You may or may not know, but in addition to being a mama and a blogger here at Babble I am also a freelance wardrobe stylist. I pull together looks for photo shoots and do the occasional personal wardrobe styling as well, but I must say that my absolute favorite “styling gig” has been styling my own daughter. I have so much fun dressing her up in fun, little outfits – especially since I can’t be quite as fashion forward with myself right now with this post baby bod and also because I know I won’t get to choose her ensembles forever. I’m enjoying having my own little real-life doll to play dress up with while I can.
I’ve been asked fairly often about the fashion choices I make for Fern and where I get her clothes, so I thought I’d compile all my favorite baby styling tips and tricks into one post for all those who have been inquisitive.
COMFORT DOESN’T HAVE TO MEAN PAJAMAS
I enjoy putting together fun outfits for my baby (it’s sort of like a hobby) and I only have one child so I have a bit more time to do so. BUT, I do realize that it’s not always practical to get your baby dressed up and that some days are just for hanging out in loungey clothes, but that doesn’t have to mean pajamas. Comfy leggings and a simple, cozy sweatshirt dress are still easy, but more pulled together.
(headband: DIY by me, sweatshirt: boy’s sweatshirt from Zara, leggings: Carter’s, socks: Target)
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Don’t get locked into seeing an item as what it is. This dress is actually a size 2T shirt, but because it has a slim cut it is the perfect length for a little baby dress.
(dress: toddler shirt, tights and shoes: Old Navy, scarf: DIY by me, hat: made by a friend)
Just like adults, it’s good to dress your baby for their body type. I found myself frustrated by all the ill-fitting pants I was finding for my skinny-legged girl, so instead of pants we went with thick knit tights. They fit so much better and still looked like little leggings when paired with socks over the top.
(headband: headband: DIY by me, onesie and bib: American Apparel, hoodie: Carter’s, tights: Circo from Target, socks: Trumpette)
PLAY WITH PATTERNS
Pattern mixing is fun for babies too! My suggestion is to keep it simple and play with patterns in the same color family. It’s a fun and unexpected way to add some fun to your baby’s wardrobe.
(onesie & sweater: Old Navy, tights: H&M)
JUST DO IT…YOURSELF
Sometimes you’ll be limited with the things you can find in the “baby section” of stores. Headbands are one example of this. I didn’t like any of the ones I found, so I made my own that were a little less fussy. Cute and super easy – just cut up t-shirts and tights! You can DIY many things for your little lady’s wardrobe even if you are lacking in sewing skills – just get creative.
(headband: headband: DIY by me, shirt: hand-me-down)
When it comes to buying jeans and tops for my little one I always go for bigger sizes in slim cuts. Tank tops can easily become sundresses for now and tops later if you buy them in larger sizes and the same goes for jeans – wear them cuffed now, regular once she’s a bit bigger and if the waist is stretchy – as shorts later!
(jeans: Babies R Us – Koala Blue)
ACCESSORIZE, ACCESSORIZE, ACCESSORIZE
Who says accessories are only for grown-ups? Obviously it takes a bit more thought and effort to find tiny accessories, but it can instantly change the whole look of an outfit and people always love to ooh and ahh over mini accessories. A few of my favorite baby accessories are headbands, belts, hats and scarves.
(shirt: DIY by me, belt: from a pair of H&M pants, jeans: Koala Blue from Babies R Us)
Sometimes they don’t make things in baby sizes so you have to come up with creative solutions. I love belting things, but had a really hard time finding a belt to fit a baby, so I used a headband instead. And as a bonus it’s way easier to take on and off than a belt!
(headband: DIY by me, shirt dress: little boy’s dress shirt, belt: repurposed headband, cardigan: Children’s Place, tights: H&M)
TURN ESSENTIALS INTO ACCESSORIES
With babies, function trumps fashion, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find clothes that serve both purposes, which is what I did when buying bibs. Cute little bandana bibs are equally good at soaking up teething drool, but look more like a fun scarf than a bib and are infinitely cuter.
(headband: DIY by me, dress and onesie: Carter’s, tights: Old Navy, bib: Etsy)
DON’T FORGET THE BOY’S SECTION
Often times the girl’s section at stores is filled with nothing pink ruffles and glitter which definitely isn’t my cup of tea, so I regularly venture into the boy’s section for some fresh fashion options. Cardigans, stripes and simple neutrals abound in the boy’s section and you probably won’t find as many baby girls wearing the same outfits.
(headband: DIY by me, onesie: American Apparel, cardigan: H&M boy’s section, tights: H&M)
TAKE A CUE FROM YOUR OWN CLOSET
There’s a common misconception that babies need to dress baby-ish, but I don’t subscribe to this theory. I like to dress my baby in clothes that look like shrunk down versions of adult clothing. I have a general rule that if I wouldn’t want to wear it myself, I don’t put it on my baby and often times we end up coordinating inadvertently because of it.
(top: Pink Chicken, jeans: Blue Koala from Babies R Us)
BREAK YOUR OWN RULES
Even though I usually dress my baby in mini adult clothes, I still try to inject a bit of fun and whimsy and I do break my own rules sometimes. For example, I would never wear overalls, but some things are just too darn cute on babies to resist!
(headband: Etsy, onesie: Old Navy, cardigan: Children’s Place, overalls: thrifted, shoes: Converse)