Hello, friends! First, a favor to ask: I would love to get your thoughts on my newsletter. I have learned so much writing it these last six months. Your enthusiasm has meant the world! Now I am planning for the next stage, including ways to grow, and want to know what you enjoy most.
Also, I have received a few emails lately asking for spring shopping advice. I hear you! Something about the sun coming out and COVID cases easing has made me want a bit of a closet refresh, too. Thanks to Bird, I have a new approach. More below, plus five links for you. xx
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As of last week, two-year-old Bird will only wear dresses. I sort of expected this phase to hit right about now, thanks to family and friends with daughters. But what I did not expect was my girl’s strict criteria for the styles she wears. Bird insists on dresses with skirts big enough to produce a satisfying twirl.
I wish I was joking! I am not. Twirling is her favorite. Multiple times a day she will ask in her little sing-song voice: “Do you want to see me twirl?” She then winds up with her arms out and spins with the biggest smile.
I know I probably strike you as the kind of mom who would love this but at first I found it immensely frustrating. Thanks to generous hand-me-downs from her brothers and cousins, Bird has a closet full of the cutest t-shirts, shorts, pants. Trying to coax her into any of it these days is not worth it. So! I embraced the early phase of the dress obsession until it became clear that there were only a few she would actually wear. I nearly lost it last Saturday when, through a fit of tears and screams, I helped her try four (4!) dresses until we found one that passed her twirl test.
“What is going on?” I mouthed to Matt, wide-eyed and exasperated. Neither of us know where she learned about twirling or why it has become so important to her. When I asked Bird, she smiled and said, “Because I like it.”
In my overthinking — ugh I can’t help myself — I realized that she probably doesn’t know what she looks like when she twirls. (We only have one full-length mirror in our house right now and it’s in her brothers’ room, which is not her preferred twirling spot). There’s no doubt a performance aspect of it when someone is watching her. But I also catch her twirling all on her own. She seem to twirl for…herself? Which makes me think the twirling is about the feeling of it, the rush of the spin with the whoosh of the skirt.
That realization changed everything for me. Who am I to step on my girl’s twirls?! On Sunday afternoon, we made a trip to Target so we could have enough twirl-approved dresses to make it through the school week. I picked out three with the biggest skirts I could find. “MY DRESSES! MY DRESSES!” Bird screamed from the cart, desperate to get her hands on them. Yesterday, she chose the biggest of the lot to wear to preschool. When I dropped her off, she walked silently to the center of her classroom and started twirling. A friend joined her, and then another. A twirl-fest! It was amazing.
But mostly: Two years into the pandemic, I’m ready to shop in a way that I haven’t for a long time. As I look for new pieces, I want to channel a bit of Bird’s energy: Keep a tight, focused assortment but infuse it with fun. Shop for what feels good. Trust me, I am not running out to buy tutus. 😉 But I am determined to find something that I love as much as my girl loves twirling.
How are you thinking about shopping this spring? What makes you feel good? Is it a skirt that twirls or a bright color or a new accessory? Please hit “Join the discussion” at the bottom of this email and share in the comments.
PPS: When was the last you twirled? Bird often asks that I join her, preferably while wearing a dress. 10/10 recommend.
Note: I use affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase I may get a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my work!
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READ / Robin Givhan has a very powerful piece about Ralph Lauren’s latest collection inspired by two HBCUs and what it means for the American fashion brand: “For more than 50 years, Lauren has been writing a tale about what it means to be American. And now he’s made a significant edit. It isn’t so much a correction as it is a clarification.” (Washington Post)
READ / An absolutely harrowing story about babies born to surrogate mothers in Ukraine who are now trapped in a basement in Kyiv. (New York Times)
READ / Still feeling the fallout from last weekend’s time change? This just in: The Senate has approved a bill to make daylight saving time permanent. It now heads to the House for approval. If the bill passes, it would take effect in November 2023. (Reuters)
CALL / An elementary school in California put together a hotline offering pep talks from students: “Prerecorded advice for stressed callers, some of it in Spanish, includes: Punch your pillow and cry on it. Go get your wallet and spend it on ice cream and shoes. Jump on a trampoline. Go get a cookie. Be grateful for yourself. Be you. It’s okay to be different.” Want more? Call: 707-873-7862. I did! (Washington Post)
SHOP / The Goldilocks of coffee tumblers. Not too big, not too small, not too heavy, not too light. Just right! (Target)
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Also, share those spring shopping plans! Or your thoughts on twirling. 😊 Hit “Join the Discussion” below and leave a comment on my Bulletin page.
Have a wonderful week, friends. I’ll see you back in your inboxes on Friday with a royal deep dive.
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Thank you for reading! The So Many Thoughts newsletter comes out twice a week, with royal deep dives on Fridays and more general style thoughts on Tuesdays. You can read the archives here, follow me on Instagram at @EHolmes, and find my book, HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style, wherever books are sold. It would mean so much if you would forward this to a friend.