So today, totally embarrassing…I got together with some ladies for lunch. Only I totally forgot about it until I got their text letting me know lunch was ready.
So I threw my kids in the car and drove over. I was at the gym, so not only was I sweaty and stinky, and in way too tight workout clothes, but my kids were a mess! My son looked fine, but my baby was still in her PJ’s, her messy PJ’s that she ate breakfast in without a bib. Her nose was running, her face was dirty, she had gunk in her hair, those fuzz-ball crusties in-between her fat little fingers, oh and worst of all, she had a stinky diaper. Not my best parenting moment! (I did have a diaper bag, so I took care of that one pretty quickly)
Clearly I am not the person to turn to for fashion advice for kids, but luckily for me I have some really fashionable friends who have really fashionable children. I figured I would ask them for tips. Below you will find 5 tips for more stylish kids AND tomorrow we are doing a GIVEAWAY from Happy Goat Designs to help you get on your way to more stylish offspring.
1. Start with basics.
I love the idea that not everything in your kid’s closet has to be perfect, you can simply start with some basics and accessorize with key pieces. My friend Amy, who is probably the most stylin’ mama out there and responsible for this kiddo’s wardrobe says, “Do something like have lots of basics from inexpensive stores (i.e. white shirts because they get so spoiled so quickly) and splurge on some statement pieces. My son has a cashmere winter beanie that I’m in love with and in my opinion was worth every penny.” You can punch up any look with a great hat, scarf, suspenders, ruffle socks, necklace, sweater, or shoes!
So buy statement pieces and accessorize. I can’t emphasize it enough. Another friend, Jennica, says, “Like any well dressed adult, accessorize. A pair of cowboy boots can turn jean shorts and a t-shirt into the perfect outfit. Make your accessories bold and save on clothes! A bright pink jacket can fancy up a number of simple outfits to make them look glam, etc. Same with boys. A bright pair of shoes accenting a color in a t-shirt makes you look at the outfit as a whole canvas, rather than cheap pieces. If you are going to spend money on something, make it accessories to glam up a multitude of cheap things. ”
One of my favorite outfits I have ever put my oldest son in was the one below. The jacket was a hand me down, the jeans from Crazy 8, and I think I got the t-shirt at Target, but with the shoes pulling it all together, he looked great!
2. Would You Wear it?
The next tip is to ask yourself if you would wear it. Christa, hot mom to 2 styling kids says, “If it’s something you wish they made in your size then it’s pretty stylish!” So go for it. Get those clothes that you only wish they made for you, because chances are you aren’t the only one thinking that. But remember, having a stylish kid is more than clothes, it is the details. It is hair, attitude, cleanliness, fit, and so much more! If you wouldn’t go to the grocery store looking like your kids do, then don’t take them looking that way. A good place to start is regularly bathing your kids (Sad that I have to mention this one, trust me, it is for me!), and take the time to get them ready EVERY day. I know that even taking a few moments to do my daughter’s hair and make sure her clothes match makes a big difference in how she looks and feels, and how I feel about taking her out in public!
Like any rule there are exceptions, but be sure you are making an obvious exception. Juli another stylish momma with 2 very stylish kids says, “Don’t buy it unless Will and Kate would! A baby needs to look like a baby now and then, but keep it classy, or make it something you would wear. Don’t fall into that gray area. Either all or nothing. That is my hard and fast rule.” She went on to say that, “Hair and face is everything! Your kids could be wearing the most stylish outfit there is, but no one is going to notice that if they have food around their mouth or boogers from their nose. If you want your kids to look stylish–my number one suggestion is do their hair and wash their face.”
3. Shop the Sales.
There are plenty of places to buy cute clothes. But the problem for most of us is fitting those cute clothes into the budget. The trick is get what you like, but as my friend Josie says, “Never pay full price for anything! Most everything I buy is sale or clearanced. Even some of the fun brands like Matilda Jane or Persnickety or HM. They all have major sales at the end of the season. Also, the majority of my kid’s clothes are TJ Maxx.” And trust me, this woman knows what she is talking about, I don’t think I have ever seen such stylish children.
You don’t have to fit in with the latest trends or shop at the most expensive places to be stylish. Find what works for your kids and your budget. Just express yourself, even if that means not buying the hottest brands or from the most notable places. My friend Amanda who is responsible for dressing these two cuties, says, “Shop department stores. We tend to think we have to shop handmade or boutique to have stylin’ kids and I NEVER do! We LOVE JC Penny because they have extremely modern kid’s collections and AMAZING prices because unlike boutiques and handmades they go through a clearance period.”
Another great tip from Juli is, “If you have an expensive store you like, get on their email list. I love J-Crew and every few months I get an email from them with a great coupon. I can get all of my son’s jeans for the price I would pay at a basic store, but for real quality clothes.”
When styling your children, yes…I did just say that, you want to think layers. Layers look great on kids, and can add dimension. It is like artwork! Juli gave this great advice, “When you buy more expensive clothes, it is hard to say goodbye to them. With my daughter, when she outgrows a dress, I layer it with leggings and a cardigan, and the dress becomes a tunic so she gets more wear out of it. You would never know that my 3 year old is wearing a size 18 month top. Really, don’t go by size. I love layers too because if it is warm you can take the cardigan off, or add it if they are cold.”
5. Mix and Match Pieces
When you walk into a store and see a cute outfit on a mannequin, that doesn’t mean you have to buy the whole outfit. In fact, sometimes just a piece of it can be the perfect addition to your collection. Jennica offers this advice, “One outfit doesn’t have to come from one store! I don’t ever buy the matching outfits stores sell, I buy pieces that I like from everywhere and put them together. Gap plus Wal-Mart go well together.” With this in mind, remember to buy the good stuff, if it is only so-so, or you don’t love it, don’t buy it. Juli shares this advice, “I always say quality over quantity. I would rather have 5 great pieces that I can mix and match to make 10 great outfits, then enough pieces for 100 outfits I don’t love. ”
There you have it! Our 5 ways to have stylish kids! And don’t my friends just have the cutest kids ever? If you want more stylish kids, and don’t want to pay for it, then check back tomorrow because we are doing a GIVEAWAY where one lucky reader will get an item of their choice from Happy Goat Designs! Giveaways are our favorite because we love you guys!