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Des Moines Moms Blog

Here is a round-up of spring fashion appearing in the malls this season. There are several clear trends in children’s clothing for spring 2014, and whether you’re shopping at Jordan Creek, Merle Hay, Southridge, or Valley West Mall, you’ll find cute clothing for your kids as the weather warms up. For girls, the biggest “new” trend in fashion is the one-piece romper. Rompers have been an emerging trend for the past couple years, but are now very mainstream, and you’ll find them all over. High contrast stripes are also something you’ll see everywhere for both boys and girls, and they look fun paired with the pretty pastels out right now.. For boys, you’ll also see high contrast stripes and bright (hello, neon) pants and shorts. Floral prints are also making their way into boys’ fashion. Last year I made an entire Spring Collection of clothes for my girls and hardly purchased any clothes for them. I love to sew and create my own styles. But this year I have a bit less time, so I’ll be shopping the trends and pairing store-bought pieces with items I’ve sewn. Here are a few of my favorite places to shop for spring sewing patterns: Violette Field Threads, Ruby Jean’s Closet, and, if you love to sew modern fashion for your kids, be on the lookout for the premiere collection of Willow & Co. patterns in April (I’m one of these designers for this pattern company and the Spring Collection will be killer!).


By: Lyndsi Frandsen

Best Deals: www.totsy.com A lot of mom's are familiar with zulily.com but sometimes those prices can be a little steep. My best -kept secret is totsy.com. It has the same feel as Zulily (different deals everyday) for about half the cost. Membership is free and there is something for everybody! Best Picture Outfits: www.mommyslittlesunshine. com Finding the perfect outfits for baby pictures can be a complete nightmare! You want them to stand out and make a statement without looking too cheesy. This website is a one-stop-shop for all of your picture needs. From the fluffiest petti-skirts, to the most darling tie t-shirts; this boutique is "picture perfect." (Don't forget the rompers, crowns, and even baby jewelry!) Best Girl Clothing: www.pinkypolkadot.com If you are anything like me, you don't like the typical baby outfits that have cartoon animals and cheesy sayings on them. I like my baby girl's clothes to stand out and make a statement while still being cute! This boutique has little girl clothing that is to-die-for. I don't know how you will decide! (You better just get one of everything.) Best Boy Clothing: www.littleboychic.com Hands down, the most common complaint that I hear from moms is about finding (or not finding) cute baby boy clothing. This online boutique is an answer to little boy mommy's prayers! It is dedicated strictly to little boys and the apparel is so adorable‌er‌handsome! Best Accessories: www.missplunkettboutique. com/ If you have a baby girl then you have for sure spent hours searching on Etsy for darling headbands. It can be so frustrating trying to find cute headbands that can go with everything. Don't you just wish you could create your own? YOU CAN! This online boutique allows you to purchase darling headband pieces, a-la-carte. The best part is that with just a few pieces, you can create dozens of different looks. (And it doesn't just stop with headbands! You can create necklaces, brooches, hair bows, and so much more!) Best Maternity Wear: www.milanmaternity.com Every mom and soon-to-be-mom has been there. The dreaded moment where you have to move your oh-so-pregnant self, into maternity clothes! Don't worry ladies! You don't have to turn in your fashionable apparel for frumpy, baggy maternity wear. Milanmaternity.com offers maternity wear that is fashionable and will make you feel like a million bucks! Whether you are just starting to show, definitely showing, or working on getting your pre- pregnancy shape back, Milan Maternity has something for every mom!


Dressing a little kid for hot weather has its challenges: You want to make sure your cutie's cool and comfy — and that her clothes protect her from the sun's strong rays. Make the right warm-weather choices with these clothing tips. When the mercury starts to rise, the greatest risks to a toddler are overheating and sun exposure. One burn during childhood doubles the risk of melanoma later on, so regardless of her garb it’s best to keep a toddler out of direct sun when rays are riskiest (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). That, of course, is easier said than done, so the next best thing to hiding indoors is to choose summer wear that provides as much UV protection as possible to avoid sunburn. Some summer-clothing tips: Summer-clothing tip: Get a sunhat. Look for one that will shade not just that sweet little face but also the ears (they’re especially prone to sunburn because they stick out) and the back of her neck. A classic wide-brimmed sunhat that ties under the chin is ideal. (Straps that snap or Velcro often can’t be adjusted to be snug enough.) Cotton in a tight weave will be coolest and provide the best protection. And don’t forget a pair of cute little sunglasses. Summer-clothing tip: Choose cotton. The main criterion for any item your little darling dons on a hot summer day is that it’s made of 100 percent lightweight cotton. Cotton will “breathe,” allowing air to reach your child’s body and her perspiration (yes, toddlers sweat) to evaporate rather than stick to her skin and cause irritation. Darker colors will block the sun’s rays best, but they absorb heat rather than reflect it as lighter colors do; however, you can up the sun-protection power of light-color (or any color) toddler summer clothes by washing them in SunGuard, a detergent that actually delivers sunscreen to fabric. Summer-clothing tip: Cover up at the pool or beach. No toddler summer wardrobe would be complete without a swimsuit (especially if you have a family vacation in the works). And while there’s nothing cuter than an itsy-bitsy bikini (or a mini pair of swim trunks), for adequate sun protection it’s best to look for tops and bottoms that cover as much vulnerable territory as possible (or slipping a top over your toddler’s two-piece while she’s actually out in the sun). The perfect cover-up for both boys and girls are “rash” shirts, the body-hugging, short-sleeved tops worn by surfers that come in stretchy, quick-dry fabrics like Lycra and nylon. You can also buy swimwear (as well as shirts, shorts, and other summer basics) with built-in sun protection, called UPF. Look for a UPF of atleast 15, which means that the fabric will allow only 1/15th of the sun’s UV rays to pass through; a UPF of 50 is ideal, though. These clothing tips are also essential for good summer skin care. If your toddler is still potty training, purchase a suit with a built-in swim diaper (or plan to put a swim diaper under her suit). If you have a little mermaid, opt for a two-piece suit (like a tankini) to make trips to the toilet quick and easy.


By: Ashley Henshaw

Your child's wardrobe will change drastically over the course of her childhood. It's not easy keeping up with her rapidly changing clothing sizes, much less the shifting trends. Try to combine smart shopping, durable clothing, and fun fashions when shopping for kids' clothes. Keep It Simple There are countless trends in children's clothing happening at any given time. Before any shopping trip, remind yourself of the basics. That is to say, your child's lifestyle should ultimately play a role in choosing his clothes. Many kids spend a significant amount of time running, playing, goofing around, and doing other things that could potentially rip or stain their clothes. For this reason, it's important to always keep in mind the durability of the items you choose.

Stay Age Appropriate Consider your child's age when purchasing any piece of clothing. Especially once a child reaches school age, she will resist wearing any clothing that she feels is for "little kids." You might want to include your child while shopping for clothes once she reaches this age, but remind her that you have the final say in what is purchased. For babies and toddlers, there is an endless supply of adorable clothing from which to choose. There will always be the classic "pink for girls" and "blue for boys" rule, but try branching out to other colors as well. Green, orange, and yellow are very popular for either sex. Children in this age group often wear brighter, funkier colors than older kids. Children in grade school might begin to express their opinions about what they want to wear. Fun clothing items will often include their favorite TV or cartoon characters. They might want to wear slightly more subdued color palettes than when they were younger. Try a bright color matched with a neutral, such as white, brown, navy, or black. Preteens and teenagers will inevitably want more control over their clothing choices. Check to see if the items they want are appropriate for school. Girls will want to experiment with more mature styles and makeup--set some ground rules about what styles are allowed and what are not. Longer, flowing tops are a good alternative when you are trying to avoid girls wearing clothes that are too tight. Boys might want to express a bit of rebellion with edgy shoes or shirts with clever phrases. Again, give your stamp of approval before any purchases are made. Save Money Don't forget that kids' clothing can always be found at cheap prices. Thrift stores are always an option--some cities might even have a more "upscale" second-hand store that sells used clothes that are still of very high quality and often come from name brands. It's also easier to look at sale items regularly by utilizing a store's website. There are countless websites that sell used children's clothing at affordable prices. Remember that your kids are growing-you might want to spend more money on a brand-new outfit, but they might only be able to wear it a few times before they've outgrown it.


By: Nicole Yee


There are many advantages to buying handmade clothing over ready-made. First is the "uniqueness factor". Most likely the outfit you purchase will be one of a kind and stand out from what other children are wearing. Next is the quality. Most sellers use high quality fabric and trims and sew with the utmost care. Seams are carefully finished and beautifully stitched. Often, you can have the outfit custom tailored to your child's measurements. Sometimes you can even decide where a ruffle goes or ask to lengthen or shorten a pair of pants. With all these advantages (and there are many more including resale value, helping stay at home moms, etc) it is not a devisable to just start buying. There are important things you should know before purchasing your first (or 100th) outfit. How to Search: You can find most items by searching "Boutique" or "Custom Boutique". This will bring up a lot of things that are not handmade. On the left of your screen is a menu of items, click the appropriate Clothing Category . This will still bring up a lot of items. You can either begin wading through it or start to eliminate keywords from your search. For example: This is what I do when searching for Boutique Handmade items (this is not using the new Handcrafted category, which I will definately do now!) I type in Boutique and pick my category. Then I type in (minus) -Gymboree -Mass -Feet (for Bear Feet) -Zackali -cakewalk). You get the picture. Once you have been searching awhile you know which keywords to take out. Then I sort by Highest Priced. Then I can start looking. You could also type in your favorite designer group. For example: Ivylane, Clovergirls, Lilyplum, Sweetstreet, Adiego Bleu, Gallerybay and there are so many more! Please note that there are many, many high quality outfits that aren't priced at $100.00. Keep searching even down to the $14.99 ones. You will find some gems at bargain prices! These sellers either aren't getting seen or haven't joined a big name group and so haven't been able to be "discovered " by the masses yet. Give them a chance. Who knows the outfit you purchase from them now may be worth a fortune once they become popular! Return Policy? Does the designer guarantee their work? Do they offer refunds? Many designers do not put a return policy on their auction page for fear of buyers taking advantage of them. However, the majority of designers stand by their work and will take the steps necessary for you to be happy about your purchase. Communication is the key. Be specific about the problem and how you would like it fixed. Payment and Shipping Methods: Find out what forms of payment the designer accepts. Most will accept Paypal and money orders, with a few allowing personal checks. Find out if the designer will accept credit cards through Paypal before sending a payment that way. It should say in the auction. Some designers require you to pay for your outfit before they start to make it. Be polite and pay within a day or two. I still love it! If everything looks good, and you feel confident in the designers ability, buy away!


By: DEVAN MCGUINNESS

With winter comes a larger get-ready time and more and more outdoor clothing for the kids. Each year I curse as the day draws closer where my kids need full-on winter coats, snowpants and boots — it always seems like a struggle with my kids. There are some tips I have picked up along the way when it comes to dressing my children for the winter. Practical tips that save money, time and kid-anguish that make the winter time just that much easier for us. Get a Coat with Liner If you have a child who complains about the different temperatures, a coat with an inner lining and an outer shell with be a huge plus. They can take off the outer part if they're too hot, but put it on when it's cold out. Plus, spring coat and winter coat in one! Make Sure Boots Have Drawstring Warm boots are a must for the wintertime and getting boots that your kid can put on themselves is a big help. Getting boots that your child can just push their foot into and tighten with a drawstring is a plus.

Buy Snow pants with Straps If you're wanting to get more bang for your buck, invest in some snowpants that have the adjustable shoulder straps. That way you can buy a pair that should last more than one winter -- totally practical! Layer Loose Fitting Socks If your child's feet get cold or slightly wet in the snow, layer on loose fitting socks that are a size too big. This will keep their feet warm, but not give them that tight constricted feeling that may cause hassle. Dress in Thermal Wear When it's really cold out being practical means layering. Dress your child in thermal wear that is breathable won't cause a fight and it's practical. Let Your Child Choose Their Hat and Scarf Getting my child to wear a hat and scarf always seems to be a battle. Many hats are perfect for the winter so choosing specs are not as important. My tip, if you want your child to wear it, allow them to pick out their own hat. It works for us!



Fashion For All Seasons Issue #2