5-Year-Old Style: Fashion Professional Reacts to Fashion Week Experiment

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Shortly after we adopted our son, some mornings he’d reach into my jewelry box and pull out the chunkiest, most vibrant necklaces for me to wear that day. Chalking it up to an “adventure” in this new motherhood life, I decided to go with it! He brought some fun combinations, and sparks of joy and giggles in our day together.

When I heard about NYC Fashion Week, I decided to have a Fashion Week in our own house! I enjoy seeing my son grow more independent in his day, including picking out his own outfits. So I called it an experiment and asked my now 5-year-old son if he would pick out MY clothes for this week. He enthusiastically obliged!

I also reached out to my cousin, Kara Beck, to enlighten us on the results of this experiment. Kara has her BS in Fashion Merchandising, with a professional background at HSN styling. She is a buyer for airport stores across the country — managing the beauty, specialty travel, and designer sunglass categories. Kara loves to blog in her free time to “show women of every age that you can look great with any budget and body type.”

Kara graciously agreed to review our Fashion Week photos at the end. I asked if she would point out the positive styling choices made by my 5-year-old! My goal was to affirm my kid, and to learn a little bit more about what actually works in the fashion world!

This is the chronicles of our own 5-Year-Old Fashion Week . . .

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Sunday: Red Floral Maxi Skirt & Striped Sweater

My son wanted me to wear “all beautiful things” for church, including ALL the fancy rings and two beaded necklaces. I got so many compliments at church that day, which of course, I gave my child all the credit. Later that day, the 5-year-old sweet-talked us into eating at a restaurant because I looked “soooo pretty.” Smooth . . . .

Kara: “The best part about pattern mixing, like floral and stripes, is that it’s an all-year style. A few good tips for pattern mixing is scale: pair a larger floral with a smaller stripe, and vice versa. Or you can treat the stripes as your ‘neutral’ and go BOLD on your florals. Your options are endless.”


Monday: All Blue – Hat, Doily Tee, Doodle Jeans

That sweet-talking 5-year-old changed his tune for Monday when he stated, “I don’t really want you to look pretty today.” Well then. I replied, “That’s where you’re mistaken . . . I’m always pretty.” #Queen.

It was entertaining that he chose these flares that my sister and I drew all over in our college days — our very own traveling sister pants! They’ve been hiding in my closet for YEARS.

Kara: “I would call this the ‘Mom-On-The-Go’ look. You’ve got errands to run, and kids to shuffle around town. A casual pair of jeans, comfy shoes, and a print tee —  and you are out the door! Don’t forget the hat in case you don’t have time to tame the tresses. Another great on-the-go option for on bottom is the Bermuda short — they will be all over the stores this spring!”


Tuesday: Jersey Dress, Hat, and Clunky Sneakers

My son was getting tired of this experiment by Day 3. He didn’t want to choose my jewelry anymore, so this day was a sporty dress look. I’ll admit I did try to show him other shoe options for this day, but my son has big opinions and wasn’t swayed by my attempt to cheat the experiment a little that day. I almost chickened out wearing this to an appointment, but I pressed on to be true to our Fashion Week.

Kara: “Another great on-the-go look! A casual jersey dress is an easy throw-on with some Converse sneakers and a ball cap. If it’s chilly out, wear a denim jacket with it, and when the sun comes out, tie it around your waist. I like the hat with the look — it keeps it casual. Hats are a great way to express your interests and are an easy conversation piece.”


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Wednesday: Old College Tee & High-Waist Crochet Pants

It was all I could do to get my son to finish out the week. By this day, I wasn’t above bribery and just had him knock out the rest of the week for me. Shoes and jewelry were too much to ask for, so we just stuck with the clothes! I’ve never paired a t-shirt with these pants before, and I didn’t end up hating it!

Kara: “High-waisted pants (denim or woven) are great to bring in the 70’s vibes. Tuck in your favorite rock band graphic tee to show off the high-waist detailing. Or, you can even pair a graphic tee with a maxi skirt knotted at the bottom. Don’t have a maxi skirt, but have a long maxi dress? Wear the shirt over the dress!”


Thursday: Painting on a Dress & Bright Tights

I got this dress from Bealls, Florida, a couple of years ago during a girls’ trip to Kara’s store she used to buy for! I usually wear this with a neutral bottom, but my 5-year-old wouldn’t have any boring neutral — no way!

Kara: “One of the spring trends you will see out in stores this year is the bright, highlighter neons. This is about the 3rd year in a row that neons will be trending for spring. The bright blue tights are a great way to incorporate the neon trend. And the way the color pops against the beach print on this dress says you’re ready for springtime! Another great way is through your accessories — find a bright pink clutch or neon green headband.”


Friday: ALL RED. ALL. – Waffle Top & Velvety Pants

I was totally self-conscious about all the red, but once I put on this outfit, I thought the texture mixing my kiddo chose was really neat! I was surprised, and delighted, to learn about monochromatic looks from Kara!

Kara: “Texture mixing is a year-round trend. Use lighter fabrics in spring/summer, and heavier knits and weaves in fall/winter. This is also a great outfit option if you are petite. The monochromatic look is great to make you look taller. Since similar shades make the eyes go up and down the body, it gives the illusion of elongation. Go little buddy — making your mom look taller!”


Saturday: Striped Top, Tiger Sweater, and Dress Pants

It was a chilly day, and this is what my son chose to help keep me warm. I secretly love the purple and red combo since they were our wedding colors — but I’ll admit I never would have paired these two shirts together!

Kara: “I am loving this animal print sweater. Animal print is becoming more of a neutral for wardrobes. It’s an easy way to bring a little attitude to your style. And if you’re anything like me, I feel confident when I wear animal prints. Another great print is camo — whether it be shorts or a pocket tee. I think camo will also become a neutral for wardrobes in no time.”


So there you have it! I learned so much about fashion through Kara’s expertise, AND through my son’s eye for bold, fun outfits that I would never put together myself! I love Kara’s final comment about the experiment: “I am really impressed with your son’s style choices — he did a GREAT job!” Be sure to check out and follow Kara’s social media platforms below. I love that she is so down-to-earth and helpful for even the typical, everyday woman!

Kara Beck Style

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If this inspired you to let your little one dress you for a day, I’d love to see a picture of your outfit in the comments!

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Amanda is an upstate New York girl who married a Tennessee guy in 2011 and moved to Charleston the next day. They have adopted two toddler boys from South Korea in 2017 and 2019. She loves to share her heart ponderings and humor lent by beginning motherhood with her toddler who spoke another language. She has a background in non-profit work, but currently stays home with her boys. She enjoys her awkward floppy hound, assertive cuddly cat, but can't keep plants alive. In her "spare time," she loves to create, serve as drummer at her church, dance around the house, or provide harmonies/percussion for her sister's music.