I took a poll on instagram the other day about Mommy & Me style- whether it was ‘Cheesy’ or to ‘Do it while I can’, and honestly the results surprised me. It was almost a landslide that I should ‘Do it while I can’. Before I had kids I guess my viewpoint on it was that it was a little bit cheesy, but now that I’m a mom I want to dress her up in as many matching looks as I can. It’s like being 8 years old again and dressing up your doll!
I started thinking about why I used to think it was cheesy, and I guess I had really only seen super boring tent dresses for mom and baby in loud, preppy prints, where neither Mom nor baby looks particularly great. But once I started shopping for Marina, I saw so many cute items for babies that were reminiscent of things I owned (like little fur vests, pleated skirts and coming soon… a denim boilersuit), and I started stocking up on ‘matching’ items for the future. But then, as I was finishing up sewing this caftan a few weeks ago (for a Hawaii trip that is being postponed) I looked at all of the excess fabric that I had, and all the expensive trims that were leftover from my projects, and a lightbulb clicked. Why wouldn’t I use the excess scraps of fabric to make her matching clothing? While making baby and children’s clothing is no easy feat (teeny tiny arm holes, plackets, snaps, gathers) it’s incredibly sustainable and fair trade, and so so so gratifying.
When Marina is 18 she is bound to think our matching is ridiculous, but when she’s 30 she’ll come to her senses and be so happy that we had these memories together. But let’s be honest, we know I’m not doing it for her. Of course there’s a bit of sentimentality in it for me too, to immortalize these baby years of hers with all the things that I love: fashion, sewing, and now, her. And somehow it makes me feel like a kid again too, like when I was the 4th grader who was sewing her own matching clothing for her Kirsten American Girl doll. You never are too old to play dress up, you just have to find the role you want to play. And for me, that’s being Marina’s mom.
Quick note about this caftan- I will shoot it again when I get to a beach/pool/warm weather destination, where it will be shown with the front zipper open, as a bathing suit coverup. I don’t really understand why caftans always pull over the head. When I am lounging by the pool or at the beach, sometimes I want a little coverage on my backside, or something to wear open so that I can be partially protected from the sun, but still be in my suit. Does anyone else agree with me here?