Years ago when I was working for a leading organization in the fashion retail segment, I was surrounded by designers, merchandisers and production experts. I loved my job because I was forever in the midst of fashionable clothes and discussions about clothes, seasons, colours, cuts, trims and samples. And most of all it was uber cute because it was all about kids fashion. I had mentally made notes then that when I had my child I would deck him up in adorable outfits and especially denim because it looks so good on babies, don’t you agree? BabyT already owns 6 pairs of shoes, a noteworthy denim collection with jeans in different shades, a t-shirt to match every cloth diaper he owns and has already taken over daddy’s wardrobe space.
When you are a stay-at-home mom like me, long weekends have no meaning really. I feel only the added stress of keeping up social appearances and finishing off long pending odd jobs around the house. This long weekend I did exactly that, I got my husband to mind #babyT while I took on the Herculean task of cleaning and organizing the baby wardrobe.
#BabyT is now 16 months old and his clothes have taken over almost an entire side of the wardrobe we have in the master bedroom. It started off with one shelf and now it stands at four, all full of his clothes – Tshirts, shorts, trousers, night suits, onesies, traditional Indian attire, and then some related accessories. He has over 30 pairs of socks. (Why?? Because he refuses to wear them when we are going out and I always forget to pack socks and then the mall/ restaurant is cold and we need to run and buy a bunch!)
Also I am not even counting the stuff he got as gifts which will probably fit him nicely on his fifth birthday. Lol. People really do underestimate how small babies are. And I have also added to this kitty by buying clothes online and with no standard sizing they are just waiting for him to grow up.
But the harsh reality hit when we were getting ready to go meet some of our friends and their new baby for an early dinner, and I realized that “#BabyT had nothing to wear.” (Yes he does take on after his mommy doesn’t he?) He did not have “nice, new” clothes. So I sat down to reorganize and actually separate the junk from the useful stuff. What I did get at the end of this exercise was constant muttering under my breath “This boy has way too many clothes for a baby and I am never buying anything else for him.” and the emergence of 2 sets of clothes – stuff that doesn’t fit anymore (yes this whole big bag of stuff pic below.) and stuff that fits but cannot be worn for outings because of food stains, stubborn marks leached from other clothing or fading and generally not nice.
A bag like this emerges every 3 months.
This got me thinking as to how much we actually spend on babyT’s clothes and how it is still never enough. The only solution was to actually buy more clothes. Yes, as ironic as it may sound, the fact that he had way too many clothes but not suitable ones meant we had to go buy some more. It ached my heart to know that I would be buying something worth Rs. 500 to Rs.1000+ a piece and he would only be wearing it for a short period, some maybe not even more than 2 – 3 times (Indian traditional attire.) I really wish there was someone out there who understood What Mothers Want – affordable quality clothing, so that we could really splurge and buy tons of clothes without feeling the pinch of the pocket and without the need to strip babies before they sit down to eat anything which is like 10 times in a day.
How do you mommies handle this? I am sure your babies too outgrew clothes really quickly. Leave aside the donating to other babies, how did you ensure baby always had a steady stream of affordable quality baby clothes? And how did you make sure you saved money at the same time? Where do you shop? Looking for ideas!