Fashion & Shopping

Playing Dress-up With Your Kids Has Become More Stylish Than Ever

May 21, 2023

Anyone who’s stomped around the house in their mother’s heels—or dad’s loafers—knows one simple truth: dressing up like one of your favourite people is fun. Parents today are embracing that element of fun in their own wardrobes, driving the mini-me trend. Some of the biggest brands in fashion are taking twinning to the runway, with options that range from subtle to full-on look-alike. “It’s a sense of fun,” says Ashley Freeborn, co-founder and CEO of Smash + Tess. The brand just released a collection in collaboration with millennial icon Ashlee Simpson-Ross. Says Freeborn of Simpson-Ross, “From the beginning, she was like, I think it’s so cool to give my daughter that opportunity to dress like her mom. It’s almost like you’re playing dress-up. You get to imagine together, play together.”

The Smash + Tess collaboration is inspired by “effortless and cool LA moms,” and has added a ’70s vibe to the brand’s signature rompers and overalls—which are available in kid sizes for your mini—alongside easy-to-wear slip dresses and dusters. A more subtle approach to the mini-me trend recently debuted at Louis Vuitton. Dotted tastefully with the famed monogram, it’s the fashion house’s first baby collection in its nearly 170-year history. Made for the fashionable under-one set, the collection features cosy cardigans, full-body suits, and even adorable kicks embellished with perforated monograms. The best accessory: mom and dad in their own monogrammed clothing.

LV isn’t the only brand forging new paths into baby-friendly fashion. Both Banana Republic and H&M recently launched ranges for the tiniest tastemakers. Over at Banana Republic, BR Baby caters to kids up to five. A spokesperson for the brand says that the line “evokes a whimsical and adventurous spirit, with pieces featuring playful animal prints, fantastical stripes and illustrated florals, among other thoughtful details.” The collection is gender-inclusive—so dad can get in on the fun—with statement pieces like leather bomber jackets and a periwinkle shorts set with matching dress for mom.

At H&M, the focus is on newborns with sweet spring motifs on tie-wrap bodysuits, leggings and ruffle-sleeve tops that are fully compostable. “I love the illustrations of little bumblebees and orange flowers that grow into a bountiful garden,” says Sofia Löfstedt, global head of design and creative, H&M Kids. The new line is Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold, a global manufacturing standard focused on safer, more-circular products. It’s perfect for parents who are less matchy-matchy on style, and more matchy-matchy on eco-friendly values. The 15-piece collection is designed without metal or plastic trims—innovative foldable waistbands still make diaper changes easy-peasy. “This collection is made to be fully compostable, when no longer fit to wear, after years of being used and loved, coming full circle. For us, it’s proof that innovation, style and circularity can be combined wonderfully,” says Löfstedt.

For more style-meets-substance, look to Parisian brand ba&sh. The KAARITY T-shirt, in co-ordinating children’s and women’s sizes, is colourfully splashed with the phrase: every day is a second chance. According to the website, the shirts are a sign of the brand’s efforts “to protect women and children,” with profits donated to the AP-HP Hôpitaux de Paris Fondation. Brands like Old Navy dipped their toes into mini-me matching long ago. “Co-ordinating looks are a customer fave and have become a platform to express personal style,” says Jennie Campbell, VP design, adult and family denim. This summer, the brand has some fun stuff in store. “There are multiple vacation-ready looks. From pool to party, Y2K and ’90s vibes, to tropical beach to street looks,” says Campbell. “The return of the halter top and dress, soft wide-leg pants, and printed and embroidered linen resort shirts for him are just a few of my favourites.” —Jill Von Sprecken


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