The worst thing about the standard-issue toddler wardrobe isn't the Dora and Diego likenesses splayed across every t-shirted tot at Jason's Deli. It's the cardboard-cotton feel of the most restrictive khakis and shirts that adorn our sweetest constituents. Us parents have all made the blunder; we've scored a dapper blazer or vest on the clearance racks at Janie and Jack and our kid has worn it once, erupting into a straight-jacketed fit after an afternoon of looking totally adorable and losing three hours of precious, unbridled flailing time.
Grown-up fashion has come to terms with the fact that Sunday best doesn't have to equal torturous fabrics or cuts that feel forced. So why are the designs for our babies and toddlers, who should probably be naked most of the time anyway, still made with tulle?
Designer and advertising ex-pat Amanda Evans makes common sense clothes for children that parents might wish they could wear. Her label Loop and Lil features breezy pieces with light-handed construction that doesn't get in the way of important kid duties, like jump-roping or hugging an imaginary dinosaur with a wide torso.
The selection on Evans' Etsy shop favors the girlies, but we found a blue striped t-shirt for our nino by Loop and Lil at Make with a little robot in the bottom corner that sports shirt buttons for its controls. Besides a wide neck, the thinnest, softest cotton and understated colors, the merits of said adorning buttons staying out of homeboy's range of motion have made the shirt our hands-down (and up!) favorite.
Our picks from Loop and Lil's online shop:
The deal: Cameron Denim Pull-ons, $18. Elastic waist, check; funky top-stitching, check; extra leg room, check. And in case you guys haven't noticed, babies don't need pockets. Unless you like rotten banana slices. Then it would be efficient to outfit your baby with five-pocket jeans.
The splurge: Laura Cate Ruffle Neck Top in Navy Floral, $28. This piece works in some tradition with the ruffled collar, but it's nowhere near clown-like. The top ties with cotton twill tape at the neck, so there's give where you need it. The floral print with polka dots is a fitting mix of old school and new. Perfect for lunch with grandma.