Rockin’ Your Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes: A Fashion Guide for Little Rockers

You are a rock and roll family. You live and sleep the rock and roll lifestyle (complete with punk rock crib bedding). But does your child’s wardrobe measure up? Here are some tips to make sure your little rocker is toeing the line.

There is a lot of room for play within the rock ‘n’ roll genre. From rockabilly to punk to hair metal to goth, there is a wide range of styles and aesthetics that fall within the rocker category, so you and your kids can have fun playing with different styles to figure out what they enjoy the most. And remember, some of the best looks employ the simplest articles. A lot can be done with just a white t-shirt, a pair of jeans and some Chucks.

Starting from the head and working to the toes is a good way to evaluate any ensemble and a concept that children can easily grasp. So, why not try introducing the rock and roll style with some fab hair accessories? Girls, of course, have lots of options, including hats, ribbons, bows and scarves. But, boys who would rather not wear bows, even if they’re adorned with skulls, can join in the fun by donning a punkie bandanna or a rebel hat. The options for headgear range from knit beanies to trucker hats to fedoras, so go nuts.

Tops are key to defining your little rocker’s style. This is where they can literally spell out their look with favorite band logos and rebellious sayings. If your tot is still in onesies, never fear; there are a plethora of opportunities for your babe to speak their mind before they can speak. You can start by keeping the message simple with a rock hand snap tee (especially handy if you are also teaching your baby sign language) or wax a bit more poetic with a Smith’s onesie declaring, “There is a light and it never goes out” (Um, can you pleeeese turn that nightlight down a notch?). There is even something for the infant who is already a member of the Misfits Fiend Club.

Once they have graduated to regular old t-shirts, the world is their oyster. Not only can they choose from an array of pint-size Ts, including album-specific favorites like Sonic Youth’s Goo, or broader statement shirts like I Heart Indie Music, but they may even be able to raid your old t-shirt box gathering dust in the basement. In a few simple steps, you can shrink your t-shirts two or three sizes. Simply drop the shirt into a pot of boiling water (yes, I said to boil the shirt), let soak for five minutes or so, depending upon how much shrinkage you desire, wring, and air dry. Or, for extra shrinking power, throw it in the dryer on the highest setting. And Voila! You never thought you would see that GBH shirt again but how cute is it in miniature on your mini me?

And don’t think your kids are limited to just t-shirts. There are a plethora of stylish button down shirts and blouses for kids that can be easily blended in with your little one’s rock ‘n’ roll ensemble.

At the waist level, there is much to add. The belt is a signature piece in the whole rock ensemble. WARNING: If your child is potty training, do everyone a favor and skip this accessory. If you buy one pint-sized belt, consider the universal punk accoutrement: the studded belt . Slip this through the loops of a pair of Levis to add a harder edge to the classic blue jeans. Large, ostentatious belt buckles are also a nice touch for almost any outfit. Whatever you choose, be sure to consider pocket placement for carrying around another much needed rockin’ accessory, the chain wallet.

If your little girl (or boy) is going through that “I only wear dresses” phase, there are many dresses with attitude that would gladly accept a belt slung around them. A simple punky tank dress might do the trick or, for those who want a bit more drama, a gothic fairy dress will also take a belt. And don’t forget skirts: they go with everything and the puffier the better. Complete  the outfit with leggings, tights, or even leg warmers, for a signature rocker look . The good news is that this is a great year for a “mix and match” rock and roll style as all manner of patterns are hot. Leopard prints are especially the rage and can be found imprinted on pants, tights, and leggings that you don’t have to be Rod Stewart to appreciate. Speaking of things that started in the sixties and went wild in the eighties, leg warmers are also a great choice for warmth and fashion fun.The versatility of rock guitar leg warmers will be appreciated when these are your child’s “go to” cold-weather leg coverings.

And now for the crowning jewel. What rockin’ child (or adult) has not rejoiced in the selection of the perfect shoe? As a little rocker, there are some practical considerations, so you will want to choose wisely — something versatile that finishes off a wide variety of outfits with flair and comfort. In the category of kickin’ ass and versatility, the boot comes to mind. You could reach for the classic Dr. Marten’s or turn to the iconic Frye Biker Boots for your rebel with or without a cause. Consider also the basic, flat canvas shoes from Converse and Vans. These simple footwear are comfortable and pair nicely with almost any outfit.

And though your tot may rebel against outerwear, try to entice them to complete the look with a tough biker jacket.

Now that you and your child have all of the individual items selected and waiting in the closet, how do you pair all of these precious finds to really make a statement? There is little to worry about here as your child is most likely already armed with the mad skills they need: the perfect knack a child has to NOT match (but what IS matching anyway?). This is not just a rock and roll wardrobe you are putting together. This is a parent-child relationship saver wardrobe. Just wait and watch them put the clothes together. Plaids and polka dots? Rockin’! Leopard print and rainbow? Psychedelic! So let loose and them loose with their very own rock and roll wardrobe.   

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