the magic of "a little bit from scratch' oh baby! costume

by Jennifer Prod

(Photos by Tyler Lauer)

“Why not get the whole family involved and be something that’s better together? You know, like coffee & The WSJ, PTO and frequent flyer miles, or brunch and rooftops?” I tried to put a Minnesota spin on the costume – Paul Bunyon and his ox? No, no, we need something that works for three people.

Maybe The Galleria, a Visa and a Mastercard? Ha, I’m definitely not convincing enough to get my husband dressed as a shopping bag. Okay, okay, what about Target Field, Surly Furious and Fulton Sweet Child of Vine? Good, except a baby probably shouldn’t be wandering around with two parents dressed as IPA.

My husband intervenes before my wandering mind gets too wild, “Why not dress Max as something he likes? Curious George or a banana?” He looks back down at his Excel document, triple checks monthly trends, and then makes another suggestion, “Keep it simple – Target probably has some ideas.” 

 

My hunky husband speaks wisdom, but he doesn’t fully understand that shopping at Tarjay guarantees your child will be wearing the same costume as every other kid on Facebook and Instagram. Perhaps Pottery Barn would be more unique? Most people hear PB and think tables, chairs and lamps – not lions, tigers and bears. Yes, I’ll check there.


Lake to France to 70th Street and then I park next to Len Drezkin (where there’s always a parking spot outside, and, with any luck, a sale inside). My mini-me Max rides on my stomach (thank you Ergo!), and we’re determined to go home with a costume for him, and maybe just maybe, a scarf (grey flannel?) for me. Let the shopping games begin.

So what happened? I found a scarf (err two) at Len, but the costume rack at PB had an extremely limited collection of $60 furry (zebra, elephant and bear) outfits. Truth be told, I found the baby costume collection a bit uninspiring. I wanted something special for Max’s first Halloween, and so, despite my husband’s advice to ‘keep it simple’, I decided to make something ‘a little bit from scratch.’

 

A little bit from scratch? Never heard that expression before? Probably ‘cause I made it up. In my mind, the phrase refers to making something with a mega-dose of help from an expert. Think baking cookies with a package of Betty Crocker’s finest mix at your side. Mrs. Crocker did the measuring and the mixing, but you placed those cookies in the oven. Quality teamwork.

Making costumes ‘a little bit from scratch’ means you let an expert handle the fine details, and then you put everything together with a handmade touch. Lucky me, my go-to expert for baby fashion is only a skip-hop-jump from PB. Enter Oh Baby!

Have you ever been to Oh Baby! ? I imagine Anthropologie and Nordstrom going on a very fine date, and then, what do you know, marrying and giving birth to – you guessed it- Oh Baby! Okay, that might be a bit imaginative for a store, but that’s kinda how I feel about it. I love their whole family and I’m sending Anthro and Nordy and Oh Baby! a Christmas card this year and always.

So anyway, I went to Oh Baby! seeking costume inspiration for my ‘little bit from scratch idea,’ and I found a linen crown that would do two things 1) make for an adorable Prince Charming costume and 2) double as a fun dress-up item for the rest of the year. I found a sword to match, and decided to sew a gingham cape. Voila: Prince Charming.



The crown sat regally atop Max’s ahead before we arrived home, and I put a picture on Instagram as a hint about his Halloween costume. A few hours later, the Oh Baby! marketing manager emailed to ask if I would collaborate on a series of blog posts highlighting their Halloween collection. Of course I said yes! That was like Lucia Watson (mastermind behind Lucia’s Restaurant and Wine Bar) asking if I’d like to co-host brunch. Um, yes, and maybe our friends at Spruce will bring the flowers? I couldn’t have been more excited about this opportunity.

We scheduled a coffee date for two days later, and a lone cuppa java inspired four collaborative blogposts and five ‘a little bit from scratch’ costume ideas. Max had a photo shoot a few days later, and the images captured our favorite Halloween looks.

Each look centers around one or two versatile pieces from the oh baby! collection. We took clothing intended for everyday wear, and transformed it into something worthy of baby’s first (or second // third // fourth) Halloween. For example? The Minnesota onesie is perfect for visiting grandma, but it also makes for an easy Paul Bunyon costume. And that gorgeous linen crown? Worthy of a prince, but also quite nice for cozy days lounging in the nursery. 

How are you planning to dress your little one for Halloween? 

Jennifer Prod is an oh baby! guest blogger, a regular blogger for Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine, and the woman behind Kindred Studio. She wants to make you laugh and cook you dinner, most likely homemade pizza or pasta (maybe pizta?), and she's on a mission to make her newborn laugh everyday (#thesnuggleisreal).