Monday, March 4, 2013

Guest Post: On Dressing Boys

OK, I admit it, I kind-of love Sam in his adorable little Baby Gap jeans these days.  BUT, he wore his first pair of jeans after he was a year old, and in the early months, it was quite the challenge to find sweet BABY boy clothes for him. I actually met Sandy, the owner and designer of Room to Romp, after posting this and we became fast friends - she has been the source of MANY cute outfits for Sam and she lives in Clemson!!  I was so excited when she offered to write a guest post for me on dressing boys because I totally consider her an expert in the field.  Hope you boy-moms can appreciate this as much as I do!

Why I'm Breaking

Thanks E for letting me share in this spot while you are away.  Sometimes I feel like I could write a whole blog about dressing little boys, but I know I would not be very good at blogging, so I'm happy for this opportunity to share my thoughts.

I am a mom to tweens, one boy and one girl.  They are very close in age -- like 6 months apart.  I'll just say that adoption is part of the history.  I waited a long time to have children, and I dreamed of everything about it -- hearing those sweet baby sounds, smelling them in the morning, their first taste of rice cereal, rocking them at night, and of course dressing them was something I looked forward to.

My son came first.  I loved those baby blue bubble outfits with smocking that came in newborn through six month sizes, and I bought up all I could find.  When he closed in on the one year mark though, the choices suddenly dwindled to jeans, khakis, and plaid collared shirts.  I still had a BABY who wasn't even walking yet and was still taking a bottle at night.  I just couldn't bring myself to dress him in clothing that my husband might wear.

I scoured very retail source available to me -- online shopping, thrift stores, upscale boutiques, and consignment shops.  I was able to keep him in the clothes I thought were appropriate for a baby/toddler until about four years of age.  No, he wasn't wearing bubbles at this age, but he was wearing gingham shorts and t-shirts with zoo animals.  When both of my children reached about age four, they started telling me what they wanted to wear, and I was fine with that.  I had dressed them as I had wanted while I could.

My son James as a toddler.
I have heard the same story over and over from moms, "I just can't find cute clothes for my son." You know - something without skulls and crossbones, electric guitars, or footballs.  He can't even hold his sippy cup yet.

I think the clothing market has failed little boys in more than just the style it offers.  I think the needs of little boys are overlooked too.  While some may think it is cute to dress little boys just like Dad, there are a few notable differences between dads and toddler boys -- one being that babies/toddlers wear diapers.  Sure, Dad is very capable of unsnapping, unzipping, and dropping his pants to go potty, but I'm not sure Mom finds it that easy during to a diaper change - not to mention how frustrating this can be for the toddler learning to go potty.

Dads can be active, but it's not quite the same as babies learning to crawl, walk, run, and climb.  They need clothes that are as unrestrictive as possible.  Loose fitting, elastic waist pants and rompers meet that need.

After my children were well into their elementary school years, I started sewing exclusively for little boys in 2009 and joined the Etsy world to sell my items.  I'm still full of ideas and motivation for creating clothes for little boys.

When designing clothes, I keep a few things in mind.  The clothing should be comfortable.  I don't want anything too binding around those soft, full bellies, and I think it should allow room to move - as in, "Room to Romp."  I also choose soft, all cotton fabrics that are gentle on a baby's skin.  And, I like clothes that reflect the interests of little boys: traffic signs, vehicles, and animals are often used in my appliques.  Isn't it a wonderful thought that dressing in the morning might be easy because your son is putting on something he actually wants to wear?

By the way, I make appliques the old fashioned way.  They are hand drawn, hand cut, and applied using a basic sewing machine.  I don't use an embroidery machine which is programmed to do the applique for you. I don't think this type of clothing is bad, but it does have a more commercial look to it.

Other good things to know about RtR: I am happy to exchange if sizing is incorrect, I'm available to answer any questions you may have, and if you'd like something in a different color or with a different applique, just ask.  I've done many custom orders for clients.

I hope you'll have a look at the clothes and decorative items I have available just for boys.  If you do find something you'd like to order, I'll pay the shipping.  Use coupon code EMIFREESHIP during checkout.

Thanks for listening, and I would love to hear your thought on dressing boys in the comments.

Room to Romp

4 comments:

  1. I don't have children yet, but I really enjoyed this post, thank you for sharing :)

    Amy| The Little Koala Blog ♥

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very good blog! I like it!

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  3. Fashion Boutique : Design high fashion clothing, and then sell it! Can you spot market trends, or are you making yesterday's clothes?
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  4. Nice style!!! Guys look great in this dress. it can be wear on many occasions and its really soft and comfortable.
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Your comments are what makes this thing fun! I LOVE to hear from you and do my best to respond to everyone! THANK YOU!


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