Germans do dress seriously. When I mean seriously, I mean appropriately. Each occasion has its own attire. As I blogged earlier, when you go outdoors, you need the outdoor gear. You can't just turn up with your trainers and jeans to go for a walk in the woods. People will be able to tell from miles away you are not German. Proper walking boots will look more serious together with a windproof jacket and hiking trousers.
|Regenhose - part of our blending-in gear|
The same goes for children. They must have the right attire for every occasion. At our daughter's kindergarten, we were supplied with a list of clothing she needed to have there at all times: rain jacket, waterproof trousers, trainers, sports outfit, wellies, and more. Admittedly these waterproof trousers or 'Regenhose' are a great invention. They are really common here and very practical for sand play when the weather is not the best or for puddle jumping.
In addition to the above list, during winter, she needs a snowsuit/overalls as well as snow boots. I need to mention at this point that the most snow we get is about 2cm at any one time and this rarely lasts for more than a couple of days. Snowsuits are good to play in the snow but to be sitting in a pushchair in a shopping centre with 7 other layers underneath or on top, it may be a little extreme. How many times have I looked at a child and thought: no wonder you are complaining, you must be boiling in there.
I have no problem with dressing my daughter in a snowsuit in winter when it is really cold but not from October to March. This year, autumn came and I was gently reminded that it was now too cold for leggings and skirts or dresses (to the horror of my daughter enjoying her princess stage). My daughter needed to wear thicker (corduroy-style) trousers. Then, a few weeks later, I was told she needed tights under those trousers. I managed to fight that, though, because we were potty training. How can a two year old remove tights, trousers and underwear in time? But, I then discovered that the solution, according to the German clothing method, was not to leave out the tights, but to just peel my child like an onion when she arrives at kindergarten in the morning. Snowsuit off, corduroy trousers off and you are left with a child in tights. This seems to apply from the first slight temperature drop when summer ends!
I am happy to add tights under her trousers when it is really cold and we are going to be outdoor for a while. Yet, I can't get used to children wearing tights instead of trousers. For me tights are underwear. But kids walk around in tights whenever they are indoors pretty much from October to March.
This is going to take some getting used to! Not sure my daughter gets it either. So far, wearing any kind of trousers under skirts and dresses didn't cut it and tights are not to be worn with jumpers, t-shirts or sweaters.
Dressing up has become a multicultural battle!