As much as I love to support small designers, I can’t always afford to purchase more than a few piece here and there so, like most parents, the majority of my child’s wardrobe comes from Old Navy, H&M, Target and online sample sales. I was recently invited to a kids’ fall fashion preview at Old Navy and treated to a $200 gift card to acquaint myself with the fall line-up so I set to shopping! My personal mission was to seek out back-to-preschool outfits that my very divalicious 3.5 year old daughter Anya would deign to wear and sophisticated layette for my baby boy arriving in November.
While finding cute stuff for girls is like shooting fish in a barrel, it’s generally accepted that boys’ apparel is a lot less fun. Since I don’t care for any kind of sports (getting hit in the face with a dodge ball when I was 8 probably has something to do with it), I was up for a challenge at Old Navy which, like many other children’s designers, tends to overuse sports and other pre-determined masculine motifs (not to say that girls’ clothing doesn’t overdo the ultra-cutesy — they just have much more variety to chose from). I was pleasantly surprised to find lots of sophisticated, non-lil’ slugger apparel to choose from!
First things first — Baby Brother needs basics since the first few months they pretty much live in pajamas as they sleep around the clock. I love that this fall’s Old Navy’s baby boy basics relies heavily on a more sophisticated– dare I say French — navy striped palette instead of traditional baby blues. I also like that grey is a gender-neutral option instead of the usual boring pastel yellow or green (I have no problem with these shades, just the treatment of it for unisex baby clothing). I made a beeline to the newborn section where I picked up classics like striped ankle-sock 3-pack ($5.50) and jersey pant 2-packs ($10.50) which include one solid and one patterned pant — I chose the striped navy combo, but you can also get the pink or grey versions whose patterned pant has scripted text reading “I am loved, Mommy loves me, Daddy loves me, I love Mommy, I love Daddy, Everybody loves me.” For these items, I actually scooped up a set in two sizes: 0-3 months and 3-6 months because I remembered how often Anya wore these as an infant and how quickly she outgrew them. I had also recently ordered the 3-pack of solid cotton bodysuits (now $10) which are only available at oldnavy.com but you can also get the script printed long-sleeve ones ($12.50/3) in-store.
For lounging around the house, the super-duper soft striped hooded one-piece (now $10) has an old timey turn-of-the-century beach feel (even Anya picked up on it, saying, “Baby Brother can wear this to the beach!”) but will definitely get a lot of wear this winter. (Choose from brown, pink and blue.) For dressier occasions, the brown striped sweater knit ($19.50) and oatmeal heather cable-knit ($24.50) cotton one-pieces are clearly inspired by similar pieces from the American-based but highly French-influenced Egg by Susan Lazar, but much easier on your wallet. Both are fabulous for the holidays or portraits but are practical as they snap at the inseam for easy diaper changes.
Old Navy’s toddler girl’s section is, as always, outrageously cute but Anya has very specific tastes so I limited myself to a few items that I was sure she’d love. The pink tutu skirt ($16.50) was a no-brainer as she’d wear a princess costume to bed if we let her. As far as tutus go, this one is pretty tame with just a few layers of tulle so I don’t mind letting her wear it to school. And though I didn’t notice it while I was at the store, I’ll have to head back to complete the look with a coordinating trompe l’oeil graphic tee ($8.50) that depicts ballet slippers slung around the girl’s neck or a tied ribbon.
I adored the ruffle-hemmed corduroy and printed 2-in-1 poplin with jersey sleeve ($16.50) dresses but wasn’t sure if they would fly with Anya so instead chose a hot pink tie-sleeve jersey dress ($16.50). Because Anya is also on a no-pants bender (“jeans are for boys,” she told her jeans-wearing mom this past spring), I also grabbed pink cable knit cotton tights ($6.50) and two pairs of light pink tapered jersey leggings (now $5) to go underneath her dresses as they will coordinate with any color (pink is the new black for us!). The piece de resistance, though, was the reversible quilted vest ($24.50): one side hot pink with a bit of luster (very Appaman) and the other a matte pale pink with hot pink hearts. If you haven’t worn or bought one before, a vest is a great item for fall and spring when it’s too warm to break out the winter coat but too cool to just wear school clothes.
I was thrilled that my selections were a hit with Anya. Though I warned her that these new clothes were for school and not until it started getting colder, I found the vest hanging up on her hook by the door the next day. Guess someone’s ready for fall!
Make sure you visit OldNavyWeekly.com to hunt for a $65 off $100 purchase coupon!