Little Red Riding Vogue: The irresistible urge to stare at children’s clothes


Photo Credit: Indigo Baloch

I know it sounds ridiculous, but sometimes I wish I were still a little kid. I feel this more strongly when I’m in stores like Target ogling at all of the new toys and most importantly—the children’s clothes.

What I wouldn’t give to be seven and wearing a tutu like a little Monster High doll. I feel like children’s clothes have progressively gotten cuter as the years get on. When I was a kid in the late 90s I had parents who dressed me up in dark sweaters and black leggings (most likely to fit in with their Depeche-Mode-inspired fashion sense). Later though, I was able to graduate to soft, velvet party dresses and Mary Janes. However, what I was truly lusting after were glittery crop tops, jean shorts, and those weird hair clips that dominated the 90s. Who didn’t want to be a Spice Girl?

Nowadays, kids clothing aisles are stocked with brightly colored leggings, and pastel cardigans, and basically everything you wish they had in adult sizes. It’s not rare for me to hear a friend or two whine about wanting younger relatives to dress up. More and more children’s clothes are actually just smaller sizes of the types of clothes a young girl might see on her older sister. It’s almost like we’ve reverted into the Victorian era again where children were dressed as little adults.

Allison Albitz, first-year and Communique Managing Editor Photo Credit: Indigo Baloch
Allison Albitz, first-year and Communique Managing Editor
Photo Credit: Indigo Baloch

Even boy clothes are overwhelmingly cute. There’s enough flannel and faux leather to make your little brother into a Winchester. In fact, there’s no better example than Instagram icon Alonso Mateo. Online he has been dubbed the world’s most fashionable 5-year-old. In real life, his stylist mother dresses him like a miniature adult—scratch that: a ridiculously fashionable miniature adult.

Now I’m not sure if the internet has decided on a “most fashionable little girl” yet, but the well-known blog Humans of New York often posts pictures of children with style, using the caption “Today in microfashion.” Sometimes they’re wild getups you know the kids chose themselves, but sometimes they’re pretty spectacular outfits that make you wonder if their dad is Karl Lagerfeld or if that kid is the next Coco Chanel.

And it’s not just the children who have great fashion these days. Monster High dolls, the new toy craze, are some of the most fashionable dolls I’ve seen by far (even I have a growing collection). The best part about these dolls is that each doll has a distinct personality and style. Where other dolls like Barbies and Bratz have interchangeable outfits, each Monster High doll is unique. Although you could exchange the outfits if you wanted to, each doll stands out. However, you’ll always see similarities in color choices among one character’s wardrobe.

Of course a classic example of clothing-envy in toys is the American Girl dolls. Especially with the more modern dolls, it seems like there is an endless amount of style options. And everything is just the right size to taunt you, but obviously never be wearable. It’s not small enough to be for a Barbie, but it isn’t big enough to be for a toddler. Then, American Girl changed everything and made certain clothes that could be bought for the doll, but also the owner. So yes, Kit and I did have matching pajamas every night.

Now maybe it’s just my/America’s obsession with merchandise, but the other day, when I saw that Target had Lalaloopsy dresses, I was immediately depressed by my lack of youth. Cherish your cuteness while you can.