JFF - Would You Put Your Child in an Ugly Outfit?

Updated on December 23, 2013
J.W. asks from Pontiac, MI
28 answers

Ok - When I was preggo with my first I did not find out what I was having. I bought my hubby a camo onsie for christas that year (baby was due in February). My friend had asked "But what if it's a girl?!?!" I replied with "Then she will wear a camo onsie with a skirt!" ( I also made him some camo crib bedding for the crib at his parent's house.) Recently. my mom bought my daughter a swaeatshirt that she KNEW was ugly (a clown that has a lacey, ruffly collar, Jewel nose, and tons of glitter!) but also knowing that my 2 1/2 year old would love it. What 2 year old DOESN'T love glitter and sparkles? I will totally have her wear it since she likes it. My mom's friend gave us an outfit after y son was born that was "not quite neutral". It had yellow ducks and the collar was scalloped. Really looked girly. I put him in it when we went to visit her.

My SIL was given a camo onsie for her daughter by my in-laws right after she was born. It even had some white lace on it to make it "girly". It was "lost" while they were moving so the baby never got to wear it. I find this weird. FIrst, babies outgrow stuff in 2.2 seconds anyway and since they rarely see them due to distance she could have either put it on her when she was visiting or taken a picure in it and never worn it again.

So, my question is, if someone gave you an outfit for your baby/toddler that you found to be ugly, would you still have them wear it when the person vistited? Or woudl it never see the light of day? ( Note - I am talking little kids, not Ralphie in The Christmas Story with the bunny outfit!)

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So What Happened?

It has been interesting to see so many different points of view! Maybe "ugly" wasn't the right word. Maybe "not your style" would have been better!

I have returned things, mostly baby stuff, simply because of size issues. I also agree with not wasting a person's money. But my heart also says that if a person bought it for my child they DID put thought into it and so I appreciate that. I am a firm believer in "it's the thought that counts".

Patty K. - I LOVE the story of Grandpa buying the granddaughter's first Christmas dress and I LOVE that you had her wear it even if it wasn't your first choice. What a wonderful memory and joy for him.

AV - I have to agree with the offensive part though. There are some really crude onsies out there that I jsut would not be able to put my baby in!!

Featured Answers



answers from Baton Rouge on

Until she was old enough to express a preference, my daughter wore what I liked to see her in. If I thought it was ugly, I didn't out it on her.
Once she was opld enough to express her likes and dislikes, I let her wear what she wanted, whether I thought it was ugly or not.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Well, I'm a Vikings fan and my husband is a Packer's fan. My son, in an attempt to be like daddy, is also an avid Packer's fan. I let him wear Packer's stuff, even though I cringe while putting it on him. It's not about me--it's about him ;-)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Wear it. Seriously, the baby doesn't care, and it makes the person happy, and they grow out of it so fast you can donate it the next month. :)

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Chattanooga on

I did. And always made a point to get a picture. Lol.

Now, going out in public is another story... ;)

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My Dad bought my first daughter a Christmas dress. He thought it was red velvet but it was the cheap velvety type material will lace. Certainly not what I would have picked out. Come Christmas Day she wore it all day. He was so thrilled to see her in it. I have many pictures of that day and cherish each one since my Dad passed away a whole ago. If someone goes to the trouble to buy my child or now my grandchildren a gift, they wear it whether I like it or not.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

The first thing I thought of was Ralphie in the bunny outfit!

Would I still have a child wear an outfit? Yes, at least once. And I'd take a picture.

When my girls were teens, my aunt (who was in her nineties) made them skirts. They were NOT fashionable. The amount of eye-rolling was phenomenal. I asked the girls to dress up in the skirts just once. They did, and I got a nice picture of them, which they sent to their great-aunt with thanks. Then the skirts found other homes.

The gift is often the intention more than anything else. That's where the appreciation goes.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntington on

Huh. I am surprised so many people say they would not put their kid in an "ugly" outfit.
I have 3 kids and am way past caring about clothes. If the kids are tidy enough in appearance, who cares? My brother and SIL just had a baby and were going on and on about all the horrid clothes they have received that their child will never wear (No camo, no clothes with words, no glitter, no animals, no yellow or orange...a large list). Here is my criteria: clean, no stains, fits. That's it. Majority of our clothes are hand me downs. With 3 kids, who are growing like crazy, who play outside and wear holes into things quickly, the absolute last thing i care about is whether the clothes are "my preference" or "ugly". Yes, I would absolutely let me kids wear a glittery clown outfit if it was clean, fit and they liked it (even if I hated it). Just my 2 cents.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Nope, could not do it. I would donate it hoping someone else liked it more than me.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New London on

I do purposely have my kids wear ugly stuff so I don't ruin their cute stuff. Both my kids have "home" clothes and "public" clothes.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

My aunt got my son an ugly US flag sweater, we put that bad boy on him the 4th of July and took lots of pictures for her. It did not hurt him and it made her happy.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Yes. That person cared enough about me and my feelings to get them something so I put the kids in their outfit and made sure they saw it or at least saw them in various pictures wearing it.

I also wore the ugliest outfit in the world just for my mother in law.

My favorite color is dark dark dark sage green. Those who know greens it's not OLIVE. Olive has a yellow tinge to it. Sage is a cool green and it has a grey tinge and has NO yellow in it at all.

She bought me this outfit that had 3....stripes....sections of color....it was dark on top then faded to a lighter yellowy green then to a paler yellow. Top was darker than the bottom.

So across my shoulders was this olive green and it had the random sequin to make it sparkle then around my waist was a murky gross middle green and around my butt was this bright yellow section. Then the skirt was tiered and broomstick style. It had the same color scheme.

I looked like a walking talking Bomb Pop off an ice cream truck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I wouldn't.
I didn't.
The questionable outfit would get 'lost', stained or donated fairly quickly.
I was fairly possessive (ok, obsessive - I've got one child - the only child I'll ever have - I didn't want to 'share' in this respect) about fashion choices for our son when he was under 5 yrs old.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I thought of Ralphie and the bunny outfit, too, before I scrolled down and saw it. I guess we need to draw the line at self-esteem issues.

I think ugly outfits make terrific camping clothes.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If the outfit was truly awful (or offensive - I've seen some really crass onesies) no. I try to photograph or otherwise show my family that the kid is wearing their outfit but if it's terrible and the kid is old enough to have an opinion, it may just disappear. I got some ugly sweaters as a kid and we said/wrote our thank yous and then donated them. I was so grateful Mom didn't make us keep them.

FWIW, I also try not to gift things that are really my taste and not the recipient's or gift without a receipt. I know my humor is not universal. I hope nobody was offended at what my DD did or did not wear. She was a big newborn and there were a couple of things that were regifted because we never got to her wearing them, for whatever reason.

I know my sister pretty well, but she has a toddler as well as her new baby. If the outfit we gave her gets lost til the kid is too big, or the wearing never coincides with a visit or she never remembers a picture, then I'm not going to worry about it. It's a gift. Sometimes you just don't nail it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Nope. I'm pretty picky about the clothes that my son wears and if I don't like something that was received as a gift I bring it to the store and exchange it for clothes that I do like so that the person's money wasn't wasted.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I did like others, put her in it, take a photo and sent it to the giver, then donated it,.

But I just could not be out and about with her in ugly clothing, when we were blessed with fabulous clothing for her.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

It depended on just how much I hated it to be honest. I tried real hard to give things at least 1 wearing but there were times I just couldn't. I did do the put it on for a picture sometimes.
I always appreciated the gift but there were some things I just could not stand to look at.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

So what I have done is:
put baby in ugly outfit, then take a picture of it, then send the person who gave it to baby, the photo of my baby in the ugly outfit.
Then its done.
Of course I don't say... "here's a photo of my baby in that ugly outfit you gave him/her..."

And if you happen to see them/have them over/go to visit them, well the "ugly" outfit is in the wash!


But I don't go overboard in making my kid wear the ugly outfit, each and EVERY time you see the person that gave your kid, that outfit.
Or you can just use the "ugly" outfit for home, clothes.
I have done that and got a lot of mileage out of it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I'm a clothes snob (Not necessarily $$ but style). I have a hard time putting my children in "not my style" outfits (burying head in the sand in shame).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'd like to think of myself as the kind of person who would be gracious enough to put my kid in any outfit someone sent but honestly, I have limits. There are just some styles that would never make their way onto my kids' bodies and would find their way to the return pile or donation pile on arrival.

FWIW I'm with your SIL on that particular outfit ;-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Yup. Kids wear ugly gifted clothes when we go visit the person that gifted it. Thank GOODNESS I don't have many ugly clothes stories! lol

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I had a couple of outfits bought for my boys by elderly aunts that were definitely not my style, but I dressed the babies in them for a visit or a picture.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Nope. I wouldn't put an outfit on my kid that I didn't like. I had many baby clothes still with tags on them.

Now as I had more children, my tastes on what was acceptable baby clothing grew, but I still wouldn't put them in something ugly willingly.

Now that they are older - what they dress themselves in is a whole different story.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from McAllen on

Nope. I would not have dressed my son in the "girly" outfit just for them to see. I would have let my daughter wear that clown sweatshirt, with some basic jeans and a cute coordinating shoe to tone it down.

I think that there was one period of time when I put an ugly shirt on my toddler. It was one of those shirts that looks like it's two shirts. It looks like an open button-front shirt with a T-shirt underneath. I think that that concept is ugly at any age. Anyway, he wore it a couple of times around the house because it was not hideous, and I took pictures for the gifter. I would not knowingly send him out looking like that.

I don't like camo and would not let my son wear it no matter who sent it over. I'm glad that no one has tried that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My inlaws have bought my son things I would have passed up. He wore them and some turned out to be "staples." They weren't what I'd call "ugly" --just not my taste.

I'm really shocked at some of the (ungrateful sounding) responses!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Depends on the situation and HOW ugly I thought it was.

When my daughter was 2-3, she had an outfit that she LOVED, that was butt-ugly. It was olive drab sweatpants, a bright yellow t-shirt, and a salmon colored sweater. It made my eyes bleed every time she wore it.....but......SHE liked it, and she got herself dressed in it as often as I'd let her.

Clothing choices are a battle I choose not to fight with my kids. As long as they're in weather/seasonal appropriate clothing, I'm happy. And, because of that, the few times I've laid down the law about clothing I've gotten zero resistance from EITHER of my kids. They're now 10 and 6.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

My father was wheel chair bound and went to JC Penny and bought my son an oufit. It wasn't my style and came with a floppy firemen hat. I had his one year pictures taken in it and my dad had one framed. The place blew one up, and my son loves showing that poster off.
My son is 8 now. He would love the pink bunny pajamas! And if that's what he loves I would rave about it just like Ralphies mom.
He currently wears a bright orange hunters hat everyday. And loves it.
But yes, when they were toddlers I would treasure every outfit that fit whether it was my style or not.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

No, I wouldn't h ave them wear it. I HATE getting clothes. My attitude is this: you don't want me to buy you clothes, so why do you think it's OK to buy my baby/kids clothes?

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