"Fancy" might not be the word you used to describe yourself or your baby for the first several months of her life, but now that you're both a little older and wiser, fancy occasions might start popping up! Maybe your baby is already a ring-bearing, flower-petal-tossing pro, but there's always more to learn when it comes to toddler fanciness.
If you're taking your baby to a wedding, funeral, religious ceremony, holiday event, or Oscar party, you'll need to make sure she can hold her own with the other guests. Now, even these events will vary in fanciness, so it can be tricky to decide whether your baby needs to suit up or not. Try this: if you're reaching into the back of your closet for your shiniest dress or nicest suit, go ahead and fancy your baby up a little bit too. If you're just hoping to get to the event in something clean, your baby's typical level of cuteness will do just fine.
Well, how fancy are you? There are a couple of levels of fanciness that your toddler could reach. The shininess or sparkly-ness of a dress can vary based on fanciness levels. An Easter party might be the perfect occasion to show off a new cotton sundress, and a formal wedding might be the venue for a new tulle skirt. On the other hand, a nice shirt or sweater can put a toddler at baseline fanciness, and a suit or jacket can put them at their peak. If you want to blow some minds, put your little one in a bow tie. Swoon!
Depending on the typical level of fancy event you expect to attend, you might want a couple of different combinations of things. If you'll mostly be going to nice-but-not-formal events, a couple of different cotton dresses or skirts for a girl would be a perfectly appropriate and adorable wardrobe. For a boy, just have some short-sleeved polos or button-up shirts with a pair of nicer pants or shorts. If you have a very fancy toddler, you might have a jacket, suit, or sequined dress at the ready, but just remember that the time your baby has to wear these clothes is limited, so don't blow the bank on formal outfits. It's also perfectly sensible to wait to invest in fancy clothes for your baby until she has a specific event to go to, so that you're sure she will fit into her best duds when the big day rolls around.
Toddlers love to add a little personality to their outfits. Well, some people spell it that way - others see it as d-i-r-t. Hint: darker colors are less likely to show messes at the end of the night. Bringing snacks, entertainment, and a change of clothes to the event is the best way to make sure your baby is fancy and happy for the maximum amount of time. If your baby spies a puddle that looks irresistible, distract her with a piece of cereal or a toy.
As soon as she starts getting cranky or uncomfortable in her formal wear, don't worry about keeping her in it. Get your pictures early on in the day, and let your baby change into some play clothes if you'll be out for a long time. For toddlers, it's really all about how fancy you feel on the inside.