Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Childish Behaviour: Try as You Might, You'll Never Get Your Kids to Dress Well

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Childish Behaviour: Try as You Might, You'll Never Get Your Kids to Dress Well

Article excerpt

This is a popular month to have babies in. I guess it's all that Christmas and New Year sex that people insist on having. If you are expecting your first, you will probably have very fixed ideas about how you will want to dress your baby. After all, you're probably deeply stylish and you don't see why this shouldn't translate to your child? Absolutely.

The conversations in your head probably go something like this: "Gosh, everything is either branded or coloured, or patterned, or pastel. Our baby will be dressed in simple white, minimalist like our house. Oh, and it will only have wooden toys." At first you will achieve this, because it's not difficult to find wooden toys or pure white babygros. Eventually, after about month four, you grow bored by looking at your baby in white clothes. You realise how cute he or she actually looks in navy, or deep pink, or something patterned. Then, after 16 weeks of no sleep, you become desperate for your baby to entertain itself while you zone out on the sofa with some refined carbs, and you fish out that plastic rattle/game/ball thing that someone gave you. Well, it's only once ...

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The thing is, even if you really try, you can only control what your child wears until they're about three. We're not short nowadays of labels that make stylish, fairly plain children's clothes. But here's the thing: children have bad taste and they'll let you know about it. You may lay out, of a morning, that lovely little Zara skirt, or Boden pants and Petit Bateau jumper, but your child will go to the wardrobe and select the dress/Hawaiian shirt his or her aunt bought off a market stall and accessorise it with a SpongeBob SquarePants rucksack. …

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