Stripes and Polka Dots

I recently got two news pairs of shoes, my first soccer cleats and a stylish set of rain boots. Both came from the children’s section. That is the gift of tiny feet—snazzy shoes for bargain prices. The curse: bad balance. It’s worth it. You can fall in style.

The real challenge when shopping in the kid’s section is differentiating between cool, funky designs and awkward, lame ones. Kids can’t always tell the difference, so designers are usually just throwing lawn darts into the air and hoping they don’t fall on an unlucky fashion victim. Children are mostly just attracted to bright colors and shiny objects. Like crows. But as adults, we’re supposed to know better, to be chic and trendy. At least, that’s what the fashion magazines in the grocery store check-out lane seem to be telling me.

But since those magazine don’t taste as good as popsicles or pizza, they don’t make it into my cart, and the lessons just won’t stick. Instead, I usually think the most stylish person in the store with me is the toddler wearing a tutu and a baseball cap. They’re happy and we’re happy looking at them. We’d probably not pick that outfit out ourselves, but maybe we should. We could be excluding all kinds of cool combinations from our lives. Polka dots and stripes could be your jam.

And that’s what I hope to gain from my children’s department shopping excursions.

Rock what you like and forget about the judgment. Looking for a hairy pink mini backpack? You’ll find that in the kid’s section. Wish you had tights covered in shiny unicorns? Children’s aisle. Need a shirt with seventeen pockets? You know where to find it. Feel like dressing like a giant cheeseburger? Go for it. In your free time. Or get a job as a hype man at a fast food restaurant. Basically, go after what you want and wear what you like. That’s why I’ll be wearing my furry Chewbacca costume to work tomorrow. HR, here I come.