As a child, I dressed up a lot. Probably too much. I don’t remember owning jeans until fifth grade, and that first pair had flowers painted on them. I sometimes wish I had more play clothes, but I’m thankful that I had pretty dresses as a little girl. I even had a gig as a “Polly Flinders girl” at Bamburgers (now Macy’s) when I was in kindergarten.
The start (and end) of Miss Mink’s modeling career / Photo by Mama Mink
I am really looking forward to seeing children all dressed up in our wedding. I know many people say children in weddings are distracting and there was a time when I agreed, but having nieces and nephews changed my perspective. I am all smiles when I see kids totter down the aisle at a wedding. I’m thankful that, between us, we have a gaggle of children in our families. We invited them all to be in our bridal party.
The oldest nephew is going to be a groomsman. I have fond memories watching him and Mr. Mink playing catch, of him teaching us how to play Guitar Hero, and spending a day at Disney World together. Sometimes, I think he’s like a mini Mr. Mink…kind, sensitive, a bit of a comedian. He’ll be wearing a tux along with the other groomsmen.
The other boys we’ll have in the wedding are much younger. We plan on letting them walk down the aisle doing whatever comes naturally to them. One of my nephews decided that he needs to carry a flag. I actually think “I need a flag” was the first thing he said after the idea was presented. No problem! I’m happy to make them all little flags if that’s what they want! I’m not really set on dictating a specific outfit for them, but I’ll probably talk to my sister-in-law and Mr. Mink’s sister about what they think. I still have to do a little research in this area.
When it comes to our flower girl, I’m in the throes of researching options. When I thought about what Mr. Mink’s niece would wear in the wedding, I had images like these in my head:
Photos from Strasburg Children
Those are from Strasburg Children, a store whose windows have always been filled with beautiful dress-up clothing for children.
The storefront I remember / From the Strasburg Children website
As luck would have it, there was a Strasburg Children store about five minutes from the hotel where I recently stayed on a business trip. One night, I made the trip over and found this:
The Strasburg Children store at Dulles Town Center / Photo by Miss Mink
What happened? Where are all the pretty dresses and Eton suits? Why does Strasburg Children suddenly look like every other mall store? I went inside and found a limited selection of dressy clothes at the back of the store selling for 50% off. I wound up buying two “I’m Going to be a Ring Bearer” books.
After some Googling at home, I learned that Strasburg Children filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009. The owners closed stores for a while and finally sold the company. As of August 19, 2011, most of the dressy clothing is on sale. The entire format of the store is changing. It’s going casual.
I guess many people aren’t buying their children dress-up clothing anymore? I’m kind of sad…I loved getting a new dress for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. I loved twirling around in those dresses and stopping to make the skirt “swish” around me.
So now, the search continues. I’ve taken a look at Janie & Jack (one of my favorite children’s stores), found some amazing dresses on the Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom websites, and briefly looked at J.Crew’s Crewcuts line. I think I’m going to see if my future mother-in-law and sister-in-law will have a “girls’ day out” and look for a dress for Little Miss Mink (my nickname for our cutie-pie flower girl).
I’m wondering what stores we should visit. If you have children or had them in your wedding, what stores and websites did you visit in the search for dressy children’s clothes?