Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Crazy Matching Auntie

During an email conversation with cousin LauraJean about her trip up stateside over Thanksgiving, I mentioned that I had kinda been wanting to dress all the little cousins matchingly again. I mean, just because ALL of them will be there doesn't mean that it is THE photo opt of the year (or even several) for the generation, or anything super important like that. And I totally wouldn't have been planning how I could dress the lot of them since, say, last Thanksgiving.
It could be worse... they could be all mine!

So it was a totally casual insert into the dialogue. No strings attached, or understated desperate plea for her approval of the matter in slightest. And she, being the totally awesome LauraJean she is, said that I can just be the crazy matching Auntie who does this for every big family gathering.


I am so ok having that designation, as it's totally a free pass to go shopping for kids clothing en mass every time there's a family visit.

And en mass shopping it is becoming. The count for Thanksgiving is 8, with another one on the way. However, I am not sad to report that the girls are outnumbering the boys 2-1 at this point, which is just fabulous from my heavily-preferring-to-shop-for-little-girls shopping point of view. Plus I'm usually much more on top of what sorts of clothing is available (and cute, and maybe even sorta trendy) for little girls, while boys just kinda exist in this vague undefined world of grey sweatpants and Star Wars t-shirts.

But never fear, for I have many evenings still when my time is otherwise unoccupied except through my own diversions, and children's clothing is a much loved diversion I haven't been indulging in much recently, and therefore find the slightest excuse to do so just thrilling.

And I have spent the last week tirelessly scurrying a dozen children's brands to find the right combination of affordability (hey, I work at Target and am trying to come up with outfits for EIGHT kiddos, either cut me some slack for being cheap or start donating to the cause) and cuteness and matching and sizing.

Sizing did start to trouble me this year, since it's ranging from a 7 year old to an infant and very few fashions are the same for that range. Needing to shop from both the boys and girls sections caused some complications as well, since apparently this year designers are refusing to use any nice neutral colors for both.

I considered dressing them all exactly alike, perhaps with one design of dress for the girls and a sweater for the boys, but the closest I could get was some dresses on Gymboree that were very similar in both the big girls and little girls, which then turned out not to match ANYTHING from the boys section in the slightest. And that simply wouldn't do.

Had pricing not been an issue, I would have made a bee line for the Hanna Andersson fair isle sweaters, since they are sweet and the baby rompers are absolutely adorable (and there would even be the possibility for matching adults too! Not that I'd be seeing that as a perfect Christmas card for us or anything... *ahem*). I was also highly disappointed that at least as of yet, the Children's Place isn't carrying the bright stripe sweaters which had been my fall back plan since last year.

But I finally found success with Crazy 8. They are the cheaper brand run by the Gymboree mother ship company, and I haven't ever shopped with them before. But their facebook page was full of people speaking highly about the clothes for the price, and told me that I did in fact have a coupon for them in a magazine that was hanging out on the kitchen table which I'd never managed to read more than the first few pages. So that added to the sale prices made the endeavor look really rather doable, and I just had to create the outfits.....

Oh, create them I did. I shall not tell you just how many hours I have spent selecting and re-selecting the perfect combination of looks for each child, to make for an excellently balanced picture and to suite each child's age and personality as best I could, but it was a lot.

And it was fun!

And the picture of them shall be epic. EPIC, you hear me?? Don't worry, there will be a blog post reviewing for the other family members who will be present the plan of attack for how we shall get this epic (absolutely EPIC, I tell you) picture in the coming weeks, along with threats of what I shall do if we don't and a nice sprinkling of guilt to help ensure cooperation on all fronts.

Because really, it's going to take a small army to get 8 children all under the age of 8 looking at all reasonable for a single photograph.

But it will be worth it.

(I hope......)


  1. And maybe you could find something that sort of matches so we can put my belly in the picture? :)

    I would be willing to pitch in for our little folks' share of the clothes. The boy is getting plenty of use out of his outfit from the last pic, and I expect that to happen with future outfits, too.

  2. @Heather - LOL, your belly was already a key part of my line up vision! (Don't worry, it'll all get written down in a blog post!) I'm really glad you've gotten a lot of use out of the romper, I was hoping you would :-D

  3. I love shopping for matching/coordinating outfits for my boys. Make no mistake, I would love to do it for my girls, but wasn't gifted any.