Carrie Yamato

“I think I’m going to wear my Brandy Melville skirt and a sweater or …

“Mom! Where are my black jeans? Seriously? Not those! The ones that are ripped at the knees. Mom, can you help me find them? Please!”

No, my 14-year-old daughter isn’t going on a date or even to a party with her friends. She is simply getting ready for Shadow Day at the local high school, and it has turned her world, as well as her bedroom, upside down.

For the past eight years, Taryn has gone to a private school, where only about a handful of days in the school year, was she allowed “free dress.” In lower school, this meant her daily uniform consisted of jumpers and blouses with ties; and in middle school, she wore polo shirts, plaid skirts — no more than three inches above the knee — white leather tennis shoes and was makeup free.

So, it goes without saying that faced with the combination of a more relaxed school dress code and a closet full of options, there was going to be some havoc in the morning.

I knew the day would eventually come when getting dressed for school would no longer be on autopilot, and I would have to deal with more than the occasional question of “Have you seen my tie?” (an accessory they wear only on Mondays), and worry about whether or not her outfit of choice was appropriate for school.

High school doesn’t start for another seven months, and she hasn’t even decided which local high school she will be attending. But the “What should I wear today?” dilemma is already in full force.

I can already hear the moans of “I have nothing to wear,” “Nothing looks good,” “I have to go shopping,” approaching, and I’m not looking forward it.

She’s already told me when school starts, she will probably pick her outfit out the night before because it will take her too long in the morning to decide. So I’m hoping the novelty of dressing for school subsides and she realizes school isn’t about an Instagram photo opp.

Despite what she thinks, I'm hoping no one really puts that much effort into their outfits. 

I’ve seen the high school kids walking home from school. Yes, the shorts are too short and the tops show a little more skin than I think necessary for the fog on the hill, but no one seems as if they spent the night before covering their bedroom floor with heaps of outfit options.

“OK, are you ready to go?” she asks eagerly, as she emerges from her room wearing her distressed black jeans, grey crop tank, a cardigan and a little more mascara than I am used to seeing on her.

“Yeah, but do you think you might want to wear a warmer top,” I try to ask without judgment.

“No, it’s going to be nice today. I was actually thinking of changing into shorts,” she shoots back. “Mom, it’s fine,” she adds noticing my stare at her short top. “Let’s just go.”

Oh, how I already miss the days of those plaid skirts.

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