High Chair Fashion

By Joe Barker

Confused white male with food stains on his shirt

Choosing what to wear in the morning is enough of a challenge for many of us, so having to make that decision for two can be daunting. No fear when Joe is near though! Whilst fashion was never my forte growing up, I feel that I’m finally showing a real flair when it comes to dressing daddy and baby. With these few simple tips, any father can dress themselves and their baby as well as, if not better than, I can. Naturally, fashion isn’t only for fathers and babies, so mothers are of course welcome to use these tips too—although they’ll probably have more sense…

Nappies are always a win with our little fashionista, but recently we’ve been repurposing this wardrobe perennial as a charming hat. This simple yet elegant look brings delighted laughter to a reluctant dresser as daddy prances in his handy waterproof cap. This may not speed up the dressing process, but it adds fun and smiles—an important consideration for those dressing a family. Matching nappy hats are already a family classic, and rightly so because who doesn’t enjoy seeing mummy, daddy, and baby in matching outfits? Although with the wide range of colorful cloth nappies available, it is very tempting to pick individual colors and styles: mummy in stripes, daddy in spots, and baby in whatever has taken their fancy that day. The added bonus with this stylish headgear is that you’re always ready for any toilet emergencies.

Whilst nappies make for the best amusing headgear, any bizarrely misplaced clothing seems to delight Martin. Spirited attempts by daddy to put on any clothing he has refused to wear are also very popular. Of course it is best to stop before actually bursting the seams of a favorite T-shirt. Mommy was much less amused by that incident than Marty was. In an ideal world these antics not only lead to delighted giggles all round, but also ultimately result in Martin getting properly dressed. However, in the not-uncommon event of Martin remaining naked whilst daddy now has a nappy, a pair of shorts, and two T-shirts balanced on his head, something can still be salvaged from this dressing fiasco with a quick game of “attack of the clothing monster”. More fun and giggles, even if we’re still no closer to being dressed.

We seem to be talking a lot about headwear, and I guess that’s because the head is an accessible part of the body on which we can conveniently hang those items our children have deemed temporarily unnecessary. It’s a rare bike ride or trip to the climbing frame that doesn’t result in me wearing Marty’s bike helmet or sun hat. Undoubtedly I look pretty snazzy in them—like a slightly more human version of Mr Potato Head I imagine.

White baby with food stains on clothes reaching out

Having chosen your outfits, it’s time to start thinking about accessories. It’s the little details that turn an ordinary outfit into a stunning one. This season, as most seasons, all outfits should be accessorized with lumps of egg and then decorated to the individual tastes of your toddler. Watermelon, mango, and curry are firm favorites in our household. For that additional personalization, which marks the finest of haute fashion, bodily fluids should be liberally applied. These have the further advantage of adding a delightful, matching fragrance to the family outfits.

We’ve dealt with daddy’s use of infant clothing, but what about daddy’s clothes from before parenthood? Can these still be worn? Of course, but they will need a few alterations and accessories. To reiterate the important point made above, they must obviously be stained as soon as possible, initially with milk and vomit, but then with a wider range of foodstuffs and bodily fluids. Fortunately, I find that any clean clothes are usually covered with muddy footprints and suspicious damp patches within minutes of being put on. Now this is not a problem so long as you keep your child with you. However, if you make the mistake of going to any exclusively grown-up events, it’s best to change again or you may get funny looks. Similarly, T-shirts can be worn inside out or back to front, and shirts misbuttoned to playgrounds or playgroups and no one will bat an eyelid. Remember though that in a less parent-tolerant environment this can get you a reputation for eccentricity or even incompetence.

We’ve considered daywear, but for reasons that will become clear it is just as vital to think about nightwear. For at any moment, clothing that was never meant to see the light of day may suddenly be thrust into public view. Picture the scene: it’s early in the morning and suddenly screaming breaks out, so I leap from my bed and scoop up a howling toddler. Despite it being 5am, he is convinced that the day has started and will not go back to sleep. Not an unusual occurrence in our house, nor in yours I’m sure, and so I find myself downstairs in my sleepwear. Nothing unreasonable about that. However, we now fast forward to 6am, and Marty is insisting on going outside. It would be cruel to wake my wife in search of clothes, and so, once again, I find myself barefoot, chasing a speeding balance bike up and down our soi, desperately holding up my shorts and tugging down my shirt in what I hope is a successful attempt to avoid traumatizing the local motorcycle taxi drivers. In the interests of public decency, I have had to become much more attentive to the quality of my sleepwear and now swiftly replace any which develop unfortunately located holes. If I was wiser I might even start to keep a spare pair of trousers downstairs.

Congratulations to anyone who has managed to get themselves and their child dressed today, and remember: watch out for that clothing monster…

Photos from Canva

About the Author

Having enjoyed taking his son to BAMBI playgroups over the past months, Joe is excited to volunteer with BAMBI. He and his wife moved to Thailand from the UK in 2018. In 2021 they were delighted to be joined by their son, Martin. They love exploring Thailand as a family, especially anywhere with a playground or sand!