Apparently, according to some, we’re born with an innate ability to be stylish or not. Sounds like a bunch of fucking malarkey to me, although I do like the theory.
In her recent New York Times article, Ruth LaFerla claims that the desire, or rather the “instinct,” to be in style and a fashionable little thing can “set in as early as toddlerhood.” This is a point she tries to drive home while profiling a 7-year-old named Aubrey who, despite never having looked at Vogue or attended a fashion show, is just a fashionista to the core.
However, our friends over at Jezebel disagree. Jenna Sauers, who knows more than her fair share about the fashion world, doesn’t think that kids are just born with style: “She is, like all children, a consumer who can only exercise her agency via adult parental proxy, in a marketplace that is designed and run by adults. Adults whose job it is to pay attention to trend forecasting reports and Pantone’s colors of the season-after-next.”
Every time my sister allows my nephews to dress for themselves, it’s an entire explosion of insanity. My youngest nephew, Elliot, is obsessed lately with pairing his seersucker jacket with his frog wellies — both items he chose himself from one of those kids’ clothing stores. Sure, it’s his “style” for the moment, one that isn’t stragically planned out, but is something he’s quite proud of and rocks with whatever level of confidence a child that age can muster.
I think to say that there’s a style gene is cute for the sake of these “stylish” kids, but as Sauers pointed out, they’re pretty much just choosing what they want from an “adult” world that has designed these really great pieces for them. Although, like I said, it would be cute if it did exist, but lots of things are cute. Bunnies are cute.