I’ve never had a problem styling my adult clients, but when it came to styling a baby, I felt like a total beginner. I didn’t understand how it works and just had so many questions: How long do they wear onesies for? At what point do we start dressing them in full outfits with jeans and stuff? What’s the difference between having her wear a onesie all day and just having her wear her footie pj’s all day? What are bloomers really for? Now that Sailor is 17 months, dressing her is getting to be really fun. Since she’s officially a walker, the options get much better – from shoes to dresses, to layering, and accessories. It may have taken a little while to get the hang of dressing a baby, but we’re in a groove now and it’s super fun. So today I thought I’d share my thoughts on what it’s like dressing a 17 month old, and some of the things I’ve learned so far about baby style.
One of the main lessons I learned in the first year is that although I’m prone to want everything neutral and edgy, there’s something nice about dressing Sailor like a softer girl and in the beginning that’s mostly done with color. I’m mainly talking about those first 12 months where everywhere you go people will assume your child is a boy. I don’t know what it is, but hairless little beings automatically read male, especially if they’re dressed in anything other than pink. ANYTHING. I loved dressing her in my favorite soft neutrals too, but looking back I would have liked to have seen her in more blush tones. Though I will say a good “blush” is really hard to find, and tends to be double the price of anything in say a Pepto Bismol or bubble gum.
That first year I also learned that it’s all about convenience and comfort in the beginning. No jeans, jackets, dresses, or general styling really happens the first six months. They’re growing SO fast, you’re constantly changing their outfits due to their messiness, and they barely move. It’s onesies all day every day, pants optional. Between 6 months and a year, it can start to get more fun with things like rompers, moccasins, and bloomers, and a bit of styling can start to happen. Then, after a year is when they start to dress like little adults with jeans, real shoes, dresses, jackets, etc.
My mom got really into making baby clothes after Sailor was born, so we have some really fun pieces by her. I’m mainly obsessed with her bloomers and bonnets, which she’s been making in fun neutral tones and black and white fabrics. If you’re interested, see more on her Instagram and at Midland. She made the dress and bloomers above.
Outfit above: Zara top, Gap bloomers, and Minnetonka Moccasins. Outfit below: Rylee & Cru top, Gap jeans, Zara sneakers
All in all, baby and toddler style should be fun and experimental. It feels wrong to me at this point to try to pin a certain “style” on Sailor. She’s too young to say for sure what’s right for her… boho, preppy, glam, edgy, or hipster. Certain things may feel more perfect for her than others, but she’s a toddler and we’re just having fun with her style. Sometimes I’ll dress her in a classic outfit with a jumper, white Peter Pan collar blouse, and bloomers made by my mom, while other days we’ll go more edgy in Nununu Hammer pants, or boho in a Guatemalan jumper from Midland (above). It’s all so fun to see her wear as she navigates the world, and I love playing around with different outfits. That’s not to say I don’t have some favorite brands that I always go to first. Most of what’s in her closet came from Midland, Elm Street Textiles, Zara, Gap, H&M, Eggy, Yolk, Rylee & Cru, and Freshly Picked. In general, I definitely won’t spend over $100 on a single piece, but I like to splurge on things I really fall in love with to mix in with a mostly super-cheap wardrobe. I’ve got my eye on a lot of things for summer, especially bathing suits. Who knows when her style will really start to take shape? All I know is right now we’re loving the daily dress-up game with no rules.
Photography by Ashley Burns