From what age can children choose their own clothes?

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From what age do children choose their own clothes? This helps their development and gives them the opportunity to develop their own personality. It's also a fun way to dress them up independently and teach them to respect the value of money.

In this article I will tell you from what age children choose their own clothes and how you can guide them.

From what age can children choose their own clothes

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What we discuss in this comprehensive post:

Giving children the freedom to choose their own clothes

It is important to let children choose their own clothes from a certain age. This gives them the opportunity to develop their own personality and creativity.

In addition, they learn to make independent choices and to be satisfied with their decisions. It's also a fun way to teach kids about quality and the value of money when buying children's clothing.

From what age can children choose their own clothes?

There is no fixed age when children can choose their own clothes, but it is good to start them as soon as they show an interest.

For example, young children can already choose between two different sweaters or trousers. As they get older, they can take on more and more responsibility in choosing their clothes.

How to guide children in choosing clothes

As a parent, you can guide your children in choosing their clothes in several ways:

  • Go to shops with your child and let them look around and choose clothes themselves
  • Give them a budget and teach them to make wise choices
  • Ask questions about why they like certain pieces of clothing and what they think would go well together
  • Let them think at home about what they would like to wear and why

Dealing with your child's choices

Sometimes it can be difficult to accept your child's choices, especially if they choose clothes that you don't think are beautiful or practical.

It's important to remember that it's their choice and it's okay to give them the freedom to express themselves.

Try to support your child and show understanding for their choices, even if you don't always agree.

Dressing independently: an important step in the development

Around the age of 28 to 32 months, children often begin to develop enough hand strength and coordination to put on clothes on their own.

This means that they are able, for example, to pull a shirt over their head and raise a pair of trousers.

Of course it will take a while before they can dress themselves completely independently, but it is a good time to start practicing with your child.

Tips to make dressing easier

As a parent, you can help and encourage your child to dress themselves in various ways. Here are some tips to make the process easier:

  • Choose easy clothes: Loose clothes with elastic bands and large buttons are easier for your child to put on.
  • Practice with shoes: Shoes can be tricky at times, but practicing with Velcro shoes or shoes with large, round laces will make it easier.
  • Give clear instructions: For example, explain that the yellow color belongs to the front and the blue color to the back.
  • Take your time: Allow plenty of time and patience during the dressing process so that your child does not feel rushed and has a chance to learn.

Stimulate and give positive attention

It is important to encourage and give your child positive attention during the dressing process. You do this, for example, by:

  • To practice together: Practice with your child and show them how to put on certain items of clothing. Then give them a chance to try it for themselves.
  • Compliments: Compliment your child when they put on a piece of clothing or learned a new skill.
  • Have fun: Make dressing fun by playing a game or singing a song while dressing.

The development of independent dressing over the years

Although children start to put on clothes around the age of 2 to 3 years, it often takes several years before they can dress completely independently. Here's an overview of the development:

  • 2-3 years: Children start putting on simple clothes, such as pants and shirts.
  • 3-4 years: Children can now also handle more difficult clothing, such as jackets and shoes with Velcro.
  • 4-5 years: Children can now put on almost all garments independently and only need help with complicated closures or buttons.

By helping, stimulating and giving your child positive attention during the dressing process, you ensure that they develop the skills to dress themselves independently.

And remember: practice makes perfect!

When do children's own opinions about clothing arise?

In the first years of their lives, children are mainly concerned with discovering the world around them.

Yet they can develop small preferences for certain colors, patterns or fabrics from about 2 to 3 years old.

This of course differs per child, but it is interesting to see how they start to form their own taste at an early age.

From 5 years: more awareness and influence of others

Around the age of 5, children become increasingly aware of their surroundings and the people around them.

They go to school and come into contact with other children, which can influence their choice of clothing.

They may want a cool sweater just like their best friend or a dress that their favorite teacher also wears.

As a parent, it is important to go along with this development and to give them the space to make their own choices.

Prepuberty: forming one's own identity

From the age of 10, children enter prepuberty. They become more independent, develop their own identity and start thinking about what they find important and interesting.

This is also the period in which they increasingly develop their own clothing style. They want to distinguish themselves from others and show their own taste.

This can sometimes lead to surprising choices, but it is important to support and encourage them in this.

Puberty: experimenting and pushing boundaries

In puberty, which usually starts around the age of 12 to 13, children continue to develop their own identity and clothing style.

They experiment with different styles, colors and materials and sometimes push the limits of what is and what is not possible.

As a parent it is good to discuss this and to look together at what is and what is not appropriate.

Discover and stimulate your child's clothing style

Every child is unique and develops a preference for certain clothes at their own pace. As a parent, it is important to discover together with your child what he or she likes.

This can continue shopping together for girls clothes or for boys, looking at pictures or just asking what your child likes.

Give your child the space to express his or her opinion and try not to focus on what you like as a parent.

Advantages of developing your own clothing style

Stimulating your child's own clothing style has a number of advantages:

  • It promotes your child's creativity and self-expression.
  • Your child learns to make choices and develops a feeling for what he or she likes.
  • It boosts your child's self-confidence when they are happy with their outfit.
  • It can strengthen the bond between parent and child by choosing nice clothes together.

The role of parents in choosing clothes

As a parent, you play an important role in choosing clothes for your child.

Give your child the freedom to decide for themselves what they like, but also take into account practical matters such as the weather and the occasion.

Here are some tips to guide your child in choosing clothes:

  • Give your child a number of options to choose from so they don't get overwhelmed with too many choices.
  • Pay attention to your child's preferences and try to respect them.
  • Set limits where necessary, such as when it comes to clothing that is inappropriate for a particular occasion or the weather.
  • Give your child room to make mistakes and learn from his or her choices.

Extra tips for stimulating your child's clothing style

  • Let your child pick out clothes themselves while shopping, but give clear guidelines.
  • Give your child responsibility for his or her everyday clothing choices, but keep an eye on things.
  • Involve your child in tidying up and sorting clothes so that they learn what they have and what they like.
  • Be patient and give your child time to develop his or her own style.

Remember that it is important to support and encourage your child to develop their own clothing style.

Give your child the space to discover and express themselves, and enjoy the process together!

The development of one's own personality in clothing choice

The age at which a child begins to choose his own clothes strongly depends on his personal development.

Some children show an interest in their choice of clothing during toddler puberty, while others do not make their preferences clear until later.

As a parent, it is important to give your child the freedom to discover and develop their own style.

The role of feeling and creativity

Clothing contributes to forming one's own personality and expressing feelings. Let your child therefore experiment with colours, styles and combinations.

This not only stimulates creativity, but also helps your child to discover his own taste.

Surprisingly enough, your child can sometimes come up with combinations that you hadn't thought of yourself, but that look very nice.

Rules and exceptions

Of course there are situations where certain dress rules apply, such as at school or during a party. Keep this in mind and discuss this with your child.

Explain why certain clothes are or are not suitable for certain occasions.

Nevertheless, it is important to give your child as much freedom as possible in his choice of clothing, so that he can develop his own style.

Picking up signals from your child

Pay attention to the signals your child gives when choosing clothes.

Does your child show interest in certain colors or styles? Then encourage this and give your child the space to further discover his preferences.

Love for fashion and clothing can start at a young age, so it is important to pay attention to this as a parent.

Advantages of choosing your own clothes

There are several advantages to letting your child choose their own clothes:

  • It stimulates the development of one's own personality and taste.
  • Your child learns to take responsibility for his own choices.
  • It promotes your child's creativity and self-expression.
  • Your child learns to take into account situations in which certain dress rules apply.

Buying clothes together and price awareness

Go shopping for clothes with your child and involve him in making choices. Not only is this a fun activity to do together, but it also helps your child learn how to manage prices and budgets.

This way your child will learn the value of money at a young age and become aware of the costs involved in buying clothes.

In short, it is important to give your child the space to develop their own personality through clothing choice.

Stimulate creativity, give freedom and pay attention to the signals your child gives. This way you help your child to discover and develop his own style.

The art of pre-selection in children's clothing

As a parent, you know your child best and you know what clothes suit him or her well.

Making a pre-selection of clothing items for your child to choose helps prevent conflict and makes choosing easier.

Moreover, you save time and effort when purchasing new clothes.

Tips for making a preselection

  • Look at your child's age and taste: Consider your child's age and what he or she likes. Toddlers in toddler puberty can already indicate very well what they want to wear and what not.
  • Select clothes that go well together: For example, choose a number of trousers, shirts and cardigans that can be combined well with each other. This way your child can choose which combination he or she wants to wear.
  • Provide Choices Within Limits: Offer a limited number of options so your child doesn't get overwhelmed with too many choices. This makes choosing easier and faster.
  • Keep practical matters in mind: Choose clothes that are easy to put on and take off, especially if your child is still young and wants to learn how to dress independently.

Stay flexible

It is important to remain flexible and open to changes in your child's tastes. What tastes good today may be different tomorrow.

Be prepared to adjust the pre-selection if you notice that your child has different preferences or if the chosen clothing no longer fits his or her age.

By making a pre-selection and involving your child in choosing clothes, you give him or her the opportunity to develop their own style and make independent choices.

This contributes to the formation of one's own personality and the development of self-confidence.

The art of tidying up: unusable clothes from the closet

As a parent, you know that children grow quickly and their clothes often only last a short time. It is therefore nice to tidy up the wardrobe regularly and remove unusable clothing.

You can think of clothing that has become too small, is worn out or simply no longer appeals to your child.

By storing or giving away these clothes, you make room for new items and sets that your child does like to wear.

Make a regular routine

It is useful to establish a fixed routine in it to clean up of the wardrobe.

For example, you can go through the closet with your child every week or month and see which clothes are still worn and which items can be better stored.

This way you involve your child in the process and give them the chance to decide for themselves what they like to wear.

Organize the closet into categories

To keep it clear, it is smart to divide the cupboard into categories. Think of pants, sweaters, shirts and dresses.

This way you and your child can easily and quickly find the right clothes and your child's favorites always remain in sight.

Give unusable clothes a second life

Clothing that your child no longer wears does not have to be thrown away immediately. Often there are other children in the family or circle of friends who can benefit from it.

So pass this clothing on or donate it to a good cause. This way you ensure that the clothing gets a second life and you make other people happy.

Teach your child the importance of tidying up

By tidying up the wardrobe with your child, you teach them the importance of a tidy living environment.

In the future, they will be more inclined to tidy up their own clothes and to ensure an organized closet.

Moreover, it is a fun activity to do together and you can get to know your child better in terms of their clothing preferences.

In short, it to clean up of unusable clothing is an important step in the process of choosing your child's own clothes.

It provides overview, space and teaches your child to take responsibility for their own clothing choices.

Together on the road for new clothes

Shopping with your child can be a lot of fun. Strolling the shops together, looking for nice pieces of clothing that your child likes and that you as a parent also approve of.

From what age your child becomes interested in choosing their own clothes, of course, differs per child.

Some children are already very clear in toddler puberty about what they do and do not want to wear.

Choose the right stores

Nowadays there are many trendy shops with a wide range of products children's clothing. It is nice to visit some of these shops with your child.

This way you get a good idea of ​​what your child likes and what fits within your budget. Choose stores with a wide selection of clothing so that your child can really participate in the decision-making.

The experience of buying clothes together

I still remember the day when I went shopping for clothes with my son. He was four years old at the time and was just beginning to form his own mind about what he wanted to wear.

We entered a hip shop with all sorts of colorful garments. My son was immediately interested and began enthusiastically pulling clothes from the racks.

We soon had a shopping basket full of items he wanted to try on. I found some items of clothing a bit less beautiful, but I still let him have his way.

In the end we came up with a nice selection of clothes that we both liked. He was very proud of his new outfits and I was happy that we had come to a good choice together.

Tips for a successful shopping day

  • Make a list of what your child needs in advance, so that you can search specifically.
  • Provide enough time and breaks in between so that shopping doesn't get too tiring for your child.
  • Give your child the space to choose their own clothes, but make adjustments where necessary.
  • Discuss what you like together and try to come to a compromise.
  • Keep your budget and the quality of the clothes in mind.

Buying clothes together with your child can be a fun and educational experience. It helps your child to develop their own style and teaches them to make choices.

Moreover, it is a fun activity to do together. So go out and enjoy shopping together!

Let your child discover his own clothing style

As a parent you naturally want the best for your child, but sometimes it is important to take a step back and give your child the space to make choices for themselves. This also applies to choosing clothes.

From a certain age, usually around the time they start school, children begin to develop a mind of their own.

They want to decide for themselves what they wear and how they look. Give them that freedom, but of course keep an eye on it.

Looking for favorite items together

Together with your son or daughter, look for clothes that they like. This can be done both in physical stores and online.

Look at different styles, colors and materials together and ask your child what they like. In this way they slowly learn to develop their own taste and gain more confidence in making choices.

The role of designer clothes and bullying

Today, designer clothes play a big role in the lives of many children. On the other hand, wearing certain clothes can also lead to bullying at school.

It is important to talk to your child about the influence of designer clothes and how they can deal with it.

Let them know it's more important to wear what they feel good in than what others think.

Reward your child for dressing

To encourage your child to become independent in dressing, you can reward them for their efforts.

This does not always have to be with material things, but can also be done by complimenting them or having a small party if they have put together a nice outfit.

This way they feel proud of their achievement and they will get more and more pleasure in choosing their own clothing.

Organize a mini catwalk

Make choosing clothes extra fun by organizing a mini catwalk with your child. Let them put together different outfits and show them on the catwalk.

In this way they learn in a playful way what they like and which clothes go well together.

Give your child the space to discover what they like in terms of clothing and support them in developing their own style.

In this way, they will grow up to be confident young adults with a unique clothing style that suits their personality.

Encourage your child to make their own clothing choices

Encouraging your child to choose their own clothes helps develop their own personality and creativity.

It gives them a sense of independence and self-confidence. Moreover, in this way they get to know their own tastes and preferences.

Consider your child's preferences

Every child is different and has its own taste and preferences. Keep this in mind when encouraging your child to choose their own clothes.

Maybe your child likes bright colors, or calm tones. Or maybe they have a favorite color, such as blue or pink.

Try to respond to this and offer clothing that matches their preferences.


It is important to give children enough freedom and to let them discover what they like and where they can express their own personality.

With these steps you know exactly how to get started together!

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.