Teach a Child How to Match Clothes – Free Printable!


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Matching fail

Kids have, how shall we say…a unique sense of fashion.  Some children seem to choose their clothes solely based on comfort or whatever’s within easy reach.  Others put a bit more thought into the process, attempting to combine as many colors and prints as humanly possible into one outfit.

While I’m all for freedom of self expression, there comes a time in a kid’s life when learning how to match their clothing becomes less of a whimsical guessing game and more of a social skill.  I generally give all my children the freedom to dress themselves, while retaining veto right on special occasions (holidays and family picture day).

I’ve been trying to slowly teach Juliet (age 6 1/2) how to match since she now attends school once a week.  It’s been a mild catastrophe.  I somehow manage to either completely confuse her or wound her pride by insulting her fashion choices.  We were both frustrated and she avoided getting dressed at all cost…until now!


Download the printable HERE.

I created this graphic to subtly describe the nuances of matching to her.  It turns out it’s harder than it seems!  Amazingly, once Juliet listened to my quick explanation, she totally got it.  Now every morning, she chooses an outfit and then comes to tell me why she chose it and how it matches.  She’s gotten it right every day so far!

**Even though I created this for my girls, it works just as well for boys!  Maybe even better since they generally have fewer colors in their wardrobe.


Winning at matching! yessss.

Here’s what to do: I recommend pulling out 5 or 6 outfits out of your child’s drawer and walking them through the printable.  Show them what a solid is, what a print is, and how to identify multiple colors within a print.  Then start matching some up!  Show him or her how to combine prints with solids and neutrals with anything.  Then mix all the clothes up and have your child try to do it!  You might even purposely put some obviously non-matching outfits together and have him or her pick out which ones don’t work.  It’s a really fun learning game!

You might also consider laminating the printable and taping it to your child’s dresser or inside their closet.  Ages 3-4 might have some trouble grasping it right away as they continue learning patterns and colors.  By age 5 or 6, though, they should be mature enough to understand it on the first try.


Again, I wholly support any little person’s desire to dress outside of the box.  Rock that individual style! But, if your child’s pattern mixing has become a social stumbling block, maybe it’s time for a few hints. Have fun!

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