The land of the 100-euro baby shoes

With Italy being home to some of the world’s most sought-after fashion labels, Italians are justifiably known for their impeccable sense of style. Italy was even responsible for turning this former quasi tomboy into a woman who thoroughly appreciates a nice designer bag. But designer baby clothes? That just strikes me as the height of wasteful indulgence.

I’ll admit that I would not poo-poo the gift of an Armani outfit for Peanut. The larger problem is that ridiculously expensive baby clothes are the rule here rather than the exception. I kid you not, there are entire stores devoted to itty-bitty shoes that cost 100 euros per pair on average. And speaking of shoes, Italians start wearing them as infants, i.e. many months before they even start walking!

This theme, of aesthetics trumping practicality, plays out in various other ways. Italian sleepers and onesies, for example, almost always fasten at the back, which not only must be uncomfortable for baby to sleep on but is also annoying and time-consuming to open and close for diaper changes.

Italy’s not called the Bel Paese for nothing. Everything and everyone is attractive here, and Italians start learning young how to suffer to conform to this ideal of outward beauty. Practical shmatical. The most important thing is that your bambino is bello!