Monday, March 19, 2012

A Modern Layette

Less is more, right?

I'm expecting a little lady in July, which means I need to get going on a girl's wardrobe.

Spending a lot of money on baby clothes is inherently ridiculous. But you want to know what's also silly? Letting people bombard you with what they think your baby should wear, even if it's plastered with garish advertisements for toys and 'witty' phrases like "trouble" or "brat."

I have been able to avoid most of those offending items so far, yet I had little or no input into what my son wore during the first two years. I was in the middle of residency, studying for boards, and just trying to stay afloat. My extended family gave me much needed help, even informing me what my son's birthday party theme and Halloween costume would be each year.

This time, I hope to have a hand in everything and organize a practical, budget-friendly, and even stylish wardrobe for my boy and girl. My strategy is this: Purchase the necessities in gender neutral colors and patterns (in case we have another child in the future) and accessorize in small doses. I think it's also important to have fewer articles of clothing that are of decent quality, than to have a closet bursting with clothes that make things hard to find, add to the laundry load, and don't make you smile.

To that end, I have created a "layette scheme." It's my own little pin board that also serves to give my family an idea of what I'm trying to achieve.

Call me crazy, but I'm also photo-cataloging what I have already so that I can visually survey what I'm missing to create an outfit, and remind me of what I have enough of.

In addition, I'm totally digging this guide from Copy Cat Chic about what a baby really needs ages 0-6mo., and am using it for motivation.

Another thing I'm working on is finding a tactful way of telling people to keep their receipts. After our son's baby shower, we returned more than $300 worth of items and put that towards the gear we actually needed. People seem to be much more invested in putting their 'signature' on our daughter than they were with our son, though. I've already been told "I bought your girl some clothes, I BETTER SEE HER IN THEM." *gulp*

Perhaps my quest to streamline things is more like mission impossible? Will I be maneuvering through piles of pastels to get into the nursery? Time and perseverance will tell.


  1. My boys have basically worn nothing but zip up sleepers for the past 9 months. Day and night. We found them faster and easier than even onesies. My favorite place to get them is Hanna Andersson, yes they are a bit pricey but we have washed them a million times and they hod up great (and the one that didn't they gave us a full refund).

  2. I felt (feel?) the same way! Our nursery is gender-neutral, and pretty much all of the clothing I've bought for Asher myself is pretty gender-neutral. I tried to tactfully tell people that's the kind of clothing I'd prefer, and I pretty strongly stated I didn't want things with logos, slogans, or cartoon characters on them. I still got a little bit of that, but for the most part I've been able to avoid the hideous "Daddy's Little Trucker!" onesies. Why are so many baby clothes so ugly??

  3. @Sara, I did take a look and I'm interested in a couple of their sleepers (why can't they just use the boy pattern and use purple with a touch of pink or green?).

    @Liz, I've been experimenting with all sorts of things. The one thing that seems to work, though it makes me look like a snob or paranoid (both?) is when I say this: "I'm all about protecting my little girl's breasts from the beginning, so I'd like her to be in organic clothing if it's touching her skin." The reactions are always so funny, "her little breasties!", but people seem to be more compliant when I pitch it to them that way, and organic clothing tends not to be offensive.

    As for the boys, there's a reason I keep a donation bag by the door. "Future hunter" "Here comes trouble" and blatant ads for toys have all gone out the door, literally.

    Sometimes I feel bad, because there's this indelible part of me that says I shouldn't care. We grew up under such humble circumstances that I've been trained to feel that I should accept anything given to me, and just be grateful there are clothes on our backs. But as Sara was getting to, there is a higher level of quality to certain pricier clothes. -Sometimes you can't afford to buy cheap! And can you really put a price on your child's dignity?