Baby Carriers. What’s a sartorially conscious father supposed to do? Does practicality ever meet style halfway? Many friends and acquaintances will be well aware of my aversion to the very notion of a baby harness. In fact, I wrote a newspaper article about it because I was so adamant that they’re a step too far.
First up, let’s talk about the aesthetics of the thing; as far as I’m concerned you may as well be wearing a rucksack. Well, it IS a rucksack, but one with a small baby inside. Also, they only come in black or grey (or if colourful, they’re a disgusting floral nightmare), so what kind of statement can a gentleman possibly make wearing one? Secondly, there seems something vaguely hubristic/smug about men who wear one. It’s almost like you can hear them saying, “Yeah, his name’s Noah. And I’m a modern man who picks up the slack. He’s wheat intolerant by the way.” I don’t know, I just think there’s something slightly questionable about them. And guys that wear fabric slings? Get back to your quinoa salad and Birkenstocks, we can never be friends.
Now, despite my unequivocal view on baby harnesses (or perhaps because of it), I was contacted by the people at BabyBjörn about their spring collection of carriers, “inspired by modern-day dads” apparently:
“Men’s fashion features a lot of patterned details right now and globally; it is taking inspiration from the image of the modern-day dad. We’ve taken strong note of this and the result is our #dadstories Spring Collection,” so says Art Director Anna Ekman from the Design Team at BabyBjörn.
Hmm…we’ll see about that won’t we?! The press pack they sent showcased six limited editions of the BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One, available in three mesh options: Powder Pink, Cocoa, Anthracite, and three cotton options: Classic Denim, Pale Blue-Leaf Print and Midnight Blue-Leaf Print. On first glance, nothing really jumped out, apart from the powder pink number, naturally. The others come in shades of blue, a brown and something leafy, which I can’t really see any bloke actually going for. However, where’s the tweed? Where’s the grey herringbone? The Chambray? It all seemed a little bit safe to me. Anyway, I asked to test drive the pale pink mesh option, maybe this would change my mind?
Fast-forward to last weekend, when I was home alone with the girls and desperately needed to get baby milk from the shop. The weather was clement enough to take Scarlett outside, so time to put the carrier to the test! I’m not really sure how but I didn’t need the instructions to put the thing on, which was a positive start. My wife had borrowed a few baby carriers in a past, which required constant reference to the instruction manual. Somehow I just stepped into this with ease, tightened the straps and slipped the baby into the pouch – it took all of two minutes.
Now that spring has sprung, it’s time for the summer wardrobe to shine, meaning plenty of pastels and stone coloured linen – and what better accompaniment than a powder pink harness? Especially one that’s aerated for lightness and comfort. Also, Scarlett’s peppermint green knitted cardigan from her great aunt compliments it perfectly – must be a sign!
So, to say I’m converted would be an overstatement. But let’s just say I’m now ambivalent towards baby harnesses, which is a huge turnaround for me. I can see this powder pink carrier getting a lot of use this summer; it’s vital when I’m alone with the girls and need to get outside, it sends Scarlett to sleep within a couple of minutes, and does actually look dandy enough to compliment my ‘lively’ wardrobe. I just wish the designers had experimented a little more with colours, patterns and fabrics – did someone say collaboration?