Children are smarter than they used to be. Not meaning in terms of intelligence (although they most certainly are – average IQ has increased by 20 points, apparently, since 1950), but in terms of how they dress – especially in terms of how they dress for special occasions in general, and weddings in particular.
Witness the wide availability on the High Street of tailored and couture-style clothes for all ages of children, from babes in arms to young teens.
Back in the 70s, 80s and 90s, it was quite normal for children not to be especially dressed up for a wedding. Presumably, the thinking went something like: Why spend all that money? Why does it matter? Children should be neither seen nor heard at a wedding. And anyway, it’s pretentious, togging up kids to look like mini adults.
Not so now. Outfitting children for a wedding is expected and found to be huge amounts of fun. The younger they are, the better, not least because really little ones are far more amenable than the over-eights to playing dress-up – and they look so cute.
Meghan Markle has decided she doesn’t want a grown-up maid of honour and will instead be accompanied by child attendants, with Princess Charlotte and Prince George expected to be among the bridal party. What the Royal children wear will inspire and set the bar for weddings to come, up and down the country, so their chosen designer will hopefully come up with something appropriate and lovely (and if they manage to dress them in something quite unlike their usual 1950s-style attire, so much the better, as far as I am concerned).
Department stores such as John Lewis and Debenhams now stock full outfits including accessories for page boys and flower girls, so no need for specialist bridal party outfitters to kit them out, or for clever grandmothers to spend months making mini bridesmaids’ dresses.
John Lewis has its own range, including its Heirloom collection, which offers beautiful lace, organza and printed prom style dresses for little girls, plus from brands including Angel & Rocket and Yumi for girls. For boys, the Heirloom collection has smart tailored suits in blues and pink, in a machine washable cotton linen blend.
River Island deserves a special mention for its childrenswear, forever coming to the rescue of parents and children who want smart, easy, on-trend clothes. It too has blazers in pale pink and blue (clearly the summer’s cool shades for smart boys). Monsoon is also bringing great options.
It’s brilliant to see that boys’ clothing is now being taken seriously by the High Street, fostering new generations of smart, style-savvy men to come.
YORKSHIRE FASHION DIARY
May 9: Find your own Flawless with Alessandra Steinherr at Space NK Leeds where she will share tips for a flawless complexion. A £15 booking fee is redeemable against purchase. See www.victorialeeds.co.uk
May 12, 2018: Isaro Collections Fashion Show at Bradford College, featuring Bo Carter, see www.isarocollections.com/fashionshow
May 15, 2018: Patterns Reimagined: from Crafts to Fashion, by M&S Company Archive.
May 17, 2108: Leeds Fashion Ball – Fashion and business networking event featuring Yorkshire business leaders strutting their stuff on the catwalk at Leeds Dock, black tie, www.fbfashionball.show
MAY 22: Silk scarf printing workshop by Leeds City Museum.
May 26: Goddess Day by Jacqui Cooper – The Style Counsellor , The Coach House, Parkton Grove, Berry Brow, Huddersfield, www.eventbrite.co.uk.
There’s more fashion and beauty on https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/lifestyle/fashion and https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/lifestyle/fashion