Monday, June 25, 2012

Shopping for Small Fry-ettes

I've had a few emails from readers* inquiring as to my favorite places to shop for my chunky monkey... 

*'Lest you think I have legions of fans banging down my door for children's fashion advice, "a few" = two.  So, technically, that would be "a couple."  To-may-to, to-mah-to. 

Since I aim to please, here's my philosophy {sounds fancy, right?} for dressing a wee lass, as well as a round-up of my favorite kiddie retail therapy spots!

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I think I dress my nugget like I dress myself... I want her to look cute, but also be comfortable and practical.  As much as I love accessories, I am not an Infant Bow Mom.  I think that probably puts me in the minority, but the bow / rosette headbands just aren't my style.  I love her little noggin just as it is... peach-fuzzy and naked!  We'll work on our hair adornment collection when she actually has hair in which to clip them.  Like most mamas South of the Mason Dixon Line, I looooooove me some smocking... but I do not have the same enthusiasm for my ironing board.  I save the bishop dresses and monograms for special occasions {brunch on a random Saturday counts!} and keep it pretty simple on a day-to-day basis.

Play Clothes
clockwise from top left: Gap, Tea, Gap, Carters

Simple... but fun! We're talking bright colors and patterns.  No words.  I am not a fan of "Mommy's Little Cupcake" and the like plastered across her chest.  I think we have one pair of jammies that says "Squeeze Me" in tiny print on one side of the chest, but that's about as much as I can handle.  And while she does her fair share of lounging about in just a onesie, I prefer cotton bubbles or singlets... They don't ride up or get tangled during Tummy Time like dresses do, but they feel a bit more like an "outfit" than a onesie.

Play Clothes
clockwise from top left: Gap, Carters, Carters, Carters

Some of my favorite brands for "play clothes" include Carters {Macys, Target, Babies R Us, and Buy Buy Buy also carry Carters}, Old Navy, and Baby Gap. If you sign up for their emails, Old Navy and Gap are almost always running some sort of % off deal.  If I had a gazillion dollars to spend on baby clothes, L would be forever swathed in Tea Collection and Mini Boden.  As it is, I usually just cross my fingers and wait for a sale {Tea Collection is running a great one now, and Mini Boden is available during Nordstrom's big half-yearly sales}.

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clockwise from left: Petit Ami, Vive La Fete via Zulily, "Vintage Kate," Petit Ami

L does have a decent collection of smocked dresses for special occasions.  Many of them were gifts.  For anyone local to the DFW area, my mother-in-law finds tons of great deals on smocked items at the Frisco Square Market Place.  I also "like" several smocking "auction houses" on Facebook {Smocked Auctions, Smocktions, Smockadot Kids, Smockaroos, and Smocked Threads by Cecil & Lou}... Smocked and applique items in limited quantity are posted on their respective Facebook pages once or twice a week, and followers can purchase them on a first come, first serve basis at lower-than-retail prices.  These shops also host swaps, where followers can sell their gently-used clothing.  I found an adorable UT dress and matching bib for this coming football season during one of these swaps.

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Texas dress & bib via a Facebook swap; Etsy seller Elizabeth Ann Originals

L also wears some of my old baby clothes. Since we share a birth month, nearly everything that's still in good condition fits her during the correct season {thus far, at least}, and it's so much fun to dress her in "vintage!"  Surprisingly, I haven't done a ton of Etsy shopping for her... although I did have a ridiculously cute Baylor dress made for football season {girlfriend already had the hookup on Longhorn gear so we had to get a little Green & Gold love for Dad!}.  The white and baby blue monogrammed dress in the very first photo above is from Etsy but was a gift so I'm not sure about the seller... if you search "pillowcase dress" under Children's Clothing, many similar items will pop up!

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"Vintage Kate" outfits

Other random tidbits... I've done some shopping on Zulily.  They often have cute items but their shipping protocol is pretty miserable, so I have to really, really adore something to pull the trigger.  I love Janie + Jack and Hanna Andersson.  The Pink Chicken absolutely kills me dead with cuteness. Two of my very favorite newborn items {and gown with a delicate bow print and jam-jams with baking accessories} are Kissy Kissy {both purchased at Neimans Last Call}. And my favorite PJs are the stretchies from The Children's Place.

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clockwise from left: The Pink Chicken, Kissy Kissy, Janie + Jack, Kissy Kissy

I think that about sums it up...

Where are your favorite places to shop for the small fries in your life?

23 comments:

  1. Our little girl adornment and dressing philosophies are perfectly in sync. E-mail rant about words and headbands and babies dressing like teenagers to follow!

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  2. We're pretty similar especially on the bow loathing. I also love Peek and Kate Quinn Organics.

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  3. THANK YOU for being anti-rosette. They enrage me so much any time I see one I ask, "WHAT'S *HIS* NAME?" Your baby is bald because it's a baby. Who cares if I don't know if its a girl or a boy?! It drives me insane. So kudos.

    Also, what are your thoughts on those "9 months!" .. "10 months!" onesies that people seem to only use literally once to take a picture of their munchkin on that date on some sort of fluffy arm chair next to a stuffed animal?

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    1. While I "get" the numbered onesies, they just aren't my style... I do take monthly photos of her but I prefer to put her in one of my favorite outfits instead (especially if it's one that hasn't been photographed a bunch yet!). Pictures can be easily labeled in Photoshop to commemorate the "birthday."

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    2. The "1 month", "2 month" stickers are usually removeable to use on existing onesies or clothing - I don't know anyone that purchases actual onesies for the photos.

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  4. I'm having a girl in November, and I enjoyed reading this. I love smocking, but think it's more practical to dress comfortably on a day to day basis. And I absolutely do not like those giant bows/flowers that get strapped to a child's head. Unless there's enough hair to hold a bow in, I'm against it. I feel like we're in the minority though!

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  5. It seems that we have the same theories on baby attire! I also don't do bows or headbands (but will once she actually has hair to put in them). And I'm with you on the "no writing" on clothes. This post was great! I am also a huge fan of Baby Gap and Old Navy. Target has had some very cute things lately, too!

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  6. I'm with you on the words. Why do most things have words?!? I do put bows on Julia, but mostly because I think they're cute. I only put small ones that are appropriately sized to her head, no giant bows that overwhelm her sweet little face.

    I WISH we had some vintage Sara, but alas as a second, my things probably didn't hold up through me, much less many years in storage.

    I also try to find things that are other colors besides pink. While, she looks cute in pink, girl needs some variety in her wardrobe, you know?

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  7. I completely agree about the words! We have great luck with baby consignment stores. I have found a lot of Hanna Anderson, Zutano, Le Top and Kissy Kissy in prefect condition for great prices. We also like baby gap and carters. Generally we love fun colors, baby cardigans, overalls (babies in overalls are so cute) and baby leggings and tunics. Margot was born in november and I was born in august so very little of my baby clothes work seasonally but my sister was born in november so she has sported some vintage aunty Jessy clothes.

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  8. Such cuteness! I totally agree with you on the words thing, especially when the words say something ridiculous about mommy/daddy/grandma/whatever. The Vintage Kate collection is adorable! M pretty much lives in Gap, Carters, Kate Quinn Organics, and BabyLegs.

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  9. Just thought I would throw this out there for your readers. Costco constantly has baby/kids clothing for great prices. I have found tons of carters play clothes for super cheap and twice a year Costco has Hanna Anderson clothes in stock. I loves bows for baby girls but I am very girly. I try not to over do it and Ella only wears bows when we are at a special event or for a special picture. You will never see Ella with a bow on during our daily play time. I love the Pink Chicken why did you introduce me to this. I cannot spend $72 on one dress for her. Maybe I will win the lottery...

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  10. I hate words on baby clothes. HATE. How low must one's self esteem be that they feel the need to put their baby in a onesie that reads "Pretty Like Mommy?" It makes me so mad when I find something cute that I love, only to discover a little tag that says "Daddy's girl" or some other asinine blurb on it. Who else's girl would she be? The mailman's? Duh.

    Now, the BFB = I am a fan of that. I'm a fan of over the top girly nonsense though. :)

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  11. Now here's an area where we have everything in common! I could have written this post almost word-for-word (minus the UT and Baylor parts :) ). As a fellow non-bow-head mom, do you know how refreshing it is to click on a mom's blog (not a mommyblog, mind you) and not see pictures of a new baby girl with a flower or bow bigger than her own head? So refreshing. When my first was 2 years old, my mother-in-law actually broke down and asked if I needed her to buy some head accessories for the wee one. She had clearly been wondering for the entire two years WHY I wasn't adorning this child's head, and I don't know if she actually thought we couldn't afford it, but it had obviously taken every bit of her self control to wait that long to ask. Ha. I gently explained to her that it was just not my style, and like you, I was waiting for actual hair, and would then be happy to put some simple, understated ribbons in it. (My girls' curly hair grew in really slowly, so at two she still had wispy baby hair.) Now that my girls have lots and lots of hair, on Sundays or special occasions we'll do satin ribbon tied in a bow at the tops of the braids or pony tails, or around a bun. But most days it's just play-friendly braids down the back or buns on the sides.

    For clothes, we're fans of all the same places (I LOVE Carter's for babies! So sweet!), except that my "if I were made of money I'd shop at. . ." would be Janie and Jack. I do love the classic, elegant slant there. And the only thing you left off the list (for me) is Gymboree, which you know is the same company as Janie and Jack? Just like Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy are all the same group, the Gymboree people own Janie and Jack and Crazy 8. (Janie and Jack being the high end of the group, like Banana Republic, Gymboree in the middle like Gap, and Crazy 8 the lowest price point like Old Navy. Exciting info, huh?) Anyway, I do love Gymboree, just not the stuff covered in animals or words, which they've had more of in the last few years. Because just like you, I cannot stand any of that "mommy's little rock star" junk, or really any words, and I also don't do, say, a giant pink poodle across the front of a shirt. Tiny animals incorporated in a small-scale print, like tiny yellow duckies on Carter's jammies, are the only animals that I can handle.

    My biggest and longest-standing rule in dressing my girls, and one which I remember even telling people before my baby showers when I was pregnant with my first (and obviously in a major, and might I say uncharacteristic, moment of hormone-induced diva-ness) is that my children are not walking pieces of advertising space. Meaning, no licensed character will ever be paraded on their bodies. This many years later, I could see an ironic/retro Sesame Street or Muppets nod. . .well, let's say I won't judge you if I see your child in that. . .haven't made the leap with my own. But a bubblegum pink t-shirt absolutely covered in a harem of Disney princesses? Dora's wide-eyed craziness staring at me from their pajamas? No. I don't even let them watch that annoyingness on TV, so obviously I would never clothe them them way. With your no-words stance, I'm curious how you feel about the licensed character stuff?

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    1. I am definitely not a fan of licensed characters (muppets could apply for an exception)... I could go on and on about te whole Disney Princess franchise but that's a post for another day!

      As long as I can dictate what she wears, there won't be any cartoons plastered on her chest. And we're trying to keep her away from TV until she's at least 2, so exposure will be minimal. However, I won't deny her some "personal style input" later on. I had a HEINOUS Sleeping Beauty nightgown when I was 4. I'm sure my mother hated it, but I ADORED it and felt so special when I wore it.

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  12. Seriously. I can't say it enough. She is so stinkin' cute. How are those cheeks possible? As for words, I thought I was the only one with the off limits rule. Apparently not from your comments !

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  13. I love to shop at 77 kids for my son. (it's american eagles kids line) I think this might be the only place i have found where the boys stuff is cuter than the girls. shopping for boys = not nearly as fun as shopping for girls. ha!

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  14. Some of Tea's stuff for little girls KILLS ME with cuteness. We really like Paige Lauren Baby, Mini Boden (never purchased at full price, though) and American Apparel for cotton basics (love their baby yoga pants).

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  15. She gets prettier every day.

    I loved Hanna Andersson. There's also Polarn O. Pyret...

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  16. Baby girl clothes! I can't get enough these days :) My new favorite subject!

    Amen on the words!! I get so annoyed seeing such DUMB stuff written on baby clothes.

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  17. Love her style! I also find myself avoiding the smocked dresses after discovering the effort to iron them, so cotton rompers are my favorite! And I get all rant-y about Zulily's horrible shipping, constant cancelling orders, etc...and yet I still do find things I love, and buy. Sigh. i'm surprised to not see any owl-themed outfits in the lineup above ;)

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    1. I have the CUTEST owl jumper that she's just about big enough for! And we have some adorable owl jam-jams!

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  18. Not a fan of the big bow/headbands either. I feel like it's one step away from ear-piercing. :) But I did put a little clip on bow on her as soon as she got barely enough hair!

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  19. My sweet little bambino, Kate, was born a few days before yours and my favorite brands for her are Kissy Kissy, Magnolia Baby, Hanna Anderson pjs (from Costco), Bailey Boys, Anavini, Rags Land, Zucchini, Little English, Funtasia... also do love Mini Boden!

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happy little comments!