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Vintage and Retro Baby Clothes

Updated on May 30, 2010

I have been a fan of vintage clothing for myself for a long time. I was the kind of teenager who preferred shopping at thrift stores to shopping at malls. Today I tend to be drawn towards the modern fashions that have a retro look about them and am a particular fan of anything that’s been inspired by 1950’s pin-up girl fashions. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized that vintage and retro fashions could also be great for babies and children. Babies are often dressed in really simple attire that’s designed to be disposable but it doesn’t have to be this way. Super cute vintage designs and modern retro baby clothing could be a great way to give your child some sense of personal style before she’s even old enough to know what that means.

The Difference Between Vintage and Retro Baby Clothing

Just to quickly note, there is a big difference between vintage baby clothing and retro baby clothing even though these items may look much the same. Vintage baby clothing refers to those baby clothes that were actually made back in another era and were preserved over time for use today. Retro baby clothing is modern baby clothing made today that is designed to look like something out of the past. There are pros and cons to both types of baby clothing for the parent who wants to give their child a look from the past.

True Vintage Baby Clothing

True vintage baby clothing is clothing that was created back in another time and was likely worn by babies when it was first made. In other words, these are used clothes. Popular eras for vintage baby clothing are the 1950’s and the 1970’s.

Finding vintage baby clothing

You can find vintage baby clothing in all of the places that you would find any other type of vintage clothing. This includes:

• Thrift stores. These are a great place to get vintage stuff. Try to find vintage pieces in used clothing stores for babies in your area.

• Yard sales, estate sales and auctions. Places where people are getting rid of old junk are great places to find gently-used vintage baby clothing.

• Friends and family. Heirloom pieces that are tucked away an elder family member’s attic are often the best vintage baby clothing. Ask around your family to see if anyone has stuff for you to use.

Pros and cons of vintage baby clothing

There are many great things about vintage baby clothing but this stuff has its drawbacks to. Things to take into consideration when buying or restoring vintage baby clothing for your child include:

• Vintage clothing is often expensive. Your baby is probably going to make a mess out of this clothing and it’s not going to fit her for long anyway so you might not want to invest much in this high-cost clothing.

• The design and materials may not be suitable to what you’re used to today. We’ve come a long way in terms of smart and efficient clothing design for kids and you’re not going to find the same convenience when dressing and undressing a baby that’s wearing vintage designs.

• It’s beautiful and noticeable. Your child is definitely going to be the center of attention when dressed in vintage baby clothing.

Retro Baby Clothing

People who are interested in the look of vintage baby clothing but who want the modern conveniences of today’s clothes may find that retro baby clothing is a smart choice. This is clothing made today but designed to look like something from the past. Popular eras inspiring these designs include the 19th century, the 1950’s and the 1980’s.

Finding retro baby clothing

To find retro baby clothing today you typically have to search online. There are several great clothing retailers that offer retro designs for babies and children. Some of the ones to consider are Dimples and Dandelions, My Retro Baby and Grammie’s Attic. You may also want to search through Etsy for designers working in this area.

Pros and cons to retro baby clothing

Like with vintage baby clothing, there are pros and cons to this type of baby attire. Things to consider when buying retro baby clothing include:

• This clothing may also be pricey in comparison with other modern baby clothes although it’s usually more affordable than vintage baby clothing.

• This clothing may have a good re-sale value when you’re done with it.

• The clothing is designed with modern conveniences like easy snaps even though it may look like it’s made in the past.

Do-It-Yourself Vintage Baby Clothes

Keep in mind that one option for the crafty parent is to create your own retro baby clothing at home. If you’re good with a sewing machine and you can get pretty creative then you might find that you’re inspired to create new baby clothes based on vintage designs from the past. You can look to pictures of old baby clothes or even to samples of adult vintage clothing to determine how you want to make retro baby clothes for your own child.

Every Day vs. Special Occasion Baby Attire

What you may find is that you like the idea of dressing your baby in vintage clothing or retro baby wear but you don’t actually want to deal with doing this on a daily basis. That’s why vintage baby clothes are so great for photographs and for special occasions. Search for the perfect vintage baby dress for occasions like Easter, Christmas and religious ceremonies. Get cute retro baby clothes for professional family photos. This adds style and beauty to your pictures and your special occasions but doesn’t require you to spend a fortune on a wardrobe full of fancy stuff that you’re baby isn’t even going to wear for long.

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Submit a Comment
  • services4all profile image


    7 years ago from U.S.

    I like your Hub , the way you mentioned about the baby clothes is really good,it will help the people in choosing baby clothes. You can also visit my post to get some interesting things about baby

    please follow it.

  • profile image

    baby boys clothes 

    8 years ago

    This is really a fun way to have it. Nice baby clothes.

  • crystolite profile image


    8 years ago from Houston TX

    Great article which is well shared.

  • ekenzy profile image


    8 years ago

    wonderful. that's a good hub.

  • edwardelward profile image


    8 years ago

    I've always been a fan of vintage clothing and really wanted my baby to have a few vintage items at least, my boyfriend was slightly less keen, I think he was worried our baby would be uncool!

    I worked in a charity shop before Edward was born and picked up a few pieces of vintage baby clothing for him then, including a load of vintage christening gowns, we arent religious so we were never going to have our baby christened but had he been a girl I was planning to just use them as nightwear or for special he was a boy he never got to wear them, they are stored for the next one! The other thing with vintage clothing is that it was made for babies much smaller than my own, Eddie would never have fitted in any of the gowns even as a newborn!

    We were lucky enough that his great grandmothers next door neighbour offered to knit for us, so we used beautiful new baby wools and vintage patterns, he has a great vintage pram suit in a lovely baby cashmere -the best of both worlds!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Great Article! I need some those clothes in my store!!!))0


    Best Regards


  • profile image


    8 years ago

    thank's forposting really great post ^_^

  • profile image

    Best Fashion Info  

    9 years ago

    Extraordinary article! It's stimulating when women get fictive with their wait, but it's flush icebox on a baby.


  • belliott profile image


    9 years ago

    I love your hub. Very interesting information. Thanks

  • Cool Baby Clothes profile image

    Cool Baby Clothes 

    9 years ago from Ohio

    I love this hub! Great work. Great links too!

  • Betty Reid profile image

    Betty Reid 

    9 years ago from Texas

    Great article! It's interesting when women get creative with their look, but it's even cooler on a baby.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    You're blog provides some very good insight. keep it up!

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Great article, makes me wish I had got some retro clothes for my little ones...


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