Closet Confidential: Nora B.
We visited Nora B. and her mother Lauren Wong on a Wednesday evening and went through Nora’s wardrobe.
Nora B. is probably the cutest member of our Recloseted tribe (sorry to everyone else, don’t worry we still love ya). At the time of this interview, Nora was 8 months old and still wobbling about so we did our best to capture her. Nora is Lauren’s first child so in this interview, Lauren gives you all the advice she wish she had before having Nora.
Lauren will walk us through Nora’s closet, share infant clothing tips, and provide valuable life advice for soon-to-be moms. It’s a super informative post so keep reading!
Can you walk us through Nora’s wardrobe?
How would you describe Nora’s personal style and is it skewed a lot by your personal style?
I would say Nora has a more gender neutral style, but it does skew towards being more girly. Even though Nora is a girl, I don’t want to put her into glittery or over the top outfits. For example, if Nora wears something pink, I will balance it out with other colours like greys and blacks. I do like putting a hand band or bow in her crazy hair though!
I would say Nora’s personal style is probably better than mine. A lot of family and friends gave her gifts and really cute clothes. I also get really excited to see adult clothing in miniature sizes (eg: leather jackets, suede jackets), so Nora has those pieces too.
I do wish there were more gender neutral colour options though. Baby clothes still have that traditional pink and blue colour for girls and boys but I would like to see more options! More colour options (eg: yellow, green, black, etc.) can help if you want to keep clothes if you’re going to have more children, or you want to pass it on to friends and family members who don’t know what gender their child is yet.
What is Nora’s go-to outfit?
Usually a t-shirt or long sleeve shirt with jeans. I also tend to put some sort of accessory on her head— either a headband, beanie, or bow. She doesn’t mind wearing those items!
Can you breakdown where majority of Nora’s clothes were from?
About 50% of her clothes were gifts from family or friends, 25% were hand me downs from other kids (other parents usually give you a box and you pick through it, take what you want and pass on the rest), and the remaining 25% I bought.
When you purchase Nora’s clothes, what’s the process you go through?
Before I purchase an item for Nora, I try to make sure she can wear it at least for a few months. I usually buy a bigger size so she can grow into it and it can last longer. I also consider what else she can wear with the garment I want to buy. Another key question I ask myself is if I’m only drawn to the piece because it’s cute. Since Nora is my first child, it’s hard to resist all the cute pieces, but since Nora grows out of things so quickly, I’ve moved to making sure I buy functional pieces.
Where do you usually shop for Nora?
Old Navy is a popular choice for me because their stuff is quite cute and reasonably priced. I also like Gymboree and Carters.
That being said, I also buy items that are locally made and higher-quality pieces that will sustain time and I can pass on to other people. I’m based in Vancouver, Canada and there are quite a few secondhand options:
Secondhand stores for baby/toddler/kids clothes:
For other brands that strive for sustainability, you can look into:
Parade Organics - this is one of my favourites, I LOVE the 2-way zipper romper and the neutral colours
Native Shoes - they have a take back program for their shoes
Allbirds - don't do baby shoes but toddler shoes
Do you find that it’s hard not buying a ton of super cute clothes for Nora?
Yes, definitely. What I learned in the first 8 months when it comes to Nora's clothes (and baby stuff in general) is to evaluate what she really needs and what is a nice to have. Sometimes I (or her auntie(s) and grandparents) get caught up in wanting the 'cute' or 'one-off' things (eg: a holiday outfit), but I have tried to start evaluating whether she truly needs the item before purchasing (perhaps it can be borrowed from a friend). Instead of spending the money on clothes that she will grow out of or ruin (blowouts happen), I want to spend the money on experiences with Nora. I'm not saying to NOT buy those outfits cause it is fun to dress up your kid, but keep in mind how much use it will get, if your child can grow into, who you can give it to after, etc.
Any other shopping tips for newborns?
I suggest skipping all the newborn clothes. Nora literally wore her newborn items once and grew out of it. I would go straight to purchasing months 0 - 3 items. Babies grow so fast in the early months! I think you can wait until the baby is here, see how big he/she is, and how quickly they grow. Since Nora was born in the summer, she only wore a diaper because it was so hot. So it’s a good idea to think about the season your baby will be born in and plan accordingly.
It’s also a good idea not to buy too much before the baby is here because people gift you things. Or if you really want to buy an item, make sure you buy it a bit bigger. People usually won’t give you 12+ month items, so you can buy something in that age range.
Also when it comes to shoes, they are totally useless! Yes, they are cute but it’s not like Nora is walking around in them plus she’s consistently kicking them off so I always have to make sure she hasn’t lost one.
What are some items that you bought Nora that you thought was really useful?
Scratch mittens are great because Nora had really long nails when she was born. For onesies, get one with zippers and NOT buttons. I find that buttons are really annoying. You definitely want a onesie with buttons at the bottom so you can change the diaper easily, but having buttons down the side are awful because Nora never has the patience to wait for me to do 15 buttons. She’s usually squirming around. So I definitely recommend a zipper onesie. I’ve also seen kimono style onesies which are great because you don’t have to pull it over their head, it just wraps around.
How about you? Have you bought anything since you gave birth to Nora?
No I haven’t purchased anything since I was pregnant— the last thing I bought was maternity clothes. I’m currently on maternity leave so I’m in a t-shirt and jeans pretty much all the time and don’t need to buy new things for work.
Any shopping tips for expecting mothers when it comes to their own clothes?
I personally tried to wear my ‘normal’ clothes for as long as I could. I didn’t want to create more waste and spend money on maternity clothes knowing I’d only wear it a few times. In the beginning (early second trimester), it was also really overwhelming shopping for maternity clothes because I was getting bigger, but not big enough for maternity clothes. I’m so thankful my mom came with me for support. I usually wear loose shirts anyways, so that took me to months 7 and 8 of my pregnancy. Luckily, I was also given some clothes from my co-workers and neighbours, which really helped.
In terms of items I bought, I found that having a couple of staple dresses was amazing, especially in the summer. I also invested in a good pair of jeans that I wore all the time. There are also things you can get to extend your wardrobe. For instance, you can buy a waist band that you can put over your jeans, meaning you can wear your normal jeans throughout your pregnancy. There are also items you can use make your bras bigger and extend the use of that as well.
Lastly, to prepare for breastfeeding, I bought a couple of nursing tank tops and I highly recommend them. These tank tops have clips on the straps so it comes apart easily and it’s very discrete. You can still wear a bra underneath but you don’t have to. There’s lining on the inside similar to workout tank tops.
When do you purge or get rid of Nora’s clothes?
I am doing my first purge of Nora’s clothes now, so at 8 months. I have a pile of items I’m giving to a girlfriend that is having a baby in March. She’s having a boy though, so I’m giving her the gender neutral items. For higher quality items, I’m keeping it in storage for my friends and family. For the remaining items, I plan to donate it to a local women’s shelter to make sure it gets used.
What did you do with your maternity or pregnancy clothing?
For my maternity and pregnancy clothes, I gave it to other girlfriends or family members. Then, I donated clothes to a local women’s shelter to make sure it didn’t go to waste. For the nice pair of jeans I bought, I kept it in case my sister or close friends ever get pregnant.
Any last tips for mothers out there?
Find your tribe. Raising a baby is not an easy feat. It's mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting. But if you surround yourself with the right people, it is a tremendous help! I'm extremely lucky to have an amazing partner (and dad for Nora), hands-on and involved parents/in-laws— grandparents, doting sister (Auntie Amanda), friends (surrogate aunties and uncles) and fellow moms to lean on (especially during the days when dads are at work, you need these women to have coffee/drinks with, attend music, swimming, spin lessons and classes, bounce ideas off of, borrow stuff, check to make sure baby poo should look like this lol, etc). They're in the same boat so it's nice to have someone to commiserate with.
Another thing that is super important as a new mom is to take time for yourself away from the baby! Never, never, never feel guilty for taking a few hours away to get your nails done, go solo shopping, have dinner with friends, have a date night with your partner, etc. It's so important for moms (and dads/partners) to take time away to regroup, relax and enjoy time away from the baby. It makes you a better parent when you can focus on yourself for a few hours. This is also why your tribe is important— they can help babysit!
When I was pregnant, I was given the advice to every minute as it goes by so quickly. It was so cliche that I would just nod my head and smile thinking how quickly could it possibly go by, as I pictured monotonous days of dirty diapers, breastfeeding, baby naps, cleaning the house, etc. I never truly understood it until Nora came along. Here I sit 8 months later and I don't know where the time has gone. The individual days are long but the months have flown by, and my little baby girl has grown into a feisty, happy, curious girl who is showing her personality more and more as the days go on. So to new moms or soon-to-be moms, enjoy every moment!
Thank you to NORA B. & LAUREN WONG for SHARING their EXPERIENCE!
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