Before I had kids, there were a lot of things I thought I would do. I thought I would feed them only organic meals made from scratch. I thought I would have educational crafts planned for them on a near daily basis. I thought I would have them sleeping through the night easily at six weeks old. At the LATEST. And yet, slowly but surely, all these things have gone by the wayside as I learned the true difficulty in being the perfect parent: it’s an irritatingly impossible task. One area, however, where I have managed to somewhat meet my childless self’s expectations, is in my preferences for what the girls wear. I have a few simple rules that I typically stick by for their wardrobe, and as with my approach to beauty, I hope it gives them a responsible view of fashion as well.
1. I try to stay away from characters.
This is not to say that Cora doesn’t have a few Minnie Mouse shirts or Snoopy pajamas, but I try to avoid them if possible. It just makes it easier if it’s a fad that will come and go, or if it then becomes the ONLY shirt Cora will agree to wear for the next three weeks. I also have to believe that in thirty years I won’t want to see an old picture of my girls and wonder who that random cartoon on her shirt is.
2. I let them dress themselves, but within reason.
I know there are some parents who subscribe to the notion that it helps a child develop their independence to let them entirely dress themselves, even if that means ski boots and a bikini top, but I tend to draw the line a bit before that. If Cora wants to pick out her own outfit we at least make sure it’s matching, it has shoes to go with it, and it’s appropriate for where we’re headed that day. Call me a stick in the mud, but I’d rather go through the hassle and occasional negotiation than feel the need to explain to the grocery store bag boy why she’s wearing two different shoes and a tutu.
3. I go for solid, classic colors and prints.
I’m certainly a sucker for glitter and sparkles, but if I’m finding it all over Issa’s face the entire day it’s officially too much. Plus I think it’s obnoxious when a little kid’s shirt is screaming louder than their tantrum. Cheeky phrases or uncomfortably sexist lines (“My best subjects are shopping and makeovers”) are out for my girls. If I wouldn’t wear it myself, or at least a 3-year-old version of myself, I’m not putting it on them either.
4. I give in to the temptation to let them dress alike.
This is one area where I’ve faltered in my previous assumptions. I hated when my mom would dress my sisters and I alike, and yet I find myself doing it with Issa and Cora every chance I get. Not exactly alike, I think a lot of children’s lines have caught on to the whole “sibling” look where the pieces are similar but not exact replicas. Like these two dresses from Bambinos in Lincoln Heights. They’re from the new Jose Varon line out of Spain, and it’s one of several new lines they’re bringing to the store. I love finding unique, high quality pieces for Cora and Issa to wear, and Bambinos never fails to have gorgeous lines that check off every item on my sartorial standards list.
5. I go for quality over quantity.
In all truthfulness, my girls honestly do not have that many clothes. Issa, of course, has been relegated to many of Cora’s hand-me-downs, but even Cora has a relatively modest wardrobe. I would much rather buy them clothes that are high quality, and will last through scraped knees and grass stains to avoid wasting my money on something that’s going to fall apart the first time I wash it. Not to mention with as many growth spurts as they’re having, it makes sense not to load up on any particular size since it’s only temporary at this point. Bambinos has a plethora of eco-friendly, high-quality lines that make me feel good as a mom. I may not be feeding them organic beet salad for dinner, but at least I can outfit them in organic cotton. 😉
If you haven’t checked out this adorable boutique yet, they’re having an event today (Friday) and tomorrow, to celebrate their new children’s lines, like Jose Varon which the girls are wearing, that are all made in Spain. Fittingly, they’ll be serving sangria and having lots of fun giveaways! Check it out via the flyer below or visit their Facebook page here to find out more.
P.S. Bambinos kindly gifted my girls with these dresses in exchange for this post. Don’t worry though, all opinions are my own!