My youngest still has baby fine hair that doesn't offer her scalp a great deal of sun protection. I try to keep a hat on her when we're out and about, but a short stroll doesn't quite necessitate a Kentucky Derby-sized sun hat. My older two kids have thick locks, but they like to dress boldly.
Whether worn as sun protection or a style statement, fedoras fit the bill. In addition to topping everyday tots at the park, the narrow-brimmed hat is frequently spotted on celebrity kids. Worn with everything from skinny jeans to sundresses, the right fedora can set off a look.
I've rounded up a selection of fedoras to suit hipsters and dandies alike. Check them out and let me know which one is your favorite.
Headed to the beach? Think light. If you've felt like a hermit crab on past beach trips, shoulders and hands laden with the family's toys and towels, you'll want to check out the totes on my list, which are small enough for kids to carry. Other finds can lighten your load as well, like the Turkish towel pictured, which can be worn as a scarf or pareo on the walk to stake your territory in the sand.
Also think beyond this one trip. The stylish items I've found will add style to the beach and beyond. One bag makes a great shower caddy, another an eco-friendly lunch bag. How about a towel that doubles as a dress-up costume, or one that looks elegant when tossed over the sofa? Well-made toys will be just as welcome in the bath or on the playground.
Now I'm informed about early childhood sun safety, but I'm still working on making sun protection second nature. In the hopes that getting my kids into good habits early on will make their lives easier (and healthier), I set the stage for success by giving them options and encouraging routine.
Think about what might work for your family. Comfortable sunglasses? A cool hat for everyday wear? The choice of a shirt over reapplying sunscreen? Check out my list of kid-friendly sun protective gear for ideas.
'Tis the season for outdoor living -- playing in the park, splashing in the pool, exploring the beach and hiking the trail. Longer days allow for hours of fun in the sun, but with that extra playtime comes added need for sun protection. An iconic Australian ad campaign encouraged residents to "Slip-Slop-Slap," referring to a shirt, sunscreen and a hat.
While sunscreen use is up in the US, and rash guards are gaining ground, we have yet to fully embrace the hat habit of friends down under. Even on the beach, kids in sun hats are often the exception. Until that rule reverses, it might take a little extra effort to convince your kid to wear a hat. Fortunately, there are more options than you might see on the big box store shelves.
Check out my round-up of sun hat styles ranging from chic to silly to find a hat that suits your kid. If you live in a hat-happy culture, let me know what helps you remember to Slap one on.
The three Rs take on a different meaning this time of year, as schoolchildren recite the mantra of "reduce, reuse, recycle" and turn their focus to the outdoors.
Along with crafting pine cone bird feeders and gardening, I plan to celebrate this Earth Day with a little sartorial spring cleaning. Want to join me? Assess the kids' existing wardrobes and gear to determine upcoming needs, and acquaint yourself with sustainable sources so you'll have a few go-tos at the ready. While you're at it, pull out any hand-me-downs you can pass along, keeping them out of the landfill longer.
To get you started, I've rounded up a list of eco-friendly clothing and gear, with each item as much stylish as sustainable. Begin by finding a green replacement for your most immediate need, say organic underwear, or prioritize goods which will reduce your family's carbon footprint on a daily basis, like reusable bags.
As buds begin to bloom and days warm ever so slightly, the winds of spring are taking hold.
Ready to breathe new life into a stale winter wardrobe?
- Here's what's in for girls this Spring/Summer 2013.
- For those who like to get ahead of the game, work in one or two of the lighter elements from Fall/Winter 2013.
- Swap out bulky sweaters and tightly knit long sleeves for one of these breezier shirt options for boys.
Preparing for longer days in the sun?
- Cool Rash Guards pass for regular shirts.
- Swimsuit shopping with a tween girl is no small endeavor. Use these tips and suit style options to kick off the conversation.
Image © J. Crew
Like to plan ahead? Stylesight's Children's Editor Nicole Yee gave us the scoop on this year's trends for Fall and Winter. She's traveled across continents to attend many of the biggest trade shows and runway shows for kids, consulted with correspondents who covered the rest, and worked with the talented Stylesight team to report on the findings.
As a mom of girls and a boy, my favorite finding is that the children's market appears to be skewing gender neutral -- a convenient and budget friendly practice we already employ to an extent, and might amp up now that the look is on trend. Gotta love when form and function collide!
Nicole also shared how she got into trend forecasting, and what the job entails. In addition to inspiring future trend analysts, Nicole's story is a fun read for anyone who has ever wondered how the same print seems to be everywhere at once.
What's your take on seasonal trends? Will you begin working in pieces that hint at what's to come?
Image © Nicole Yee
I also have a thing for the translucent shift raincoats like the pictured pink polka dot version from Billieblush. It's especially fun for little ones to who get a giggle out of seeing their dry clothes peeking through the wet rain shell. Maybe my three-year-old could keep one jacket in the car and one in the house . . .
Image © Billieblush
Easter is early this year, are your baskets filled? If not, check out my practical picks for girls, most of which are also available in versions suited for boys. I like to make the most of gift-giving holidays by giving the kids items that they can really use. Although there will surely be some chocolate in the mix, the brunt of the Easter bounty is more along the lines of candy hued clothing and accessories that have some Easter association, but can be worn throughout the spring and summer.
Since last spring's shoes rarely fit a year later, I often through in a pair of sandals or flip flops, and there may even be a new swimsuit to match.
When it comes to accessories, I try to be mindful of comfort as the weather warms. Lighter necklaces feel better on exposed skin than chunky pieces, and headbands and ponytail holders are great for keeping hair off the face and neck.
To keep the Easter Bunny magic alive, I always include something completely unexpected, maybe even an item I have objected to buying, like a variation on something we already have, or something unnecessary, like clip art temporary tattoos. Thanks to forward thinking lines like Tattly, though, there are now artful temporary tattoos, and I'm all for wearable art. I'm such a fan that before long my appreciation will be evident, and I'll have to find another unexpected gift before Christmas.
What is your Easter basket strategy?
For about half of my childhood, I wore a purple visor with my name in cursive across the bill and feathers at the crown. Quvenzhané Wallis accessorizes tank tops and ball gowns alike with a playful puppy purse.
Of course, not all signature accessories are so bold. A basic belt or tame stud earrings worn frequently and confidently can speak almost as loudly. If your girl is looking to fall somewhere in between, have her look to current trends and make them her own.
Over the past couple of years, select trend setters have taken bohemian flower crowns out of the archives (and occasional wedding processional), onto the runways, and into the streets of fashion week. The romantic hair accessories now have solid footing in the main stream, so wearers will still be fashion forward, without being totally out there. For more subtle variations, scale down the flowers, or move them to the back.
Will your daughter be sporting a flower crown or puppy purse this year? Anyone dare to bring back the feather visor?