Kidswear for adults: How to pick and wear them

Kidswear for adults: How to pick and wear them
Kids 21, which started out in 1997 with around 30 kidswear brands, now carries more than 110 brands in three store locations.

Armani, Marni and Sonia Rykiel. All high-end fashion labels that could easily be found in a stylish woman's closet.

But for petite women, you might find Armani Junior, Marni Kids and Rykiel Enfant hanging in their wardrobes instead.

Shopping in the kids section is not a new phenomenon for slim-figured Asian women. But in Singapore, now more than ever, there is a greater variety of designer kidswear labels that petite women can turn to for new fashion inspiration.

In addition to an increase in the number of designer kidswear brands, several of them carry larger sizes that fit 14- or 16-year-olds, which correspond to a women's XS or S. Shoes can go up to a generous size 38 sometimes.

The designs are far from childish and instead tend to offer a more youthful take on the luxe brand's main lines. Pricing is a benefit too, with most items costing less than equivalents in the adult range, making designer labels a bit more accessible to these petite shoppers.

For example, a quilted jacket at Burberry Childrenswear costs $495, while a similar women's jacket starts from $900.

Multi-label retailer Club 21's sister business Kids 21, which started out in 1997 with around 30 kidswear brands, now carries more than 110 brands in three store locations. It added 33 new brands last year and this year alone.

Takashimaya department store, which also has several designer kidswear brands on its fourth floor, expanded the space offering such labels by 20 per cent after its renovation last year, and added new lines including Young Versace.

Last December, Burberry set up its first stand-alone childrenswear store at Paragon's kid-centric fifth floor. It previously had a corner at Takashimaya department store.

MORE FUN, BUT CHECK THE FIT

For shoppers such as oil broker and jewellery designer Tricia Ng, 32, finding adult-appropriate clothing at high-end children's stores came as a happy by-product of shopping for her two boys, now aged eight and 12 years old.

She has bought items such as shirts and jeans from Armani Junior for her sons before and along the way, picked up a few tops for herself from Dolce & Gabbana Junior at Kids 21.

"Kidswear can be a little more fun in design," says the slim XS-sized Ms Ng, who says a piece for a 16-year-old can sometimes be too big for her. She sticks mainly to tops though, as dresses and bottoms can be too narrow at the hip.

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