(ARA) – American kids are learning from their parents this back to school season about value, smart investing and getting the most for every dollar spent. Developing wise spending habits is a good thing for kids, but does it mean they have to sacrifice their sense of style as they head back to school?
Not necessarily, says children’s fashion expert, Jenny Cooper, head of J.Crew’s children’s line, called crewcuts, for ages 2 to 12. Children of top celebrities from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., have been spotted wearing crewcuts. “It is possible to get great style, quality and durability at family-friendly prices,” Cooper says. “Parents should look at their children’s back-to-school wardrobe as an affordable investment, and follow a few basic rules when shopping.”
- Look for sophisticated, classic styles rather than trendy clothes that may have less enduring appeal. Because something is classic doesn’t mean it lacks character and personality. Timeless style enables a wardrobe item to be usable and relevant for future seasons, whereas trendy togs are often “flash in the pan” items that may be cheaper and less durable. “Your son may outgrow his crewcuts by this time next year, but you’ll still be able to use the clothes next year to put his little brother in stylish, great-looking hand-me-downs,” Cooper says.
- Look for quality. Choose garments made of durable, quality materials that have great details. It’s common for children to fall in love with certain articles of clothing that they wear over and over again, as any mom who’s washed the same shirt five times in a week knows. “It’s worth it to spend a little more on a few items that will look great no matter how much use and washing they get,” Cooper says. “We are obsessed with quality.”
- Don’t forget fit. How often have you bought your child a pair of pants or a shirt in a particular brand, loved the fit, and went back and bought several more pairs in different styles and sizes of the same brand, only to find out that not all styles fit the same across the brand. “Fit should be consistent,” Cooper says, “so that items will look great and consistent across all ages. We want our jeans to look as amazing on a 10- or 12-year-old as they do on a 3- or 5-year-old.”
- Build a wardrobe by mixing and matching key items. Just as you purchase a piece for your own wardrobe keeping in mind what it will pair well with, do the same for children’s clothes. A good pair of jeans, smart-looking skirt and classic shirt or blouse can be worn for a variety of occasions, from dress-up to casual. “Try to keep a core of neutral-colored items – pants for boys, skirts for girls – that will go with whatever fun, playful thing your children want to wear on top,” Cooper suggests. “If you establish a good base, the rest of the choices they make will always look great.”
- Remember, your children’s clothes need to fit their personality, not just their body. “Our aim is to create styles that kids would create themselves if they were little fashion designers,” Cooper says. “Styles should be fun, comfortable and unique.”
- Accessorize for your kids, just as you do for your own wardrobe. For boys, a pop of color in the socks instantly gives a little guy a twist of personality. For girls, look for jewelry that looks like the real thing, rather than gumball jewelry, and don’t forget hair accessories to really crown a look.
- Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of good shoes, whether they are dress shoes, casual shoes or sneakers. You child’s shoes should be durable enough to survive the season of tumble and fun, and good-looking so that your child wants to wear them again and again.
For more ideas on how to keep kids stylish, visit www.jcrew..com.
Courtesy of ARAcontent