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-dots
and 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.

Ruffled Pinafores

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.

Ruffled Panties

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.

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It takes you just 5 minutes a day – at a time that when the child won’t say no.

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