Baby's All Grown Up

Focus On Kids' Fashion

March 09, 2003|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,SUN STAFF

The Capri pants were kicky, kiwi and scattered with bright pink Gerbera daisies. They flared ever so slightly at the hem, rode low on the waist and screamed fun and summer. Best of all they were just her size: 9 months.

No that's not a typo. They now make Capri pants for infants.

Baby clothes have grown up and gotten fashionable. In addition to pastel pinks, blues and yellows, infants and toddlers now can sport such strong colors as bright green and orange. They can wear fabrics like linen and suede. And they can front such hip styles as Capri pants, Hawaiian-theme shorts and retro crocheted tops.

Childhood staples such as stretchy terry sleep suits and overalls for play and smocked dresses for dress-up are still popular for tots. But a growing group of parents and grandparents are interested in supplementing their babies' wardrobes with teeny tiny Lilly Pulitzer shifts, cuffed linen pants and funky Mary Janes.

"People are having babies later in life," said Courtney Gard-ner, co-owner of RAW Sugar in Belvedere Square, a new store that specializes in non-traditional children's clothes. "They have more disposable income and more established taste."

However motivated by fashion they may be, parents still aren't willing to sacrifice practicality for style, said Rita Allard, owner of The Growing Up Shoppe in Towson. "People are very into softness and comfort," she said. "They want what's easy."

And that means what's washable, Gardner said. "And no itchy tags."

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