I dress my children as my mother dressed me: child-like and sweet. I know that goes against cultural trends that encourage us to dress our babies like little hipsters. But I just can’t go there. I believe children are only children once. Their preciousness and innocence is short-lived and I want to savor every bit of it while I can.
I think I can make a good case that, as parents, we want people to notice our children before they notice the clothes they are wearing, which is one reason I don’t dress my children in loud or overpowering attire. Not that I have anything against clothes like that, but I just feel they are unnecessary. I prefer clean lines and simple designs instead; clothing that accentuates a child’s sweet demeanor rather than diminishes it.
Another reason: I know that how we dress often affects how we feel. And if I dressed my daughters like teenagers they would no doubt act more like teenagers. And I, for one, don’t want any extra sassiness in my house!
One of my favorite companies for children’s clothing is Florence Eiseman. The reason: they are the standard-bearers when it comes to dressing children like children. Florence Eiseman was in her forties when she set out to bring classic simplicity to children’s clothing. (How inspiring to us mothers!). Started in 1945, Florence Eiseman quickly became known for its fine fabrics and quality workmanship – so much so that children’s wear buyers joked that Florence Eiseman’s clothes were so well-made they could be worn from the inside out.¹
Jackie Kennedy and members of the royal family were known to have dressed their children in Florence Eiseman, boosting the line’s popularity and redefining children’s clothing altogether. And you fashionistas will love this: In 1955, Florence Eiseman won the distinguied Neiman Marcus Fashion Award, joining the ranks of Coco Chanel and Christian Dior.
Interestingly, some of the clothes that my daughters wear now are Florence Eiseman dresses that I wore as a child – dresses my mother kept for 25 years and still look brand new! It’s actually quite amazing how well made they are: the tiny stitching, the movable buttons, and the deep hems all allow for children to wear the garments longer. This type of longevity also means that the clothes can be passed on to siblings and cousins and, eventually, their own children! Most clothing lines these days don’t that same enduring quality.
In the past, Florence Eiseman has only been available in fine department stores and boutiques. But now you can now buy online directly from Florence Eiseman’s website! I have been perusing their new site and am loving their holiday line:
My daughter has the red-plaid dress with velvet trim. Paired with a white “nutcracker” bow, it is almost too beautiful for words:
What a precious and heirloom-worthy gift to give to your child. One day, when they are dressing their children in the same clothes, they will thank you!
May 4th Update: Here is a 25-30% off sale I stumbled upon on some darling dresses, jon, jon, and swimsuits. Not sure how long it will last!
Did you wear Florence Eiseman as a child or do your children wear it now? Please tell me below in the comment section below.
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Red Plaid Dress with Velvet Trim (Click here)
Double-Breasted Plaid Jumper (Click here)
Apple Pocket Jumper (Click here)
Knit Blouse with Apple (Click here)
Nutcracker Bow: Layette (Dallas)
Photography by Samantha Von Doersten Photography (www.samanthavondphotography.com)
(Clothes c/o Florence Eiseman)
¹Schenectady Gazette. (August 15, 1955)