“Comfortable, free, stylish, natural, unique,” are all used to describe 2017 fashion trends for kids ranging in age from toddlers to tweens. According to Pouted.com, “Kids fashion is not only to make kids feel free and comfortable but to look unique and stylish too. We should all know what good taste is started from childhood.”
Local fashion guru and owner of Lulu’s Boutique Collection, Dione Jessup, supports the importance of clothing in a child’s life. “As babies transform to toddlers, they begin to identify their own style and ideas of how they want to dress. As tweens, children have established their own style and image of what and who they want to be. Fashion is something that begins at a very young age.”
Jessup continues, “I believe that if we encourage children to always ‘dress the part,’ they will have a clear understanding and appreciation of how their style and appearance can affect so many things; most importantly the way they dress will affect their confidence and self-worth.”
As with adult fashions, trends of color, fabric and design cycle with children’s clothing as well. Although this year’s fashion tendencies are leaning towards natural colors and materials, there are still ridges of ruffles and twists of tulle everywhere.
“The natural look is certainly trending right now. Cream, blush, gray and pale blue are current trends and if they have something embroidered, even better,” says Jessup. Kelli Winters from local retailer McClain & Co adds, “We are also seeing pom-poms, tassels, fringes and ruffled edges on everything.”
In addition to calming colors, the materials designers are choosing also reflect a simple approach with fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk and cashmere. Anna Williams with Urban Emage believes smart fashion choices help kids and parents have the best of both worlds – comfortable and dressy. “Kids are definitely into comfort. The ruffles and lace are great for the days when they need to dress up, but as a rule, kids are more drawn to casual and comfortable. We do see our kids wearing hair bows more than they did in the past years, so they still have a way of being girly, without the over-the-top ruffles and lace.”
Practicality is another aspect that needs to be taken into account. “I do try to pay close attention to the fabric of the clothing I purchase for the boutique. As a parent, I know I don’t want anything that has to be ironed or dry cleaned or my kiddos, so I try to take that into consideration when purchasing for the boutique,” notes Jessup.
When discussing fashion, tweens and boys fashion are somewhat in a league of their own. 2017 boys’ trends can be summed up in one word, “classical.” Designers are sticking with the natural color palette used in the girls’ line, but the design options for boys are simply tested, true and timeless.
According to another online fashion source, Fashionkids.nu, the “rock” style will be around for a while for the tween age group. “The ‘rock’ style, characteristic remains present for boys and girls and also offers more daring options such as ripped pieces, cut-outs and references to rock ’n roll idols.”
Jessup strongly agrees with what is being seen on the major market runways. “They want ripped, laced, holes and distressed everything. I try to keep in mind that they want to dress like a girl in her older teens. They can still wear the distressed jeans, just maybe not as distressed and the holes need to be properly placed. There are lots of ways to dress the tweens to look trendy and still appropriate.”
Urban Emage is seeing the same buying trend. “We sell a lot of graphic tees and distressed denim. It’s cute, comfy, stylish and keeps kids in a somewhat of a safety zone. They are able to dress like the older girls, and still look like a kid as well.
While fashion trends seem to permeate throughout the industry, there is a children’s clothing company that offers a consistent style, different shopping experience, and unique philosophy. Local Matilda Jane Trunk Keeper, Dayle Carozza, says a quote from the company’s late founder, Denise DeMarchis, sums up why Matilda Jane fashions are so popular. “It’s all about keeping a little girl… a little girl. Keeping her youthful. Keeping her spinning and twirling and carefree. And most importantly, bringing her happiness.”
Although Matilda Jane clothing follows fashion trends to some extent, the line has a look all its own. Matilda Jane clothing can be purchased online, but many people prefer to shop at an in-home party for a more personalized shopping experience. “I think what sets Matilda Jane apart from other companies is the personal touch we bring to our customers with in-home trunk shows. Who doesn’t love to hang out with your friends in your own home and shop?”