Your Designer in Training

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Moms of budding fashionistas, rejoice. Quality time together can now translate into quality clothes (and I don'??t mean with a trip to the mall). With you as her assistant in the "design studio," online fashion sites give your little girl the ability to let her inner designer shine.

If your daughter is like mine, she has her own big ideas. Especially when it comes to clothes. When she was an infant, she wouldn'??t wear anything with a collar. She wears sweaters in the summer time. And usually the only way I can get her to wear a dress is to call it a long shirt. However, her fashion sense is actually quite intriguing--pairing tutus under denim skirts, adding just the right flourish to a tank with an iron-on flower, even a not-so-far-off blend of two patterned pieces. Color mama proud.

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I'??ve discovered how to get her involved in her wardrobe (fewer fights that way) while sparking her creativity when it comes to her own designs. Here are few sites that let her mix, match, play and design her way to her own fashion empire.
Reminding me of the pencil and stencil Fashion Plates toy I loved as a kid, she can design her personal brand and fashion collection (think tops, dresses, hoodies, skirts, etc). From top to bottom, they are all hers--colors, patterns, even embellishments like graphics and rhinestones.

Lindsay Phillips'?? Switchflops
Choose the base shoe (flip flops and ballet flats for kids; plus ladies' choice of kitten heels and platforms) and add funky straps, sweet buttons or fancy clips.

Eliza B.
Ribbon sandals and belts for them; sandals, belts and bags for you. There are even things for dad and Fido. All mix and match, with sole colors, fabrics and trims at your mercy.

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By the time we'??re done, we might rival the latest Michael Kors runway show. And this is much easier than trying to book her on Project Runway. If there's one thing I love about my little girl is her honesty about fashion. She'??ll always tell me I look beautiful'?¦until I don'??t and then she'??ll explain why.

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