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06 March 2011

Secrets From a {Toddler} Stylist*

So, my friend Julie {whose name may or may not have been changed to protect the innocent} emailed me the other day to let me know that she and her husband were pregnant with their second baby and asked me if I would send out all of Olivia's clothes if they ended up having a girl.  Little does she know I have a secret attachment to Olivia's clothes and will probably keep them packaged up in their tubs for her to have when she is older...that is unless we have another girl somewhere along the way.

Julie and Michael already have the cutest little boy and Julie and I may or may not be arranging the marriage of our first borns already.  Well, it turns out that she IS pregnant with a little girl and as a consolation prize for me not sending out the clothes, I promised to fill her in on some of my favorite places to shop for Olivia.  I figured while I was sharing them with her, I might as well share them with the rest of my (four) readers as well.  {For those of you not interested in the pointers, I still think the pictures are adorable to look at.  My how my baby has grown!}

Now, I am not going to pretend that I know all there is to know about fashion.  If Stacy and Clinton, or even my uber-talented, fashion stylist, cousin-in-law were to take a peek into my closet they would probably have a conniption fit.  Most days I walk around in yoga pants and have about 3 pairs of jeans in my rotation, but when it comes to dressing my girl, I know what works.

{I have a feeling that this is going to be at least a two-part series -- I'm going to do shoes and accessories in another post because, well, they are deserving of a post all their own.  Don't you think?}

Before Olivia was born, right after we found out we were having a girl actually, Mervyn's went out of business and my mom and I stocked up on a bunch of Carter's newborn outfits for Olivia for super cheap.  They were wonderful for her when she was younger and I still rely on Carter's clothes for some super cute outfits for Olivia.  We have an outlet near our house and there are always tons of sales going on there.  It's perfect for stocking up on leggings, plain onesies and cute tops and dresses.  One of my favorite looks right now involves taking dresses Olivia wore when she was younger, turning them into a shirt and wearing them over a pair of jeans.

This little Carter's top still fits Olivia a year later and is adorable coupled with a pair of jeans.

I paired this sweet Carter's corduroy dress with leggings and boots.

See how I turned this GAP (3-6 month) dress into a little top for Olivia?  I got this dress at a little consignment shop that has since closed down and have definitely gotten my money's worth on it.

Speaking of GAP, it's a great place to find some basic staples and other cute little outfits.  I don't think I've paid full price for anything there because they have such a quick turnover rate with their collections.

This was a fun sale rack item from the GAP.

My favorite GAP pants for Olivia are actually on sale right now for only $10.  She loves to wear her "comfy" pants and these wide leg knit pants are the BEST.  We also love these yoga pants as well.  {No surprise here.}  I'm also a fan of some of the GAP jeans for Olivia. I bought some for her on sale before she was old enough to really wear them and they did not work well for her at all.  She looked like she was sporting a severely soggy diaper.  Several months ago, I bought her some faded/ripped jeans from there and they were such a perfect fit.  So far, my favorite place for jeans for Olivia is Carter's - they are inexpensive, good quality and fit her well.

Gymboree may be my most favorite place to get things for Olivia.  Again, we have an outlet close to us and I love the Gymbucks reward system they use.  I will say that some of their collections are hit or miss, but I've still found TONS of cute tops from them {I'm not generally a fan of their pants}.  

Carter's boot cut jeans on the left and GAP faded jeans on the bottom right.  
All tops/dresses are Gymboree.

Shortly after Olivia was born, I received a couple of outfits from some friends of ours back in Indiana.  As much as I didn't want to admit it, I couldn't wait for her to get bigger to fit into those outfits.  They were adorable.  They came from Hartstrings and it turns out there is an outlet just outside Columbus.  {Yay for you, Julie!}

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that romper.

I didn't have access to that outlet, but one night while stuck in a hotel room with a sleeping Olivia while David was out with friends, I found the Hartstrings sale page and ordered a few more things for her.

So girly and sweet.

Decaf Plush is another brand of clothing I like - I scout for them on eBay and keep my eyes out for sales on Mini Social.  

I purchased a few JoJo design outfits from Overstock.  Seriously, talk about hit or miss.  Some of their stuff is really not my style, but they also have some really cute things.

Of course, I cannot leave out one of my favorite stores of all time - Tar to the Jay.  Target has some really cute and really affordable stuff.  Last summer, they debuted their Liberty of London line and I may have gone a bit crazy with the purchasing.  I scouted out at least 3 Target stores and even bought some stuff off of eBay that I couldn't find in stores.  My two favorites are these dresses - obviously I love them since she's worn them in two different professional photo shoots. I even purchased bins for her playroom from the same line - so fun and playful.

I also have purchased a bunch of comfortable and cute vintage-looking t-shirts from Target - including a Madonna concert t-shirt that Olivia loves.  And, the cute pink outfit with leggings that Olivia wore to the museum the other day was a $7 clearance find at Target!

Olivia has been lucky to receive some cute outfits from family members from stores we don't have near us.  Grandma Irma has fabulous taste when it comes to clothes and has some really cute boutiques near where she lives.  She has given Olivia some of the most exquisite outfits.  For her first birthday, she got her two of the most beautiful dresses I've ever seen.  And for Christmas the year before, she was given this gorgeous sweater outfit.

And, her Aunt Marissa sent her this adorable sweater from the Children's Palace.  I know that's one of Marissa's favorite places, but sadly we don't have one anywhere near us.

Hands down, one of my favorite places to shop for unique clothes is Etsy.  I have always had great results ordering from there and I can be almost 100% sure that no one else will be wearing the same outfit as Olivia. I LOVE having her name put onto her clothing for that extra touch of personalization.

Find the BowDacious Baby shop here.

Find the 918 Hometown Sports shop here.

My VERY favorite Etsy shop for Olivia is the Sweet Plume shop.  I certainly wouldn't dress Olivia in those clothes for everyday wear, but for special occasions, I think they are absolutely perfect!  We got her Halloween and Thanksgiving outfits from the Sweet Plume shop and they are amazing.

She makes those pants in big girl sizes too!!

Check out her shop here!
Your wallet will hate me for it!

I have ordered several cute onesies and shirts from Little Button Designs and covet things from So Mommy Sew and Pish Posh Girls.  And, thanks to Amy I ordered a sweet shirt yesterday from Piccadilly Circus Designs for 50% off.  {Sale is still going on!}

If you are too impatient for Etsy, you can always pull out your inner Martha and make some shirts of your own.  If I can do it, anyone can!

A few more random things I want to add:
-- I purchased a ton of things in pink before Olivia was born and then loved seeing her in colors other than pink.  This was one of my favorite tops for Olivia because I loved how the color looked on her.

--When she was around 6 months old, I got on a huge overalls kick with her.  I thought she looked absolutely adorable sporting these that I had found at Once Upon a Child.  Sadly, that's another store we don't have near us, but I bought some of the cutest things at one with Marissa after we found out we were having a girl.

--I think Mini Boden has adorable clothes and I find myself wiping the drool off of my chin every time the catalog arrives in the mailbox.  I bit the bullet once and bought a shirt from them only to have it bleed in the washing process.  

--As much as I love getting Olivia dressed up in cute little outfits, I am equally as happy {and think she is JUST as adorable} when she is bumming around in her yoga pants and t-shirts.  We've had a lot of luck with little message tees from Old Navy.

I hope this has been helpful for Julie and any other moms wanting to know some of our "styling" tips.  And for those of you just looking at the pictures, I'm sure you enjoyed the eye candy.  I loved looking back through these pictures and remembering all the fun outfits I picked out for her.

And, Julie,  if this baby is anywhere near as cute as Olivia's future husband, then you could put her in a potato sack and she would still be beautiful!  I can't wait to see pictures when she finally arrives!

So, what about you other moms out there?  Am I missing any fun places to find cute clothes for my girl??  

Happy Sunday from the Central Coast!
*If you haven't seen the new show Secrets From a Stylist on HGTV with Emily Henderson, you are missing out.  She's as cute as a button and has incredible taste! 


Irma said...

Oh my...what a trip down memory lane with the cutest fashionista! Honestly, she should be in catalogs modeling children's clothing! She has really grown so much! Hope to see her again sometime soon.

Mom Cooper said...

Irma, I agree I have always said Olivia needs to be in catalogs modeling well, anything. Cute blog Amanda!

Mom Cooper said...

I have been looking at all these pictures of Olivia (for the umpteenth time) in all her adorable outfits and it makes me a little sad that she is no longer our "little baby girl". On the other hand, I am delighted to see her own little personality shine (sometimes brighter than others) and I am so proud of how she is being raised. Kudos to you and David for bringing her up in a home so full of love.

Marissa said...

What a darling blog post! I love that you can recycle her dresses into tops. LOVE that pink one from GAP. Super duper adorable. And I know we're all family and totally biased, but I really DO think Olivia is one of the most darling little girls I've ever seen. Toddlers and Tiaras anyone? :) And I can't wait for you to see what I got her for her birthday. :)

David said...

Some weekend mornings, I get to dress Olivia. This entails picking out clothes, showing them to Olivia, then Olivia will give the item a thumbs up/down. Once we have found enough clothes to form an ensemble, we dress her up. It usually ends up a hot mess, but I think it is a fun process for Olivia and me.