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.
What's in Your Purse?
by Abigail Samoun, illustrated by Nathalie Dion
8 7/8 X 8 1/2", 12 pages
Ages 3 and up
$12.95 on Amazon
When Chloe was two her favorite thing to do was to go inside my handbag and take out everything, especially the contents of my wallet. Merge this curiosity with the love kids have for flap books and the ingenious book, What's in Your Purse? by Abigail Samoun (published by Chronicle Books) which tells the tale of a family (mommy, grandma, auntie, sister and little girl aka "you") through the contents of their purse. It's not just all about flipping through the flaps, the book also features questions on each page so the reader can find out more about each character through their contents. Questions like: "When was Grandma born?" and "Who sent sis a text message" let girls discover the answers from the many object clues in the purse. The illustration by Nathalie Dion are oh so stylish and on trend for each family member. It's the cutest book for a little girl and the "purse" handles on the book make it fun for them to carry when they are on the go.
A review book was provided by Chronicle Books.
I love t-shirts with French sayings on them and these Zara Girls' T-shirt with Embroidery ($16.90) are adorable with their ruffled ribbon embroidery on top of a subtle metallic dot pattern. It's much more luxe looking in person and the price is just perfect for kids clothes.
Chloe wore her Mon Ami t-shirt today to school, paired with leggings and a gray ruffled Le Petit Bateau skirt. The look is chic, yet easy and comfortable for girls to wear.
I have always enjoyed my leisure time in France watching how stylish French kids and moms are on the playground or around town. Now two French moms have brought their Paris fashion talents together to create the brand, les petits carreaux.
Alice Shamreiz lives in Paris and designs the line while Stephanie Ross lives in the East Bay, CA. Their Spring/Summer 2014 collection is now available online and I adore the details from flowery prints to delicate pintucks. The clothing line is catered to boys and girls from 4 - 12 years old and features quality fabrics and tailoring that ensures the best comfort for your little ones. Pictured above: On the girl: Amandine Dress ($95), On the boy: Axel Sweatshirt Denim ($80). The lespetits-carreaux.com site offers free shipping for orders over $150.
And don't miss their Valentine's Day Contest that's there's still time to enter. Kids can print out this paper and draw a balloon for a chance to win a free outfit. Deadline is friday 2/28/14. Details are here.
Here are more of my favorites from the les petits carreaux S/S 14 collection:
Alisee Blouse ($75)
Aglae Blouse Flowers ($75)
Amelie Skirt ($70)
Alice Dress ($95)
Adele Blouse ($75)
Angelique Pants ($85)
Ambre Sweatshirt ($80)
Axel Sweatshirt Ivoire ($80)
for boys and girls
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)
Light up shoes seem to be a staple in kids wardrobes. Chloe's school allows it but now some schools are not allowing light up shoes. Or you may be like me and forget that your kid is wearing them when we go out for an afternoon at the movies. The Sketchers Kids Shuffles Lights ($46.99, comes in black or pink) features a handy on/off button at the strap. Perfect for the day at school or at the movies!
(Photos: Courtesy of American Girl)
American Girl is coming to the Bay Area! The new store will open on November 16, 2013 at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. The new two-level 15,000-square-foot retail store features all of the American Girl products. This store is opening just in time for Chloe's birthday. I had promised her I would get her an American doll for her 5th birthday and now she can have a true experience instead of me having to order a doll online.
Not only can you shop. Girls can bring their dolls over to the store to play. They can get their hair done at the Doll Hair Salon (how cool is that?!) or enjoy lunch/dessert at the 27-seat contemporary Bistro where dolls sit in "treat seats" and have special doll-sized menus.
For crafty kids, the store will feature a "Creativi-tees" boutique, where girls can create stylish T-shirts for themselves and their dolls. Girl-friendly events and activities based on the American Girl characters and award-winning books will also be available throughout the year.
The new American Girl store is also set up for celebrations from birthdays to special occasions. Girls can have a Bistro party or opt for a deluxe celebration in a private party room where they can enjoy an organized game and craft, special food and cake, and party favors.
For more information on the new American Girl store or to make dining or party reservations, please call 1-877-247-5223.