The Evolution of a Guilty Pleasure
I studied art in college, primarily. Growing up, it was clear to me that my outlet was creative expression; In high school I excelled in painting, drawing and ceramics. I played the violin in the orchestra and guitar in a couple of girl bands, wearing clothing creatively thrifted from local second hand stores or even stitched by my own hand. It was a hobby, collecting really cool, vintage blouses, dresses and jeans and pairing them with something completely ridiculous. They were my mouthpiece as an otherwise painfully shy teenager.
I took drawing and painting courses after high school until I realized that it was probably a good idea to commit to the Visual Merchandising major, which basically means creatively marketing clothing for consumers. It was fun and interesting until I realized that I didn’t actually want to make my hobby my job, and ever since then I’ve happily allowed fashion for myself and eventually my children to become exactly that, a fun way to be expressive without taking it too seriously. With the constraint of our living situation and the lack of opportunity to actually go to stores that carry the brands I’ve grown to love, this hobby has evolved into the ultimate guilty pleasure of online shopping. The nail in my coffin, however, is the fact that I can justify quite a bit when I make the argument with myself that the kids and I actually must wear clothing every day. Therefore, my hobby has become a “necessity” and occasionally an expensive one.
The truth is, I love dressing my children. It’s so much fun for me. I have two girls and two boys, and through the past 7 years with them I’ve really learned to narrow down exactly what I will and won’t buy for them in terms of clothes and shoes. I know where to go for the party dresses and unique tee shirts that don’t have brand names or silly phrases emblazoned across the front or back. I buy clothing that will last a while, things that don’t fade easily or warp with umpteen wash cycles. Beau and Evangeline have been using a ton of the clothes that I originally bought for Jack and Zoe, and when they grow out of them, the pieces will be handed down to dear friends with children. I know what brand to buy and where to go to find them, and often those online stores will introduce me to new brands that I love, so there’s several bookmarked in my dashboard that I visit periodically. What’s really great is finding a site that carries my favorite brands, but that also have a decent selection of other things, too. Babyswag is a new one for us, and I’ve found that their selection of lines like Mini and Maximus, Nico Nico and Mini Rodini coupled with new favorites like Kira Kids and Tiny Whales have kept me returning to the site to check their newest styles and sales.
Dressing my kids is the ultimate hobby for me because then I’m also inspired to get them in new photos, which also happens to be a creative outlet. Zoe especially loves having unique and special things to wear, but the boys don’t really seem to care that much. They want comfort primarily, and so do I. Tiny Whales makes the softest, cutest tees and the pants from Joah Love are equally as comfortable (and fun). Shopping at Babyswag is seamless and efficient, and one shop that I keep in my open tabs more often than I’d like to admit. I know I’ve hit a winner when my guilty pleasure meets basic necessity. Wink.
Thank you to Babyswag for sponsoring this post, and thank you for reading!