Every Australian parent has occasionally felt puzzled looking at the clothes their child has chosen to wear. Are they really going to walk out of the house that way? Hopefully this is a rare occurrence. But it prompts the question, how much should we influence (interfere) with what our children wear? The is probably no simple answer.
We probably need to balance a few factors if we consider telling children what to wear.
Appropriateness to the occasion - There will be formal occasion, and uniforms for schools or clubs. Some children aren't going to understand the idea of formal clothes. A few just need to be told it is formal in advance. This is one occasion where the parents may need to be strict and insist on something appropriate.
Basic Practically - Freedom of movement, being warm, being able to take the jacket off when we go indoors. This is being pragmatic. And the child, who many not be thinking ahead, will be uncomfortable if this is not done.
The Child's Opinion - The child will be more inclined to wear something that they like. It may be cute to dress them in something else, but the child is an individual, and not an extension of us. Start by giving them some options when buying clothes, leaving out anything that your feel is not appropriate. Make sure everything in the child's wardrobe is a decent option.
Proactive - Talk about appropriateness of clothing before they get dressed. The child will hate having to change back. Depersonalise the examples. You don't attack their choices. Talk about what works, and what is appropriate for the situation.
Show the kids photo of themselves, and how they look good in that particular combination of clothes.
What the kids wears might seem like a reflection of your parenting, but we probably overestimate and worry about this a little too much. Let them experiment a little, within boundaries, and develop a sense of independence and style.