The sun is out, the temperatures are rising and those heavy cotton tees in your baby’s dresser drawers just aren’t going to cut it. Brush up on your fashion vocab with these three summer fashion must-haves that promise to keep your tot cool in more ways than one.
By Angela Velasquez
Definition of Seersucker:
Typically striped or checked, this light and airy cotton fabric is a go-to material for summer suits as it tends to stand away from the skin and allow air to pass through. Unlike its lightweight rival linen, seersucker’s wrinkled appearance also means it rarely needs to be pressed.
Origin of Seersucker
Seersucker first became popular during the British colonial period in hot regions like British India. It hit its stride in the 1920s in the United States
when scholarly undergraduates began wearing it as pants and jackets. Seersucker suits soon became a mainstay in Southern gentlemen’s wardrobes and even inspired the U.S. Senate to hold Seersucker Thursday, a nod to traditional Southern dressing. The tradition ended in 2012, but seersucker continues to hold court at summer weddings and a day at the races.
How to wear it?
Instead of a tux, why not have your little ring bearer walk the aisle in an adorable seersucker suit and boat shoes? For a more casual look, pair seersucker shorts with versatile polo shirts. And protect babies from the sun with lightweight seersucker bucket hats.
Breton stripes noun
Definition of Breton stripes:
Traditionally in the form of a three-quarter length sleeve shirt with navy and white horizontal stripes, Breton is now a term that loosely describe any simple, nautical two-tone stripes that calls for the high seas.
Origin of Breton stripes
For French sailors back in the 1950s Breton stripes was more functional than fashionable. It was law for French sailor to wear the striped shirts as part of the regulatory uniform because the pattern was easy to spot sailors who fell overboard. Most of th
e sailors were stationed in the Brittany region of France, which is why the striped tee was coined Breton. The original Breton stripe top had 21 stripes—one for each of Napoleon’s victories—but fashionistas would agree that it was another Parisian named Coco, who made the classic top a summer staple when she wore it basking in the sun along the French Rivera.
How to wear it?
Resist pairing your baby’s Breton stripes with a mini beret. Instead, look for iterations that have a preppy, colligate vibe and that will match their most comfy pairs of khaki shorts. T-shirts, boat neck tops and tunics carry stripes well. Or, mix Breton striped BabyLegs with a classic white one-piece snap suit.
Definition of Madras:
Primarily a pattern texture or plaid design, this lightweight summer cotton fabric is often cut into squares and sewn together to create a patchwork pattern. Unlike most fabric, the front and back are the exact same.
Origin of Madras
The fabric takes its name from the city Chennai, India, where it was first made, and was originally known as “Madrasi checks.” The cloth’s popularity grew when it was exported to Africa and the Middle East for headpieces. Soon, Europe caught onto lightweight, breathable benefits of the cloth and began importing madras for soldiers based in warm regions. In the 1960s, the checked material became a hit with trendsetters when it was made with vegetable dyes that caused the colors to take on a new look with each wash.
How to wear it?
The material is at home on a campground, but looks just as cool on the playground as button-up camp shirts and shorts. Easy, breezy shift dresses and skirts in madras offer a relaxed, but dressy option for family cookouts and block parties.
About the Author:
With 4 years of experience as a children’s stylist and magazine editor, Angela brings you an insider’s perspective on trends and seasonal looks that will make babies and toddlers shine in their holiday photos and at birthday parties! Angela also has a way of making everyday clothes and accessories look special — she’ll show you how.