I have a semi-dirty secret to share. I swore before I had my baby that I would NOT be one of those moms. But, here we are over a year later, and boy, did I tell myself a big fat lie.
Here’s the lie I told myself: I will not buy any smocked outfits, Jon Jons, bubbles, or the like and put them on my baby boy.
My husband was enthusiastically on board with my hater-ade drinking because he thinks that boys dressed in these types of outfits look like girls — or worse, that those moms just want a girl and this is their way to “dress” the child like a girl.
Somewhere along the way, I found my first bubble in baby blue with a white Peter Pan collar to actually put on my baby and I was hooked. A smock with a bunny, pumpkin, turkey, football, Christmas item, or other seasonal item on it? Yes, please! Southern mommas unite!
I do not think I am alone in this endeavor, given that there are tons of places offering up these cute items. Nevertheless, they aren’t (always) cheap and the size you need isn’t always available.
Let me back track and say that first, I feel that it is harder to find cute boy clothes. I am not a total sexist/genderist and have encouraged my boy to play with pink items and dolls. Nevertheless, at this point I have gone traditional and have put him in “boy” clothes, and cute ones have been hard to find. I do not love the tops with words or cartoons on them, and I feel like retailers think just slapping a sports item or superhero on a piece of clothing is “good enough” for boys’ clothes whereas girls’ clothes get a much wider and voluminous selection as compared to the traditional boys section. Don’t believe me? Just walk into any Target, Walmart, or Carter’s store and eyeball to see which section is physically larger.
At any rate, I love cute boy clothes that hearken to days of proper British little gentlemen or at least of a grandma smocking a cute design on a top.
Below are ways to tactically buy these clothes without (too much) fuss from your significant other and places to shop for them (with some deals to be had).
Winning the Battle
Like I said, my husband hates these “frou frou” outfits. The solution?
1. Be the primary clothes buyer.
So far I have been the primary parent in charge of clothes buying, so I de-facto have been able to win this battle.
2. Beat them to the punch.
I buy clothes a season ahead of time. In July, I’ve already bought tops for football season, Thanksgiving, and Christmas (and Christmas jammies). By the time it is time to buy the next size of clothes, I have already beaten my husband to the punch. Because he is very practical, he has rarely bought additional (non-cute) clothes given that I already have finished that task, or at the least never asked me to return my purchases.
3. Non Sequitur . . .
I am very, very fortunate to even think about buying these clothes because of our finances (stable, and not cash strapped). I am grateful I can even write this post about being able to afford this ridiculous desire. Please redirect to the beginning of this article about how this is a semi-dirty secret and a source of some shame that is outweighed by some serious baby cuteness.
Winning the War
Now that you’ve won the battle, win the war (aka the fun part) and find those cutie pie outfits.
For those of you unfamiliar with boutiques in the Birmingham area that sell these items, here is a quick and non-comprehensive list:
- The Lili Pad
- Monograms Plus
- Birmingham Bubble
2. Consignment Stores
Consignment stores are a great option for finding gently used garments at a reduced price. Once Upon a Child has multiple locations.
3. Online Retailers and Poshmark
Online retailers tend to have more sales and deeper cuts, as well as a better variety of styles and sizes. Another option to get a deal on the internet is using Poshmark, an online resale site where you can get a deal on used items. Ask questions before purchasing items as the sellers are from all over the country and refunds are not necessarily available if you didn’t ask about a defect or confirm that an item is in good condition.
4. Local Facebook Marketplace
If you, like me, love a deal, then Facebook Marketplace is a great place to shop. I love to peruse the different “mom” groups for gently used items. Local moms tend to give the best deals to other local moms. I like to think it is because the sellers know their beloved items are getting a good and loving second home somewhere nearby. Here is an outfit (that wasn’t even used!!!!) that I snagged from a group for $20, whereas the tag indicates it retailed for $56.
5. Seasonal Consignment Sales
These sales are typically held at local churches consigning clothes for moms
, and the churches usually take a percentage of the proceeds for church projects. These have the same allure as brick and mortar consignment stores except they tend to have more of everything given that most people do not have time to consign year round but may ante-up for an annual endeavor.
Recently, I read that July 4th means that a mom’s summer is over in that it is time to go back-to-school shopping, begin making Halloween outfits
, start planning the Thanksgiving meal
, and commence buying Christmas presents. Oops, I am already behind. With that said, good luck soldiering on with the clothes shopping and maybe take a little joy yourself in grabbing that Alabama elephant smocked top (Roll Tide).