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'Mini-Me' Fashion: Cool Styles Both Kids and Parents Love
Filed under: Fashion
On our kids' shopping lists: colorful cashmere, trendy boots and cool military jackets.
In today's fashion arena, age divisions are increasingly being blurred, as parents -- and their trendy tots -- clamor for similar styles.
"The exciting thing about fashion is that it has become for all ages," Betsy Schumacher, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer for 77kids by American Eagle, tells ParentDish. "We think of it as kid-cool. Kids experience popular culture through movies, TV shows, music, magazines and street fashion. They are more hip and more informed than your average adult, and they know what is cool way before we do."
ParentDish went to the experts for their takes on what's hot for tots -- and, as we suspected, kids are loving the things moms want to wear, too. Bring on the mini-mes!
There will always be parents who prefer neutral hues such as black, gray and cream, but colorful cashmere is luring both moms and kids, Jenny Cooper, head designer for J. Crew's Crewcuts line, tells ParentDish.
"It's impossible to find as beautiful, rich, delicious color as we can get with our Italian spun and dyed cashmere," she says. "Well, that and that it's also the softest and warmest -- without being too hot -- sweater."
Cooper says unusual colors are especially trendy -- think quirky purples, dark inky greens and bright reds. And new cashmere styles include stripes and boatnecks.
"Really, anything looks good with a cashmere sweater," she says. "But I like to wear them with jeans, or amazing colors with military greens, to balance the luxe with utility."
"Outerwear has evolved to being so much more than utility," Schumacher says. "What you wear to top it off is the first impression that anyone gets about your style. Military looks have transcended all ages and genders to be the staple jacket in everyone's wardrobe."
She also points to faux fur and simple trench coats (just like mom's) as chic and fun toppers.
"We also love leather and pleather -- all of our 77kids and babies love to look like rockers," she says.
Shoes and Boots
"The new parents coming into our store are in their late 20s and early 30s, and have grown up as a generation more focused on fashion and driven by pop culture trends," Buddy Saper, owner of Little Feet, a Denver kid's shoe store that has been in business for 18 years, tells ParentDish.
"So, years ago, when they came in for first walking shoes, we could still show (parents) the classic Jumping Jacks or Stride Rite white ankle-high first walkers. Whereas now, while those are still the best for early development, the moms are looking for something with a greater degree of fashion, more design and color. Something they perceive is 'cooler.' "
But parents allow their kids to shop for what they think is cool, too, Saper says.
"Certainly, with older kids, most parents will allow them to choose, as long as it's something that the parents initially came in looking for," he says. "For example, they may come in saying they need a sneaker, but then they let the kid pick the style."
Peers also hold a certain influence in a kid's fashion decisions, Saper says.
"While I was in the car pool lane at our daughter's school the other day, a group of her seventh-grade girlfriends were gathered around and it struck me as though they were all dressed very similar: blue jeans tucked into their tall Uggs in a variety of colors," he says. "It was almost as if it were their uniform. I think that particular age group is very much influenced by friends and are all just trying to fit in."
And, Schumacher says, shoes are a way for kids to express their individual style.
"Boots have been the number one accessory for girls this year," she says. "Biker boots, fringe styles, and just tall, tall, tall, are in every girl's wardrobe."
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