If you’re a fashionista who pores over every issue of Vogue and Elle, you may have had dreams of outfitting your son or daughter in the sweetest and most sophisticated kicks, only to be disappointed with outfit after outfit of flowers and animals. Most children’s clothing fall into an all-purpose category of “cute” – cute animals, trucks, rainbows, etc. If, however, you want your son to look sharp and snappy, or your daughter to have a sense of style that’s more quirky or cosmopolitan, you might be resigned to thinking that you have to fork over a lot of money.
Cash-strapped fashion devotees needn’t fret, though. There are a few affordable solutions – one option is to look to high-low designer collaborations for cost-conscious threads for children. Although most high-end collaborations with cheaper, broader brands are generally aimed towards adult women, there are a few notable ones that are aimed towards children.
Gap recently partnered with the legendary Diane Von Furstenberg to create a line that emphasizes children’s playfulness, while keeping the same sophisticated, clean silhouettes she became famous for. The kids will look adorable in bright, fun prints, playful sandals, and miniature versions of Diane Von Furstenberg’s signature wrap dresses.
Another example of a high-end designer collaborating with a mass retailer is Karen Walker, famous indie designer, bringing her unique style to Uniqlo, champion on high-quality basics. Karen Walker’s line, inspired by “child geniuses”, will be unveiled, featuring Walker’s signature prints on a small scale, plus her signature favorite styles, including frill hem sweatshirt dresses, boat pants, and more.
If you’re not a fan of the designer collaborations, but you still want your kids to look cultured and stylish at an affordable price, you can still shop in the children’s section. First, shop for gender-neutral items. This may be a little bit difficult to do at first, especially if you are bombarded by pink in the girls’ aisle, but there’s nothing preventing you from shopping in the boys’ section for your daughter or vice versa. Stock up on solids and basics – tees, pants, skirts, and shirts. After you’re done building up the basics for your children, look for unusual prints or patterns, and avoid decals, stickers, or logos. Uniqlo, as mentioned above, has a great selection of basics for children that won’t break the bank.
Another secret of fashionable parents: denim jeggings. If you want your daughter to look cute in denim-like material, but you don’t like the material or the price of actual denim, denim jeggings are a godsend. They’re usually priced well, and they’re versatile enough to dress an outfit up or down.
A great rule to follow is to dress your kids as you would dress yourself or your spouse, but in miniature. The best way to do this is to shop the kids sections of your favorite retailers, whether that’s Gap, Uniqlo, or Nordstrom. All of these retailers have great clothes for adults, and they often have the same versions of your favorite items in kids’ sizes.
You don’t have to dress your kids in duck and truck prints all the time. Dressing your kids the same way you do will give them a break from the same old routine, and garner you lots of compliments on their style in the streets.
Kimberly Lau is a staff writer for BluePromoCode.