My Right Charlie..


Inevitably, in Edinburgh we went shopping – not so much for me mind you, but for the kids..and in particular Charlie..


Our first stop was Zara – Eagle-eyed Bella spotted a dress there..and given she’s a girl that never wears dresses it was nothing short of a miracle and a slam dunk purchase; Grandma said she’s buy it for her birthday in October but she was allowed to wear it to the party.  Then she spotted a sky blue cardigan and matching hat..I succumbed in a hazy cloud of steam train nostalgia……she looked like something straight out of the Railway Children..


Then Charlie piped up…’But I want a fluffy cardigan too’  ‘Do you really?’ I asked, ‘Shall we check out the boys department?’..’But I want that one’ he said, pointing to a girl’s navy blue version…so I thought, why not?


And he looked so fab! It’s not like he’s effeminate – I couldn’t care if he was – but the truth is he makes these choices (necklaces, rings..and neon pink toe nails this summer complete with gems!) and is still masculine which is part of what really makes me’s his ability to happily go beyond societies invisible boundaries and just not care.


We walked into another shop – and Charlie made a bee-line for a pink faux fur coat with grey leopard print…there are many times in life where you really have to think about what you want for your kids.  My golden rules is I want them to have the confidence, freedom – composure even, to be themselves and follow their own path no matter what..

So I told him to try it on…and hand on heart – he looked edible (I have no picture – I had no batterie left. It’s a regret) – but more men need/should wear faux fur – yet I knew there was an invisible line that would be crossed if we purchased it, and I had to make sure he was up for it –  the last thing you want is for your child to be ridiculed, particularly for being such a sparkling treasure….I pointed out the coat had a hood – and the hood had bears ears..was he happy with that? He seriously considered the matter and then said he felt the ears were a bit childish…

Was I relieved? No – because he did look inherently cool – I would’ve bought the coat for him; his little sips of rebellion are like a glowing light.  My only real worry is that I have to celebrate this flamboyance now.  I’m realistic: Peer pressure and life will do it’s best to temper and conform his eccentricities.  My wide-eyed five year old may proudly wear a fluffy girl’s cardigan or a fur coat that my worldly-wise ten year old son might not..

So for now, I’ll revel in the confidence he has to be himself – I’ll treasure his energy: smart and unique with a chameleon mind and no pigeon-holed attitude that  I just wish I could bottle forever.

The truth is I can only hope with all my heart he continues to have fun: I can’t care if he sings like a bird of paradise or becomes defiantly average because ultimately it’ll all be his choice…but I’ll always have the memories of the day in Edinburgh when he tried on a girls pink faux fur coat with grey leopard print..and we both clapped with glee…


It makes you think: Just imagine what the world would be like if we weren’t all so afraid…

Laters, Kate x


  1. .virginia.romo.

    What a wonderful article, Kate! It is so true: Little children teach us so much about “what the world would be like if we weren’t so afraid”. And there are so many moments and things about them you wish they would keep forever! I hope your Charlie will. Really. And I am sure you will do everything to help him.

  2. M Brown

    They are both so adorable! And her hair is so gorgeous, I wish mine was such a pretty color like hers! You seem like such a wonderful mother 🙂 great post! xx

  3. silkpathdiary

    Brava to you all! He has taste! My own boy never cared about new clothes. He stuck to what he likes that he would wear in day in day out if we didn’t peel them off when he was very young. I’m sure he would have prefered the same babygro if he was able to tell me so at the time. He’s 11 now and has not changed one bit. Enjoy every moment!

  4. 3freligion

    This post made me smile. It’s truly awesome that you allow your son to express his creative and playful side. I got so excited that I accidentally messed up my previous comment lol. As a black male in America it’s often hard to be this expressive, especially as a child. Thankfully you’re the type to nurture. And soon enough faux fur will be the last thing he is interested in 🙂 keep shining Charlie.

    • Maison Bentley Style

      xxx for you! There have been times when I have refused to walk out of the door with them (I’m trying to think what combination they’d come up with and now I can’t – but in my defence, they were much younger and this was a lesson I had to learn too)..but I do try to hold onto the fact that clothing is such a great way for people to express themselves, children included..and that they have to make their own mistakes and create their own creative highs..nothing beats walking down a street, ahead of the crowd, feeling the bees knees! xxxxx

  5. jackiemallon

    Oh, I’d nominate him for the international man of style that he is fast becoming. They both have such great looks. Hmmmm Where do they get it from..?

  6. zareenn3

    Oh this is the first post I have read today and it’s totally brilliant. Bella is indeed belle. She’s so beautiful oh my god she’s just beautiful! And your son Charlie! He is adorable. I love all the pictures he looks so happy. I love the confidene-who does he get it from?
    I love posts by you but this one is my favourite. Thank you for being a mom who doesn’t stifle her children’s dream or choices because they are not in line with the norms.
    He really does look edible 🙂

    • Maison Bentley Style

      Argghhhh! Managed to get all my comments muddled! Thank you for your lovely comment..I always think there’s a diamond in everything and I think he thinks like that too..he can look at things with different eyes – I really hope he keeps it, but I do recognised how hard that is.. xxxx

    • Maison Bentley Style

      The hardest thing I found was Bella’s rejection of all things felt like she was growing up too soon. No dresses, no pretty collars, no lace edged cardigans..but she seems to be finding her own boho look that’s all of her own. As for Charlie..we took him to Brighton and he spent hours searching the stalls for the perfect silver ring! He’s a character..I think I have to be grateful he has to wear school uniform! xxx

  7. MELewis

    What a lovely post! Enjoy the uninhibited moments with your son, society will come crashing down soon enough. Although with a mom like you, he has every reason to remain a free spirit.