The countdown is on . . . do you have all of your wishlists set? Whether you're shopping for a preschooler into pink or a tween toeing the line of sophistication, you'll find dozens of ideas in our Holiday Gift Guides.
Have a crafter in the house? Check out the roundup of DIY Fashion Gifts, which ranges from temporary tattoo jewels to customizable clothing lines and dress forms. From holiday pajamas to hundreds of gift ideas and sources, find all you need in our Holiday Fashion and Gift Guide Roundup.
Since Black Friday keeps creeping into Thanksgiving Day, it appears that the shopping season is officially upon us! Before you brave the crowds or settle in to comb the internet, have a game plan. If you're shopping for fashionable daughters, nieces or friends, check out these 20 unique accessories for girls.
A few items on the list:
For the Frequent Traveler: Backpacks that reduce separation anxiety
For the New Time Teller: A bright neon watch necklace
For the Lip Balm Addict: Vintage inspired necklaces with a secret compartment
For the Techie: Touch screen friendly gloves with flair
To kick off the 2013 Holiday Gift Guides, let's begin with a roundup of 20 fun accessories for boys.
Some of the smallest accents turn out to be the most treasured gifts, and often offer more frequent enjoyment than the big showstoppers. The range of price points and styles makes it easy to fill up those stockings and check off each boy on your list, whether shopping for your own sons, their quirky friends, or nephews you haven't seen in too long.
- For the Woodsman: Camouflage suspenders fit for family dinners
- For the LEGO Lover: A customizable watch complete with minifig
- For the Reluctant Tuxedo Wearer: Mustache Shwings that add life to those glossy black shoes
- For the Techie: A winter hat with built in speakers and microphone
If your boy's closet is in need of some TLC, have a little fashion chat, and take a few minutes to see what's new. I've rounded up cozy cardigans and cool suits for all of the holiday revelry around the corner, and I've also outlined shopping tips that will help you find the right dress clothes for your needs and budget.
For kids who need to dress for physical activity on a daily basis, a lack of variety can be frustrating. The loud palettes and pixelated graphics of typical activewear available at big box stores scream "gym duds," which doesn't suit every kid's style. When it comes to technical specialized gear, options are further limited.
Whether your kid is looking for the perfect yoga pants or for subtle styles that transition between school and practice, take hope in the knowledge that although you may not be able to pick them up at the local strip mall, choices are out there.
For evidence, check out my recent reviews of Ivivva Athletica and AlexandAlexa. Both companies carry sportswear that lies in the sweet spot between form and function. Created by Lululemon, Ivivva designs for active girls aged 4-14, with a focus on the specific needs of yoga, gymnastics, dance and running. AlexaandAlexa is an online retailer of designer childrenswear, including a tremendous selection of specialized sportswear for tennis tanks, tutus, soccer kits and more.
We've had something of a breakthrough in our house recently. My daughter, Bryce, and I both read the new book Expressionista: How to Express Yourself Through (and Despite) Fashion, and through it we discovered a new way to communicate.
Considering my profession, fashion comes up pretty regularly around the house, but Expressionista prompted us to take the discussion further. Relatable anecdotes and fun quizzes fueled the continuation of previous conversations about personal style, self-confidence, and tolerance.
Expressionista's Fashion Personas clicked with Bryce, who knows what she is drawn to, but is sometimes swayed for one reason or another. Having a firm grasp of her Fashion Persona may keep us from buying clothes that go unworn, like the flowery dresses Bryce most likely said she wanted only because she thought wearing them would please me.
Reading about the range of Fashion Personas and subcategories also helped Bryce understand why my preferences differ from hers, and that we're both better off being ourselves. As she and her peers are becoming more aware of labels and looks, I'm glad that Bryce is armed with the knowledge that clothing is a communicator, and that each of us determines the messages we send.
Here's a cheat sheet:
Tops take the brunt of spills and general wear and tear.
For casual shorts, inexpensive options get the job done just as well.
Until kids are past the point of growth spurts, pants are usually sooner outgrown than outworn.
Exception: If kids are especially hard on their clothes, features like reinforced knees and adjustable waists can prove worthwhile from the outset.
Dresses and Skirts: Splurge.
The cut of dresses generally allows for years of wear.
Quality shoes are a must for comfort, safety and performance.
Outerwear needs to effectively protect against the elements, and kids can usually get a couple of years out of coats.
Clothing Accessories: Save.
Kids lose things.
Tech Accessories: Splurge.
Protect your investments.
My first-grader's teacher just sent an email reminding parents of a couple of school fashion rules that we adults may have forgotten over summer break. Both apply to preschoolers and eighth-graders alike -- check them out, and see if you have any to add.
1. Remember to pack a complete change of clothes, because . . . you never know!
Extra clothes are typically bumped off the supply list once kids get a bit older, but you might want to send some just the same. Art projects, unexpected showers, and lunch hour collisions get the best of big kids, too. Tween and teen girls, especially, should have an emergency bag stowed away somewhere.
2. Send your kids to school in practical footwear.
Some schools explicitly state which shoe styles are allowed. Regardless, it's a good bet to err on the side of closed toes and rubber soles. Also consider your child's school routine and environment. Do you walk or ride bikes to and from school? Is there mulch on the playground? Do kids change shoes before physical activity?
For us, all signs point to sneakers, and we're excited that there are so many fresh options this year. Crocs, for one, has entered the market with retro style sneakers molded from the same comfortable material seen in the brand's familiar clogs.
For those who return to school amidst high temps, the big back-to-school shopping spree can be postponed until school is well underway. Kids are able to ease back into the school year in their summer duds, and take note of what peers are wearing before making any purchases.
However, many stores offer incentives to shop early, from discount pricing to increased stock. While the forecast might keep those winter accessories in storage for a while, yet, scarves and mittens are often picked over after the first cold snap hits. You might want to shop for special items now, and keep an eye out for sales in the process.
Many stores run deep discounts on denim in August, so if jeans are at the top of your kids' back-to-school shopping lists, now is the time to buy. If you have a fashion trailblazer, check out my round ups of girls and boys jeans. From fresh cuts to current pairings, your trendsetters will find inspiration and direction.
Before you hit the mall or settle in for an afternoon of online shopping, check off your kids' needs on this back-to-school shopping list.
Image © Mini Rodini