Antique, Vintage and Vintage Style Baby Clothes and Clothing
Vintage and antique clothing, holds a particular beauty and finesse that is historically sincere. The colors, the textures, materials, patterns, layers, small details, all culminate to a wistful style that has withstood the test of recent times and trends. Vintage and antique baby clothes are nostalgic in a way that captures the imagination and the emotion. The fabrics and styles can be freer and lighter than those of their modern successors. They are simple yet playfully complex. Vintage and antique clothes have become sought after classics.
My fascination with vintage baby clothing began at a very early age. My mother had a toddler sized Madame Alexander Doll. One of the first of that size ever made. Her name was Rebbecca. Rebbecca wore a most beautiful, simple, and divine dress and bonnet. White and soft with hand embroidery. She also wore a silky under slip, bloomers and delicate slippers.
Then there was Julie. Julie was infant sized, also my mother's. Julie's dress had smocking and her little shoes were trimmed in lace. My mother replicated this dress and slippers for me to wear at a wedding.
My mother did a lot of sewing. It was more likely that I would be wearing one of her handmade dresses than a store bought anything. I grew up wearing simple dresses with white pinafores, pockets a must, needle pointed with Beatrix potter characters and other simple yet fine embellishments on them. Smocking came later. And bloomers, always bloomers, were worn in the spring and summer.
As for shoes, those were vintage style as well. My first pairs were white booties much like the ones shown in the sidebar. Then came my black and white, rounded toe, Buster Brown saddle shoes, a style worn by me until they no longer carried them in my size. Those seem to have faded out of style in the late 70's; though I do see them making a bit of a modernized comeback in various shades and styles.
I tended to do the same for my babies; as far as style went I went the vintage route, normally sticking with 1930s through 1950s styles. Breatheable, natural, layered, soft colors, small handmade details. Unfortunate I never had the full patience my mother had for sewing; but I searched, and I did find. Mostly secondhand, some never worn, if you can believe.
For their first months, my boys were likely to wear bloomers over their diapers, and long gowns as opposed to footies until they were old enough to wear soft, loose, rompers. My girls wore bloomers until I was hard pressed to find them in their sizes. Only now do they seem to be more readily available and affordable than they have been for quite some time. In this part of the country at any rate.
The Internet is a blessing for anyone searching for those hard to find and just so items. There are blogs and shops dedicated to vintage and vintage style baby apparel. EBay is another excellent source, as is Etsy (becoming one of my favorite places to look for such items for baby). Many "green" sites also offer vintage style clothing.
We all hold memories of our clothing items. Somewhere inside, they stir emotions and memories. While many people tend to throw away and donate most of these, there are a few clothing pieces we tend to want to hold onto for one reason or another; often times, if we do not, in days gone by, we wish we had.
Vintage clothing is an art form and offers a variety of after wear uses.
- I have seen many vintage baby dresses, bonnets, and rompers, hung artfully on walls,
- some on mannequins;
- bonnets or baby shoes are framed;
- clothing and bonnets placed on dolls.
All to be admired, cherished, and remembered, the crafty, handmade details of each piece displayed for appreciation.
I ran across one blog in particular that stole my heart. I recommend this blog site to you, one post in particular, which I hope you take the time to read, as it has to do with just this topic of clothing and the memories they conjure. This post concerns a vintage baby gown and a bit of vintage baby gown history. It is a beautiful and heartfelt story.
Her Blog is called "The Bunny Bungalow", and the post is "My Brother's Dress."
I was most delighted to come across one shop in particular, that belonging to a Mrs. Bird, whose site in no longer accessible (perhaps she is retired). Her collections were simply amazing. And yes, they were all original antique and vintage pieces, and were surprisingly affordable (see sidebar photos). Nothing new about them but their crisp clean look.
So how did Mrs. Bird have such brilliantly fresh vintage items? She knew how to care for them. She could do the same for yours, as she offered restoration and cleaning.
Baby Bean Vintage Daywear
Is a Cool Mom Picks. See "Went to a Garden Party" below for details. Baby Bean (a site that's no longer available unfortunately) has vintage inspired clothing. A nice twist on authentic vintage. Many shops are doing this now, some items made from refurbished vintage materials.
Belle Heir... Check related links for more information on these and other gorgious vintage infant and toddler apparel.
The Best Part About Vintage Wear...
Babies and kids can play as much or as little as they like in them, and they'll always look cute and fabulous doing it!
Don't forget to check out the wonderful related links. Got any online children and baby vintage shops or blogs you'd like to share? Let us know via e-mail or comments box.
As always, thanks for reading.
- The Bunny Bungalow: My Brother\'s Dress
Link to Ligne Roset Boutique blog, The Bunny Bungalow. Fantastic posts and finds.
- Freshly Picked
Susan Petersen's blog. You'll find some vintage finds and unique ideas mixed in this creative mom's posts.
- Eye Candy: Vintage Baby Clothes | Family Jewels - Canadian Family Blog
[caption id=attachment_1084 align=alignleft width=170 caption=Blue Organza Dress, circa 1950][/caption] We love baby clothes, and we also love
© 2009 Frieda Babbley