Pink Lemonade.

Gift Shop Plus Summer 2021
Children’s Clothing Trends By Hilary Daninhirsch

Soft, sustainable materials and gender neutral colors dominate this apparel category

The adage ‘like mother like daughter’ is true in the fashion world: many of the children’s clothing trends are mirroring adult clothing trends, noted Jill Zagar, owner of Pink Lemonade in Michigan.

Tie dye is an illustrative example. “I knew tie dye was going to be big, but I didn’t realize how big it was going to be. We have tie dye pajamas, onesies, bathing suits—pretty much, if you put tie dye on it, it will sell,” she said.

Pink Lemonade display
With 3 locations in Michigan, Pink Lemonade specializes in unique gifts for children, home and her. Photos courtesy of Pink Lemonade.

And although ‘retro’ to young children only extends back a couple of years, kids are rocking the 80s look, with graphic Ts, patches and ruffles.

Pink Lemonade interior
The clothing collections feature soft, neutral and sustainable materials. Photo courtesy of Pink Lemonade.

Like their taller counterparts, kids are also wearing loungewear. “I wasn’t selling as many dresses for Easter or weddings, but more comfy play wear. People were spending more on their kids than on themselves,” she observed.

Rainbow Unicorn 3D Hoodie. Doodle Pants.

For babies, Zagar is selling bamboo; the fabric is popular for its moisture wicking properties, among other benefits. “Parents love bamboo for their minis because it is sustainable and actually gets softer as the fabric is washed. It’s a very soft and breathable fabric and being organic it’s said to be better for sensitive skin,” she said.

Huggalugs garter sweater natural
Earthen hues of neutrals and browns are popular for children’s hats and sweater manufacturer Huggalugs.

Zagar does not sell as many clothes for boys, though she does carry both tie dye and graphic Ts.

Pretty as a Peach Onesie. About Face Designs.
Pretty as a Peach Onesie. About Face Designs.

For kids, Mud Pie features layering pieces like vests, jackets and shackets. Fruchtman said that denim for kids is popular, along with “…fantastic fall florals, foxes, bears, corduroy, camo, dinosaurs and leopard.”

For the youngest of consumers, minimal design, soft, subdued hues and gender neutral dominate. “The desire for gender neutral colors and styles has overtaken this category. Earthen hues of neutrals and browns with little pops of subdued colors have been the most popular for us. Rainbows continue to be strong and we have included a number of colorways in our line and have added a handknit sweater with rainbow pockets for this coming fall,” said Carol Lavinthal, CEO of Huggalugs, a children’s hats and sweater manufacturer headquartered in Washington.

Pink Lemonade offers girls sunnie outfits.
Girl’s outfit available at Pink Lemonade. Photo courtesy of Pink Lemonade.

Newborn sizing has also been popular for Huggalugs, driven by the desire for new parents to post pictures of their newborns in the trendiest clothing. Handknit sweaters with coordinating hats have been popular for them along with such designs as forest and T-rex hats.

Sleeveless Secret Garden Romper from Feltman Brothers.
Sleeveless Secret Garden Romper. Feltman Brothers.

“Very seldom are people buying for their own kids,” said Moran, advising that if a store carries baby clothes, it should be giftable. Custom clothing for children is spiking; Moran said that since retailers want to be unique, offering custom clothes will help them to stand out.

Hilary Daninhirsch

Hilary Daninhirsch is an award-winning freelance writer whose articles have appeared in numerous trade and lifestyle publications. She lives in Pittsburgh with her family.

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