At the dinner table the other day, my daughter said “Mom, do you realize that you have every 13-year-old girl's dream job?”
In a way, I do have the perfect job. I run my own business designing and producing a line of children's clothing called Red Thread.
What does it take to find clothing your child really loves to wear? As the mother of three girls (6, 8, and 11) and a clothing designer, I've had a close eye on what kids are drawn to, what makes them feel like stars, and what they'd prefer to leave in the closet until it's too small.
Every child is unique, but these simple guidelines will help you avoid costly mistakes and choose garments that you and your child will enjoy for years.
1. Don't play it safe. Whenever I'm choosing fabric for my line and I come across something beautiful but very unusual, combining unexpected colours or over-the-top prints, it always ends up a best-seller. Most kids are drawn to vibrant colour, whimsical prints and things that stand out. Don't dress kids for the office - they'll have plenty of time for that later. The playground is much more fun.
2. Think about fit and flexibility. When you're buying shirts or dresses, keep an eye out for armholes that have some breathing room, and for clothing that's not constricting across the chest. When you're buying pants, look for adjustability at the waistline. If there's room for growth, your child will be able to enjoy their favourite clothes so much longer.
3. Make lasting choices. Children are generally much harder on their clothing than adults, so think about washability and fabric quality when you're shopping. The longer clothing lasts, the longer we and our kids can enjoy it and the less we have to buy! Spending a bit more on well-made clothes, even for growing children, is often a smarter environmental choice, and easier on the wallet in the long run.