I iron now. I haven’t done that since my mother insisted we iron our Catholic school uniforms. But here I am, two decades later, hunched over an ironing board every Sunday.
With a shockingly large pile of tiny shirts and suits next to me, complete with baby hangers for the finely pressed finished products. I’m ironing for 3, 5, and 7-year-old boys who do not care if their jackets have wrinkles or their shirt collars aren’t pressed. Regardless, I iron them anyway. If I’m going to dress my children like little moppets, they are going to be adorably neat little moppets.
For those of you who don’t know, a moppet is a small, endearingly sweet child. And that’s exactly how I dress my boys on Sundays.
I don’t have little girls and my youngest is 3. I don’t have a tiny baby to dress and coo over, so I dress my younger two children like Prince George, and my older son like a GQ fashion plate. In case you think I’m kidding, my oldest has two full seersucker suits, one tailored suit, and a three-piece linen suit. And that’s not all, I’m currently cruising for more that will work well in a southern summer. As for the younger two, between preppy jackets, shorts, knee socks, shoes, suits, and shirts, I may have a serious addiction on my hands.
It all started at Easter. My kids always wear seersucker with matching bow ties. While both of my older sons had suits that fit, my youngest didn’t. An idea crept into my head: what if I bought him one of those eton suits Prince George always wears? You know, the ones with the jacket, shorts, and knee socks? I surfed the internet and found a deal.
With that, Sunny wore a seersucker eton suit for Easter — complete with adorable shoes and pink bow tie. Between him and his brothers, it took me an hour to iron all those tiny seersucker suits and tiny shirts. But I did it, and they looked smashing!
From there, I was hooked. I hit eBay and Amazon. I found another deal, and BAM! Sunny owned another eton suit, this time in green. And while I felt like I couldn’t put 5-year-old August in a full eton suit, I had no problem dressing him in a jacket and khaki shorts, complete with knee socks and a red bow tie. As he arrived for mass the next weekend, everyone cooed over him in his clearly vintage checkered jacket. So many people commented, his 7-year-old brother dressed in a three-piece linen suit felt slighted, even after the priest told him that he looked sharp.
The building of my sons’ dapper wardrobes continued, but when I found the shoe Prince George wears, I nearly fell over at the price. My husband hasn’t disowned me over this style obsession yet, so I’m not going to give him reason to.
If my sons were girls, no one would question my shopping for expensive dresses or accessorizing with crazy bows the size of their heads. I’d buy tights in a rainbow of colors and shoes of all stripes. I could dress my daughter in smocked, monogrammed dresses with a giant bow every single day. But because I have boys, I’m supposed to dress them in the minimum suit jacket, clip-on tie, and khakis. And while that surely makes for a cute enough outfit, I like more for my boys — at least once a week.
The way I shop, my wardrobe hobby is fairly inexpensive. Finding the best deals on children’s formal clothes gives me something to do in between the rest of my life. And so what if knee socks and collarless jackets make my sons look younger than they are? Perhaps I’m just trying to hold on to their toddlerhood for as long as I am able.
Dressing my sons in true Sunday best can’t be harmful … I just have to keep up with the damn ironing.