Saturday, March 12, 2011

Designer Genes and Designer Jeans

We've all seen them. People with disabilities that are dressed horribly, with bad haircuts, who LOOK like they have disabilities, from a distance! Clothes that underscore the fact that they DON'T look like everybody else and awful hair cuts make me nuts. With all the resources out there, you can dress your child inexpensively and you can get cute stuff!! I know!! I am the queen of consignment sales and hand-me-downs!

Please don't tell me that your child has to have a bowl cut from the 70's and sweats, because they don't! Elise is not a girly girl, so bows and skirts have been off the table for...well, ever since she could say "no"! I am standing here to tell you however, jeans can be flattering if you shop long enough. There are yoga pants or exercise suits if they want the soft and squishy option. There are flattering colors, and colored hair elastics.

If your child is willing, a hair bow or a cute hat will go a long way. Wouldn't you love your child to be stared at for rocking a fantastic bow? Or a handsome rugby shirt? Instead of a horrible haircut? Or 80's ginormous eye-glasses frames??

Seriously, this was my pet peeve even before I had Elise. I hate it when parents don't try for their kids with special needs. Even if thay advocate for them and love them, trying a little bit more in the mornings will be a support with their interactions with peers that many of them forget! Elise has had more conversations with other (typical!) kids at Kroger over her Twinkle Toes shoes (that I bought for $10 used!) than ever before!

I am proud to say not everyone falls into this trap...and I would say that I see it less and less as the years go by...but it is still out there more than I care to admit!!

I would like to give a "shout" out to those that I have seen that go out of their way to make people stare at their kids style more than their disability!

The most recently famous is Nella.
But also cheer the styling of Ellie Bear, Ben, Rozie, Sean, Angela, Alex, and Axel!

Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying we should over dress our kids. I am not saying that they should all be cookie cutters of perfect. I'm not saying that hair cuts are not a nightmare that may perhaps result in not cutting for too long, or a weird cut due to thrashing about during a cutting. I am certainly not saying that sensory or just personal style may not have an impact...but there are ALWAYS options that can be made to tweak their own styles!

So I challenge you to help your kids WORK their own style! And don't throw up your hands because it makes it extra work. It is worth it, for their own sense of self, and how the world sees them...whether it should or not.

I am going to do a stylin' giveaway...but I need help. I would LIKE to do an age-appropriate giveaway in April... One item to amp up somebody's style in every age group! FOR THE KIDS!!! I've already got tween/adult male and female covered. Could I get any volunteers for kids? Infant up to tween? Hats, Hair-bows? Really anything goes!! Please contact me with your donations. Please contact me at

Also!! If you're willing, I'd love to post a picture of your beauties working those designer genes!! Please send the pictures to the same email!

Thank you!!!


  1. This is such an interesting perspective! I so enjoy reading your thoughts. And, I think you are right. Giving our children the tools to succeed is so important.

  2. I could NOT agree more. My girl's dad does daycare drop off and sometimes when I've picked her up...Horror. That's a dad thing though, not a SN thing. So I pick out her clothes now the night before. Have you read Amy Silverman? She has a thing against overalls. I've expanded the list to include white pants/tops outfits (looks institutional), corduroys & turtlenecks(everything bad from the 70s), and small 80s prints. Though I've completely bought in to all things pink. And I post an absurd number of pix of both my kids in PJs. Nothing cuter than a kid in footie PJs.

    So now you have my entire fashion philosophy! And I've de-lurked. So there. Have a good weekend!

  3. Totally agree. I always try to dress my T21 guy in nice clothes when we go out. I want people to see a cute kid, not a kid with DS. There are also some companies that are now marketing clothes for people w/DS. One is Downs Designs I love their "Rockin" t-shirt. And another one is Downs Designs which have clothes to fit the shorter arms/legs of people w/T21. I don't work for either place -- just like them! :)

  4. Oops -- the first place is Get Downs. Sorry. They are a great couple who have a T21 cutie.

  5. I have to say, Angela is not usually dressed very well. Why? Because she can't do fasteners of ANY type (zippers, buttons, snaps) and independence is my priority for her, not style. When she goes to school she needs to be able to manage things in the bathroom without assistance. Anytime a child needs assistance in the bathroom it increases their level of vulnerability. In middle and high school it is just NOT GOOD to need to ask for help in the bathroom anymore if you don't need it. Oh, through some disproportionate hips in there and you're adding the fact that most styles for girls her age aren't designed for that level of curvaceousness! So Angela's pants are all elastic waisted, which are very difficult to come by at 14! What you do find looks like grandma pants. In the past I have gotten stylish jeans altered with velcro and darts but the velcro doesn't last very long. I hat her grandma pants, but she likes them. She's comfortable and she's independent. Oh, and she likes stripes. Lots and lots of stripes. I don't know what qualifies for the category of "great stripes" because I can't figure out Angela's qualifiers, but stripes are what she's usually wearing. So...lots of stripes and grandma pants do not make for a girl with lots of teen style!

  6. Ok, adding to my comment. When we go out, and I'm going to be with her, she dresses differently. I save all the most difficult to fasten clothes for these events OR, like the post you linked to, a short event where I know she won't need to use the bathroom (because seriously she can go HOURS without! But if she does need to she will ask a friend for help.) Just some thoughts in independence versus style.

  7. OK, so gotta comment, Leah...but SHE has chosen and likes the stripes!! So while it may not be what another teen would choose, you are supporting her sense of self and she is clean and happy!

  8. Thanks Tiffany for mentioning Ellie. She is a fashionista for sure with her tutus and hairbows.

  9. I agree with Leah...but it comes in is easier for Casey to have the elastic waist pants but they fit funny too....she is not obese but not thin...she's got the hips! and functionality collide with our kids....the younger she was the cuter she could be but now that she wears size 10 petite...the clothes just dont fit right and i hate it for her because i am self-conscience for her....most the time she could care less....the more tom boyish the better...but she likes fancy" for church...i am searching today for some jeans for her and so far i have found one site with jeans....ok...back to searching!