I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been shopping for clothes for my kids and I’ve fallen in love with something on a rack in the kids’ shop. A pair of drop crotch pants, or perhaps a top with just the right amount of bling that would look brilliant on me but it would barely fit, well, a child.
It’s not that I have a penchant for kids’ clothes and a burning desire to dress like a junior – it’s more that kids’ fashion is no longer about babyish prints and soft pastel colours.
Hanging on tiny little hangers I see mini embroidered motorcycle jackets, and think, ‘No kid really needs that… But it would look fab with a pair of my jeans and killer boots’. At the next turn I see bright jumpsuits with vibrant florals and peeking toucans, and I just know that if I looked for something similar in my size, I would be lucky to find it in black.
Kids’ fashion has taken an altogether edgier turn where wearability meets ultra-stylish fashion. There are a solid few handfuls of junior Instagram accounts where mini fashionistas are styled way better than the average human. When did kids get so discerning about what they wear? Did the clothes get cooler which made them more discerning, or did they become discerning so brands had to up their children’s ranges?
There was a time in the not-so-distant past where my two children would wear what I picked out for them. I like to consider myself to be a woman of fair style, so I would also like to think that I chose their ensembles well. I never dressed them identically or anything that may require therapy in later years, in fact, some days I took great pains to ensure they were both comfortable yet rocking a distinct "look".
Admittedly, other days I declared it a pyjama day and I didn’t bother dressing them at all, but that’s one of the joys of being a kid, isn’t it? No-one judges you at the supermarket in your jammies.
That said, something has happened of late, and that something is that my opinion of clothing does not hold any weight anymore and my “Mini Mes” have adopted a style all of their own.
No longer can I pick something up for them at the shops and they’ll “ooh” and “ahh” over it gratefully, perhaps with a “Mummy, you’re the best mummy in the world.” Now it’s all “I’m not wearing that,” or “I like it, but I don’t ever want to wear it, ever.”
I must admit that I’ve thought those precise words in the past when someone has gifted me clothes…but I would never actually say it. I really need to teach my progeny the subtle art of tact.
These days it’s about what those darlings of my flesh deem as stylish. At five and seven years old, I thought I had more time, but I suppose independence comes in different guises, and fashion is a form of self expression.
Luckily, we can agree on a few things, and although I’m not usually one to advocate a Mini-Me matching outfit, sometimes a brand can get it just right. Uniqlo’s range of cute printed tees mean the whole family can slip into mix-and-match dressing for an affordable price, and styles to suit every shape and flavour.
Whether your taste runs from Disney to Marvel, or from Warhol to Lego, there are multiple prints and cuts to style everybody in every family.
Usually when you think of Mini-Me dressing, images of matchy-matchy families all wearing double denim spring to mind. If that’s your bag, then go right ahead with my blessing, but if it’s not, Uniqlo’s range of womens', mens' and kids' tees are my choice. With more than 800 patterns, these tees are functional, fashionable and most of all, fun.
My daughter and I selected tops from the new collection from Swedish designer Lisa Larson. As you can see from our photos on the weekend, we're all about the stripes and cats - but we both teamed them with skirts to match our own styles.
Sometimes, (almost) twinning really is winning.
What kids' clothes do you love? Share your faves with us below!
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Uniqlo.
UNIQLO is Japan’s leading specialty retailer with around 1,800 stores in 18 markets including Japan, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K. and the U.S.
About UNIQLO LifeWear
Apparel that comes from the Japanese values of simplicity, quality and longevity. The simplest design hiding the most thoughtful and modern details. The best in fit and fabric made to be affordable and accessible to all. LifeWear is clothing that is constantly being innovated, bringing more warmth, more lightness, better design, and better comfort to people’s lives.