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Sugar And Spice – Dressing Up Little Girls
I admit it – I’m a total sucker for sugar and spice baby girl clothing. Give me lace and roses, hand-crocheted pinafores, add hand-smocked bodices and I’m in heaven. I’ve raised two little girls and had a hand in half a dozen nieces, and I’m here to warn you, ladies. If you love dressing up your little girl in ribbons and lace, indulge yourself as much as you can when she’s a baby – because it won’t be long before she’s choosing her own clothes. And honestly, the frilly styles I love just don’t suit the average active toddler. So — get it out of your system when she’s a baby – and take lots and lots of pictures.
Just for mothers like me, here are five classic looks for smartly dressed baby girls that will ensure that your little angel will never be mistaken for a boy – till she starts dressing herself, at least.
Hand-Smocked Polly Flinders Dresses
There is nothing in this world that says ‘little girl’ quite like a hand-smocked Polly Flinders dress. I was lucky enough when my youngest was an infant to find an entire box full of vintage 1950s Polly Flinders dresses, and buy them for a dollar apiece. If you’re not familiar with hand-smocked clothing or Polly Flinders, let me give you an idea of what a bargain this is: a search for Polly Flinders dresses this morning turned up a few dozen dresses, including several vintage dresses from the 50s and 60s. The prices ranged from $45 to $175.
The Sailor Suit
What do you get when you cross red satin ribbons, navy blue pin-dotsand a white embroidered collar? Add a pint-size sailor’s cap embellished with a satin ribbon and you have one of the most popular little girl baby dresses ever made – a very feminine twist on a little boy’s sailor suit. It was one of the classic styles of the 1940s, and never goes out of style.
It’s a classic Alice in Wonderland little girl pretty – a gingham checked dress with puffed shoulders and a ruffled hem peeking out from beneath a starched pinafore. Pinafores started out as ‘aprons’ to help save the fancy dress beneath, but soon took on a style of their own. They slip on from the front, and button or tie at the back, and are meant to be worn over an under dress. Ruffled hems and shoulders and dainty embroidery are just a few of the things that make this classic baby clothing style special.
Very little in this life is more adorable than rows of ruffled lace peeking out from beneath the hem of a smocked baby dress. Ruffle-bottomed diaper covers and fancy little embroidered bottoms that are meant to peek out beneath a dress are another of those classic baby girl looks that never age.
Velvet and Taffeta Roses
What’s the well-dressed baby girl wear on Christmas? Taffeta and velvet, with lace and roses at the waist of course. Be traditional with a red velvet bodice and ruffled plaid taffeta skirt, complete with a tiny satin rose at the lace-trimmed collar – or let your bolder side out and dress your little darling in black velvet and pink satin. My own favorite of all time was a pearl gray velvet dress with a white taffeta skirt accented with a full-blown satin bow in baby-soft pink.