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The back to school clothing frenzy

For weeks now every visit with my grandchildren has seemed like fashion revues rather than a "how is your summer going" experience.

Our visits have consisted of each granddaughter modeling or at least laying out the latest new pair of jeans and blouse each may wear on the first day of school. I say may, because the decision to wear this or that will change 14 or so more times as the day draws near.

The grandson, who is all set to enter the world of kindergarten this year, is also proud of his new clothes. He has been just as excited and eager to show me all of his new Spiderman gear and this year's heroes - Fantastic Four - printed on his new t-shirts. While his excitement wears off quickly as some other activity draws his five-year-old attention, his older sisters can chatter about their clothing for hours.

However, I am relatively sure the grandson won't be beleaguered by any dressing dilemmas on his first day of school. He'll probably have to be bribed into leaving some of his toys behind.

What I find amusing is that while his older sisters are trying on all of their new finery, some very old finery is finding its way into their ensembles. Among the "vintage" items going back to school with my granddaughters this year are a number of items from my closet, items which haven't seen the light of day for - well - let's just say quite a few years.

For reasons I can't fathom, the girls are pairing up their cute, modern little outfits with necklaces I have long since relegated to my costume boxes. Some of the items are accessories I can't wear anymore, like leather belts, or have kept only for sentimental reasons. Those accessories have been rescued from my stash of belts, scarves and jewelry for a new lease on fashion life. To tell you the truth, I'm flattered the granddaughters are taking an interest in individualizing their fashion look. Plus, I get a kick out of my things being seen as suddenly trendy after all these years. Most of the time, my own daughters just thought I dressed weird when I wore some of the granddaughters' finds.

I'm also finding myself marveling a bit at their daring to take fashion risks. Young girls are notorious for being pretty conservative on the first day of school when it comes to making fashion statements. Girls and some boys, too, don't want to appear too out there, just a little when it comes to that first day of school clothing impression. Back to school fashion is a fine line of something new and, maybe, something old just in case everyone is wearing the same thing.

I think my granddaughters have that pretty well covered, although not in the normal sense. It would be easy for them to play it safe and wear the same costume every one else will be wearing on the first day of school.

But my daughter and my son-in-law haven't raised children who follow trends or crowds or the norm. They aren't weird either, I think they are normal, beautiful, exceptionally talented and confident youngsters.

Of course, that is just me talking. After all, I'm their grandmother and, as granddaughter Lizzy likes to tells me, I have to like them. I do of course, and I also like to brag about them, if you hadn't noticed.

But to tell you the truth I'm glad the back to school clothing frenzy is nearly over. I really want to know how their first day of school goes. Oh yes, and what all the other kids are wearing this year.


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