Life

Style Advice from an Unexpected Source

By Megan Collins | Last Updated: Jan 31 2018

Dr. Seuss said, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” That’s why, this week, I suggest you take style cues from a baby.

One, in particular – my niece Maya. After a weekend in Washington, DC hanging out with my eleven-month-old niece, I realized she had some style tips worth sharing. Yes, her parents dress her, and no, she doesn’t have a say in the matter, but it’s nonetheless my (totally unbiased) opinion that she’s a very stylish baby.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to suggest you start sporting onesies or bows on your head, but I do think there are lessons to be learned about living a stylish life that babies seem to have mastered pretty early, while we could use a refresher course.

Below, wise words from a young source: 

EMBRACE COLOR

 

{Bright outfit, bright baby}

Saturday morning, I dressed my niece in a lime green top, pink leggings and yellow socks. Paging Punky Brewster? Maybe, but she worked it.

Maya’s not afraid to rock color, and you shouldn’t be either. Start small – maybe a pink tie, or green socks that bring out your eyes. Yes, a wardrobe full of neutrals is easy to match in the morning, but it can also get a little dull.

A GOOD ATTITUDE IS YOUR MOST STYLISH ACCESSORY

{Really? A sweatsuit that reads “sweetheart?” …Fine.}

I’m what you might call “terrible with children.” That is, until I met my niece. She doesn’t seem to mind that I make her formula wrong, or don’t know the words to any nursery rhymes. She drinks her bottle anyway, and laughs at my rendition of Salt ‘n Pepa’s “Shoop” (hey, it rhymes at least!). She seems to know that’s all you can do sometimes.

Whatever less-than-ideal situation you find yourself in, breaking down is not an attractive option. Yes, you could fall apart, or you could smile and go with it. I suggest the latter.

 

DON’T BE TOO COOL TO DANCE

 

{Also not too cool for: costumes}

My niece recently picked up this great new party trick where she shimmies her shoulders side to side when she hears a song she likes. Usually that song is “Wheels On The Bus” though I got her grooving to the Rolling Stones while babysitting Saturday night (c’mon Mom and Dad, expose the child to some non-nursery classics!).

Personally, I can’t dance. At all. But I’m the first on the dance floor at a wedding, birthday, or a friend’s living room when the latest Lady Gaga song comes on. And I have more fun for it.

Be the guy that’s not too cool to dance. To anything. Ever.

 

TRY HARDER

{She’s mastered yoga. Walking’s gotta be next.}

My niece is on the verge of walking. She’s gone from crawling, to kneeling, to standing while holding on to the coffee table. She hasn’t let go yet, but you can tell she’s ready to take her first step at any minute.

What do you want? To get the promotion? The girl? The six-pack? Try harder. You won’t regret the extra effort when you finally take that first step.

EAT HEALTHY

{A messy, but healthy, meal}

Saturday night I fed my niece a dinner of pureed spinach and carrots. After she went to bed, I ate an entire frozen pizza by myself and washed it down with a Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi. I also felt like crap the next day while she woke up with the sun, ready to play.

GET MORE FLIES WITH HONEY

{How do you say no to that face?}

My niece is a shameless flirt. With the grandma behind us in the grocery store checkout line, the man waiting next to us for our drinks at Starbucks. Everyone who comes in contact with her gets a coy smile, a tilted head, and that’s it, they’re hers.

Why not be that guy? The guy that gets everywhere with flattery? I don’t want you to be insincere, but acting politely instead of like a jerk seems to be a good strategy to me.

If your flight gets canceled, be the guy who stays calm, who speaks to the airline attendant like she’s a competent professional, not a petulant child. The guy who talks your way into a nicer table for you and your date, not the one who demands it. Be outgoing. Be sociable. Be more like my niece.

DON’T LISTEN TO THE CROWD

{Overalls and a Packers tee? Totally feminine}

My niece is, objectively speaking, the most adorable 11-month on the planet. It’s true. Scientists have confirmed it.* But she still doesn’t have all that much hair on her head, and despite my sister dressing her in gobs of pink to quickly telegraph, “This is my daughter. She is a girl,” people still seem to have trouble deciphering. “Oh, what a cute….” and then they trail off awkwardly. It drives my sister crazy, but Maya doesn’t let it get her down.

…Okay, fine, she doesn’t understand what they’re saying, but the lesson holds true – don’t let other people’s opinions get in the way of your being you. Wear what you want. Cut your hair how you want. Do what you want. And don’t let other people’s words or actions convince you otherwise.

*No they haven’t, but they should.