Just like that, the summer’s winding down and sure enough, the kiddos have outgrown all their groovy jeggings and cozy hoodies…seems sun and fun really does make them grow like weeds. Time for a wardrobe reboot! Fledgling fashionistas learn about trends on the neighborhood playground and take it to the blacktop now that school’s back in session. Help your mini models strut their style with a spree at one these favorite happening shops.
Tucked away off Mulholland in Bel-Air canyon, Glen Kids outfits cool yet casual kiddies from day one all through pre-mallrat. You’ll find a mix of tailored dresses from name designers like Stella McCartney and Isaac Mizrahi alongside everyday necessities from Splendid and Lacoste. Pick up the latest in super-soft Esme loungewear to prep for semi-sleepovers soon filling the weekend schedule.
2944 Beverly Glen Circle
Phone: (310) 474-9966
The vibe at this airy Abbot Kinney boutique is as chill as its enviable address. Boogie over from Venice boardwalk (or the Friday Farmer’s Market) to check out the wide cartwheel-worthy aisles of modern togs for tots, including easy-breezy casuals like LA Made and Charlie Rocket. You can also stock up on birthday surprises from their eclectic selection of picture books and in-demand accessories, such as Schwings for sneakers and eco-friendly non-toxic Piggy Pant nail polish. Stroll next door to visit grown up Firefly, then grab slice (at Abbot’s Pizza) or cross the street for homemade ice cream (at N’Ice Cream) while watching the locals skate by.
1405 Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Phone: (310) 450-6283
Lifesize @ Fred Segal
Look no further for the grooviest garments ranging from newborn to tween. Tiny trendsetters love designer dress-up from Little Marc Jacobs and Diesel, plus comfy casuals by Ella Moss and Flowers By Zoe; sturdy yet stylish shoes include Superga sneakers and Bloch ballet flats to complete their look. Refresh after a long day’s shopping excursion with a leisurely lunch at Umami Burger down the hall. Or bike a few blocks to see the last summer sunset from the top of Pacific Park. (Note: A mini installment of Lifesize is also located at the original Fred Segal on Melrose.)
500 Broadway Street
Phone: (310) 458-1160
Online: ronbinson.com/lifesize-kidsMalibu Country Mart
Try this on for one-stop shopping: it’s (almost) like having a built-in babysitter with a sandbox at the doorstep of 98% Angel. Occupying prime real estate in the middle of the Country Mart park, this Malibu mainstay is well-stocked with their eponymous and ever-expanding line of cotton basics, including twills and cords for kiddos from infants to teens. They’ve got you covered too with silky-smooth Esme undies and furry Uggs in every color.
Tear them away from the playground and snack shop to check out Kolletti Bambini, with adult-styled mini-me collections of wearable European brands like Jean Bourget, Paul Smith Junior and C de C. Across the courtyard is M. Frederic, sporty sprites can find year-round surf wear by Quicksilver, Billabong and Roxy. Local designers like Rowdy Sprout’s re-purposed vintage rock designs and super-soft Malibu Sugar camis and tap pants share racks with M. Frederic’s Collection flouncy skirts and dresses, paired with leggings for frilly fun. (Insider’s note: the local chain has kids clothes at several locations, including Calabasas, El Segundo and Studio City – check their website for details.)
Feel good about shopping here, as Pumpkinheads donates a portion of profits to local children’s charities. This Brentwood boutique carries a hard-to-find range of trendy European lines like Mayoral and Scotch Shrunk and fashion-forward American brands such as Ragdolls & Rocket and Autumn Cashmere. Before bopping next door for a bagel bite, be sure to join their mailing list for advance notice of their annual sale, including Petit Bateau and Tartine et Chocolat panties.
11640 San Vicente Blvd.
Phone: (310) 207- 6760
This inviting little shop at the core of Studio City (with convenient hours during the Sunday farmer’s market), Entertaining Elephants designs and manufactures its own timeless line of organic cotton tops and bottoms for babies to big kids (up to 6), perfect for layering or doubling as jammies. Vintage-inspired dresses and pull-on pants are thoughtfully made to grow with your preschooler, becoming tunics and capris without missing a season. The versatile global style extends to their footwear collection, including Toms, Salt Water sandals and Zid Zid ballerina slippers, handmade in Morocco. While grown ups decide, tinkering tots happily explore shelves of imaginative toys such as Tegu blocks.
12053 Ventura Place
Phone: (818) 766-9177
Bring your little hipsters to this Ventura Blvd boutique for functional fashion with a sense of humor. There are rock n’ roll jackets alongside flouncy taffeta tutus, pairing for the perfect balance of carefree and cool. Specializing in trendy toddler togs, Tough Cookies’ selection of tees speaks volumes for both the less verbal set and their candid counterparts seeking the spotlight; fun fashions here will send them to school with a smile. Moms & dads will also appreciate the assortment of handy gift items from tie-dye duffel bags to tin lunch boxes.
13638 Ventura Boulevard
Phone: (818) 990-0972
Wandering into the West 3rd storefront a feeling of calm washes over you. Little ones are welcome to play with the many wooden toys scattered throughout Eggy as you browse color-coordinated racks of simple yet eye-catching separates. With a penchant for organic and free trade pieces, the store boasts preschool playclothes that’ll outlast the wearer. Many labels are unique to the area, so your trendsetting tot can make a tantrum-free statement.
8365 West 3rd St.
Phone: (323) 658-8882
This closet-sized shop in the heart of So. Beverly Drive is a packed treasure trove for every occasion. Dolls and dudes alike pick from Junk Food graphics, studded and sequin embellished designs plus a current selection of Joe’s and IT jeans and leggings. Take a breather with a sweet treat from one of the neighboring bakeries.
199 So. Beverly Drive
Phone: (310) 271-5423
Step through the signature Dutch door into Flicka: after 20 years, the popular shop remains one of Larchmont Village’s busiest. Catering to local clientele eschewing the big-box retailers in nearby Hollywood, Flicka carries a little bit of everything, from undergarments and pjs to party dresses and cargo pants. Toddlers will be thrilled to discover their ‘secret’ playspace to hang out while mom shops.
204 No. Larchmont Blvd.
Phone: (323) 466-5822
In spite of its moniker, Lil’ Monster is a decidedly civilized destination, just a stone’s throw from the mass merchandising of Glendale Galleria and The Americana. It’s a winning combo of awesome customer service with beautiful clothes the kiddies love at prices you’ll return for regularly. A great selection of hip Deux Par Deux styles share space with distinctive Special Day separates not found elsewhere. Sizes range from infant to preteen so you can outfit the gang without breaking the bank.
415 W. Colorado Street
Phone: (818) 222-8882
A nifty find nestled on a Silverlake sidestreet, Tomboy carries classy, modern clothes that aren’t stuffy. Suit your new kindergartner in organic, sporty shorts by Nico Nico, striped tees and deliciously colored pants from ESP No1, both locally designed and produced. Though relatively tiny, it’s packed with personality; each item is cuter than the next so discovery is definitely part of the shopping experience. You and your newly-clad charges can refuel with yummy cupcakes and gourmet grilled cheese (available in half sandwiches!) right around the corner at Lark and Heywood, respectively.
1406 Micheltorena Street
Phone: (323) 644-1475
All Around the Town
Insider’s note: Select outlets of adult retailers have ‘hidden’ kids departments: check individual stores of these popular brands carrying eponymous lines of childrens’ fashions, including Crewcuts by J. Crew, Desigual, Forever 21 Kids, H&M, and Zara.
Where do you source your coolest clothes? Did we miss a superb spot?
– Kim Orchen Cooper
Photos courtesy of the author, Kid Firefly website, 98% Angel website, and Flicka via facebook