Friday, August 28, 2009

Our Little Flower Girl Goes Back To School!


Hello Bridal Bee Buds!

As summer is rapidly coming to a close (haven't even started on my new year's resolutions) I thought we'd take a little break from our forays in all things flower girl and focus on back to school. Yup, it's that time again, when your little flower girls and ring bearer, shed their swim suits and summer tans and put on their back packs. It's back to school time and each year millions of parents rush out to buy new clothes for their children. I interviewed three mothers of adorable children to find out where they shop, what they are looking for and if their little flower girls have a say in what they are wearing. Here are brief introductions to our featured mothers. Kathy works for the county of Los Angeles and is the mother of three year old Bella and one year old Jonah. Christine works at the corporate office of a retail clothing industry for a highly successful youth targeted clothing chain and is the mother of nine year old Jordyn. Our final mommy, Mariel, is currently finishing her nursing degree and is mother to six year old Kayla.


1. How do you decide which stores to shop?
  • Kathy: Since the kids grow out of their clothes so fast and are prone to stain them, I try to bargain hunt. I like old navy because I get tons of discounts/coupons. Gap - when they have sales. Target for basics. And I dream when I walk past Nordstrom and Janie and Jack.
  • Christine: Past experience. Which stores are value priced for current fashions. I shop at Target and Tillys. Aesthetic environments. I don't like large crowds or messiness when shopping. I would never shop for Back to School at a Marshalls, TJ Maxx etc.
  • Mariel: Target, Lalaling, and Gymboree. I think about quality and whether it will last long. Good shoes! I will always spend money on good shoes. I will spend most of the money on shoes.
2. What are the top 3 things you consider when purchasing back to school clothes?
  • Kathy: Longevity, weather, versatile.
  • Christine: How long she can wear it. What she currently has in her selection at home that will add options to the item I'm about to buy. What is really a necessity at the time.
  • Mariel: Quality, comfort and easy access. No buttons. I look for hooks so she can go to the bathroom easily.
3. Does your kid have a voice in the clothes selection?
  • Kathy: Yes, lately Bella is picky when it comes to some of her clothes. She is starting to ask for long dresses because she likes this peasant skirt I have that goes to my ankles.
  • Christine: Absolutely! I get the final say but I do consider what she likes and we work together to decide what looks cute on her.
  • Mariel: Oh honey, she always does. She's expressive. She tells me what's comfortable. She tells me if pants are too tight and she'll say "mommy, I can't play in these jeans if they're too tight". She loves trying things on and giving feedback. I choose the clothes and then she picks from that. She'd end up in all pink if she picked everything.
4. Do you consider current trends when shopping?
  • Kathy: Not really. I think about it, but it doesn't influence me.
  • Christine: Yes!
  • Mariel: No, not really. When Crocs were in, they were just so comfortable. We would get them because they worked. I don't go out my way to get trends.
5. Any current styles you would never let your child wear to school?
  • Kathy: At this age no, when she's older, no booty shorts. I don't care how skinny a little kid is, once they are past 6 I don't think it's appropriate.
  • Christine: I stay away from TV show fads or licensed characters. No Hannah Montana, Hello Kitty, Disney etc. I think it looks cheap.
  • Mariel: No.
6. Any trends in clothing that you like for your kids?
  • Kathy: I love the layered look on myself, and I like it on Bella. I like when she throws in her own influence like stripped tights. It's cute when you can tell they kind of dressed themselves.
  • Christine: Skirts, leggings, skinny denim.
  • Mariel: Dresses with pants. She knows to keep her legs together, but she's not thinking about that all the time. It keeps from showing her undies.
7. What's your budget for clothes?
  • Kathy: There is no real budget. When you need it you need it, but here is my average target spending guideline. Jeans - no more than $15, shirt - no more than $12
  • Christine: I only have one child so we spend a couple hundred.
  • Mariel: $100-$200. I generally get t-shirts and jeans from target. I spend $ on undies because I hate holes and good socks. Long sleeves and sweaters, undies, socks I go to Lalaling and Gymboree.
8. What about accessories? Do you accessorize your child for school?
  • Kathy: I don't accessorize for school because the schools don't allow it. They are afraid the kid will lose something and other kids get jealous. However Bella likes belts and headbands. And little hair clips that she puts in herself.
  • Christine: Not necessarily. I make sure she has cute hair clips that coordinate with her clothing. I also invest in a basic pallet of shoes for her that match her clothing. That's really about it.
  • Mariel: Headbands and hair things. I get them at Gymboree. We were told that the play jewelry is distracting [at school]. It's not really allowed.
9. Do you get your child a haircut for the new year? Is there a style hairstyle you prefer?
  • Kathy: I cut it myself recently. I haven't taken her to a place yet. Maybe next year. As far as hairstyle, I love her curls down or in pig tails.
  • Christine: Yes. I prefer no bangs. Each year we pick something a little more mature. This year we went Victoria Beckham.
  • Mariel: Normally just cut the ends. No layers. Square cut with bangs. It's convenient.
10. Are there colors or fabrics that you prefer for kids clothes?
  • Kathy: Soft jersey cotton, denim. colors . . . Anything but white. White is a nice color but stains easily.
  • Christine: Yes. Blue, purple, black, gray, white, pink. We rarely do red or green. I choose colors that work best with her skin tone and hair color.
  • Mariel: I absolutely avoid white shirts. I love white shirts, but not for school. I try not to go with really dark colors. I try to do lavenders, purples, light blue, dark blue, brown and black. Jeans are a good material because it doesn't matter how dirty they get, you wash them and they're clean.
11. How do you feel about uniforms? Would you prefer your kids wear uniforms to school? If yes why? If no, why?
  • Kathy: The good thing about uniforms is that kids don't feel competition in wearing name brands. The bad thing is they are sometimes more expensive than regular clothing. I personally think they are ugly but after seeing how some kids dress today, I am not opposed.
  • Christine: I like uniforms but she does not. She is on a uniform waiver at school. Basically, she can wear them if we want. I like them because it's quick and easy and saves money but I empathize with her need to "fit in" with friends not wearing uniforms so we have her wear uniforms 2 days a week, and she dresses in regular clothes the other days.
  • Mariel: That would be easier. She stains everything she takes to school. It would make my life easier.
12. What do you think about the tradition of back to school shopping? Do you think it's just become a ploy for companies to make money, or do you think there really is necessity in this yearly ritual?
  • Kathy: I don't think it's any different then a black Friday or semi annual sale. I know lots of parents that really wait until the end of summer to buy new shoes for school, new jeans, and the basics. I personally buy more in impulse. I see something at a good price and if I know my kids will be able to wear it within the next 6 months (season/size wise) I buy it. I don't stock up for the sake of stocking up, but when I like something that's a good deal I just get it.
  • Christine: I think there is a need. I almost put off any shopping until these times because I know I will find deals during bts shopping. Kids grow so fast and shoe sizes change at least once a year so there is a need.
I hope all you mommies and daddies found that fun and informative. I sure did. I learned that given the chance many little girls would end up looking like a pink Pepto Bismal bottle. Unless your young child lives in a bubble, better to stay far far away from white. Your child may go to school looking like a million bucks, but by days end she/he could end up looking like a cast member on Lost, so durability is important. Target seems to be a great place to get basics and trends at a very good price, but of course Nancy August is the best place to get cute and affordable special occasion wear. Thanks for playing and as homework write a note and put in your darling's lunch box to remind them how proud you are of them and just how special they are.

XO,

Bridal Bee

Click here to continue shopping at NancyAugust.com

Friday, August 14, 2009

Milk Maid Flower Girl Hair Style


Hello Friends,

A quickie trend to share with all you mommies, daddies, brides and grooms that is simply delicious and perfect for summer time and your peach of a flower girl. Braids have been going strong for the past year or so on all the Hollywood red carpets, but the milk maid braid has made a recent comeback. The look isn't just for Princess Leia look a-likes at comic conventions. It's the perfect summer look because it's it will keep your little princess cool and it's no fuss and easy to do. When the heat is on we are all looking for short cuts to spending less energy. This is the ultimate quickie up do that is so easy your little one could probably do it herself! I take that back. Bobby pins and tender heads are not exactly fool proof.



All you need is 2 - 4 rubber bands and a few bobby pins. Make sure the pins match your the darling's hair color. Last thing you want to ruin a cute ensemble is mismatch bobby pins. You can either have a sharp neat milk maid braid look like Princess Leia (see photo above) or keep it messy. Either way, part the down the middle. Make two braids. You can do the two braids straight from the head or make a pony tail first with two rubber bands then braid then tie off the braids. Either way is fine. If you do it the second way, make sure to wrap a small piece of hair around the bands to conceal them. Take one braid and drape it across the top of her head and secure with a few bobby pins. Take the other braid across the head covering the tail of the first braid then slightly tucking it under, then secure with pins. Voila! You should have an instant up do that is appropriate for any flower girl.

Hope everyone's beating the heat and staying cool!

XO,

Bridal Bee

My flower girl dress pick of the week:

Simple Taffeta Pink Flower Girl Dress with Blue Accent Item J1320G-PK-BL. I love this dress. It's simple yet had just the right accouterments to add some spice. I think it's a perfect dress to go with the milk maid braids. The flower detail in the center with the pop of electric blue is adds that perfect dash of interest without being overbearing.

Click here to continue shopping at NancyAugust.com

Friday, August 7, 2009

Little Boy In A Tuxedo, The Handsome Ring Bearer


Hello Friends,

How are the summer weddings coming along? The wedding season is in full swing so I'm sure everyone's had their fill of weddings. I'm sure all your little princess are looking picture perfect in their flower girl ensembles.

This is going to be a quickie blog, but I wanted to quickly touch on something I've noticed at weddings. There sometimes seems to be a lack of cohesion when it comes to the styles of the grown ups in the wedding party and the kids. In general, flower girls and ring bearers are ushered off to get their own outfits for the day. The problem I've occasionally noticed is that the level of formality don't seem to match amongst the adults and kids.

So, just a quick tip. If you must purchase the outfit for your precious flower girl or handsome ring bearer, make sure to ask what style the wedding party will be in. If the wedding party is beach inspired attire, though it is adorable, it's not appropriate to dress your your little boy in a tuxedo. The opposite is true. Same goes for your little girls. No princess ball gowns, if the bridal party participants are wearing khaki safari dresses and flip flops. The wedding day should tell a story and they've planned every detail for months, down to those little bouquet shaped breath mints in the bathroom. It would be a nice and thoughtful gesture to fit your little princesses and princes into the style story of the wedding.

On a side note, I wanted to start bringing in more discussions about boys formal wear. I wanted to showcase this suit before I wrapped up my blog to show a great formal choice for boys.


It's serious, but still fun with the pop of blue of the tie. You want your boys to look like boys not like man clones. One ways to bring down the seriousness of an outfit is incorporating color into a suit or tux. It's a bit harder to ride the line of kid and adult with boys outfits because their is no inherent playfulness and youth in a suit or tuxedo. You have to add that boyish charm with your own creativity and thoughtfulness.

XO,

Bridal Bee

My flower girl dress pick of the week:

The Sparkling Sassy Summer Halter Flower Girl Dress in Red Item J229G. What I adore about this dress is the color. It's the perfect dress for certain ethnic weddings. If you have friends who are Chinese how cute would that be for your little girl to come to the wedding (if they are not in the wedding party) in the traditional color of Chinese weddings, red! Besides the cultural reference of red at certain Asian weddings, red is just an explosive and happy color that people generally shy away from. This dress is a perfect summer dress that is fashion forward and rich in color. I love making a little splash when I'm not part of the bridal party. So if your little one isn't the flower girl (and she should have been, wink wink) there are no rules about stealing a little thunder on wedding day and this dress definitely does that.

Click here to shop for boys tuxedos and boys suits at NancyAugust.com