Among all the adventures that have punctuated my life so far, one has turned it upside down more than the others: the birth of my son in 2018. If my wife and I had prepared ourselves properly, the arrival of this dear toddler would have changed many things in our lives: transition from a life of two to a life of three, more sustained, totally infernal rhythm, etc. After a difficult start, it’s now impossible not to take advantage of this little part of us that grows and marvels at each new thing that it discovers (you can feel it, the little teardrop in the corner of the eye of the sweet daddy that I am ?). Among the small constraints brought on by the appearance of a child in your life, choosing to clothe can become a real headache, especially when you are a clothing lover like me. Finding the right compromise between style, resistance, and price can sometimes be mission impossible, so some of my choices often turn to second-hand sites. But when it comes to making him happy, I scan the areas of a dozen brands that I have listed for you right here:
Behind this name that can make you smile hides a rather exciting brand. Founded in 2008 by two illustrators from Barcelona, the Spanish brand plays on color to create its collections, a bit like another Iberian brand (whose cursed name we won’t mention here), but better. Each season offers a new universe that influences the cuts, the colors, and the pieces presented in this collection. In 2017, for example, she released “Dear World,” which focused on the ocean, its inhabitants, and their protection. An original and fun way to make our toddlers aware of the environment’s safety! The cuts and materials are comfortable, so you can play and run freely. Concerned about the environment, Bobo Choses uses recycled, primarily polyester and organic cotton, produced in Spain and Portugal.
I don’t think I’m taking too many risks by saying that almost everyone knows (nearly or from afar) Cyrillus. Launched in 1977 by a mother who could not find clothes to her liking for her children, the brand has been based on philosophy since its launch: the family. Thus, in addition to the children’s collection, there are adult lines for men and women. If it has long dragged the inglorious image of a brand that was a little too classic in the 90s/2000s, Cyrillus has been able to bounce back and now offers more elaborate and current collections.
I’ll confess something to you: I have no idea how to pronounce the name of this brand (if some of you speak Dutch, I would like to have a lesson). Still, Donsje is undoubtedly one of my favorites on the list! I’m one of those who don’t understand confident children’s clothes or brands. They make it their duty to offer ultra-colorful pieces covered in useless things like slightly silly phrases or superheroes. I am, therefore, more in favor of sober but pretty pieces with soft and natural colors. And clearly, that’s precisely what the Dutch brand does: the stakes are primarily handmade in a workshop that works pretty. The materials are systematically 100% natural, and Donsje favors soft colors such as sandstone, chestnut, or brown.
We leave Europe for a moment to go to the other side of the world, to India. Merlin, a young Indian dad, decides to find Essika after making a simple observation: the supply of children’s clothing is relatively poor. What’s more, few brands offer clothes that are simple in style and quality crafted. He then puts aside the whole “universe of superheroes, sequins, and cartoons” to draw inspiration from the Japanese style to which he combines the quality of Indian fabrics. He also favors natural and organic materials and opts for loose cuts to offer the best possible comfort.
Every day, and like everyone (parents in the first place), Julie has a busy life between the children’s school bags, the emails that must be answered immediately, meetings, drinks with friends, etc. So she doesn’t have time to go through her children’s closet to find the top matching the pants one of her daughters has decided to wear. This is where she imagines Gamin Gamine and its principle of box/subscription. Each month, the brand delivers a top, a bottom, and an accessory, all in a bundle. Evolving in a soft, colorful, and straightforward style, the pieces fit together easily. Moreover, parts from previous boxes can work with those to come. Before the subscription, a minimalist wardrobe can be tested by buying the pieces separately via the brand’s e-shop.
Lazare kid shoes
Apart from Spider-man clothes or t-shirts with “little freshwater sailor” written on the chest, most children’s shoes are heresy for me. Between those that make light, those that make noise, those that make light AND noise, those that roll, and so on, I don’t understand the principle of this type of product. At the truck, we constantly recommend shoes that give pride of place to comfort and quality materials, even if it means putting a specific price on them. This principle is even more critical for a child, especially when learning to walk. And this is what Lazare stands for through its products. For the brand, it is essential to choose the best good (and beautiful if possible) shoes for its offspring, shoes adapted to its morphology (a child’s foot is different from ours), and help it learn to walk. The brand’s feet are made in northern Portugal in a workshop specializing in manufacturing slippers and shoes for children and toddlers.
My relationship with Monoprix is somewhat strange. I would probably never buy a piece from the brand (although I recognize the relative quality of some of its basics), but I must admit that its children’s collection is quite successful. Whether it’s early childhood, with bodysuits, pajamas, and sleeping bags, or the children’s line, with polo shirts, sweaters, and small thin down jackets, I’ve always found the little extra helpful piece, well cut and easy to wear. Good price. Overall, the materials are relatively correct (cotton and organic cotton mainly), and the parts are pretty solid, keeping their shape and color over time.
It’s hard to miss Petit Bateau when talking about children’s fashion. As far as I can remember, I have always known the brand: my brother wore it, my sister, too, and my son now! More than 120 years old, the brand began its adventure by making underwear and knitwear. She quickly became known for her children’s lines, simple and solid. Although the company has relocated part of its production (mainly to Morocco and Tunisia), it still produces a few pieces in its original factory. Whether it is underwear, clothing, or rainwear, the brand always offers a quality much higher than that of its competitors.
Tartine & Chocolat
I bet you have heard of this brand before! Mainly known for its eau de toilette, the brand was born in 1977, thanks to Catherine Painvin. At the time, she noticed that no brand offered classic, high-end children’s clothing. Almost 50 years later, the system is still the same. Tartine & Chocolat offers stunning pieces with excellent finishes: mother-of-pearl or wooden buttons (for duffle coats), merino wool, or even Egyptian cotton; it is not uncommon to find the same quality as adult pieces. The collections are sober and elegant, refined and delicate.
The simple folk
We end this selection by crossing the English Channel to stop in England. Behind, The simple folk hides two friends. By each having a child, they find that the clothes they see in stores are often of inferior quality, poorly fitted, poorly cut, and not very pretty. They then decide to launch an ethical clothing brand that emphasizes respect for the environment but also for people. They, therefore, imagine versatile and timeless pieces, very soft, practical, patternless, made with non-toxic fabrics and dyes, and created in such a way as to respect the environment and people as much as possible. Working with a GOTS and OEKO-TEX-certified Portuguese factory, the two friends are committed to producing as ethically as possible. Ranging from brown to blue-grey to green, the pieces exude comfort and quality with a timeless style slightly borrowed from workwear.