As soon as I found out I was expecting my first baby in 2013, one of the first things I thought of - after how excited I was at the prospect of motherhood of course! - was shopping!
Having spent my whole life around the most beautiful baby clothes, I knew exactly what style I wanted to dress my children in and I couldn't wait to get started on it.
Growing up, my favourite aunt (Hi Aunty Dot!) owned a childrenswear boutique and, as I was close to her children, I spent a lot of time there during my childhood. When I got a bit older, my mum started working in the shop for her and so I would spend more time there again - I used to love browsing through the clothes rails, pouring over the gorgeous first communion outfits (some of which my Aunt even made herself, as she was a very talented dressmaker) and imagining what I'd choose if I was a Mummy picking out an outfit for my little one.
Unfortunately my aunt's boutique closed its doors before I had my first child, but the memory of those beautiful outfits remained firmly in my memory and I knew I had to seek out that style of dress for my little one.
I searched long and hard in all of the high street shops I could think of, but I simply couldn't find anything that was even remotely similar to what I wanted - the style I loved was made up of frilly jam pants and peter pan collared button down shirts for boys, long knit cardigans and frilly white baby dresses for girls, but I couldn't find anything along those lines - so I contacted my aunt and asked her what I should be looking for and why I wasn't finding it.
She explained to me that the style of clothing was known as Spanish Wear and that it's actually quite difficult to come across here in the UK, with only independent boutiques and market stalls selling it.
With a little help though, I managed to find some stockists and soon I had filled babys wardrobe with a collection of these beautiful little outfits.
I remember a lot of people commenting on the outfits I chose - stating that I'd soon regret all those whites and delicate knitted rompers, that they'd be a nightmare to wash and that they'd only end up stained - but I didn't regret them at all.
Of course they weren't practical for everyday wear once the baby got a bit older, but I made sure that for every special occasion he had a special spanish outfit to wear and oh how much enjoyment I got from choosing those clothes - and how much I still get now from looking back over the photographs.
When my third son was born, I no longer cared what comments people made about the clothes I chose for him - I went all out Spanish! I chose outfits with ribbons and bows - because none of those things matter in Spanish childrens fashion, boys can be dressed just as prettily as girls! I chose matching 3 piece suits with crocheted bonnets, I chose knee high socks with pom poms to compliment his outfits - I had the time of my life dressing my little bundle up.
But still, people liked to pass their comments - even this Christmas someone remarked on his outfit, asking if it was "really necessary" to dress him up like that - Well the answer is no, it's not necessary. But if it's something I enjoy doing, why does it matter?
I love this style of clothing and always have, and if I want to spend my money on outfits that I think look adorable - what's the harm?
Not everybody's tastes are the same - personally I hate bright colours on little ones and can't stand the red and yellow Little Bird outfits that everybody seems to love on Instagram, but tons of people adore it so do I comment on their choices? No! I let them get on with it and dress their children however they choose to. Because wouldn't it be boring if everybody liked the same things.
Now my youngest baby is 1, my spanish wear days are probably coming to an end - but I'll always love looking back at the photos of my little loves in their fancy little outfits, they were truly worth every penny.
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