I was born in the 80’s. 1982 to be exact. Which means that I was part of my fair share of smocktastrophes.

I tried to hunt down an old photo of me, resplendent in all of my ruffled pinafore, frizzy side-ponytailed glory, but—darn it—if I couldn’t dig a single one up  (It’s the truth; I wouldn’t hold out on you guys…promise!)

That’s okay because this is pretty representative of what I remember from pics of me around 3-years-old. Except my hair was bigger. 

80's todder1

Not that the the adult fashion of the day was exactly stellar either.

Unless, of course, culottes are your thing. In which case, 80’s style was awesome.


I’m just going to own the fact that I well, owned (literally; definitely not figuratively) several pairs of these monstrosities.

It seems like lately, though, little girl fashion, especially, has become considerably less twee and a WHOLE lot less likely to be mistaken for miniature tent, and I often find myself bemoaning the fact that they don’t make something I’ve found for Della in my size.

Because, seriously, y’all. Sometimes, I wouldn’t mind dressing like my 3-year-old. And to prove it, every time recently that she was wearing something I wish I could pull out of my own closet, I snapped a pic with my phone.


Can we just have a brief conversation about how stinkin’ fantastic that cargo vest is? I found it at Old Navy for 2 bucks and change and had a brief moment of wondering whether I could invent some sort of gadget to expand clothing to bigger sizes since it’s the exact color and style that I’ve been hoping to find for myself. Also? Leopard print jeans and a funky owl shirt? Yes, I think I would happily rock everything in this outfit if it came in my size.


And now we need to talk about the fact that I wouldn’t let my child get in the van immediately in 35 degree weather (yes, that grimace/smile is a, “Mama, it’s cooooooooold!” look) just so I could snap this pic. We could also discuss the fact that her boots are on backwards, but is that really necessary?

Mostly, though, I just wish I could have her coat in my size. I mean, hello? Quilted bronze metallic puffer coat with a bow belt? Swoon.


Honestly, the thing I’m most envious of in this pic has nothing to do with the clothes and everything to do with the way my daughter rocks a top-knot. I can’t really tell what her hair thickness and texture is going to be like when she grows up, but if this is any indication, she won’t ever have to worry about brushing or fixing her hair. Just a rubber band and a quick twist or two, and she’s good to go.

(Also, I think her metallic little sandals are the bomb diggity…even though I’m totally dating myself by even using that phrase).


And finally, we have this fun ditty. The minute I found those turquoise corduroy skinnies at Old Navy, I vowed to find a pair of my very own.

And you know what? I pretty much did!

Remember these?

teal skinnies

It’s hard to tell with the lighting in this pic, but those are teal corduroy skinnies that I scored (also at Old Navy) for about $7.

So, obviously, I wouldn’t necessarily wear everything that Della wears since I still want her to look like a little girl and me to look like a grown woman, but I would still contend that little girl fashion has come a loooooong way since the 80’s.

Would you agree? Have you ever found yourself wishing you could raid your toddler’s closet? Though sometimes, it’s just more fun to live vicariously through her because, although she would prefer to wear a princess dress and sparkle shoes every single day, she’s still pretty pliable when it comes to Mama’s choosing her clothes (that won’t last; I know).

P.S. I’m guessing you already knew this, but I don’t spend much money on Della’s clothes. Pretty much everything you see in these pics comes from either Old Navy (they have great kids’ clothes sales + good coupons, and I usually spend about $3-5 per item), Walmart (usually on sale), or Goodwill. Her boots were a splurge at $27 from Beall’s because she had no winter shoes, but she has worn them practically all day every day since October, and they’ve held up remarkably well and are crazy-easy to put on, so I’m going to say we’ve gotten our money’s worth. r


  1. I love this! She’s so cute…and totally rocks that top bun!! My 3 year old and I actually do have a lot of very similar outfits. And we sometimes purposefully coordinate (I plan to do this until she tells me she’s too cool to dress like me…for now she’s down with it!). But, recently I scored the most adorable CORAL JEAN JACKET (at Old Navy, of course) on the clearance rack and was so excited it was just her size. What do you know…I brought it home and she declared, “Uh, no, I don’t wear orange, Mommy.” We argued back and forth about the fact that it’s actually CORAL, a cross between pink (her fave) and orange, and it’s a totally “in” color right now. I’ve tried several times now to get her to at least try it on, to no avail. Ugh! I’m so disappointed. Haha. I’ve kept the tags in case I have to return it, but I will still keep trying! Any advice you have on getting your daughter to wear something, or does she always comply? It’s just recently that mine has had an opinion…I think she’s a few months older than your cutie.

    1. Oh! Thanks for the heads up! I had never heard of Ruff Hewn and went to check them out, but now I’m confused. Is it one company…or a bunch? And how do I know which one has the vest?

  2. Della is so cute and fashionable! I agree completely about little girls’ clothing. I have a friend with a 4-yr old and I can’t count how many times I’ve asked her if I could borrow her clothes. She just laughs at me like I’m crazy. Once I have kids, I will need to learn your ways for getting kids clothes so cheap! I’ve never heard of coupons for Old Navy.

  3. I totally agree! Della looks adorable in all of those pics! We have a lot of hand-me-downs from my niece so I don’t feel like I can justify spending much on my little girl’s clothes. It has been such a blessing to have them, but they aren’t the most stylish….(not “smockish” like the pattern at the top but not super cute). BTW…..I rocked homemade jumpsuits with giant collars for years:) I find myself wanting to buy her some cute stuff, but she doesn’t really need it…..see my dilemma?? I did but her some jeggings that look sooo cute on her but wouldn’t look near as cute on me! I want Della’s puffer coat too……awesome! I’m also glad to know you don’t spend much….I need to hit Old navy!

  4. I;m giggling here…when Della gets to be your age with a 3 yr-old daughter, she’s pretty much going to be saying the same things you are.

  5. I am pretty sure my mom *still* has that exact same ladies pattern you pictured above! My daughter rocks a pair of flowered rain boots any chance she gets (including on Christmas day with her Christmas dress!). Fast, easy and it doesn’t matter which feet they go on…win!

  6. What a cutie! I definitely feel you on the toddler clothes! I take pics of all my two year olds outfits because they are so cute and they grow out of them so fast. We have a similar style-for our girls AND I have that same sweater.

I love hearing from you guys!