The first step in choosing the best vintage baby clothes is determining how and where you plan to use the clothes. Vintage baby clothes are perfect attire for dolls and can even be used to outfit today's babies. They also can be displayed in groups or solo as decorating accents for a room, so you may want to choose clothing based on a color or theme. Before making a purchase, it is important to inspect the vintage baby clothes for signs of wear, odor and deterioration.
One of the biggest drawbacks to vintage baby clothes is that they are often found in less-than-stellar condition. Carefully examine the clothing, looking for stains, rips or other damage. Some vintage clothing materials and threads can simply begin to disintegrate from being improperly stored for many years. As wool was often used for clothing years ago, it is important to check for moth holes, as well as other damage, such as mold.
If your vintage baby clothes are going to be worn by a baby, it is important to inspect the garment to ensure that all accoutrements are up to today's safety standards. Check that buttons and buckles are secure, as they could be a choking hazard for a young child. Also be aware of lead or lead paint used on metal buttons or accents. Also, vintage baby sleepwear does not meet today's fire-retardant safety standards.
Choose unique vintage baby clothes, including ones with accessories such as hats, umbrellas and leggings, to use for outfitting dolls. Many dolls are made the same size as real babies, so the clothing is often a perfect fit. If you are not sure of your doll's size, it is best to bring it along when selecting clothes so you can be sure they will fit. To get a better deal on the vintage baby clothes, consider purchasing slightly damaged clothes that can be creatively patched or covered with a vintage pin or accessory. Some damage can even also be concealed by posing the doll at the best vantage.
Before making a purchase, be sure to smell the clothes. Some odors are easier to remove than others, and the odor of mold often means other damage is present, too. When selecting vintage baby clothes as room decorations, consider purchasing clothing in themes such as kittens, boats or bears. Another option is to create a display using clothing of all one color, complementary colors or contrasting colors. You can select more fragile and even damaged clothing if you can frame it in order to display it.