The hope of reviewing history, is that we acquire knowledge, and learn from it. We hope from that knowledge that we do not make the same mistakes.
As any child of the 1970s and 1980s, myself included, can attest to, the way our parents dressed us, was factually, bananas!
Whether you had to wear identical dresses to your siblings at the same time, or had the misfortune to be the owner of a ruffle belly shirt, without the abs to sport it, fashion was not friendly to children of this generation.
Fortunately we took this information, processed it, hid our pictures, declared we could “do better” and made a vow that future generations would not be subjected to flouncy bib collars and corduroy from head-to-toe. We would outfit our children in the same trends that guide us, with the hope that we can all look outdated and crazy together when we reflect on our family photos.
Fast Forward to 2017
Simply check out Instagram from the end of August to mid-September 2017. You will be inundated with children in some of the cutest outfits you can find. These kids are hamming it up on film, knowing that they are rocking the look — runway style. You only get one chance to make a good first impression; even when you are five years old. Uniform or ‘your pick’, these kids are on point.
Jessica Simpson’s daughter started kindergarten in red and black plaid, from the headband in her hair to the tips of her shoes. I don’t know if this was a uniform, but if it was, the accessories rocked. Not surprising from the singer-turned-retail mogul.
I was surprised that I was kind of wondering if I could pull the look off too; I wanted this little girl’s outfit!
Pregnant Jessica Alba, who is looking unbelievably wonderful in her pregnancy, showcased her daughters Honor and Haven, toting adorable backpacks on the first day, including a black piece trimmed in a rose gold metallic; that I would carry.
And the options are not just for girls.
My son started first grade rocking J.Crew, which he loves because its comfortable and I love because it is tailored. We had to compromise this year, as he thought a monster tee-shirt was “OK,” and I did not, but he did allow me to add a matching checkered collared shirt over the tee to pull the look together (sigh of relief from me.)
Mainstream and luxury apparel are ALL IN on the children’s clothing market and boy, are we parents happy about it! Maybe you are feeling like bringing a little Gucci into your little one’s life. From crewneck logo sweatshirts to hoodies to day dresses, Gucci has it. Perhaps you are more into Ralph Lauren? They offer the kids clothes too. Outerwear has taken the cue with puffy coats all around from Moncler, Burberry and Molo.
I needed to dig deeper, so I went to the “Mothership”, if you will, of luxury children’s clothing: Bonpoint on Madison Avenue.
Bonpoint is not found in Malls. They do sell some of their assortment at Bergdorf Goodman, but their expansion into the United States has been very deliberate in terms of location. Bonpoint opened “Bonpoint Maison” in 1975 and the first store opened at Rue De L’universite. The current Madison Avenue location opened in 2011, where it has brought much happiness to parents from and visiting New York City.
I don’t have a daughter, which was good news for this expedition. I also did not know what size my nieces are. Another good thing. I wanted everything in the girl’s department. The “Doll Dress” in black ($330) is so cute, that I wanted to cry.
The “Diva Dress” in black with silver polka dots is equally adorable and priced at $335.
Do not even get me started on the sweaters. The “Cherry Sweater” in pink was my favorite full sleeve sweater (starts at $280) and in my dream I would have promptly paired it with the Cashmere Scarf also in “Candy Pink” ($205) while we run through apple orchards in the Fall with the wind blowing through our hair…
I do have a son, which was even better news, because I was able to shop for him! And as an added bonus, he was not with me on this adventure, so I could pick the goodies myself! In addition, my husband was unaware of any of the activity for the creation of this article, so that worked out too.
I am a sucker for a little boy in a dress coat and the “Dickens Dress Coat” in Navy (starts at $495) was just what we needed for Fall. I adore it (my son does too!)
I also had to get the “Silkscreen Print Tee Shirt” in khaki (it had a dinosaur on it!) for $90 and the cutest “Jacquard Hat” in navy (to match the coat, $95).
As I left I could not help but smile realizing that the clothes are not only cute, but they are just what we would wear. I felt good about that.
I felt so good that I decided to check out Jacadi, another French children’s clothing store known as a leader in children’s clothing in France. Jacadi practiced a different expansion to the United States, and arguably one that was not as particular as Bonpoint, but nevertheless, successful in its own right. Jacadi opened its first United States boutique in 1988 on the Upper East Side of New York City. Using franchise options for some of their other locations, the brand expanded to malls in Arizona, Illinois and Missouri. Jacadi currently has three locations in Manhattan, a West side store on 60th and Broadway, and two East Side stores, one on Madison and one on Third Avenue. I visited Madison.
I was pleasantly greeted by striped sweater dresses, plaid skirts and the purchase I had to make…the “Eiffel Tower Polo Shirt” ($41), to wear under the navy coat, of course!
With the beautiful options available today, we can thank these designers and others for saving our children from “picture-sadness” in the future.
Check these clothes out!!
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Editor with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. She has worked with PRADA USA Corp., Jurlique, Amore Pacific and the New York Daily News in management capacities including Marketing, Client Relations, Employee Relations and Training Management. She has authored and published the column, “Ask Angela,” featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. Her beauty advice has been featured in Shape and Fitness Magazines and CBS News.
She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Writing. Angela also has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
Angela is currently creator of Circuit Cosmetics, a Brand Ambassador for luxury beauty line, Patchology, an On Air Guest for QVC and blogger for www.thelaughinmommy.blogspot.com.
In her spare time you can find Angela running, spinning, practicing yoga or getting beautified. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her Husband, Son, and Chihuahuas.