Seven rules for dressing my baby daughter

Before my daughter was born I was adamant that she could just wear her brother’s clothes.

I knew she wouldn’t care if she was wearing a blue onesie or a pink one, or whether her shirt said “Mr Cool”. It was all basically brand new and I wasn’t going to be swayed by gender-obsessed marketers who wanted me to think that I had to buy a whole new wardrobe just because I have spawned a baby female.

But since she’s come into the world, I’ve noticed her wardrobe has become more and more pinkified. First it was the massive pile of hand-me-downs donated from friends. Who knew little girls amassed so many clothes? Then it was the call of Kmart and Cotton On.

I’d got used to buying fairly functional clothes for my son. Shorts, t-shirts, track pants, long-sleeved t-shirts. Maybe a button-up shirt for the occasional “dress up” event. But as soon as I wandered over to the “girls’” side of the shop, I was amazed.

She’s not even six months yet and she can choose from leggings, capris, shorts, jeans, skirts, dresses, tshirts, peplum tops, boleros, skirts…. And in a whole range of colours. None of this just blue or black or brown.

It’s proved fairly hard to resist. So, in the interests of firmly holding on to my feminist card, I have come up with some rules.

It has to be functional
She’s got so many years ahead of her when she might choose to wear something uncomfortable because it looks pretty. I don’t want to make that choice for her now. Yes,  frills are fun and masses and masses of tulle petticoats make skirts stick out in a visually appealing way. But tulle is only really put to full effect when you can float about in it – ie walk. For now, I’m choosing clothes that she can roll in, cuddle in and nap in without them bunching up, falling down or digging in. She can suffer for fashion when she’s old enough to decide it’s worth it. For now, she mostly just wants to stick her legs in the air and hold on to her toes. That doesn’t sound like something you do in a frilly dress.

It has to not have any daft slogans on it
“Future supermodel”, “little princess”, “sugar drop”, “cupcake”,  “mummy’s little flower”, “bows before bros” (seriously). No! I reserve her right to be as loud, rambunctious and smelly as her brother, if that’s what she chooses to be. I don’t want my son being told he can grow up to be a superhero but my daughter hearing she can only aspire to be a slice of something from the bakery. Of course, if she grows up and tells me all she wants is to be a delicate piece of tiramisu, that’s fine. But neither of us knows yet, so we’ll stick with animals, stars, and general slogans about being happy, smiley and adventurous. And FYI, boys are much more interesting than bows.

Nothing that’s just a little version of an adult’s dress
Those little tuxedos you see babies in are cute, I admit. And my husband and son do have matching Hawaiian shirts. (I know.)  But somehow mini versions of adult women’s dresses just look a bit creepy, especially when they come with weird thigh splits and cutaways. You aren’t going to catch us wearing matching “mummy and me” outfits any time soon. Also – baby bikinis. Nope!

No baby high heels
She doesn’t even wear shoes. Patently ridiculous. I couldn’t believe these were actually a thing.

Nothing that’s completely white
I do not need to explain this.

No outfits that are dependent on each piece remaining in place
Similar to the above… It’s so cute when you get an outfit with a matching headband, dribble bib, top and pants but there’s nothing guaranteed to create a poo explosion like a perfectly matching set. Everything she wears has to be able to be swapped out for something else without changing the rest of the outfit. Also, who has time to find all the bits of a matching outfit? I’d like to live in your house for a morning.

Nothing too difficult
A million poppers that have to be done up in one strict but mysterious combination, you say? Or a lace-up back that requires one hand to hold the sides together, one to thread the strip through the holes and another to pull it tight? No thanks. For my own sake, these clothes need to be as simple as possible – preferably so easy that I can remove and put them back on in the dark.

I know my time in control of her wardrobe is limited – I’m going to make the most of it while I can.

The image on this page is of clothes from US clothing line Handsome in Pink.

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