Calling in the Clothing Police

As soon-to-be parents, we find ourselves awash in baby clothing. This isn’t a problem, given that I hear most newborns go through more costume changes than Diana Ross at the Sands—though maybe fewer sequins. The problem is this: sizing for baby clothes is a joke, or an example of the chaos that runs rampant throughout the known universe. Take for instance, the following exhibit:

All of these outfits claim to be for a 3-month-old baby. I didn’t put a preemie outfit in here, although we have one (I’m not sure why). To exacerbate the confusion, two of these three onesies are from the same maker, Carter’s, who clearly is operating without consistent size standards between its Indonesian and Malaysia factories. Then there are the differences between brands. In the exhibit presented, the top outfit is from Garanimals, thus I presume they’re using some data gleaned from scientific research in the Safari to produce that tiny outfit.

We’ve gone ahead and decided to eschew all size labeling, and will instead hold up our baby in the clothing departments of our local K-Mart and ShopKo to assess which garments best approximate a tailored fit. This may become more difficult when our child is 60 pounds, but I guess we’ll burn that bridge when we get there.

In the meantime, I’ll leave exact measurements on this blog and other social networking sites so that our shopping loving relatives can have the latest information on our child’s dimensions and avoid becoming flummoxed by the fashion industry’s early entry into body hatred and dressing room anxiety. Besides, there’s nothing worse for a grandmother than to procure the cutest damn outfit for her grandchild, than a shirt that only would have fit a few months ago.

Also, I will shortly have no time to take clothes back for a return, especially once I’ve angered store managers by holding my drooling baby up to all of their clothes.

Perhaps we’ll just let the little tyke crawl around in a diaper and leave it at that.

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Categories: ponderings

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3 Comments on “Calling in the Clothing Police”

  1. Nicoline
    June 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    You’ll learn soon enough that it’s no use paying any attention to kid’s clothing sizes at all. One thing you might want to invest in is a good tape measure. Take your child’s measurements and then take the tape measure shopping instead of the kid. BTW, the Freecycle network in my area seems to be a very good resource for baby clothing. Boy, girl, winter, summer, preemie through 18 month old, whatever you need you can find. You might want to look into that. To paraphrase my favorite childcare guru, Libby Purves, aside from overheating, freezing or an infestation of lice, there’s nothing you can do clothing-wise that your baby will give a **** about 🙂

  2. evmaroon
    June 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Yeah, we’ve got Freecycle out here in WW, but there are many more requests for clothing than offers. And it has things like locking gun boxes, dirt, and broken dryers. But we do have a network of acquaintances here with small kids, so we’ll make ourselves a part of the kids’ clothes conveyor belt.

  3. June 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    I’m not sure why you are surprised, given that children’s clothing sizes are by age, not length, width or weight. So a collection of “3 mo” size has to cover the complete range of sized three month old babies can have.

    One is left to wonder if the baby clothing industry got together in a large room, trying to agree on a single system to denote sizes. Some wanted metric, some inches, some pounds, some wanted to follow the German system or the English system or the French system or the Italian system… by 4:00 the second day all the reps wanted to go catch their flight and go home when the receptionist came in with a last round of refreshments. Hearing the arguments, she sarcastically mumbled, “the only thing you’re all not mentioning is the baby’s age.” The VP from one of the companies overheard her and cried, “Babies age!” And that’s how this thing got started…

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