As I was shopping for our affordable spring dress roundup (coming next Tuesday), I found that I was quite attracted to so many dresses that felt, well, the words “toddler”, “baby” or “christening” come to mind. I mean, we are all already wearing one-sies everywhere, so I suppose it makes sense that “toddler-core” is a thing. Or at least it is now. So today I have some baby-inspired looks for you, how I wear them (with a tip or two) and what Brian’s reaction is to them (not that it matters, but I love a straight man’s perspective on weird lady clothes).
Up first is a baby doll dress in a tiny floral pattern of which I DEFINITELY did not think I would like on me.
But I do. A lot. It’s from Doen and has puffy sleeves, a good cut AND pockets. Now, the rule that I was given was no heels with super short dresses, but I just got these vintage heels at the flea market and since they have a playful vibe, I think it works. Anything higher or more serious can look, well, it can go the way of “sexy baby” to quote Tom Hanks.
The benefits of these baby doll dresses are:
1. You can eat nine burritos for lunch and nobody would know.
2. You can hide your pregnant stomach for 3-4 months, at least (and before you ask, no I am not).
3. You only have one tiny piece of fabric to potentially pack, steam, and cover your little body (also cute for swimsuit coverups).
Brian’s reaction to this particular dress went like this:
Me: “Hey, do you like the dress that Suzanne wore to Sabine’s birthday party because I’m thinking of getting it.”
Brian: “In what world do you think that I remember a dress that your friend wore to a kid’s party five days ago?”
This makes sense coming from the guy that literally doesn’t notice when I’ve changed rugs in the living room FOR THREE DAYS. One time, he didn’t notice for SIX WEEKS that I changed the light in the dining room. SIX WEEKS!!!
So I tried it on for him and he said “oh yeah, that’s cute.” I’m pretty sure the hemline has a lot to do with it.
Typically, these baby-doll dresses have a higher neckline (to balance out the shorter hemline) and generally, I don’t love high necklines on me, due to my secret larger ladies. So I had to try on a lot to find a few that I felt good in. The straight-across lower neckline on this one dictates the lady area and while it is definitely a great maternity dress, (eventually your growing bump will shorten the hemline, but then just wear leggings), I really liked it.
When I showed it to Brian he said, “Yeah. Don’t return that one.” Which means he really likes it, I guess. Again, I know that there are a lot of you who literally don’t care what men (husband, partner, boyfriend or friends) think about what women wear but I like his opinion because he generally has great taste and when we are on a date I want him to (GASP) be attracted to me. (Side note: a fun game we do is show Brian the Manrepeller “What We Wore This Week” posts…and listen to his commentary—it’s HILARIOUS).
Anyway, because that above dress is blue, striped, short and has ruffles (kinda a lot happening), we toned it down with simple nude mules because I literally only wear nude mules. I have had these ones for years and they are still my favorite.
I’m not totally convinced about this one now that I’m seeing it in photos. I mean, I think what we are all staring at is those amazing boots (they are my friends but I will borrow often). This one is a starter “baby doll” dress.It’ss definitely way less of a risk because it’s in a simple chambray and a light ruffle.
Yes, these dresses easily blow up and open, a lá Marilyn. But feel free to wear biker shorts underneath (I know the kids do this).
Next up is our actual favorite and while I was on the fence about keeping it, these photos just convinced me.
The dress itself is a bit, well, “baptismal.” The puff sleeves, the lace detailing, the Peter Pan collar all just scream “ready for that big church moment.”
I think if you try and dress this up (with heels) it could look very silly. But thanks to Suzanne and my styling entourage (Grace, Veronica and Ryann all weighed in), they helped make this look work. We tried it with two jackets just to see, and they really liked it with the sherpa jacket (see below).
But I liked it more with the black jacket.
What did Brian think?
He said, “Cute. For a picnic, right?” I asked him if he would be bummed if I wore this on a date night he said, “Not bummed, but it’s not what I’d pick for you.”
Okay, that’s all I’ve got to show you on my body but we went ahead and rounded up some of our favorite toddler-, baby-, or general “child prairie”-inspired clothes. They are all babydoll dresses OR ones that feel like only a three-year-old could pull them off (but hopefully I’ve convinced you that “gromups” as Birdie calls us, can, too).
1. Ghospell Southern Hemisphere Plaid Frock Mini Dress | 2. Mini Dress With Stripes | 3. Ruffle Bib Shirt Dress | 4. Long Buttoned Blouse | 5. Ganni Cotton Poplin Dress | 6. Embroidered Dress | 7. Ruffle Collar Mini Dress | 8. Relaxed Puff Sleeved Midi Dress | 9. Openwork Embroidered Dress | 10. Ruffled Striped Dress | 11. 3.1 Phillip Lim Striped Dress | 12. Short Chiffon Dress | 13. Slim Fit Button-Down Flowy Tiered Mini Dress | 14. Rose Embroidered Plaid Mini Dress | 15. Kate Prairie Dress | 16. Cecilie Bahnsen Alberte Dress | 17. Velvet Vesta Dress | 18. Palm Embroidered Scallop Dress | 19. UO La Petite Tie-Back Frock Mini Dress | 20. The Flutter Cami Dress | 21. UP Houston Linen Button-Front Drop Waist Dress | 22. UO Samantha Seersucker Long Sleeve Mini Dress | 23. UO Jules Gingham V-Neck Mini Dress | 24. Openwork Embroidery Dress
SOOOO, are you convinced? Would you try? Or should this be strictly left in the day care?
***photography by Veronica Crawford for EHD