Shopping in the Kids Department
I’ve been researching rather sporadically over the past week, Kids clothes for “Grown-Ups”. I thought it would be an interesting topic, though it’s something that has not really produced results. Maybe it’s because kids clothes are becoming more grown-up, or maybe it’s because it’s not so appropriate (one site in particular has left me particularly disturbed). During my research I did come across a few articles relating to people who shop in the children’s departments and why. This is interesting in itself. It seems to raise several questions (mostly about state-of-mind).
Personally I don’t understand why, someone could be thought of as unsound simply for purchasing clothing in the kids section. I read about women, who do it frequently as a way to confirm their petiteness, so maybe in this sense there is something else underlying (Peter Pan Syndrome or Eating Disorders). I’ve also read about a women who discovered the kids section as an untapped resource (mostly mothers who have stumbled upon great finds while shopping for their children). I must say I agree with it being an untapped resource.
Last year, I spent a good deal of time home in Australia. One Saturday, my Mum and I babysat my little niece, and we decided to take her shopping. We simply went to the shopping centre nearest her house, and raided the low-cost department store. The point of the exercise was to help out my sister (a young, single mum) buy getting a few things for our little princess.
The first thing that struck me was how much cooler kids clothes are these days. I could be showing my age here, but I remember when a “party dress” was the best thing in a little girl’s wardrobe. In general they were maxi length, gathered at the waist, had puffy sleeves, and lace collars. Little girls these days have funky leggings, faux-fur waist coats, rock’n’roll dresses. There really is such a variety of clothing out there, that even these little people can dress in a any of a number of looks.
The next thing that I noticed was that the prices are significantly smaller than the same thing for adults. I guess one should expect this considering they use much less fabric… or do they? The smaller sizes certainly use less materials, but the larger sizes are on par with the adult equivalents. This is what shocked me. As I riffled through racks of clothes looking for my niece’s size, I found items that I thought looked about my size. The truth is that there is an overlap in the children’s sizes and adult’s sizes (this is mainly for transitioning during those awkward teen years). This overlap has increased in the last decade. I’m not 100% sure why, though I believe it has to do with kids getting bigger (due to hormone injected produce, unhealthy foods, and the like).
This shopping trip resulted in some key finds for my little princess, but it also resulted in some personal finds. That’s right I bought clothes in the children’s department. I did this because it was cost effective and I genuinely liked the attention to detail (detail which is missing in women’s wear). I didn’t set out to buy myself kids wear.
I quite possibly could have set out “on purpose” to buy kiddy clothes at Gap with Stella McCartney‘s kids collection. Unfortunately, this miraculous event started when I was out of town. From what I’ve read about the launch, stores were packed with grown-ups (unaccompanied by a child) and the bigger sizes were the first to sell out. Funny about that.
As far as fun clothing goes, these are the brands which stand out for this season. Boden (as previously mentioned), United Colors of Benetton and Gap. It seems to be mainly knitwear in brighter colours. If you are on the smaller side, Zara Kids has some gorgeous items. This tends to be my stop when looking for gifts for the children in my life, and now if I see something I really like, I take a good look around for my size.