Baby Looks Cute, But At What Price?

July 2, 2012

Cute kid wearing cute and expensive clothes

Sometimes, I see a new product and think “Dammit, why didn’t I think of that!!??!!”

A service called Borrow Baby Couture had me saying that until I took a closer look. A takeoff the popular women’s site, Rent the Runway, which offers ladies high-end couture for rent at low prices, Borrow Baby Couture takes the same approach.

Parents can rent high-end children’s clothing designers from elite designers like Fendi, Stella McCartney, Zoe for their little ladies. The creators of the site developed it because they realized how much money they spent on clothes for their growing kids. And it makes sense. You do spend a lot. As a parent to two budding fashionistas, it sounded nearly perfect for those oh-so-special occasions.

But when you start looking at the couture rental prices and compare them to the “not so high end but still damn cute” prices, you’ve gotta wonder what type of person they’re targeting. Prices range from $30 to $85, which allows you to have the outfit for one to two weeks. That’s a lot to spend on one occasion. At least in my world.

Just an average outfit. Note: she typically wouldn’t include a streamer as an accessory but it was recently her birthday…so why not?

I prefer to look at the money I spend on my kids’ clothing as an investment. The oldest wears it, the youngest gets it as a hand-me-down. And it’s usually passed around my circle of friends and family, then given to charity when all have outgrown it. It may look a little worn, but in the end, I feel like I got my money’s worth.

As I looked into it more and more, it made me wonder: does little Sally really care if little Danielle is wearing Stella McCartney at her 6th birthday party? Jeez, I hope not. Frankly, the whole premise is concerning. Sure you want your kid to look cute and pulled together. But what about letting them express their own creativity and individuality?

Like many kids her age, my four-year-old refuses to wear anything I pick out for her and instead creates her own “outfits.” Sure she leaves the house looking like a mis-matched clown most days but I’d proudly hold that clown’s hand rather than have her look like a perfectly coiffed toddler.

But that’s my world.