March 29, 2011

Do you dress your children in vintage clothes?

Day 88 of Vintage 365


The inspiration behind today's post came from part of a conversation my husband and I shared recently. Like many married couples with dreams of one day starting a family of their own, we often enjoy discussing all manner of topics pertaining to our future brood (from baby names to what we their education to be like). As we were capping off one such chat a few days ago, I tossed in the comment "and of course, I'm going to dress them in only vintage".

Well, this remark raised an quick eyebrow from the mister (though goodness only knows why, when that's nearly all I strive to wear myself!), who replied with something to the extent of,  "Um, no".

Sorry there, sweetums, but, "Um, yes!".  Smile

Ok, chances are that not every single garment my future child/children will wear in their earliest years will be vintage, but ideally, I'd like to try and purchase and/or sew (using vintage baby and children's clothing patterns) a lot of vintage and vintage inspired pieces. In a sense pushing aside my own adoration with vintage clothing, when I look at children's styles from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s I see the most sublime pairing of elegance and carefree youthfulness.

Yesteryear kids clothing was ripe with skilful tailoring, immensely pretty patterns and fabrics, and lots of adorable features that make them leagues more beautiful, in my humble opinion, than the bulk of what's on the market for children today.

I tend to think my husband's raised eyebrow stemmed mostly from thinking (somewhat mistakenly) that vintage baby clothing costs an arm and leg. The wonderful truth is, that it doesn't have to. Thanks to sites like etsy and eBay, you can track down authentic vintage baby clothes for very reasonable prices (sometimes, for even less than what their modern day equivalents will run you at most department and baby goods shops). From Christening gowns to pajamas, dresses to short pants, there's actually quite an extensive array of vintage kids clothing to be found still today, much of it quite economically.

One of the main reasons, I think, for this is because - while kids tend to be harder than on their clothes than adults - children grow so quickly. Kids shot up overnight in the 40s and 50s, just like they do today, and that meant that many times garments become too small long before they'd worn out (yes, some were handed down for sure, but others were tucked lovingly away by sentimental mothers). As a result, it's not hard at all to find baby, toddler and children's vintage clothes (and shoes) these days.

Much as I love vintage fashion, I know that as my kids grow older, their own fashion tastes my differ, and that's totally fine, but while they're still at that delightful age when you can deck them out however you please (the real life "doll years", if you will), you, my husband, and everyone else better gosh darn well believe I'm going to put my little ones in beautiful vintage styles! :D

{How charmingly adorable are these lovely summer dresses? Couldn't just image whipping one up for your darling daughter, granddaughter or niece? Vintage sewing pattern image via patterngate on Flickr.}


I want my kids to look back at photos of their first years of life and admire the timelessly stylish looks their parents dressed them in (who knows, perhaps it will help turn them into vintage clothing lovers themselves, as adults), seeing the class, style, and timeless workmanship that mid-twentieth century kids clothing possessed.

I know all it will take is slipping one teeny-tiny smocked dress onto my daughter or play suit onto my son, for my husband to suddenly see the undeniable appeal - and merit - of kitting out your kids in fantastic old school styles.

This discussion got me thinking though, my dears, about you and your kids. Do you, vintage loving mom that you are, dress (at least some of the time) your kids in vintage clothing?


  1. How inspiring. Some day when I have grandchildren, I will sew vintage fashions for them. In the meantime I can pick up older patterns at garage sales. Thanks for a fantastic idea!.........Denise

  2. I have two sons that love vintage clothing. The eldest wore a 1940's black velvet tuxedo with satin lapel to his prom and looked amazing. The second son prefers to wear tan or off white suits, linens to be exact. Thank heaven's I love thrifting and find them for a great deal.

  3. I dress my 3 year old girl in vintage sometimes. It's hard to find locally (I won't shop on the internet for it as they grow so fast its hardly worth buying) so she's never had that much, only about 15 dresses and a couple of jackets. I find its very impractical as nothing stretches and all the little buttons and hook-and-eyes are incredibly hard to do up on a wriggling child, plus the frilly nylon lace is terrible in my hot climate. But I quite agree its super-cute. Trawl back through my blog for pics if you're keen enough!

  4. I don't have children but if I did, I would probably dress my kids in some kind of retro fashion.

    Like your guy, my husband would be very reluctant to dress them in vintage. He was always dressed in second hand clothes as a kid and won't even enter a charity shop with me today! The smell brings back bad memories, I think. He was always embarrassed about the clothes he wore so would probably worry that his kids would feel the same.

  5. I have a new baby, but have already been looking for vintage clothes for him. I adore the idea.

    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge

  6. My child (age 19) is too old for me to pick our her style now. Although when she was little I loved dresses with smocking. And I had the hardest time finding them. There was no ebay. I searched second hand shops for her dresses.

  7. I have purchased vintage patterns and made dresses for friends but it's harder to find cute vintage clothes for boys that don't look out of touch with today.

  8. I dream of the day when I have children I can dress in beautiful clothes and make them things from vintage patterns! xx

  9. I was not into vintage when my kids were little (they're now 19 and 21). However, I still dressed them beautifully, especially my daughter. Lots of pink, lace, and ruffles.

    I was never into "trendy" clothing, you know, the things sporting the latest craze (Power Rangers, Pokemon, etc.)

    My grandmother sewed all my clothes when I was little. But I'm a 60's and 70's child, so although my clothing wasn't that vintage era you and I love so much (30's through 50's), I did have alot of beautiful, handmade dresses. And back in those days, wearing dresses to school was still required. I don't remember being allowed to wear pants until the 6th grade.