Is It Weird to Shop at Children’s Stores?
As much as we love swapping tips and tricks to solve our biggest fashion and beauty dilemmas, there are some questions we may not feel comfortable asking our friends about, let alone Google without going incognito. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. In this series, we’re tackling those embarrassing queries by turning to experts in the field to get you the answers you need — minus any awkward feelings.
As we swap out our beloved summer styles for fall favorites, we often feel overcome with a desire to shop for fresh fashion finds. Our love for teddy coats, cashmere sweaters, and brand new booties can be spendy, but often it’s possible to find very similar styles in kid’s stores with significantly lower price tags. Wait, what? This week we pose a common — if somewhat embarrassing — question: If children’s sizes fit, is it weird to shop in that section instead? To get some real- world advice, we turned to a few of our favorite petite women. Jenny Altman is a fashion editor and brand consultant, she’s five feet tall, and she wears a women’s size zero or two and a girl’s size 14. Genevieve Yraola is a fashion and lifestyle editor and stylist and is just over 5 feet tall. She wears a women’s extra small and a girl’s size 11/12 or 13/14 — depending on the desired fit.
Brit + Co: Who can get away with shopping in the children’s sections?
Jenny Altman: In general, petite women. If you’re curvy and/or have big boobs, kids clothing will not be a good fit because kids clothes don’t have curves. I am neither of those, so it works!
B+C: What children’s stores have the most grown-up-accessible clothes?
Genevieve Yraola: The Zara line for kids is styled like a mini adult, which is perfect! Uniqlo, because their adult sizing does run large, and they make all their great basics exactly the same for the kid’s line. Ralph Lauren boys for great tweedy blazers — their shoulder lines fit me perfectly. And Bergdorf Goodman for their European brands, like Moncler. Their size 14s are literally half the price I would be spending for adult sizing.
JA: Zara, GapKids, J.Crew Kids, and Lululemon’s younger brand, Ivivva. I like that the merch is different! I don’t shop at [adult] Zara, it’s too basic and a ton of women might have the same piece, but if I shop [children’s] Zara, nobody else I know will be wearing the same piece!
Brit + Co Pick: Zara Buckled Platform Oxfords ($40)
B+C: What should we definitely pass up when browsing at a kid’s store?
JA: Obviously I skip the kiddie-looking pieces — [meaning] no ruffles, sparkles, bows, sayings, or animals. Solid, minimal, sophisticated pieces are the finds. I would never try jeans in a kids store (they DO NOT sell jeans with hips). Tops, dresses, and flat shoes are all wins. Hair accessories and jewelry are usually too “fun” looking and not for me.
GY: I only choose pieces that are designed to be “mini-adult,” and I avoid anything with glitter or pink that might feel too kiddish.
B+C: Should we go incognito?
JA: Not at all. I shop for my daughter, myself, and my mother in the kid’s department. It’s not intentional; if I see something fabulous, I consider it for whomever it would be good for. As a stylist, I shop in all stores for all people of all sizes. Embarrassment went out the window a long time ago!
Brit + Co Pick: Chloé Bomber Jacket ($391)
B+C: Do you try on clothes in the store?
GY: These days, there are so many people buying from the kid’s section, that I’m not afraid to actually go into the Zara fitting room and try on items.
B+C: What are some of the best kid’s items you’ve found?
JA: Zara metallic sandals under 40 dollars. Gap Fit kids clothes are half the price, and I like the fit so much better! Ivivva, too, which has awesome leggings, running shorts, sports bras, and jackets that are all much better priced than Lulu and still have a great fit and the same amazing tech features!
GY: There was a fur coat that I bought from Bergdorf Goodman that was fantastic!
Brit + Co Pick: J.Crew Kids Metallic Micropleat Skirt ($55)
Have any more awkward fashion or beauty questions? Let us know @BritandCo!
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Illustrations by San Trieu
(Photos via Zara, Chloé, and J.Crew)