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Fashion for the little ones: 52 ideas to dress up your kids

As the world’s biggest fashion labels create special collections for children, here are a few tips on how you can make the most of it.

brunch Updated: Apr 30, 2019 12:37 IST
Drishti Vij
Drishti Vij
Hindustan Times
fashion labels,kidswear,kids fashion
Here’s our little guide to dressing up your kids for the most important occasions of their lives (Styling: Drishti Vij; make-up and hair: Artistry by Anjali Jain; art direction: Amit Malik; location courtesy: The Roseate. New Delhi; photography assistant: Aakanksha Chawla)(Ankit Chawla)

Five-year-old North West was spotted in a little Lanvin dress. Seven-year-old Harper Beckham was twinning with editor-in-chief of American Vogue Anna Wintour at mum Victoria Beckham’s fashion show. And, thirteen-year-old Suri Cruise has a penchant for designer Stella McCartney. Is it even surprising that designer kidswear is booming? And, who doesn’t love a pretty playsuit with Burberry’s signature checks, tiny sock trainers from Dolce & Gabbana or a cashmere bunny ear hat from Fendi? Certainly, if kids embody all our aspirations, then their clothing needs to be nothing less than extraordinary.

Perhaps this is the reason why Harrods in London has dedicated 66,000sqft to its kidswear department. And, Net-a-porter has as many Chloé dresses for kids as they do for their mamas. But, a Burberry trench can cost up to $860 and a Baby Dior overcoat can go anywhere above $1200. Of course, switching from fading hand-me downs to extravagant Gucci coats for your little dudes and divas can be challenging. Hell, it’s even crazy! Pandering to designer labels and spending five digit figures on clothes that your babies will outgrow isn’t wise.

(From left to right) Mahika Rawat, 6, Azaya Seth, 3, Adhyann Sachdeva, 6 and Iyaan Sukhija, 3 (Mahika’s sari, Anavila; Azaya’s suit, Good Earth; Iyaan’s Kurta pyjama and waist coat, Good Earth; Adhyann’s Jacket and pants, Péro) ( Ankit Chawla )

But, some special occasions call for special outfits. And yes, it’s possible to make your enfants elegant by not blowing college education budgets on designer kidswear. Some homegrown labels present multiple options to dress up your little ones in stylish yet comfortable clothes. So here’s our little guide to dressing up your kids for the most important occasions of their lives! And if that doesn’t work either, remember: Hand-me-downs will never go out of style!

For the first pooja : Dress them traditional, but skip the tassels

The idea of baby clothes for family festivities is simple: Let them be free!

Myra Khanna, 5, and Laksh Jhunthra, 4 (Myra’s sari, Anavila; jacket and pyjamas, Péro) ( Ankit Chawla )

What to wear: There are umpteen options! Lehengas, kurtas, salwar-kameez, palazzos or even dhotis. “But, what parents should keep in mind is that kids don’t care about how fashionable they’re looking. They definitely won’t be sitting and participating in the rituals. They want to run around and have fun so make sure that the outfit allows that,” says Mumbai-based fashion designer Payal Singhal.

Anvi Chittodia, 8 and Azaya (On Anvi: Top, tunic and pyjama. Péro. On Azaya: Suit, Good Earth) ( Ankit Chawla )

“Also, make sure that these are outfits that kids can grow into. I’d recommend buying a size bigger. If there’s a dupatta then make sure that it does not have tassels on it as they might get stuck somewhere and eventually might lead to kids getting hurt,” she adds.

Fabrics that work: “Don’t use fabrics like polyester that can easily catch fire,” says Payal.

Keep in mind: “Even if you’re buying a lehenga for the child, make sure that it’s elasticated instead of it having hooks and zippers. For girls, try not to buy something with off-shoulder for summers as kids can feel cold if the air-conditioner is on. I would recommend going for something sleeveless instead. For boys, full-sleeves works best!” suggests Payal.

For the fun day out: Chuck fabrics that irritate

Let your child breathe easy in soft cottons… and no cinched waists, please!

Aadir Kumar, 22 months (T-shirt and dungarees, Mothercare) ( Ankit Chawla )

What to wear: “Primarily something comfortable in which the kids can have fun. The most important thing in an outfit shouldn’t be just fashionable but comfortable for your kid. That’s how you’ll get the perfect picture,” says fashion stylist Rishi Raj.

Fabrics that work: “Be it silk or cotton, the fabrics need to be soft. Avoid any fabric that makes the child sweat a lot as it can cause rashes,” he says.

Keep in mind: “A lot of parents are into mini-me fashion these days where they want to dress up the kid in an outfit that looks similar to theirs. We don’t need to make kids look like they have an hour-glass figure or make them wear something that has a cinched waist. Even if you want to make your child wear the same outfit, change the fabrics a little. They don’t have to wear something with Swarovski and crystals on it!” suggests Rishi.

On the first day of school: Pick low maintenance over high in design

Groom your children for school by ensuring the right fit. Frumpy isn’t fun!

(On Iyaan: Shorts and shirt, Good Earth) ( Ankit Chawla )

What to wear: “Be it shorts, a T-shirt or a shirt, make sure that the size is neither too large as it might look frumpy or too tight as it could get uncomfortable for the kid,” says Nachiket Barve.

Fabrics that work: “It’s essential that parents use breathable fabrics like cottons or linens. Don’t use synthetic fabrics that could make the kid feel too hot,” he says.

Keep in mind: “Don’t use clothes that are high-maintenance like lace or something that needs to by dry-cleaned,” advises Barve.

For the first school performance: Shop for sheen, not jazz

Costumes in mercerised cottons get a thumbs up. Why? These look dressy and don’t shrink too!

(On Adhyann: T-shirt and trousers, Nicobar) ( Ankit Chawla )

What to wear: “I wouldn’t recommend buying an outfit that has no use later or has to be thrown away. So, opt for clothes that can be used as separates later,” suggests award-winning fashion designer Nachiket Barve.

Fabrics that work: “Don’t use dull-looking fabrics, of course. Use something with sheen on it like a mercerised cotton, which does not shrink easily and has silk-like lustre,” he says.

Keep in mind: “Let the make-up add drama to the look when it comes to a performance,” feels Nachiket.

First designer party wear: Go for happy hues and cute accessories

And please… do keep embroidery at bay

(On Adhyann: Jacket and pajamas, Péro) ( Ankit Chawla )

What to wear: “For an outdoor function, boys can wear cute jackets paired with pants. For an indoor ceremony, T-shirts

with digital prints can be worn with denims. For accessories, one can use hats or shoes. For girls, midi-dresses seem like a good option as the length covers them just enough. Darker colours are easy to maintain but brighter colours definitely look better,” suggests fashion designer Aartivijay Gupta.

Fabrics that work: “Cotton silk is a good option as kids still have sensitive skin and can be prone to allergies. Don’t use fabrics that are heavily embroidered,” she says.

Keep in mind: “Make them wear clothes that can be washed easily as they can drop food while eating,” warns Aarti.

For the hot, haute summer: Go sans trim

Babies can have all the fun in the sun in frocks, skirts and loose pants

Kiara Singh, 1 (On Kiara: Bloomer set, veronna. Cake courtesy: Sugar Daddy Bakes by Bijay Thapa) ( Ankit Chawla )

What to wear: “Since the kids are still very small and grabbing and eating almost everything in sight, it is always better to go for a comfortable fuss-free look. Clothes that allow free movement like frocks, skirts or comfortable pants look great,” says fashion designer Resham Karamchandani.

Fabrics that work: “Natural fabrics cottons or khadi are best for babies,” she adds.

Keep in mind: “Comfort is of utmost importance. Unlike us, babies cannot tell us if something is bothering them. There’s also a hazard of the kids putting tassels and other 3-D trims in their mouth. So, it is important to keep these points in mind and make sure that the clothing allows your kid free movement,” elaborates Resham.

And at a playdate (or two): Do dark, avoid a mess

Don’t stop your kid from getting messy, dress him up to mess up instead!

Rohaan Singh, 4. (On Rohaan: Jacket and shorts, Marks and Spencer; shoes, Adidas) ( Ankit Chawla )

What to wear: “Play dates are all about movements and playing. Make sure the lengths are fine and there is no danger of kids tripping and hurting themselves. Go for shorts with T-shirts or skirts and tops. Short summer dresses are also a great choice. Opt for darker colours. Kids are bound to get messy and lighter colours get dirty soon,” feels Resham.

Fabrics that work: “Natural fabrics are always the best option for every occasion. A cotton T-shirt or a cute khadi frock with little hand embroidery can work wonders,” she says.

Keep in mind: “Ensure that shorts don’t keep dropping or belts don’t need to be fastened again and again. It can be a nuisance for your kid,” warns Resham.

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From HT Brunch, April 28, 2019

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First Published: Apr 27, 2019 20:43 IST