he forgot to bring shoes… I’m sure there were a few people wondering what kind of mother lets her child run around Walmart in bare feet! My 4 year old likes putting her clothes on backwards too. She thinks it’s funny. It’s all fine when we’re at home, but the problem is that I sometimes forget to check her before we leave the house and then realize when we get out in public that her clothes are on backwards! Kids! :)

  • Juli vrotney

    This post cracked me up laughing. I have that problem too…my little girl is always putting shirts on backwards and mismatching clothes…thankfully we,live in the boondocks so it doesn’t matter so much…but there have been times when we go somewhere and I have forgotten to check the kids clothes …oops. Oh well.

  • Sarah D.

    You lay the pants and shirt down the same way I do to teach the children to dress! I thought I was on to something… Guess it’s just “common knowledge” for moms. =) Unless we’re leaving the house (going shopping, to church, etc.), I usually let the children (5yo and 3yo boys) dress themselves. I *try* to not have them run outside without pants, but it happens. ;-) Something that we can’t understand: the children have a 50/ 50 chance of getting their clothing on backwards or their shoes on the wrong feet. Why do they have their clothing/ shoes on wrong most of the time?! *sigh* Life with children is always an adventure! Thanks for the post. =)