Slugs and Snails tights for boys.
So, what do you do if you need to buy something for the little person in your life at Christmas? We buy very few new clothes for Snarfle (and are very grateful for the many hand me downs that he wears) but when we do buy new we often buy from smaller independent designers who create unique looks that you will not find on the high street. These wonderful pieces are more often that not designed with love by someone who is a mum themselves. They know what little people like, and they create with passion.
Mini Magpie clothes are all created from upcycled adult garments by mum Kimberley. I am particularly hankering after this little knitted waistcoat that is adorned with plentiful pompoms… but do take a look at all her clothing for little ones… such cute stuff, including little denim jackets, leggings and much more.
It is no secret that Snarfle lives in his Slugs and Snails patterned tights (see my instagram feed). After a summer off (during which he grew out of his last selection) I literally don’t know what we would do without them during the cold weather. Nothing is as snug and cosy as tights – socks always seem to crumple off in little deposits all over the house to leave behind freezing cold tootsies (not that he seems to mind, they bother me a lot more). I was a bit worried about how he might ‘style’ them (don’t laugh) now he is a fully grown walking mini person, but actually they look bloody great under baggy pants, or peeking out from under leggings (which he also lives in, most of ours come from Oh Baby London). My new favourite design is Storm, featuring clouds and rainbows on a steely grey background. Utterly fab: these really are the best gift you can give a little one, boy or girl. You can read my interview with creator Kathleen Redmond here, she’s an inspiration to all us mums.
When Snarfle was smaller he was always tucked up (in our bed) inside a sleeping bag. How did we ever manage back in the old days, before these genius inventions? Ours were all second hand, but if I was looking for a very sweet and unique version I’d go for one by The Bright Company, all handmade and printed in the UK. Their Kipp Sleeping Bag for £38 is covered in a very retro modern hexagon design in their signature bright blue and orange colour way. Or how about the Knapp Blanket for £30 in unisex colour ways, a great gift for little people that can be used to swaddle them in the Moses basket (if yours will sleep in one that is, our basket was passed on very quickly) or to keep them warm in a buggy or in the carrier. Later on it could even become a fantastic den maker!
Hankering after a toy that’s not garish and over the top, that will allow your child’s imagination to run free for many years to come? Then why not consider a Hobby Horse. These ones are by Katie Johnston of the Day Job collective, and come in a host of possible colours. You choose! It’s just like the good ol’ days…
Kyna Boutique specialises in organic children’s clothing and many of the brands are sourced from Scandinavia, which seems to specialise in the kind of bold patterned clothing that I love so much but which English designers shy away from. I really like The Baltic Baby Bodysuit and Leggings by Modéerska Huset, covered in islands, ferries, waves and swans. Swedish designer Jenny Modéer works in a slightly more subtle but nonetheless unusual colour palette. Kyna Boutique offers free delivery within the UK, and free returns too!
Ruff & Huddle has had a super busy year, with successful launches in Selfridges and great press all over the place. Their collaboration with ace illustrator Zakee Shariff has produced some wonderful clothing, and I am particularly in love with this London Varsity jacket that has ROAR embroidered on the front and a lion on the back (see left in the photo above). Why should the Americans have all the fun? At £50 it’s a considered purchase, but one that is bound to be a practical favourite with your little one.
Sian Zeng is a Cockpit Arts based designer who creates a variety of objects and homeware items that span the generations. Her classic bespectacled Office Bear comes as a kit you sew up yourself for £25, and here they are seen in a variety of colour ways lounging against a duvet set, also designed by Sian. Snarfle has one of these, but it did have to be sewn up by an adult (his dad!) – so this is a fun gift that could kill two birds with one stone (so to speak).
Lil’ Beans is a new online kidswear retailer that was set up with the aim of selling brands that offer high quality design, uniqueness, comfort and durability. Due to their American connections they have also brought some lesser known brands to these shores and I am just a little bit in love with these adorable red fringed moccasins for babies for £35. Adorable. Also look out for their Thrifted section, featuring second hand loveliness for bargain prices.
Lastly, I’ll be bringing you my ideas for the prettiest and most unusual homemade decorations that I’ve found on my travels around the web. Here’s hoping that I get time to make a few myself as well.
- Slugs and Snails Tights: beautiful patterned baby and toddlerwear for little boys (and girls)
- Christmas Gift Ideas 2012: Best for Babies by Independent Designers
- Dot to Dot at V&A Museum of Childhood: Childrenswear Showroom Report, February 2014
- Bubble London January 2014 – Kidswear and Babywear Show Report
- Best New Designs: Top Drawer and Craft London January 2014 Review