My House is a No Smocking Zone

nosmockingI have to tell you something that may get me kicked out of the South. Branded a traitor. Shunned from the sidewalks of Uptown. It’s a stance that causes more emotional debate amongst the contributors of this blog than any other. Here it is:

I don’t like smocking.

Okay, there is a big caveat here. I’m a boy mom. I have a feeling if I had girls instead, they’d have been rocking the bishops, whatever those are.

But jon jons are a big no no in my house, and I’m just not that into a boy in a bubble.

5764972439_69ee1241c5_bWhen the boys were almost two, we were approached by the owner of a local clothing store who wanted them to model for their next catalog. I was blinded by the prospect of fame and fortune for my little ones, so I agreed. But I cringed when I had to dress them for their photo. The little Peter Pan collared shirts were just a little too dainty for my taste, and the boys acted like I was choking them as I buttoned them up. I was relieved when I saw they were going to be modeling simple blue shortalls (or jon jons?) – I don’t know what they were called, but I was just happy that they weren’t smocked.

I will admit, my little blonde boys looked passably adorable in the outfits, but I think their true feelings were shown in the photo that ultimately ran in the catalog. Of the three boys, one was frowning, and one was crying.

(Yes, that was the end of their modeling career.)

Karmic retribution came in the form of their payment: gift certificates to the store for an outfit for each of them!

photo by Eau Claire Photographics

Now, I don’t mean to sound judgmental here. I have lots of very dear friends of boys who love to dress their boys in smocked shortalls, and it didn’t bother me that they cringed at the sight of my guys in tiny jeans and button down shirts. I was flabbergasted when a close friend had a baby boy earlier this year, and at her shower, she was given monogrammed boxers. So he could wear them under his monogrammed gowns. With his monogrammed bonnet. Later, when I saw tiny little Hank all decked out (and in no doubt of his initials), I just wanted to stick him in a knit sleeper from Carter’s, but I respect my friend too much for that. Plus, I’d given all of our newborn clothes away already. But I love my friend, and no matter what he’s wearing, Hank is the sweetest, smiliest baby boy I know.

I think part of it is that I’ve never really felt like a typical Southern girl, even though I was born and raised in south Louisiana. So dressing my kids in a “Southern” way just doesn’t feel authentically me. Just like I don’t drink sweet tea, how I didn’t wear pearls on my wedding day, and how I can’t stand etoufee.

What’s your stance on smocking?

Pam Kocke
My name is Pam, and I live in Algiers Point with my husband George and my identical triplets Linus, Oliver, and Miles. I work from home as a Happiness Engineer for Automattic. I enjoy reading and photography and sewing (and blogging!)


  1. Bless it! To me there is nothing sweeter than a baby boy in a bubble. I have two boys and just adore it. I do cut it off after 3 but my 5 year old most always has a monogram on his polo and coordinates with his little brother who wears mostly jonjons and bubbles. I just can’t help myself and they are edible!
    It takes all kinds to make the world go round I suppose. 😉

  2. I choose to disagree. Smocking on boys as well as girls is the sweetest thing!! My son is 5 and wore a poll with a smcoed flag for the 4th! They are only little once and will be able to dress like men the rest of their lives. I love the sweet simplicity of smocks. Jeans and button downs seem so uncomfortable for babies.

  3. Well I’m a boy mom ,and both my boys have worn smocked clothing. The 2.5 yr old still does. My husband prefers it he cringes when he sees baby boys in jeans, and gasp I smock and sew. They have their entire lives to dress like men, and only a short while to be babies.

  4. I am a Southern girl who likes my tea unsweetened but loves sweet little boys in jon jons, longalls, smocked clothes – all of it! Love little girls in ruffled dresses and hair bows too! There is plenty of time for boys and girls to grow up and wear grungy pants hanging down to their yah yah or sexy dresses and short shorts. Yay for the innocence and sweetness of babies and toddlers!

  5. Like someone else stated, boys have the rest of their lives to wear regular clothes. I dressed my son in smocked outfits the first 2 years of his life. That’s all. And he looked darling in them, especially when they coordinated with older sister’s smocked dresses. Don’t knock it until you try it! Let little boys be little boys.

  6. It was all fun and games til you brought etoufee in this! Haha!
    Mom of 1 boy and dislike smocking too. But love etoufee 🙂

  7. For their ENTIRE lives, a male’s uniform consists of t-shirts, polo shirts, jeans and khakis. Why anyone would miss a brief opportunity to dress them in something other than this is totally beyond me. I cherish every photo of my now-teenage son in real baby clothing, not tiny adult clothing. No tiny oxford shirts with ties, either. They look like they are wearing a costume. And a baby in jeans is simply AWFUL. Their sweet delicate skin should be dressed in soft comfort, not stiff denim. Even worse than jeans…I once saw a baby at a wedding dressed in a tuxedo. I couldn’t even wrap my head around that one.


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