A Moment with…Annie Dean

we asked Annie Dean, etiquette blogger and new mum (she just gave birth to her son, Jack, last week), to share her tips for a blissful pregnancy—even in the thick of summer—and her very first baby wishlist. (you’ll see she even threw in a few things for herself!)
Hometown & current home
Redding, Connecticut. Now, New York City.

Occupation
Corporate lawyer by day, founder and author of etiquette and entertaining site Annie Dean by night.

How did the idea for your blog come about?
I wanted to create a beautiful place on the Internet where people could explore some of the traditional values of homemaking and etiquette. My grandmother is this wonderfully elegant woman who drove me crazy as a child with barbaric rules, like rehearsed handshakes and standing when an adult walked into the room. As I got older, I realized how uncommon those values were, even though our generation is very intrigued by reconnecting with tradition.
Any style mantras you abide by?
Every year I’m more convinced that simple is better.

So much of the fun of having a little one is all the shopping—what kinds of things have you gravitated toward as you’ve baby-shopped?
Stripes! There is something about having a baby boy that makes you stripe crazy.

What are some favorite baby lines you’ve come across?
I love, love the J.Crew baby collaborations. We’ve scooped up the J.Crew assortment of Nature Baby®, TANE and Petit Bateau® by the drawer full. Bonpoint is an extravagance that we’ve allowed ourselves a few beautiful woven pieces from. I love Roberta Roller Rabbit pajamas and baby quilts (we plan to use ours as an attractive alternative to foam blocks). And every baby needs a crewcuts cashmere sweater—at least that’s what I told my husband, Peter.

Recent cravings? (We had to ask…)
Watermelon, silk pajamas (it’s easier to flip over in bed!), cold, cold water and my husband’s button-downs (just about nothing else fits at this point!).

How have you kept cool this summer?
During the heat wave all I did was nap in front of the AC. Other than that, the ocean, an endless supply of cold water, and lately, Peter has been very kind to give me icy footbaths in our big mixing bowl. It feels amazing and it’s helpful because I can’t reach my feet!

You live downtown, close to the J.Crew offices, what are some of your favorite local spots?
1. The bar at il Buco for kale Caesar salads and the pasta special.
2. Gin & tonics and teriyaki sliders at Bohemian.
3. Cuban sandwiches at Café Habana.
4. Knickknacks at John Derian.
5. Iced coffee and croissants at Lafayette.
6. Monday Sundaes at Big Gay Ice Cream Shop—they’re worth the wait!

Meet Nature Baby®

we met with Georgia and Jacob, the parents behind the New Zealand–based line
of adorable organic baby clothes, to talk inspiration, natural materials and their
obsession with stripes (which, of course, we happen to share)…
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Tell us why you decided to start Nature Baby.
When we had our first child, we fell in love with the idea that we could make
beautiful and pure products for our baby—and that other people would want them
for their kids too. 

What was the first product you made?
That’s going back a while! Most likely an organic cotton kimono bodysuit or an
organic merino wool baby jumper. Back when we began, organic textiles were just
beginning, so we would have to call up farms to see who was growing the raw
product. Then we had to take it through all the processes ourselves, via mills and
knitters, to create the final fabric.
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What’s been your proudest moment so far?
Walking down the street in New York and seeing a baby wearing our stripe booties.
We love that people get what we are into, no matter where they are.

What’s an average day like for you?
It usually starts with walking our dog, Maggie, then getting the kids off to school,
followed by visiting our stores in Auckland and finally heading into the office.
We always have new samples coming through, so we have to choose colors, do fittings
and refine the designs. What we do is all in the details!

How would you describe the Nature Baby for J.Crew collection in
three words?

Seaside, horizons and purity.

Shop all Nature Baby here.

© 2014 by J.Crew. All Images and materials are copyrighted by J.Crew unless otherwise noted.

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