Improving On Perfection
Tackling the three most common infant makeover challenges
As much as perfect babies would love to wear skinny jeans or experiment with “the new volume,” it’s just not possible. When you have a squat, oddly proportioned body, many styles are off limits. Trench coats don’t work. Suspenders can pinch during tummy time. Droopy dolman sleeves rob you of what little elbow you have. Luckily, for every problem there is a makeover.
BEFORE: Lachlan, age 11 months, is dressing too young. It’s no wonder his music teacher doesn’t take him seriously. The shortie tee, Goth wristband, and shark’s tooth necklace all suggest a naïve delinquent whose ambitions are limited to dealing meth. When you factor in the ungroomed hair and the babyish novelty socks, Lachlan is pretty much the last person you’d trust to perform Brahms’s violin concerto in D major.
AFTER: With a few tweaks, Lachlan’s style takes on a more sophisticated, yet still youthful vibe. While a herringbone-weave sweater introduces a note of gravitas, the cocky accent scarf instantly telegraphs that Lachlan is not some stodgy old fart. A Pasotti duck-head umbrella, Tod’s driving shoes (in tan), and a more professional hairstyle make it clear that Lachlan would never nap his way through an orchestral cue.
BEFORE: Like many babies, Mia is on the short side, but misguided wardrobe choices are making her seem even stubbier. In a flared skirt, bloated leg-o’-mutton sleeves, and horizontal stripes, Mia looks more like a doublewide mobile home than an infant. Unflattering rubber boots chop her legs off at midcalf and, while it’s unclear who chose to emphasize Mia’s necklessness with a retro 1950s scarf, it was an unloving decision.
AFTER: With a sleeker, simplified look, Mia suddenly appears at least thirty-three inches tall. A monochromatic color scheme lengthens her lines and makes her giggle at her own elegance. A crisply tailored skirt erases diaper bulge while a scoop tee creates the illusion of a bona fide neck. Also elongating: a sprightly updo and flesh-toned sandals that make Mia’s legs appear to go on for minutes and minutes.
BEFORE: Although Bethany’s daytime look is ideal for a boring afternoon of rejecting toys at emergency daycare, she’s hardly ready to zip to a 7:00 p.m. gallery opening with her intimidatingly cosmopolitan mom. The brown sweater, while snuggly, is too reminiscent of dull indigenous tribes to wow the sort of -people who take appropriations of Marlboro ads seriously as art. Her mundane romper, with its prim Peter Pan collar, also falls short of chic.
AFTER: With some swift subtractions and a few additions, Bethany is ready to face the culture vultures. She’s been encouraged to ditch the sweater, roll up her romper’s sleeves, and flip the collar for a rocker vibe that’s more urban, less aboriginal. Despite ten minutes of outraged protest, she has submitted to a statement belt and allowed her hair to be gelled into a spiky neo-eighties ’do. To cap off the edgy look, she has drooled asymmetrically.