As the former co-host of Dancing with the Stars, Samantha Harris has stepped out in her fair share of designer dresses.
But when it comes to her own daughters’ wardrobes — Josselyn Sydney, 4, and Hillary Madison, 8 months — the mom-of-two prefers to keep it all in the family.
“I would say the majority of [Josselyn’s] wardrobe are hand-me-downs. My sister has a daughter who is 15 months older … and a really special thing is that we’re able to share clothes,” Harris, 37, tells BC Magazine‘s anniversary issue.
“Basically they share some of the most adorable outfits that we’ve had, and it’s a nice way to be able to share a special bond across the country that we wouldn’t normally be able to have.”
However, while Harris may stock her little girl’s closet, she’s no longer in charge of choosing her outfit for the day.
“I used to pick them out on a daily basis and then she decided very quickly and early on that she wanted to have a say,” she says.
“So even though I would lay out two options, she would maybe say neither, and then go into her closet.”
As a result, some of Josselyn’s choices have been questionable, but Harris is determined to encourage her daughter’s independence.
“Whether or not they’re as coordinated as I would like them to be, I have sort of taken a breath and allowed myself to let her be creative in her ensemble,” she explains.
“I do try to suggest matching colors, I try to get her to at least associate. She does understand the word ‘matching,’ she understood that probably at 2½.”
From her Dancing days to her current role as an Entertainment Tonight correspondent, Harris has slowly introduced Josselyn to the behind-the-scenes aspect of television.
“When I hosted Dancing with the Stars, she was on the set while we were shooting or doing rehearsals, and that’s every little girls’ dream to watch all those costumes and dances,” says Harris.
“She comes to Entertainment Tonight with me, she sits in the voiceover booth with me. She puts the headphones on and does her own voiceovers after I’m done with mine.”
And while the hands-on mom is including her daughter as much as possible, Josselyn’s time spent watching television is very limited.
“To be honest, I feel that practically every movie out there that’s rated G has some very scary parts,” Harris shares.
“Even with Winnie the Pooh — which she saw on the airplane the other day — made her burst into tears because the Heffalump was captured. And I felt terrible because usually we always watch with her, but … I had the baby in my lap, how harmful can Winnie the Pooh be? And there she was, hysterical.”
But, despite her mom’s successful career in the spotlight, Josselyn already has a much different plan for her — and her sister’s! — future.
Says Harris: “Just within the last few months, as she discovers that there are different things that one can do as a grown-up, she has told me that she wanted to be a doctor so she can help people and [told] Hillary to be an artist.”
— Anya Leon