toddler fashionThe toddler years are a fabulous time for fashion conscious moms. Why? Well, before long, your kid will be insisting on picking out her own clothes -- and there's no telling what will end up on her back. (Chances are, you won't like it.)

That's why it's so important to instill a basic fashion sense now, while you still can. With any luck, once she gets that green mohawk phase out of her system, she'll go back to the classics she was raised wearing.

Here are the essential pieces every stylish toddler needs in her closet ...

1. A well-fitting pair of jeans.

Right? The perfect pair of jeans is like the Holy Grail of the modern wardrobe, and with good reason. Awesome jeans can be dressed down or up, worn all year-round, and also happen to be sturdier than most pieces of clothing. Plus, when they do finally start to rip, they'll look even cooler!

2. A jacket.

I'm not talking about that puffy thing you zip up on snowy days -- boys and girls alike all need the One Cool Jacket that pulls any look together. Whether it's a modified blazer (cute with the aforementioned jeans!), an army-inspired jacket, or a little bomber, this crucial piece of outerwear tells the world your tot has it going on.

3. A simple white top.

The sooner in life she figures out which version of this staple works best on her, the better. I'll let you in on a little secret: The feel is everything when it comes to the classic white top. Never stiff, always breathable -- comfort and ease is key.

4. Cotton t-shirts.

Actually, the secret I just told you applies big-time to cotton t-shirts, too. A soft tee is like an old familiar friend ... the last thing you want to subject your toddler to is one of those thick, scratchy tees that needs about 100 rounds in the washing machine to be broken in. Another tip: Here's one area where you can get a little funky. A retro logo or pattern under that blazer is trendy without being too much.

5. Socks.

Of course a kid needs socks, you're thinking. Yes, but more than that, a kid needs the right socks. It's crucial that socks fit well -- too big or too small and your toddler will be very unhappy -- and to be perfectly honest, you need lots and lots of them. Stock up on a supply of basic colors (this way, when you lose one sock, you'll have another that matches it somewhere), but don't forget to have some fun, too. Like t-shirts, socks are a great place to get crazy -- a fun pattern peeking out from underneath those jeans says, "Hey, I'm a kid who likes to have some fun."

What basics are in your toddler's closet?

 

Image via Nathan Jones/Flickr