Tutu to tango

The small­est guests have the big­gest choice of par­ty­wear, says Brigit Grant

The Jewish Chronicle - JC Magazine - - Contents -

LIKE IT or not, chil­dren usu­ally steal the show at a func­tion. Adults can primp, preen and spend for­tunes on their frocks and suits, but put a cute lit­tle kid in a pair of tatty dun­ga­rees on the dance floor and all bets are off. Even a bride plays sec­ond fid­dle to her maids once they hoist up their taffeta skirts and go Gang­nam crazy in front of their kvel­ling grand­par­ents.

When the at­ten­tion comes so eas­ily, it seems silly to dress chil­dren up at all — par­tic­u­larly as they are prone to spillage — but par­ents can’t help them­selves, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to girls, who re­gard­less of age can be very picky about their at­tire. Make the most of dic­tat­ing the fash­ion terms to your lit­tle ones, be­cause be­fore you can say “Aber­crom­bie & Fitch”, your chil­dren will be telling you what they want to wear to simchahs and team­ing mi­cro­scopic flouncy skirts with Doc Marten boots. And that’s just the boys.

No, but se­ri­ously, boys are much eas­ier to sort out in the style stakes. Prior to wear­ing pen­guin suits like their fa­thers, they can at­tend a do in smart trousers, colour­ful waist­coats and col­lar­less shirts. Small chaps in suits can wind up look­ing like that tod­dler in the toi­let-roll com­mer­cial or mini bank man­agers, so it’s bet­ter to keep it ca­sual cour­tesy of Next or House of Fraser. Use Cruz Beck­ham in the Burberry ad for in­spi­ra­tion and in­vest in some dark jeans which will last...well, un­til next month.

Girls are a dif­fer­ent propo­si­tion al­to­gether. Apart from the odd tomboy, most want to be full-time fairies and go to balls in some­thing sparkly. The

fairy-dress code is ideal for wed­dings and bar­mitz­vahs, no­tably in the form of a pet­tiskirt or tutu like the ones sold at an­gels-face.co.uk — you can ac­tu­ally get lost in the mul­ti­ple lay­ers of th­ese skirts which start at £35 for in­fants and go up to £56 for teens. Founded by Keely Deininger, the skirts at An­gels are her very own trib­ute to Come Danc­ing which she used to watch with her mother on Satur­day nights. Re­mem­ber how the skirts bounced in the ball­room sec­tion of the con­test? Well, so do th­ese ny­lon chif­fon con­fec­tions which come in colours you can team with the scheme of the big day or sim­ply go for fuch­sia and let the dolls dom­i­nate the ac­tion.

Avail­able at Sel­fridges, Mis­chka Aoki’s de­signs for lit­tle girls are this sea­son in­spired by Swan Lake. The cou­ture la­bel has only just come to the UK and the dresses aren’t cheap (£250-plus), but they are stun­ning and if you want your child to make a state­ment in the pho­tos, this is an out­fit to do it in.

Much less pricy, lit­tle-mis­tress.co.uk has some re­ally pretty party dresses in pale pinks through to navy blue that are age-ap­pro­pri­ate, which so many clothes for young girls tend not to be. In chif­fon with se­quin trim­mings, they are very wear­able — and much more likely to be worn again.

As shoes can make or break an out­fit, a shoe brand that comes with its own sig­na­ture tune has to be a good omen for a party and your daugh­ter won’t need to be co­erced into wear­ing Lelli Kelly pumps. The em­bel­lished can­vas LK shoes are the most lusted af­ter — and if you opt for a neu­tral­colour dress from Next, or even some­thing in cashmere from Eric Bom­pard if it’s a day func­tion, th­ese shoes will pro­vide the raz­zle daz­zle. Now what are you wear­ing?

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2 1. to 4. Big bow, from £5; Alice band, from £8; Peaches & Cream dress, from £56; Tea Rose pet­tiskirt, from £35, all An­gel’s Face 5. Lord black & white shoe, from £59.50 6. Shavon gold party

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shoe, from £155 7. Olympia shoe, from £94 8. Lord black patent shoe, from £59.50 9. Lelli Kelly party shoe, £34.90 10. Bloom­ing Lovely pet­tiskirt, by An­gel’s Face, from £36

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