Fashion Friday: Summer Fashion Glossary

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

Gymboree Blazer

Gymboree Blazer

 

Seersucker noun

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

Florence Eiseman Suit

Florence Eiseman Suit

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.

 

JoJo Maman Bebe Shirt

JoJo Maman Bebe Shirt

 

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

BabyLegs Varsity White/Royal

BabyLegs Varsity White/Royal

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.

 

 

CDW Kids Dress

CDW Kids Dress

Madras noun

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.

Ralph Lauren Skirt

Ralph Lauren Skirt

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.

 

 

 

 

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About the Author:

Angela Velasquez

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.

Living On Limited Income

My family of four has been living with a limited income for over three years (ever since I had kids) and I would like to think I’ve become a bit of a pro at it. On our single income we have managed to pay off all my medical bill debt, buy a new house, a new car, and take the family on a nice vacation each year. It was hard work, but these days it seems so simple. Prior to becoming a one income family my boyfriend and I were both working full time and had no debt whatsoever.  Daytrips to Seattle and Portland were normal, and buying new clothes for myself with each paycheck was a must.

The hardest thing for us was building a savings account for emergencies.  We are still adding to that fund, but we have a full mortgage payment, and car payment saved up. Most importantly we need some extra money for medical bills. We are not married, so I am not covered on his insurance. Thankfully I’ve only had to go to the doctor once, but for strep throat it was $120, plus another $40 for the prescription!

 I started out couponing when my son was first born. I was completely overwhelmed with all the coupons, and had no clue what I was doing. It took me a year before I mastered it. I’m no “extreme” couponer, but most things I buy are on coupons. I found it easiest to find a few blogs that follow coupon deals and every few days check in on them to see if there are new deals posted. I’ve managed to cut our grocery bill in half this way. We started shopping at the bread outlets, and buy a few loaves at a time and stick them in the freezer. I buy meat when it’s reduced for quick sale and package it up for the freezer when we get home.

One thing that took me a long time to understand was just because it’s a really good deal, doesn’t mean you should buy it. Do my kids need every single little people play set just because I can get them for $5 at a consignment store? No.  I am just now getting rid of all the unnecessary toys in my house. It’s hard! I have made lists of what the kids will need, and how many presents they will get for Christmas, and I stick to it. I shop the Target toy clearance, usually in August, and in late January/early Feb.  I buy clothes a season ahead of time when stores are starting to clear out merchandise for the next season.

Since we have become a one income family my priorities have really changed a lot. No more fancy coffees for me.  If I don’t need new clothes I don’t buy them.  We cut down our cable bill by getting rid of the extra add on package we don’t need.  We switched to a pay as you go cell phone, since we don’t really use it on a regular basis. This has allowed me to use the extra cash on more important things such as: Preschool for my son, Tee Ball, and our family vacations.

Living on a limited income has been a challenge, but I’ve managed to control my spending, and budget the important things in with a little work.  Anyone can do it, it’s hard to get started but I think it’s important.
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About the Blogger:

I’m Renea P. I’m a stay at home mommy to a one year old girl and three year old boy. I love spending time with my family, couponing, crafting, and doing fun activities with my kids.

Fall is for Fashionistas

In the old days… yes, I’m referring to the days before I had children… I spent most of July scouring fashion magazines and prepping for what my fall wardrobe would look like.  Not that I ever once realistically thought that I could pull off the outfit that the twig-like waif modeled there on page 72.  Nor would I dare to show up anywhere with that feather sticking so far up and so high over my head.  They were just examples… photographers and stylists taking creative license.   That was the fun of fall, right?  After months of blazing heat, no make-up, and barely-there clothing, autumnal temperatures gave us a great excuse to pile on the clothes, the accessories, and the make-up.

I worked retail for ten years in my former life, and I loved when the new season’s treasures started shipping in to the store.  There was intense excitement that came in those boxes… the promise of a new season with new adventures.  I was giddy!  The new season first showed up in magazines and on newsstands.  Trickling in a page at a time, and I took it all in, examined every detail.  What could I replicate on a meager retail budget?  What could I use that I already had in my closet and still be on-trend? Now that I have kids, and my life-focus has shifted to them.

So I won’t lie.  When I see a good deal on clothes for my daughter, I can’t pass it up.  A dollar for a skirt, two bucks for a sweater, three bucks for a dress??  I am so there.

Fall 2011 Fashion Inspiration:

  • Stripes/Polka Dots/Argyles/Plaid (and combinations of patterns and colors mixed together)
  • Ruffles/Ribbons/Fabric Flowers/Tulle/Fur
  • Rich Jewel Tones with Neutrals: Eggplant, Teal, Hot Pink, Emerald, Lime, Sapphire, with Grays, Black, Oatmeal, Cream

Sweater dresses in solid colors like cream, brown, lime and eggplant pair perfectly with the Folklife Babylegs collection.  Plaid skirts with a tulle underlay, and ruffle- and ribbon-embellished tees under cardigan sweaters look fabulous with a knee high sock and boot or tights with ballets flats.

Rosette and fabric flower embellishments are making a huge statement this autumn.  Look on almost any craft blog and search for “fabric flower” if you’d like to try to make some yourself.  They are made with scraps of leftover fabric or felt and attached to alligator clips or pins.  Some are made with a few simple stitches, and others are made with a hot glue gun.  They are relatively easy, are fun to make, and look super sweet when made as hair clips and pins or attached to headbands.

In the realm of dresses, the types that you will be seeing a lot of in the coming months are sweater dresses (with and without belts), ballet dresses, denim shirtdresses, and drop-waist knit dresses.  All of these would look great with a pair of BabyLegs!  My daughter will wear her dresses and short skirts throughout the cold weather months with solid-colored tights or leggings and BabyLegs legwarmers layered on top.  You can use the legwarmers stretched completely out (it covers my daughter’s whole leg), or scrunch them up over her calf.  Stretched, they look great with boots, and scrunched, they look great with ballet flats for a dressy look or low canvas sneakers for a sportier look.

Other great top options include faux fur vests, longer-length toggle sweater coats, and cardigans.  Cardigans are fabulous layering options, and come in sweater heft or in a lighter knit.  The longer-length, lighter knit (think tee shirt material) compliments outfit combinations made with skirts and long pants.  My favorite way to combine the knit cardigan is with a ruffle-collar tee shirt underneath with a tutu-skirt over plain leggings.  Keeping the colors solid and prints to a minimum helps the BabyLegs legwarmers to stand out when layered over the leggings!

Another great trend for girls is denim leggings.  They can be paired up with longer length tunic tops, long sweaters or plaid button-front shirts.  They tuck easily into a pair of tall boots, and are light enough to wear under her favorite pair of BabyLegs legwarmers.  Speaking of trends in bottoms, if you’d like her to be really fashion forward, try cuffed twill shorts with a pair of tights!

Some of the top trends in footwear this fall include items like ballet flats (look for plain, shiny, metallic and flower-embellished), Mary Janes, motorcycle boots, Ugg®-style leather boots, and sweater boots.  Try out a pair of BabyLegs socks with Mary Janes, or combine knee-high BabyLegs socks with any boot for a totally adorable and on-trend look!

The other, often overlooked, trend for girls is in accessories.  Add a charm necklace or bracelet as jewelry.  Don’t forget a newsboy hat or crochet hat to top off her look.  Winter hats that will be seen all around this season and into winter are animal-inspired fleece hats.  Dress her up in a owl or cat hat, and get the mittens that match!

One thing that you might want to consider for your budding fashionista is a “signature accessory”.  My daughter LOVES jewelry, and will stop complete strangers to look at their bracelets, necklaces or watch.  Every day, and with every outfit, she wears a strand of pearls.  Not real pearls… these were a one dollar strand that I found around Easter in the Dollar Section.  But to her, they are the real thing.  She can rock those penny pearls like nobody’s business, and is forever getting compliments on how pretty they look on her or how they complete her outfit.  Maybe your daughter’s signature accessory could be a charm necklace or bracelet, a sparkly cap, or maybe her extensive wardrobe of BabyLegs!

 

Listen up, frugal fashionistas!  You will love this tip!

We spent the summer in dresses and skirts.  Most of May was pretty dreary here where we live, so we relied on BabyLegs leg warmers to keep her legs warm.  Once the weather warmed up, we had strappy dresses that were perfect for the blazing heat of summer, and we’d like to keep wearing them and transition them into fall.  One of my best-kept fashion secrets for my daughter is plain tee shirts.  Short sleeve AND long sleeve ones.  One of retail’s best kept secrets is that almost all tee shirts for girls will have a print on the front, or an embellished sleeve or neckline.  When you find a PLAIN tee shirt–no print, no embellishment, no special sleeve– you need to grab it!  And in multiple colors!  We layer the plain tees under dresses, under cardigans, and layer them together!  Put a short sleeve tee over a long sleeve tee, and pair that combination up with a short skirt, some BabyLegs and ballet flats.  Dress up a plain tee by layering under a cardigan, and choose the sleeve length you want based on the weather.  Think it might get hot? Grab the short sleeve.  Looks like rain? Opt for the long sleeve.

BabyLegs Folklife Collection

The best part about dressing your little girl this coming season is that almost anything goes!  You can feel free to mix up stripes with polka dots, or combine lots of bright, bold colors.  Dressing this fall should be about what makes her feel good, what gives her confidence, and what makes her feel cute.  Want her to look even prettier than the models in magazines?  Need a signature accessory that doesn’t cost a thing?  It’s that beautiful smile from your gorgeous little girl!  A smile will mix and match with any combination of tops and bottoms, and will complete every outfit perfectly- no black eyeshadow required!

Grab a sweater and be on the lookout for plain tees!   And smile!  Fall is here and it’s for your little fashionista!

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About the blogger:

Hi everyone!  My name is Jen, and I have a passion for fashion!  I live in super-sunny/super-cloudy Ohio, and have a son AND a daughter, which creates the perfect storm for Babylegs addiction.  I hope that you find the perfect pair of Babylegs to complement your little one’s fashions this season, and that you FALL in love with Babylegs like we have.  :)

From the Teacher’s Desk

It’s Back-to-School time! Who’s excited??

Here in our house, where both parents are also school system employees, Back-to-School is exciting….and stressful, too! Teachers in our county must return two weeks before the start of term, to attend professional development activities and meetings as well as prepare their classrooms for the school year. There’s a lot of prep work that goes into readying for a new year- and usually, we end up taking home more than we’d like to over the long weekend, in order to finish before the first day.

Then when the kids come, we remember why. We remember the feelings. The joy of new clothes. Breaking in those bright white shoes. The smell of new crayons and pencils. Finding your desk and cubby (or locker!). Getting used to the haircut you got just days earlier. Getting lost on your way to class. Seeing friends again. So exhilarating! In fact, the first day of school is one of the myriad reasons why some of us teachers chose our profession. It is a great reminder of childhood wonder.

There are also lots of stressors for families at Back-to-School time. However, here are a few things you can do to help ease the transition.

  • Take your child to Open House. It is so helpful for kids and their teachers to meet each other before the first day. By attending, you help your child become familiar with this new path he or she must walk every morning to get to class, while also letting him or her become acquainted with the surroundings in their new environment. Also, by attending Open House, you facilitate a cordial relationship with the people at your child’s school. Your child sees that you are friendly to one another, which puts him or her at ease and sets a good example. In addition, if you ever need to write a note or make a phone call, the teacher has met you and knows you are a parent who cares about their child’s performance in school.
  • Prepare your child by talking about school. It goes without saying that children transition easier from one activity to the next when they are prepared for it ahead of time. The same is true for life changes. One of the best things you can do with your child is to talk about school before it begins. Ask them if they can remember the name of their teachers, which school supply they like best, which friends they’re most excited to see, etc. Pick out a first-day outfit together. The more your child feels ready and eager for school to start, the easier it will be to transition back into that routine.
  • Plan, plan, plan. I am a teacher, which also makes me a full-time working mom. I have to plan my lessons and my schedule- it’s part of my job. Up until recently, it has been a different story at home! A few weeks ago I decided to start planning breakfasts and dinners for the entire week, every Sunday. I have also started planning my outfits, and my daughter’s, for the week. I just put them all in a hanging canvas closet divider and mornings are a snap. At least one night a week I use my Crock Pot to cook something while I’m not home. I adore Crock Pot night. Coming home to food that’s already cooked is magical! It does make for a little more work on the weekends: you have to get all the laundry done that you will need for the week, plus the planning takes some time, but I find I can get most of it done during my daughter’s nap on Sunday afternoon.

 

So there you have it! Get those book bags all packed, get those outfits picked out, and get those BabyLegs ready! A new school year is about to begin!

 


About the blogger:

Hi, I’m Carlee! I teach public school in Middle-of-Nowhere, Virginia. My hubby and I have been married for four years and have a daughter who is almost two (already!). I also give private music lessons and enjoy the arts, animals, and children- but spending time with my beautiful family is my favorite pastime!

Spring has Sprung at BabyLegs!

It’s still cold outside, but here at BabyLegs, things are warming up! Our new Spring 2011 is available now, including the Cool! line of BabyLegs with UV protection. Spring’s collections include Secret Garden, Bake Shop, Boys World, Candy Land, Seaside, and Cool! Kids, along with all of the Classic Favorites!

Fluttering Butterflies

Hungry Alligators

Pixie Stick

Crab

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make fun in the sun a little safer with the Cool! Kids collection of warmers. With breathable fabrics and 50+ UPF protection, wet or dry, their little arms and legs will be protected from harmful UV rays while staying cool.

Shades- Cool!

Hibiscus- Cool!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go to www.babylegs.com today to view the full Spring/Summer 2011 line and shop for your favorites!

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