I recently posted on Coquette about my shopping experience at Galerie Lafayette in Paris. Chloe and I were armed with a personal shopper, Elodie who helped us find cute outfits for back to school. Some of these French brands I have known very well over the years from my mother-in-law and our many travels to France. Galeries Lafayette is fantastic because it has all the brands under one roof, from luxury kids clothes to everyday affordable ones. It is fantastic one stop shopping in my book. I usually buy Chloe key clothes for the season and they end up being go-to clothing she lives in and dresses up in as well.
At the top of my list is the brand Catimini. They do both girls and boys clothing and the quality is impeccable. (Luckily for us Bay Area folks, they have a store within the Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara, CA.) The magenta spirit ethnique cable knit cardigan pictured above also can be worn in reverse and showcases an embroidered deer pattern. Their clothes can take many washes. Also, from all the playground wear my daughter goes through, the dresses really last! In fact, I've passed some of her dresses down to my friend's girls, who are still wearing them years later.
You can't get more French than Petit Bateau. Go for the signature stripes or in my case this time, I found the cutest floral sweatshirt and skirt set. If you have a new baby or know someone who is expecting, I love their baby bodysuits which are made in the softest cotton ever! We picked up a few pants for Chloe here. I find that their pants are durable and I like their adjustable waists.
For kids fashion with a refined element, Jacadi has it all. Featuring prim and proper dresses for girls, handsome shirts for boys, and fabulous outerwear with no fleece in sight, this brand gives elegance to little kids.
Bonpoint (pictured above and below) is another one of my favorite brands. It's filled with rich cotton prints that the crafter in me just wants to scream inside. I sort of want it all in my size, you see. The prices are expensive so pick and choose pieces to get. This season, the smock style shirt and dress is in full swing for girls. Colors featured blush tones, bright reds and oranges as well as grays. That's what I love about French fashion for kids. They are never afraid to give kids color variety aside from the typical pinks and blues that gives French kids an immediate sophistication.
Black, white and red? Yes, yes and yes!
Lately Lily: The Adventures of a Traveling Girl
Written and Illustrated by Micah Player
9 12/" X 8 3/4", 32 pages
$12.67 on Amazon
With summer travel happening these next two months, a perfect gift is the new book by Micah Player, Lately Lily: The Adventures of a Traveling Girl (published by Chronicle Books). You may remember Micah Player's first book, Chloe Instead (review here) where he tackled the subject of younger siblings. In this book, Lily is an adventure traveler taking on airports, train stations and famous places with her zebra best friend, Zeborah. I'm a huge fan of Player's illustration style and this book is just a feast for the eyes. Kids who haven't traveled yet will get a glimpse of how fun it can be to go to a new place. Lily takes pictures and documents everything she sees in her little notebook. (A great travel tip for kids to do!) It's such an enjoyable book for kids that can open up their imagination.
I love giving books as gifts to kids, especially for all the many birthday parties we go to and this one is especially great for the extra things you can add to it. The Lately Lily brand includes 2 other paper goods sets as well as Player's clothing line.
Lately Lily Sunny Yellow Suitcase ($13.49 at Amazon)
This kit is filled with everything a kid needs for a big trip. It comes with a booklet with travel tips, games, doodle ideas, 24 activity cards, 2 fill-in luggage tags and 1 sticker sheet.
Lately Lily ABC Travel Flash Cards ($14.99 at Amazon)
Learn the ABC's with Micah Player's beautiful illustrations of Lily on her travels. These cards are are also perfect for decorating a kid's room.
Micah Player has also expanded the Lately Lily brand into girls clothing and I love the adorable selection. Pictured above are two of my favorites: Scout Lily ($28) and Camp Lily ($28) Shop the Lately Lily clothing collection.
Visit the Lately Lily site to find out more about Lily and take a peek inside her notebook and suitcase. You can also watch the video trailer for the book that Player created where he brings his characters to life with the cutest of animations!
A review copy was provided by Chronicle Books.
Bay Area-based Children's clothing brand Tea takes you to Morocco this season with styles that are full of color, bold shapes, mod tile motifs and embroidered textures. I love the Mosaic Tile Graphic Dress ($29.50) for little girls and the Streets of Marrakech Graphic Tee ($22.50) paired with the Peli Stripe Happy Hoodie ($29.50) for little boys. You can also get a great deal by buying some of their 5-piece sets online for $129/girls $105/boys that feature mix-and-match tops/dresses and bottoms.
Here are more of my favorites from the new spring collection:
Mosaic Rose Twirl Dress ($35)
Hajjaj Butterfly Graphic Tee ($22.50)
Triangle Pop Twirl Skirt ($32)
Seaside Tile Tankini ($45)
Night Blossom Pajamas ($39)
Medina Plaid Shirt ($39)
Pop Moto Tee ($22.50)
Mighty Lion Tee ($22.50)
Mosaic Camo Cargo Shorts ($32)
Hammerhead Board Shorts ($40)
Paper Planes Pajamas ($39)
BRIKA brings a new maker to their site featuring the L.A. based kids clothing line, OmamiMini by Ola & Natasha. Moms will love it's unique designs as well as it's lhigh quality materials with a low maintenance care approach. I am loving this Gold Giraffe T-shirt ($29) that's so adorable in winter white.
Here are more picks from OmamiMini's kids collection:
Sleep is Overrated Sweatshirt ($44)
Chaos Sweatshirt ($44)
Pompom Tunic ($48)
Nordstrom Rack at 555 Ninth Street in San Francisco is now stocked with plenty of kids clothes! (For you new moms, there are lots of baby clothes too.) The folks at Nordstrom were nice enough to give me a $150 gift card to shop and check out all the cool kids' goods. A few days ago, my little fashionista Chloe and I took a shopping trip over to get her some new clothes for Back to School. Pictured above are the items we picked out together. She had a lot of input on what she wanted and we had a lot of fun. There was so much to choose from with lots of brand names you know and love.
555 Ninth Street (between Bryant Street & Brannan Street)
San Francisco, CA 94103
Mon-Sat 10am - 9pm
Sun 10am - 7pm
My girl probably grew about an inch or more this summer so we needed to stock up on jeans. We got two pairs in one of my favorite kids brands, Tractor. They make the best pants. I got a dark jean color and a floral pattern for her. These retail for $50 and over and we snagged them for just $29.97 and $23.97. I loved the colored jeggings by Joe's Jeans so we picked up a pair in Magenta for only $19.97 (regular $48). Let me tell you, this is going to be my go to place to pick up new pairs of pants. I don't have to wait for the anniversary sale and they have all the pants that are in fashion so I don't have to skimp on quality.
Hello Kitty cuteness was on display as well as sparkly tutus.
There were also lots of great clothes for boys. I love these striped Hurley hoodies – a staple for our foggy SF weather. I didn't get any photos of it but there were some great North Face fleece jackets for boys and girls floating around the section, mostly in toddler sizes.
You can't go back to school without a backpack, right? There were plenty of backpacks and mini-backpacks that were about $30 and under.
If you're a new mom and not yet ready for back to school, you'll enjoy the array of baby clothes that you can pick up. It made me nostalgic for the days when I could simply pick whatever outfit I wanted to for Chloe.
And if you are lucky enough to have some alone time to go sans kids, the handbag section is packed with some cute bags from Michael Kors, Rebecca Minkoff and more. Chloe didn't have the patience for me to look at my things so I'll have to go back by myself another day.
Shopping at Nordstrom Rack's kids' department was a breeze. Back to School shopping should always be this easy. Plus it's great to have free parking to shop somewhere in SF!
Disclaimer: Nordstrom provided me with at $150 gift card to review the shopping experience in this post.
Fiddlesticks is well-curated a children’s clothing and toy store located in Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. It's definitely one of my favorite kids stores in the city.
It feels like sometimes my weekends are filled with children's birthday parties and figuring out all the right gifts to get can be time consuming and overwhelming. Now Fiddlesticks makes it easier on us moms with their new valet gift service. One quick phone call is all it takes to cross gift shopping (birthday parties or baby showers) off your list.
Just call the shop at least a day in advance, tell the staff who you’re shopping for and what you’d like to spend, and they’ll pick out the best gift in the shop and charge you over the phone. You can swing by the store to pick up your wrapped gift or if you order it in advance, it can be shipped for you too.
I love their range of stylish and unique gifts, from earth-friendly toys to trendy clothes. The Fiddlesticks blog always showcases the new items filling up their shop.
For more information on the Valet Gift Service visit Fiddlesticks online. To shop the service, just call Fiddlesticks at 415-565-0508.
When I first started knitting around 12 years ago, one of the things I loved to knit was baby projects. I thought of them as great gifts but that they were very small and fast projects I could use to practice knitting, learn new stitches, and try out different kinds of yarn. It's fun to think back on all the baby gifts I knit for my friend's babies. These were the days way before Ravelry so I never thought to take pictures of all my completed projects. It has been even more special these last few years to knit projects for my little girl and show her now the things I've made for her when she was just a baby.
Bernat yarns celebrates all things baby this month with some new stylish knit fashions for babies and toddlers. From knit leg warmer to crochet cardigans, little ones will be oh so cute, while you get to practice your knit and purl stitches or double crochet.
One tip: if you are just starting out, don't try and tackle a large baby blanket. As easy as it is with it's simple garter stitch, it will be tedious. I have seen many a newbie knitter get discouraged because it shows uneven knitting more clearly and they aren't sure how to fix mistakes and have gotten to far down the road to "start over". Baby blankets are fun to knit but wait until you have at least a few knitting projects under your belt first.
Personally, I like starting small with socks or a hat because they are instant gratification pieces and will allow you no pressure time to finish. These knit socks pictured above are fun to knit with the added touch false intarsia. This yarn does the color change for you and will make you look like a knitting pro when you give these bagy socks as gifts. The pattern features Bernat Baby Jacquards Yarn (acrylic, machine wash and dry).
For this month only, shop online and buy 4 balls of yarn and get 1 free with the promo code: BERNATBABY. (Promo expires August 31, 2012)
Here are more of my favorite knitting and crochet patterns for Bernat Baby Month that super stylish and are fast to make. Sign up on the Bernat site for access to all of these free patterns.
Baby Jacquards Baby Legwarmers (knit)
Yarn: Baby Jacquard
Kitty Hat (coming soon)
Helmet Hat (coming soon)
Yarn: Softee Baby
Softee Baby Top Down Cardigan (knit)
Yarn: Softee Baby
Giggles Flutter Sleeve Vest (crochet)
One of my favorite designers, Joy Deangdeelert Cho of Oh Joy! has recently branched out from the paper world to baby clothes, thanks to being a new mom herself. Her limited edition line of baby clothes is available exclusively at Winter Water Factory. This little gold and grey short sleeve baby dress ($44 at Winter Water Factory) reminds me of the notebook I had used a few years ago. (See her paper goods here.) It would look so adorable on a baby girl. The dress also comes in fuchsia.
Read more about it on the Oh Joy! blog.