The toddler of today has it good with fashion with designers, rock stars, and models all creating kids lines. Cool choices for children are all over the internet. And so many animal hats! Not long ago, looking like Max from Where the Wild Things Are meant you were wearing a costume. Now, wearing a wolf or monkey head to school is totally normal. Luckily animal hats are still trending, because they’re rad. We here at Nerdy With Children put out a call to our artist, musician, fashion-forward parent contacts around the U.S. to see just what else is making it onto their tiny models.
Monsters Are Everywhere!
Expanding the creature hat category, monster hats have crept onto the scene. But the furry, toothy lugs are on lots of other pieces too. Monster graphics in bold colors can be found right now on onesies, dresses, tees—almost anything. Some are fierce while some are goofy and decked in flowers, so there are monsters for every temperament. And surely there is a subtle lesson in here about neutralizing the fearful things under your bed by making them part of your daily routine. Or just like this trend because it’s cute. Lynne, in Boston, says her son Ben goes for anything with more than two eyes. Get your gear from a local artist and your little one’s monsters will be unique.
The warmth of a sweatshirt mixed with bright prints or killer graphics—it’s daily attire for many grown-ups. You can layer it, dress it up or wear it casual. Now hoodies for kids are trending. Some features from the adult world have made it down to small hoodies too, like sewn-in thumbholes and detachable hoods. In Albuquerque, Harry B. says he and his daughter like soft, hoodie sweater dresses, especially with dramatic colors. Because hoodies are usually cotton knit, they’re easier to wash than a regular jacket. They’re also customizable. Patches and buttons make ‘em unique. Go beyond bands and help your kiddos draw or color their own patches (use spare swatches of white cotton, like from an old tee) and hand sew them on.
The Mayor of Layers
Speaking of hoodies and layering, the latter is de rigueur this winter. But don’t bundle your bambinos like the little brother in A Christmas Story: “Mom, I can’t put my arms down!” This year’s young nerdlings are rockin’ layers like little adults—long-sleeved tees with hoodies, puffer vests, suspenders and flat caps. Use leggings or a pair of pants, leg warmers, then a petticoat, then a tunic and a sweater over the top—and mix textures and patterns. Get weird; get clowny. There’s no better time to start experimenting with fashion. Letting your little one pick out his favorite items and wear them all at once is a good way to keep him warm and let him exercise his independence.
You Animal! (Print)
This is another trickle down from the adult world that is awesome on kids. From zebra onesies to giraffe pattern dresses, bold animal patterns abound. Try pairing prints with bright, solid colors for a super look. Don’t be afraid to mix prints together. Another fun approach is matching some of these prints with some of the aforementioned animal hats. How rad is your zebra-with-a-cat-head kid? And your little animal can make a game out of creating his or her daily mythical creature outfit.
vs. AND Pretty Princess
Lots of nerdy parents want to flout gender stereotypes in clothing. We no longer hold that dresses are just for girls, or that blue is a boy’s color. Erica D. says, “I’m always in search of non-girly clothing.” She also seeks out colors besides pink and purple for her three-and-a-half year old daughter. “Not to say we don’t enjoy our dress up stuff, but I’ve never seen anything look better on her than green plaid pants.” Jessie B. in New York also bemoans narrowly defined gender roles in clothes, and willingly picks out her little girl’s preferred “trucks and cars” underwear in the boy’s section.
On the other hand, it seems that pink, puffy, sparkly things are always in with some kids, despite parents’ best efforts. Harry B. notes that his daughter has always had an array of “boys” and “girls” choices, but loves frilly tutus more than anything and likes to dress very standardly girly. If this is your kid’s thing, just roll with it. Jessie’s tyke adores pink dresses and tutus, but they usually pair them with boots. Jesse M. out of Portland says her daughter Harper’s current favorite is also a flouncy tutu. Jesse lets her wear it everyday, but with durable pants underneath so she can play hard. The most important thing, Jesse says, is that she’s comfortable and can do what she wants to do.
That’s really what to remember as you buy your winter gear. Kids are naturally creative, and will dress how their imagination inspires them. If you let them develop their own sense of monster-princess-clown style now, they’ll be self-confident trendsetters later.