Apart from a gorgeous first day, Costa del Sol hasn’t quite dished out the sunshine and sandals weather I came here for. So I figured: what else was there to do in the pouring rain but shop?
When we first arrived, I saw a shop called Mata Caprichitos, moda infantil, in the old center of Marbella. It was closed for siesta (from 1-5pm… how does anything get done here??) so I decided to come back and check it out today.
The display window was just too precious. Admittedly, the clothes for older children are a bit too traditional and proper for my taste, but they have the sweetest details. Somewhere in my subconscious, I have this impression of Spanish baby clothes—knits in particular—as being cute, well-made and good value for money.
“Is this your first?” the smiling sales lady asked in Spanish, as I lurched vaguely towards the clothes for 4-5 year olds. “Newborns, this way.” As I went through the racks, I dredged up what was left of my Spanish to make conversation, enjoying the rarity of friendly customer service (unfortunately not a strong suit of the Dutch).
Funny thing about baby clothes: seeing them used to give me massive baby pangs, which vanished as soon as I got pregnant. Finding out that we were having a girl didn’t make me rush to the nearest baby store, which surprised me. I didn’t even want to shop online despite pinning dozens of images to my growing Baby Love board on Pinterest. I felt like I could go for at least another month or two before wanting to buy anything for Little Mango, and I was happy to wait for the second-hand baby clothes offered by my generous mommy friends in Amsterdam.
I suspected my undoing would be walking into a baby store on purpose. And I was right. There was nothing scientific or methodical at all about how I purchased Little Mango’s first baby clothes. I had no idea if I was buying the right sizes for the right seasons. I just turned into one big puddle of hormones; it took nearly all my willpower not to buy everything in sight.
Not only did I feel slightly weak-kneed and giddy upon leaving the store, I also walked away with some pretty cute baby clothes. Want to see?
I know, I know, pink for a baby girl, what a cliche. But this delicate dress in the softest knit grabbed me by the ovaries and wouldn’t let go. Let me have my soft, sweet newborn; there will be lots of time for fun, quirky and modern.
“In Spain, the hospital gives you a hat for the baby. Is it the same in Amsterdam?” inquired the sales lady in Spanish. When I said I didn’t know since Holandesas give birth en la casa, she raised an eyebrow. But the knit hat she showed me was so cute, I decided to get it anyway.
At Plaza la Victoria, I wandered into another baby shop filled with Baby Dior and Burberry Baby—I forgot, this is Marbella after all. Reeling from the price tags, I crossed the street to Rivera, a shop that stocked more affordable Spanish brands.
You know how there are things you always hear about, but never really imagine will happen to you? Like lying down for an ultrasound scan or feeling the baby move in my belly, buying baby clothes for the first time was one of these things.
Standing in the store, I couldn’t believe I was actually choosing clothes for my own daughter. I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but I never pictured the little details of how it would actually unfold. I never pictured the pregnant woman running her fingers over soft knits and delicate ribbons would be me. And I never knew it would make me this deeply, warmly, quietly happy.