7 Tips for Stylish Kids

You’ve seen countless adorable photos on Pinterest and Instagram of mini-me fashion for children, hipster babies, and just plain pinch-their-cheek cute kids. Sometimes these photos aren’t always a depiction of reality, but style expert, Leslie Christen, is here to help! She is one of Orange County’s most sought-after personal stylist. Leslie has spent years as a personal stylist and costume designer in the fashion and entertainment industry. Needless to say, she is just the right person to ask when it comes to styling your little one. Here, Leslie provides insightful tips to help keep the kids lookin’ fresh.

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2016 Collection

Q: What are the best brands to consider when styling the little ones?

Leslie Christen: Kids may grow so fast that they need completely new wardrobes every few months (and in some cases weeks), but that’s not stopping fashion-forward parents with a taste for luxury from paying top dollar for designer looks for their little ones.  I recommend these designer lines, they’re a sure-fire way to have the best-dressed kids in town: Burberry, Chloe, Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, Kenzo, Moncler, Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney.

Q: What are your thoughts on styling children to look like mini me’s?

LC: I love it, I have always dressed my two boys in real clothes.  Not superhero outfits, cartoon logo tee’s or light up shoes.  While they were growing up people would always stop me and say, “Wow, your boys look like little men,” and I would happily reply, “Yes, because they are. They’re not clowns, they’re kids and should be dressed appropriately.”

Q: What’s a personal shopping experience like for children working with a stylist?

LC: Since clothing is pretty true to size for children, I will bring all pre-pulled clothing to my clients and we’ll go through them at their house. It’s not very productive to take a young kid on a shopping trip, they’re just not down with that.

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2016 Collection

Q: What are some tips for helping parents strategize a shopping experience without a stylist?

LC: It’s much like buying for adults. Buy neutrals, so that you can get the most out of their wardrobe. That way everything goes with each other and it’s easier to put outfits together, especially if your child wants to dress themselves. In general, neutrals include black, white, gray and different shades of brown. Nowadays a color can be called a neutral based on how effectively it can blend in with other colors. Basically, they match with all colors and color combinations – and don’t create much of an emotion. Examples are navy (Where would we be without our blue denim jeans?), cream, camel, olive, silver and gold. These go with anything and you can never go wrong with wearing them for various occasions because of their sleekness factor. Too much color and the pattern is hard to work with but buy some. Maybe add it with accessories like a cool bright shoe, statement sweater or jacket, hair bands or bows, a belt or a scarf.

Q: How would you handle a child selecting something that doesn’t really work? Such as Halloween costumes in summer, Crocs, major fashion don’ts? How would you execute a make-it-work moment?

LC: You’re ultimately in charge of your child’s wardrobe, so if you don’t like it, it’s kind of your fault. I love a Halloween costume in the middle of summer, let your kids express themselves sometimes. I suggest avoiding a full-scale fashion rebellion by letting them choose a least one item in the outfit.

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2016 Collection

Q: What are some trends to embrace for this season?

LC: Always go with natural fibers like cotton, linen, wool, cashmere and leather. This season for girls opt for soft ruffles, off the shoulder dresses, fringe details and lace up sandals.  For boys go classic with stripes, collared shirts and blazers, add some pizzazz with a popped collar and slip on pattern shoes with no socks.

Q: What are some trends this season that parents should avoid at all costs?

LC: Anything with a character from a cartoon or kids show, avoid these at all costs!!!

Q: What are dos and don’ts when it comes to patterns?

LC: Avoid too many loud prints, instead opt for neutrals in a print, then pair them with solid color pieces, and don’t be afraid to dress them all in black. It’s totally dirt-proof and if you want to brighten things up, add colorful shoes, a scarf, or a bright coat. People over the age of 10 can copy that idea too!

Love these looks? Shop the Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2016 Collection at Bloomingdales, Fashion Island.
Professional Stylist, Leslie Christen
Professional Stylist, Leslie Christen

For more educational tips on styling, check out Leslie’s website at LeslieChristen.com, where she provides tips and trends on the latest in designer fashions.

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