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Grace Timothy on where to buy baby clothes in Sussex

PUBLISHED: 16:26 24 February 2014 | UPDATED: 16:28 24 February 2014

Archant

Grace Timothy on swapping her Manolos for motherhood

I know where to buy my own clothes – I made a career out of knowing such things. But babies’ clothes? Where? What? How? And a bit, Why? 
So, what I’m supposed to do is buy something I’m never going to fit into? It feels just like a Chanel sample sale, in many ways. Except that we’re looking for something that you can machine-wash and tumble-dry to your heart’s content. No more dry cleaning? Sounds good, doesn’t it? And even better: the baby ranges by your favourite designers are cheaper. OK, so the cost-per-wear isn’t as reasonable, but put that out of your mind and you can have a guilt-free spree. It’s actually quite fun.

Then a couple of months in, as you bag up a wardrobe full of cashmere onesies that never quite fit your baby, you suffer that sickening sense of buyer’s remorse. While of course you’re thrilled your baby is thriving, you wonder if you could just cram his or her legs into those Little White Company dungarees one more time. By then, it’s too late – you’ve got a habit. Going without lunch so you can afford yet another pair of tiny socks. Buying something two years too big for your child because it’s just too cute to pass up. Driving from Chichester to Brighton to track down the very last melon-shaped hat in the county...I reached a real low point when I threw a £50 baby cardigan in the wash with a bunch of muslins and towels, only to find an explosion of lint and fluff had infested every stitch of the knitwear, which was also now half its size. I cried. And realised it had got a bit out of hand. I now have a list of brands to shop for, knowing their quality, washability and endurance on a crawler.

My favourite shops are Squibbly Biskit in Arundel (Joules and Mini a Ture), Mamissima (Maxomorra and Petit Bateau) and Toby Tiger in Brighton, and Baby Talk in Chichester (Lily + Sid and Kite). You can’t beat TK Maxx either – items often end up in there due to dodgy sizing, so it’s worth picking through all the different age brackets. The White Company offers the very softest babygrows and t-shirts you’ll ever find; JoJo Maman Bebe and Mini Boden are great for cardigans and sweaters that don’t give up at the first hum of a tumble drier, and the very best leggings and vests are from the TU range at Sainsbury’s. By the time you’d consider replacing them, your baby will have outgrown them anyway.

New in Town

Oyu Moyu launched in November, combining vivid stories with snuggly knitwear.

Rather than seasons, choose from a selection of ‘stories’ – each item comes with an illustrated tale the wearer can share with friends every time they wear their little jumper. Granted, it is cashmere (a little grand for a little one?) but the illustrations will make it a keepsake for years to come – it’s the kind of thing you keep in the attic ready for the next child, or even your child’s child.

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