Mom vs. Minnie Mouse: My Battle with Character Clothing


Do you ever take a second to laugh about all of the things you said you’d never do as a parent but you totally do?  

Technology at dinner…yup I do that now.  
Tantrums in public…you should see us trying to leave the park when it’s nap time.  
Character clothing….well hang on, there’s a story behind that one.

I swore up and down my child would never sport her favorite cartoons on her. Character clothing was cheesy, silly and not a part of the stylish baby wardrobe I had in mind.   And for a while, I had the wardrobe department under control.  I’d assemble little Etsy-inspired outfits and she’d go with the flow, I barely thought about any potential push back.  

Guilty of wearing character clothing in the 80’s! This is me rocking my fave Fivel shirt.

That all changed just before her second birthday.  We were cruising around Target and she excitedly sounded the alarm with, “Minnie shirt, mama, Minnie shirt,” and I see the entire rack of character clothing hanging behind us.  She was so incredibly excited to discover that there was a new way to show her love for her favorite cartoon friends.  So, her shopaholic mama (holler!) bought the shirt and I told myself that she’d only ever wear the shirt at home.  

The next morning as we got dressed I quickly realized that my plan was out the window, as my child would ONLY wear that new Minnie shirt and nothing else.  How could I break her excited little heart (not to mention being late to daycare AGAIN)?  Easy answer, I could not.  

If you’re like me and you’re super into style, there’s hope for keeping you both happy when it comes to character clothing.  We now have several favorite pieces that have made their way into her closet, and I’ve learned a few moves along the way that keep both of the fashionistas at my house feeling good when we hit the streets.

  1.  Mix it up.  Just like with adult clothing, it’s all about how you style it.  To avoid the costume or pajama look that character stuff sometimes has, pick one character piece and plan the rest of the outfit around it.    
  2. Keep it in the family.  Her Minnie Mouse shoes from Nana and Papa are the cat’s meow as far as she’s concerned.  They really stand out, so we wear them with anything the same color as the shoes so it all blends together.  
  3. Get the good stuff.  There are plenty of stores that carry cute, affordable and stylish character clothing. Check out H&M—our personal favorite for Minnie Mouse gear—and Target for the best deals.

As a parent, we know to pick our battles and what she wears is such a small part of our daily life. Once you get beyond the baby years, there are so many other things to worry about. When I see how happy her clothing choices make her, I realize that my “no character clothing” plan was totally for me, not for her.  My little one has an opinion of her own and that’s all part of growing up and finding her independence.  I take that as a sign that we’re doing something right as parents.  The bottom line is I want her to be happy, and if that means changing my mind about something so harmless, then so be it.  A big part of my self-expression is through my clothes, and she deserves that too.

What’s your opinion on character clothing? Has it changed? How do you win or lose the battle?





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