Guest Post by: Brett Allen
Being that it’s 2013, there are plenty of new things that are considered “in” with other things being considered “totally out”. As a dad who is into cool cars, gadgets that control other gadgets, and music from all ages, I’m not always in tune with other things in life. To me a high chair was a high chair and a stroller was a stroller. Now you have items like the Stokke Tripp Trapp chair and the Bugaboo Bee stroller. Most of the baby items today have one similar thing in common…fashion. I won’t lie, being a young dad with a trendy wife, I’ve picked up a few pointers on male fashion. Socks should match, and wearing a Sponge Bob t-shirt to a meeting is certainly a no-no. Actually wearing a Sponge Bob t-shirt is something all grown men should avoid honestly.
Now that we’ve established that I would probably be a winner on NBC’s Fashion Star, I think we can move onto the topic of discussion…smocking. If you’re a confused dad like I am, you’re thinking “what the heck is smocking and why do I care?”, or you think you actually know what it is. Just to inform you, smocking is not some sort of mixed martial arts fighting, nor is it something you do in the bedroom. I actually thought it might of been an arts & craft thing, but then I remembered my wife has as much artistic talent as Lindsey Lohan has acting talent.
In an attempt to save myself an hour conversation on what smocking is and why it should be an important part of our family I quickly Googled the word “smocking” to see what came up. STOP RIGHT THERE to all the dads who are attempting to do that as you read along. You’re making a big mistake! If I’m too late, you’ll already have the internet open and see that a Google search brings back results regarding the art of smocking and basically how to even attempt it on your own. You certainly don’t want to go down that road unless you plan on being Mr. Martha Stewart.
Back to the subject at hand, and to save some valuable time and get you back to watching re-runs of Gold Rush or a great chick flick like Die Hard, I’ll explain the so called importance of smocking. As a guy, I can only describe smocking as a trendy clothing fad that has actually been around since most of us were born. Between smocking and the custom shirts that the moms love to have made (we’ll touch on those another time), you can learn everything about children’s fashion in just a few short minutes. Then when you’re at the park, putting back a few juice boxes with the other dads, you’ll be able to school them all with your vast knowledge of smocking.
Today there’s always an outfit, a dress, or some sort of one piece item for every special occasion or just everyday wear. You’ve got patterns, styles, and little designs to let you know the reason that particular smocking is being worn that day. If there are bunnies, you can assume it’s Easter, watermelon, it should be summer, Christmas trees, I sure hope you have caught on by now. At first I was overly annoyed by the amount of smocking that was arriving at my house, but then I realized I didn’t need a calendar anymore. If I needed to know what time of year it was, I just looked at my kids and I had the answer. I suggested our kids where certain outfits on certain days so I could remember things, but having a dress made with houses on top to remind me to pay the mortgage didn’t fly well with my wife. So now I only know when holidays are coming up, or there’s a trendy mom get together with the kids.
Now I know I’ve kept you in suspense long enough about where you can actually buy this wonderful stuff. If I said, don’t buy it and stick with Baby Gap, I’ll get in trouble. And since we all know who runs the house, I’ll tell you. Of course the internet is where all women tend to shop these days. Between Facebook and Pinterest, there’s not much time for anything else. This is why the great people behind the wonderful world of smocking have jumped on the social bandwagon to sell and promote all their products. You’ve got Smocking Hot Mamas, Smocktions, & Three Smocked Sisters to name a few that I found on my wife’s Facebook. Some of these companies have such strong followings that when a sale is posted, it sells out in minutes! If you’re not sitting and waiting, you’re stuck with last years styles paying full price. If I’ve learned anything by these so called “flash” sales on Facebook is that they actually are cheaper then buying items straight off a website.
I will warn you, patience is needed along with the ability to sift through literally hundreds of posts from different companies. I get tired just watching my wife do this, let alone actually being involved. If you prefer to shop the traditional way online, then you’ve got sites like Shrimp & Grits Kids, Jolly Rompers, and Lolly Wolly Doodle. You will certainly notice that even these companies rely heavily on Facebook. The only issue I have besides my children wearing matching outfits is that some of the clothing is made better then others. I strongly urge shoppers to know and research the company you are buying from. Since this trend has blown up bigger then certain parts of Kim Kardashian, there are plenty of knock offs and cheap products being put out there.
With all that being said, if you want to keep up with the times you’ll go smock yourself! Another heads up to all those eager dads out there, NO you can not wear smocking! There is an age limit for this trend and unfortunately it belongs to the group that still think the ABC song is the hottest thing out there. For your amusement, I utilized some artistic talent to see what my wife and I would look like all smocked out. You can be the judge. And no my hair doesn’t look that good in real life.