I'm sure you've all read this already, but I've been kinda busy lately and just came across AnneMarie Iverson's article on classic, well-made kids clothes in the December issue of Departures, the American Express magazine for Platinum and Centurion cardmembers:
The image of my two young sons dressed identically in Barbour jackets, gray flannel button-fly trousers, leather Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes, finely woven wool socks, orange Patagonia baseball caps, and navy blazers bearing their school insignia is probably more important to me and my husband than it should be. Our five- and six-year-old sons don't wear characters, not even the rather elegant elephant king Babar. They don't wear black. They don't wear logos (aside from Polo horses, Fred Perry garlands, and Lacoste crocodiles)[umm, earth to Annemarie, that's a lot of logos]. They don't wear polyester. Their sneakers don't feature lights, bells, or superheroes. (Velcro, however, we happily embrace.) And since the boys spend some 12 hours daily in their nightclothes, their Egyptian-cotton pajamas with hand-embroidered monograms, Austrian boiled-wool slippers with velvet trim, and Italian-cashmere robes seem perfectly justified. At least to us.While her US recommendations are a joke--Brooks Brothers today is not the Brooks Brothers of our childhoods, Annemarie, even if they DO buy five pages of ads; and are you seriously suggesting Platinum Card holders cross the tracks to JCPenney for baby Levi's when you can get them at babystyle?-- but she's got Europe covered like a cashmere blanket.
How do we enforce our slightly dogmatic vision of the well-dressed child? Through careful, almost military-style editing of our sons' closets and by purchasing the perfect pieces in multiple sizes to fit them for the next four (sometimes more) years, preparing far in advance for almost any event and situation. There are also, admittedly, our own personal fixations: My northern Italian husband is inspired by memories of his own custom-made childhood wardrobe to re-create the same elegance for his sons.
Long, interesting, and guiltily appealing story short, in order to dress your kid
properly preppily, you have to go to tiny shops in London and Milan, and take a special trip to Veneto--and go to one shop in Paris that sells dresses so wonderful they make Iverson "consider the idea of daughter-producing centrifugal sperm spinning." OK, then...
Surprisingly, even GoldCard holders can read the whole piece--and map out your European shopping spree--on the Departures website.
Clothes Encounters of the Appropriate Kind [departures.com]