ties and other staples from my daughter
My daughter and I walked into J. Crew. We were at the Americana at Brand in Glendale on a stiflingly hot June day, one of the many we’ve suffered this summer. She flew through the patterns and pink clothes of the girls department and landed squarely in front of the tie rack, in the belly of the boys department. We visit the store often, and the saleswoman knows my daughter and doesn’t mistake her for a boy and certainly doesn’t give us the “He looks great in that” sell.
My 11 year old daughter Sullivan’s style is defined as gender fluid, which translates as a “fluid” shift between masculine and feminine, depending on how one feels. The first time Sullivan mentioned fake designer bags it, I’m embarrassed to admit, I had to Google it. An onslaught of images quickly educated me: Tilda Swinton in a Viktor Rolf suit, Ruby Rose in black skinny jeans replica louis vuitton bags , and of course, Jaden Smith in the spring Louis Vuitton campaign wearing a skirt. I was intrigued.
Growing up in a fashion obsessed family, style was a tool to be maximized. My mother turned to exaggerated Jean Paul Gaultier suits and Christian Lacroix dresses in the ’80s following a bout with cancer in an effort to feel strong. The broad shoulders and perfect tailoring created a feeling of fierce invincibility. I remember replica louis vuitton trying them on in her closet and marveling at the preciseness of the stitching. I learned early on: You could be whomever you wanted with a simple wardrobe change. I loved the possibilities and inclusion that fashion afforded.
Lately, while my daughter’s style falls heavily into the masculine category, her own identity is that of a fiercely feminist girl. As replica louis vuitton bags she tells me, “I’m a girl. I’m replica designer handbags just not girlie.”
This summer has been difficult and she has had high quality replica handbags china a particularly rough time at the day camp she’s been attending in Altadena. A common and heartbreaking high quality designer replica handbags wholesale refrain caps off most days, “The girls tell me I’m in the wrong bathroom and don’t believe me when I say I’m a girl,” she tells me. “They ask me to leave.”
I find myself furious and frustrated. It seems so basic to me: Let her be who she wants to be. I remind myself that kids fear what’s unfamiliar. My daily conversations with the various adults in charge, who do their best, do little to change the actions of children. Sullivan powers on, true to herself, which is stunning and inspiring. She’s grown used to it and has found that fighting does little to help. She explains to her Perfect Quality Louis Vuitton Replica peers in simple terms: Not all girls wear pink and not all boys wear blue.
Today, after she fills me in on another round of having to exhaustively explain herself in the bathroom and elsewhere, we decide to 1:1 replica handbags shop for ties, not quite an antidote to the day, but perhaps a bandage.
It all began with hats three years ago. For Sullivan, her first foray into self expression came in the form of a camouflage printed, flat brimmed baseball hat from the skateboard company Brixton. She didn’t remove the hat for months. She was in the third grade and starting to recognize that she could say something with clothing. Hello Kitty printed dresses, purple kurtas and Lilly Pulitzer A lines were cheap louis vuitton bags from china relegated to the back of the closet with ballet flats and anything else pink. I mourned their loss but felt excited by her exploration.
For Halloween that replica louis vuitton bags year, she dressed up as a Hells Angels biker, ecstatic in her costume, which was complete with facial hair. Diligent, I went to the Harley Davidson store and secured her a child sized T shirt emblazoned with the brand’s logo to complete her costume. She posed confidently for pictures beside Minions and Elsas from “Frozen.” More hats followed as the third grade progressed; a plaid newsboy cap became a staple as well as a vintage cashmere fedora that had belonged to my stepmother’s father. The pieces of who she would soon become were assembling. I loved watching her figure out how to be and who she wanted to be in a world that dictated otherwise. She was undaunted and singular in her vision, exploring her fluidity.
By the fourth grade, we were shopping exclusively in the boy’s section. Bow ties became a signature, and before I knew it, she was in a suit. After I found her a black wool Donna Karan blazer, it became an anchor to her usual day look. She fabulously paired it with a baby blue checked oxford shirt and a black tie fake louis bag , embroidered with gold elephants. The outfit was Patti Smith meets an ’80s Rob Lowe by way of Mumbai. Her shaggy hair hung low and stick straight. A corduroy camouflage blazer with screaming orange elbow patches aaa replica designer handbags , another piece in her growing wardrobe, was so stylish I attempted to squeeze into it, but alas, it was too small.
Now, at nearly 5 feet, 2 inches and entering the sixth grade, she’s beginning to raid my closet. Prepping her look for a recent dinner party at our home, she began excitedly thumbing through my jackets, settling on a navy schoolboy blazer. With the jacket’s simple gold buttons glimmering at the wrists, a basic white oxford and a pair of black coated skinny jeans, the high quality designer replica handbags look was nothing short of minimalist perfection. I beamed at her.
The jacket slyly moved to her own closet at the end of the evening. Getting dressed a week later, I found myself taking a nod from her sartorial playbook as I tied a vintage Elsa Peretti mesh tie around my neck. I loved the way it looked and felt invigorated by her energy.
The final piece of my daughter’s transformation came a few months ago when she decided to cut off her shoulder length hair. We visited the salon armed with a Pinterest page filled with shots of Ruby Rose and Stella Maxwell suited up beauties, elegant in their confidence. She was sure she wanted this, and as her blond hair hit the ground in cascading clumps, I knew she was becoming more herself than she’d ever felt.
A lightness followed. It was as though Sullivan’s skin finally fit, gloriously and comfortably, and she was finally her own exactly as she wanted to be.