You'll find "boy" and "girl" baby clothes in every imaginable pattern, style, fabric, and color (besides pink and blue, think mocha, powder, buttermilk, safari, camouflage, silver, avocado, Bordeaux, and pistachio). Cotton, which is soft and absorbent, is still the most common fiber. Organic cotton children's clothes are coming into their own as the trend toward "green" takes hold. Read laundry instructions, though. Cleaning organic fabric can be more labor-intensive than cleaning regular cotton. Many garments are made of cotton/polyester blends, which dry quickly and resist wrinkles, or cotton/spandex for maximum give. You'll also find thick, soft knits and fleece made of micro fiber. At specialty boutiques, you'll see high-maintenance fabrics that require ironing or dry cleaning, such as linen, cashmere, and hand-knit items.
Low-priced and midpriced garments
These often have soft but sturdy fabrics, competent workmanship, and plenty of fashion flair. And they're usually machine washable--a definite plus.
Upscale baby clothes
These cost more, without a proportionate increase in quality and durability. High-fashion clothes may require hand laundering, even dry cleaning. (Air out any dry-cleaned clothes before your baby wears them.)
"Green" baby clothes
If the label says the garment is 100-percent organic, that means only that the cotton in the clothes was grown without synthetic pesticides and other such chemicals. Since cotton is one of the most pesticide-intensive crops grown, buying baby clothes made of organic cotton may be better for the planet. But keep in mind that an organic label certifies only the growing methods of the fiber in the item, not the way it was processed into fabric. There's no guarantee that clothes marked "organic cotton" haven't been chemically treated. If you want to buy truly "green" baby clothes, check whether the tag or manufacturer's website has information on how the clothes were processed and dyed.