Dressing a little girl is fun. She’s cute beyond belief, and, at 18 months old, still too young to object to our ideas about what she should wear, at least for a few more weeks. Shopping for a little girl isn’t easy, though, at least for these two men. There’s certainly a lot to choose from, but a lot of what’s out there seems to fall into two problematic categories. In one, the clothes are too elaborate –overly sweet, frilly, over-embellished, impractical and, often, a little kitschy. In the other, they’re basic, practical and mostly tasteful, but they can seem a bit drab for a bubbly little girl. A toddler-chic middle ground is hard to find.
This winter I discovered a solution that stylish people have relied on for eons: accessories. We had got Julia a nice winter coat that was tailored, tasteful and, well, brown. Strolling through the girls section of the little J.Crew store in Southampton (which we do often), we ran across a fabric flower hair clip that I thought might make a nice ornament to cheer up her new (and, yes, slightly dowdy) coat. It wasn’t difficult to adapt. I gently peeled off the felt backing, removed the metal barrette and reattached the felt with a little fabric glue. A few stitches secured the flower to the coat.
It got good reviews. Spurred on by this success, I’ve adapted a couple more of these hair ornaments to add a little girlish charm to some of Julia’s more utilitarian jackets and sweaters. They seem to dry-clean reasonably well, but I remove them from anything before it goes in the wash. Attaching them with a safety pin makes this easier, and, of course, gives one more accessory options.
The girls’ Fleur hair clips are $8.50 at J.Crew stores and www.jcrew.com.
J.Crew now makes fabric flower pins for girls, but they’re far too large for a toddler. Next, maybe some cool belts . . . .