Toddler Haute Couture? Perfection vs. Fun & Games

Toddler boys love a little rough and tumble. As parents, we know it’s good for them. So we like it, too. Unless they’re wearing this …

toddler boy clothes europe
Photo by K. Emily Bond

... this

toddler boy clothes europe
Photo by K. Emily Bond

... or this

toddler boy clothes europe
Photo by K. Emily Bond

Yes, all of the outfits above are for boys. I asked.


Before we arrived in Spain the hautest attire I bought for my little guy was from Janie and Jack, Brooklyn baby boutiques like Boing Boing, Kate Quinn Organics and even Hanna Andersson during a sale (like the one they’re having right now!).

Once in Spain, though, I discovered that I was way out of my league. People here often dress their baby boys and toddlers like it’s high art with perfectly pressed and hand-crafted ribbons and bows, and shoes so immaculate you have to wonder if they were made to actually touch the ground. Holidays and weekends, especially, turn into conveyor belts of little boy perfection. Even strollers get dressed up, lined in baby blue or Burberry-look-alike fabrics.

It’s quite a sight and it never ceases to amaze me how on God’s green earth parents manage to keep their tots so crumb-free and still in their strollers. Come to think of it, I rarely even see these kids eating, yet alone in the throes of a temper tantrum. I don’t get it. There must be a special room in El Corte Ingles for toddler outbursts that I don’t know about.

In comparison to the rather pragmatic way I dress and transport my kid, I do sometimes want to lift my game after walking through the weekly baby parade. In fact, I made one attempt this past spring when I bought him some tights and a little bubble butt outfit. He looked very cute. ¡Mira!

toddler clothes for boys
Photo by K. Emily Bond

Then I took him to an outdoor music festival. Out came the banana, off with the tights, and into a pile of dirt he went. It was just as it should be.

I should mention that a strong majority of mothers dress their sons like I do -- in gear made for climbing, rolling around and getting dirty. It’s just nice to admire the flip side of that from time to time and wonder, “would I ever dress my toddler in that?”

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