I've been collecting and swooning over vintage children's clothing for a long time, and I've been selling pieces on and off for many years and now as a full fledged business. Many people have asked me along the way why I love vintage children's clothing and other children's items.
Just like many of us vintage lovers do, I love the style, quality, make and designs of vintage clothing. I find so much love and nostalgia in the baby and children's pieces I come by, especially those from earlier eras before mass production when children's clothing was mostly handmade by expectant mothers, loving grandmothers and aunts. You can often see the love, hope and dreams in each stitch of a beautifully smocked or embroidered piece.
The earliest pieces I have in my collection for the shop at the moment are from the 1940's but I have pieces right through all the eras up to and including the 1980's. So much of what I find and sell are snap shots of my childhood and are little reminders of growing up. When I was a child and growing up I was basically clothed in hand me downs and op shop buys nearly all purchases of any kind in our home were second hand.
We used to have a family friend who was a cleaner for some very well off families back in the day, and when I was a kid she would often visit us with garbage bags full of children's clothing these families were getting rid of. When I think about these days they're not much different to my adventures now. I'd so eagerly open up these bags and sort through them, trying pieces on and mixing things up. I'd swoon over dresses, skirts, prints, florals and labels, the lot......it was so much fun.
What I've discovered even more on reflection about these times and what I do working with vintage children's clothing, is how much fun vintage children's fashion is. Believe it or not I think there's a lot people could learn and apply to styling from looking at vintage children's fashion. As adults we often enter into different thought processes about colours clashing along with patterns , textures and styles, and get fearful about it. A look at children's fashion through different eras and you'll see amazing combinations of patterns, prints, textures and colours to be inspired by. It's a reminder that some fashion rules for adults are far outdated and we should just mix things up and try something new.
I guess the reason I love vintage baby and children's clothing, toys, games and books so much, is that above every thing else it reminds me of my childhood. The pieces I find and I enjoy make me excited and bring me a lot of joy and nostalgia. I guess it's true when they say:
Choose something you love and you'll never work a day.