Fashion for Kids: How Soon Is Too Soon?


Alex Finch

In March, Vogue published an article titled “Do Seoul’s Toddlers Have the World’s Most Stylish Hair?” that featured nine street style photographs of the three-feet-and-under set snapped during fashion week. Their hair (pigtails, fauxhawks, an abridged Bieber coif) struck me less than what they were wearing (leather jackets, dandy suits, crop tops). If you squinted at the screen hard enough, warping the scale, any one of these outfits could have easily been worn by a human four times their age. It was too on-trend, too hip, too… totally devoid of the mismatched, misshapen messiness that is practically a rite of passage for kids. When you start off with Givenchy at age 4, what on earth is there to look forward to?

Today, with the steady stream of social media noise and chronic oversharing, the pressure to keep up with the Joneses and their prematurely fashionable brood is stronger than ever. Where two decades ago, parents could get away with slapping some Russell Athletics on their kid and calling it a day, these days, even the smallest embarrassment is one that can be amplified beyond the scope of the schoolyard. The same goes for showing off. It’s no longer a matter of one-upping the other parents in your kid’s classroom; it’s about using your child as a proxy to broadcast your good and/or expensive taste to an ever-rapt and envious number of strangers on Instagram. The result is an increasingly large demographic of parents and children with distorted notions of what normal dressing means at a certain age.

Do you think kids should be dressing in designer goods before they can drive? We’d love to hear your thoughts!