The Issue of Smock

This post is dedicated to my friends Nikki and Ashley, with whom I have had many deep and philosophical conversations about smock.


My Mom could be a millionaire.

You see, she knows how to smock. Well. And, if you haven’t noticed, smocked clothes have, in some circles, become the epitome of children’s fashion and (can I say it without being mauled) status symbol.

And it doesn’t come without a price, either – you can either buy your smock for $70 at Strasburg Children or a department store, or you can REALLY pay and get it at a local boutique shop for untold amounts of money.

Or, you can step up a level and invest your 401(k) into these clothes that your kids will only get to wear for one season and get custom, personalized smock made just for you.

Which is where my Mom could be a millionaire.

I personally am not a fan of smock. It’s just a personal preference, I know, but it’s just not my thing. Probably because of the fact that I was dressed in smock as a kid, and so smock reminds me of the 80’s.

But really, I think I was born with my smock aversion – I can’t help it – because even in the 80’s, I wasn’t a fan.

I’m pretty sure that Mom quit smocking because she realized that after she would smock her fingers to the bone for weeks and then all night long before Easter morning, I would dutifully and glumly wear it, and if I didn’t manage to spill red Kool-Aid on it or rip it playing “snake” in Sunday School, then I’d beg never to wear it again.pics025

Don’t I look happy?

That may have been my last piece of smock.

Poor Mom.

If only she’d realized that she could have sold that smock for hundreds of dollars to other Moms instead of fighting me wear it…she’d be a millionaire.

At any rate, due to my aversion to the 80’s and smock in general, I usually dress Ali a bit…funkier: IMG_0693

and I tend to replace smock with sequins, much to her excitement:IMG_8127

Not to say that my Mom never dressed me with a bit of non-smocked flair… pics026


Wow. Smock looks good after that.

So, as Easter approaches (which is also basically the National Holiday of Smock), I find myself deeply meditating on the issue of smock.

And here in the South, I would say that there are definite circles of high-smock expectations and low-smock expectations, generally based around the Church you go to.

They may not be spoken guidelines, but as soon as you step foot onto the nursery hallway, you can almost smell it in the air – which smock denomination (smocknomination?) your church falls under:

Smock-Free Churches – These are the young, urban, trendy churches where the adults wear blue jeans and shorts, and so of course they’re not going to out-dress themselves by smocking up their kids.

Smock-Optional Churches – These are accepting-of-all churches that try to go low on the social pressures to dress your children in a certain way. Some kids may have smock, and some kids may not, but no two-year-old points out that another two-year-old looks funny because they aren’t properly smocked.

Smock-Strongly-Suggested Churches – You might feel unspoken social pressures in these churches based on the sheer volume of other children dressed in a smock-like fashion.

Smock-Required until Puberty Churches – These churches might as well require all children, boys or girls, to be wearing smock – and not just on Sunday mornings, either. If your child is seen at the playground, they better be smocked within an inch of their life, even if they are tearing it to pieces with playground rocks.

(Luckily for Ali, we attend a Smock-Optional Church. I’d hate for her to be ridiculed for my quirky fashion tastes.)

If one is a smocky-person, then one must also consider their personal standards regarding the ages of smockability, the gender of smock (yes, boys sometimes are smocked up also), and acceptable alternatives to smock (whether embroidery, personalized initials, and boutique clothes that aren’t smocked are acceptable substitutions on a day where smock isn’t available).

Luckily for my all-too-picky tastes, my Mom did believe in Smock Alternatives:

See? Don’t I look happier?

Disclaimer: The views expressed by this blog post is not necessarily true, and no claims are made that the author believes that you should base your church preferences off of your smock preferences. This post is entirely intended to satirically analyze smock, and not to guide your moral and ethical smock choices. No liability, explicit or implied, shall be extended for any smock-related injuries or offenses.

Oh – and Mom – I’m sorry about all those late night and vastly underappreciated smocks.

Editor’s Note: A Follow-Up Post can be found here.