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Little Style Finder firmly believes that a child’s sense of personal style is very important to who they are. In fact, it is one of the most obvious, overt ways for them to define their individuality (even at young age).
In a recent article, entitled Rich toddlers draw fashion designers’ eyes, author Anna D’Innocenzio uncovered that certain mothers dress their children in the latest designer fashions because they are “a walking billboard of you; a reflection of who you are.”
What are your thoughts? LSF reached out to some of our favorite uber-chic mommas to get their take on children’s style.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BRANDS AND WHY?
Brianne Manz (Ryder 4 yrs, Siella 1 yr ), Stroller in the City: For my son, I love anything from Zara to Monster Republic to H&M – they always present cool and funky styles for boys without giving it that baby vibe. For my daughter, my favorite brand is Wovenplay. The pieces just feel so artsy and handmade to me. I love everything about them!
Nicole Worth (Two boys, ages 4 & 2), Little Trendstar: Aside from Little Trendstar? – lol I would say some of my favorite brands include H&M Kids and Zara Kids for every day basics. They both have the current trends and of course great prices. Also, I am a big Project Runway fan and love Jeffrey Sebelia’s brand La Miniatura. He creates such great pieces and the brand is the epitome of cool.
Vera Sweeney (Natalie 7, Liam 5), Lady and the Blog: I don’t really like to spend a lot of money on children’s clothing because they grow out of the styles so quickly. However, I need to make sure that what I purchase will last because my children can get a little rough on their threads. My favorite go-to stores are Lands End, H&M, Old Navy, TJMaxx, Marshalls and Hartstrings (when on sale). I also love to shop online on sites like Totsy.com, Zulily.com, Ideeli.com and HauteLook.com. No matter what – I search for a bargain.
Julie Garces (Rio 10 months), Mom & Director of Business Development, Sunwest Studios: Mini Rodini, All Saints (RIP), Maddy & Buster (on etsy), Zara Kids, Stinky & Minky – all are super stylish, unqiue, and if it gets stained, then oh well! Plus, in this day and age of reuse, recycle, rewear – these are great second-hand pieces that my friends are excited to use!
Lauren Isobel (Holden, age 1), Holden On Baby: There’s so many that it’s hard to pick, but here are three of my favorites at the moment: Mini Munster – I just love the rascal-y nature about the clothing. Indikidual – comfy, interchangable pieces with creative designs. Wovenplay – a whimsical collection that is sure to spark the imagination and lead to all sorts of adventures.
Andrea Fellman (Girl age 8, Boy age 6), Savvy Sassy Moms: I love Tea Collection because of the unique worldly designs that they bring into the playful yet sophisticated designs of their clothing. Gap for on-trend looks and the quality. I love their whimsical collections for girls and preppy looks for boys. I also love Mini Boden, Misha Lulu, and Peek clothing. I also hit up Old Navy and Children’s Place to get basics for a bargains and the Sean White collection at Target for my son.
Nicole Feliciano (Two girls ages 7 & 4), Momtrends: Stella McCartney Kids: This mom designer brings high fashion to the playground without being fussy. Zutano: Amazing prints and super soft cotton for kids 4 and under. Naturino shoes: The Italians know how to combine style, comfort and durability.
Simone Gittens (Boy, SJ 9 months), Louis B Boutique: Fore!! Axel and Hudson and La Miniatura, both of these brands scream my kid is cool and fashion forward! Both of these brands have different styles and typically when you choose to purchase any one of these brands, you are tapping into your child personalities, You are allowing their clothing to speak volumes for who they are and how they may act. For instance, La Miniatura, always gives that edgy very out of the box type of collection each season. If you have a son, who seems to like to care about what he wears and not just choose the regular khaki and a Polo shirt than this collection is for you!
PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON CHILDREN’S STYLE.
Brianne, Stroller in the City: I believe a child can represent their own style and personality through clothing. And most importantly be able to wear what they want. That is of course with a little guidance. ;)
Nicole, Little Trendstar: I personally love a edgy, rock/skate, hipster style. I also tend to mix and match a lot of current and retro styles and colors together to have fun with it. I think children have the ability to look great in just about anything, so layering different patterns and colors together to create a totally hip look that still has a child-like feel is always a great way to go. One thing I’ve learned though, is never over accessorize with boys because a majority of it will come off.
Vera, Lady and the Blog: My children pick their outfits each morning. The only time I step in is when they choose clothing out of season. My daughter is notorious for choosing a Christmas dress in July… and no I’m not joking. But I feel at their ages, my kids know who they are and what image they want to portray. Sometimes Natalie wakes up feeling sporty and will come out in a tennis skirt and tank top. I encourage it because style is a great peek inside her internal window.
Julie, Sunwest Studios: My philosophy is to keep them in colorful and cool clothing – It generates creativity – I think!
Lindsay, Darling Clementine: Children should dress like children. Sweet, soft, full of whimsy & color.
Lauren, Holden On Baby: I really believe in letting kids be kids and I want Holden’s style choices to represent that. I have never wanted to dress Holden like a “little man” which I know is a popular style choice for children these days (some of the outfits for little girls make them look like 16 year olds!), but love to throw him in adorable onesies or a cute shirt & cloth diaper. He’s only a baby for such a short amount of time and I want him to look like the adorable baby he is, instead of a 5 month old going on 15 years old. I love clothing that is made out of soft, comfortable material (you know that amazing jersey knit that we all wish we could live in) with creative patterns, graphics, and designs. I think children’s clothing should be fun, stimulate the imagination, inspire adventure, and contain a bit of whimsy.
Andrea, Savvy Sassy Moms: Playful, fun and chic.
Nicole, Momtrends: Stock the closet well and then let the kids go wild. I don’t reign in much–I like to foster independence and let the girls dress themselves. The 7 year old really loves to play with pattern right now. We picked up a slew of $1 graphic tees and tops in Singapore and she’s going wild this fall. The 4 year-old loves dresses–we find a lot of great things at Tea Collection for her.
Simone, Louis B Boutique: Every child deserves to incorporate their personalities into their wardrobe. If Fashion is a expression of who we are, why must we as parents have all the say to what our kids wear?
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER PARENTS SHOPPING FOR THEIR CHILDREN?
Brianne, Stroller in the City: I’d say comfy is most important. Also, anything that is on- trend for us is on-trend for little ones as well. For example, neon.
Nicole, Little Trendstar: To have fun and experiment with clothing and always let children give their input. If you introduce them to great style and diverse choices early on, they’ll have the interest and confidence to create their own individual style that fits their personality as they get older. I think a lot of parents would be very surprised to see what fun creations a child can come up with– it’s a creative outlet that should not be ignored.
Vera, Lady and the Blog: Don’t try to keep up with the Jones. Children clothing is guaranteed to get messy and ripped and torn to pieces. They are in the most active phase of their lives and while it’s ok to encourage a bit of style, my main focus on the average day is to ensure comfort. I want my kids to be kids… and not worry about whether or not they are wearing Uggs or Emus. That’s just ridiculous.
Julie, Sunwest Studios: My biggest piece of advice – BUY ON SALE. Sample sales are your best friend. The life span of children’s clothing is about a minute.
Lindsay, Darling Clementine: Comfort should be key, soft fabrics & nothing too fussy.
Lauren, Holden On Baby: Take risks, get creative, and bring out your inner child when shopping for your littles. Splurge on a few unique, designer pieces that you can use to spruce up your baby’s basics. Also, adding a cute pair of shoes or a fun hat can make a huge difference.
Andrea, Savvy Sassy Moms: Never buy an entire matching set, it looks a little too put together and like grandma bought it. Skip the embroidered characters, they look to babyish and skip wild graphic t-shirts they’re too busy and look a little messy.. Buy things that can be worn with more than one item, mix and matching is key. Cruise the daily deal shopping sites like Zulily for quality items for a discounted price.
Nicole, Momtrends: Shop online or without the kids. There is nothing worse than a whiny kid in the dressing room being forced to try on clothes. We really only shop with the kids in tow when we are traveling.
Simone, Louis B Boutique: Let your children help pick out some of the clothes that they may like. You have the final say so, but at least you care about their opinion and it shows them that.
Photo Courtesy of Julie Garces
DO YOU FIND THAT MOST PARENTS TAKE THE SAME STYLISTIC APPROACH TO DRESSING THEIR CHILDREN AS THEY DO WITH THEMSELVES?
Brianne, Stroller in the City: I think maybe a handful do. What I found is that parents buy for their kids where ever is most convenient like online stores. I on the other hand spend way more time and money shopping for my kids. I know it’s crazy but I fully enjoy it and I know some of my friends think I’m crazy.
Nicole, Little Trendstar: I definitely think parents have a tendency to dress their children in styles that they like, or feel the most comfortable with. But I think it’s so important to let children make their own choices when it comes to personal style. Self expression is a big part of being a kid and clothing can be a major outlet for that. Although it’s easiest to approach your child’s style with the same outlook you use on your own, it’s good to remember that children like to have their say and to be open and encouraging of that.
Vera, Lady and the Blog: My friends tend to keep the same philosophy. A party day is entirely different than a park day. If there is a gathering, I will make sure my children are dressed appropriately. But the other 95% of their lives is all about comfort and ease.
Julie, Sunwest Studios: I think most parents use the same stylistic approach to dressing their children – b/c well, it’s instinct. But as your child starts to display his or her personality, I think parents start to go that direction. I definitely put a lot of color on Rio – while I remain a slave to a mostly black wardrobe haha!
Lindsay, Darling Clementine: Yes, that’s the fun part of my job, in a sense I am stocking Darling Clementine with mini versions of what parents would like to wear!
Lauren, Holden On Baby: I believe so. I often find myself coordinating with Holden, stepping out of the house in the same colors or coordinating styles, never noticing until someone says “you match!”.
Andrea, Savvy Sassy Moms: Yes. I think the parents style definitely trickles down to their kids style and what you buy for them usually appeals to your own style and aesthetic.
Nicole, Momtrends: I think parents tend to let the kids wear more color and print–maybe we can learn something there. Learn from your kids and shake things up!
Simone, Louis B Boutique: No, I do not. I typically see that parents who are fashion forward tend to dress their children fashion forward as well and the parents who are not fashion forward just tend to typically go with whatever the department stores are carrying when it comes to dressing their child.
What momma(s) do you most relate to? What is your take on children’s style?