What happens when Mom discovers ebay couture...

by Chautona of Chautona's Couture

Mothers all over the world know the deep and satisfying feeling that comes with an adorably dressed child. Style may be in the eye of the beholder but it is a universal truth well known to mothers that children are exceptionally irresistible when dressed to the proverbial nines.

It starts, innocently enough, with a pregnancy test. Suddenly a man's normally placid and intelligent wife squeals like a teenybopper with pompoms at the sight of baby clothes. He learns a new vocabulary. Words like onesie, he learns to his surprise, are not baby talk. Bows, he discovers, are essential to every well dressed girl's wardrobe and little boys must don hats outdoors AND in.

While the husbands scratch their heads and scramble to lower their credit limit on all charge cards, the wives educate themselves on the latest baby gear, toddler wear, and preschool duds. At first, names like GAP, Gymboree, and Le Top grab their attention. Before long, they are connoisseurs of Chez-Ami and Oilily. Fortunate husbands have wives who are content to be just a cut above Mervyns, Penny's or even Neiman Marcus.

Bid, Buy or Sell on eBay!Then one day, after a long battle over the credit card statements, the wife has the most brilliant plan of all. eBay! She boots up her laptop, she types in the web link and adds her latest clothing desire to the search bar. In minutes, she has 'saved' hundreds by buying new without tags, or gently used garments. Hubby will be so pleased! Oh, please don't disillusion her yet. She's trying…

However, inevitably it happens. In a desperate plea to find something that her friends at the gym don't have, she types in the fateful word. "Boutique". Up pops a screen so full of items that her eyes almost glaze over in sheer protest. She decides to sort, lowest price to highest. After all, this is a money saving quest. On page four hundred sixty-five, she begins seeing outfits selling for incredible prices. Why her husband would kill her if she… Then she sees it. The set. It could be a simple swing top, capris, and kerchief. It may be an elegant ensemble including dress, bloomers, hat, jacket and purse designed for heirloom portraits. Perhaps it is a specialty set created from vintage linens or a funky pair of embellished overalls. Whatever it is, it's the seed. How she responds will determine the course of her boutique life.

Once she places the first bid, a woman rarely turns back. A few die-hards are fine… until they actually win. The minute their purchase arrives they are sunk. Once the tape is cut, the flaps of the box opened, the sweet bow untied, and the miles of tissue parted and the set is revealed, she gasps in pleasure. Every stitch is lovingly created with care. Each thread is cut and each button securely fastened. She's hooked. There is no turning back. Her husband will never understand this new obsession.

Her friends say she's crazy but they secretly envy her. Her little girl looks like a million bucks even when she's swinging on the playground at preschool. Mom feels secure at the park watching from a bench. Her child is the mass of orange, lime, and pink ribbons on the slide… under the ladder, in the tunnel… Who knew that those hair bows would be such a safety feature!

Sometime around kindergarten, the child begins to balk. It isn't that she wants to wear ratty jeans and plain t-shirts. It isn't even that she wants more expensive or unique clothing. It is simply that a taste for individuality has been fostered and the little diva wants to create her own style. Suddenly mom has a huge problem. First, her little girl wants clothing that can't be found on eBay OR in the stores. She has to find a personal seamstress/designer/tailor! And then, there is that other little problem. Mom isn't ready to be done with the boutique world. She's made friends on her eBay boards, and there are people who count on her resells for their little one's wardrobes.

Hubby, on the other hand, is relieved. The days of annual bonus' paying for mom's eBay addiction are finally over. Mom mopes around the house for a few weeks. She thinks she's finally getting over her mourning when an innocent little black plastic case heralds the beginning of a new craze. Innocently, she gives it to hubby and asks that he have it developed on his way home from work.

As she opens the envelope the next day, things spiral out of control. Her husband looks at the endearing pictures of his little girl taken years before when she was barely old enough to toddle around the house and comments on her adorable outfit. Mistake number one. His wife sighs and says something about the credit card bills and how happy he must be that they are coming to an end. Hubby assures his sorrowful wife that it was worth it. His little girl deserves the best and her mother did a marvelous job making sure she looked the part of the well-pampered princess. He's feeling magnanimous. He wouldn't be if he saw the wheels churning in her head. She smiles at him and winks.

Five months later hubby's study is a riot of pink, orange, and yellow. Heirloom styled day gowns dapple the walls and designer diaper bags are lined up on a shelf ready to match mom's outfit at a moment's notice. Only four more months to go before she can really begin shopping in earnest. Hubby walks by the room. He peeks into the wonderland of baby couture and looks at his little six-year-old daughter, "Here we go again sweetie."

About the author:

" Of course, Chautona's Couture couldn't exist without the support, encouragement, and enthusiasm of my family. I am the wife of Kevin, and the mother of nine incredible children. I am always amazed when I look across the studio my husband has so sacrificially worked to provide me and see my sons wrestling on the floor, or my little girls dreaming up outfits from the bolts on the shelves, or my older girls pulling out patterns to create their own exciting outfits. Seeing our little Rosy Lorna learning to sit, crawl, and grow into her own little self in this room is a sheer delight!"

Read more articles by Chautona:

  • What happens when Mom discovers eBay couture
  • Boutique 'n Boys
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    Comments

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    Margo | Monday, May 11, 2009 8:45 AM | flag
    It's as if you read my thoughts and put them on paper. As I read your article, I kept saying "Yep that's me, that's me...

    | Thursday, May 10, 2007 8:14 AM | flag
    I thought this was a beautiful article. Thank You.

    | Friday, April 6, 2007 2:59 PM | flag
    Love it, and SOOOOO true! Thanks so much for putting it all into the perfect words, once again!

    Dorothy | Tuesday, March 13, 2007 11:37 AM | flag
    OMG, I get tears in my eyes reading your beautiful essays...I'm not insane!!!!! I'm a boutique Mom!!!!!

    Bj | Tuesday, May 23, 2006 7:15 PM | flag
    Hysterical. Absolutely Hysterical (need I say true?).

    Chautona | Wednesday, February 22, 2006 9:20 PM | flag
    I have a part two I'm working on... she has a BOY. Dad is scared.

    Megan/creative*outlet | Friday, February 17, 2006 11:55 PM | flag
    WHAT a GREAT read!!! Perfect from start to finish!

    | Wednesday, February 15, 2006 10:13 PM | flag
    Chautona you made me giggle, nice to know we are not alone. My husband says I have Boutique on the brain!!

    | Tuesday, February 14, 2006 10:54 PM | flag
    Oh my goodness, did you interview my husband, lol!

    Jennifer/Jaybird | Tuesday, February 14, 2006 8:42 AM | flag
    Great article!!! I loved the part about the bows being a safety feature at the playground!!! It hit close to home! LOL!! We never go to the playground without them!! So much easier to spot her! LOL!!

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