How to dress your child like a royal

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How to dress your child like a royal

There's an art to sovereign styling for little ones

We all believe our children are little princes and princesses, but the closest they get to looking truly royal is when they are dressed for synagogue. And that’s only when they are very small I hasten to add, as little Zachary will be swapping his smart trousers for a hoodie and vintage Levis by the time he turns 12. Or is it 10 these days?

For parents who feared the extended lockdown would rob them of the chance to dress up their kids before they formed their own opinions, the release from confinement could not have come sooner. With only a finite number of sabbaths and High Holy days to parade them in patent and pleats, the race to the wardrobe was on.

I’ve always felt there is something supremely sweet, neat and smart in the looks championed by the royal children and I’m not alone.

From the moment Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were able to stand on their own expensively clad feet, all their shoes and clothing have flown off the shelves and caused brand websites to crash, as parents rush to emulate ‘the look’.

“The key is to look timeless,” says Shoshana Kazab, founder of the baby and kids PR agency Fuse.“ I have worked with leading children’s brands for almost 30 years and in that time the royal children have never been publicly photographed in clothes featuring cartoon or Disney characters. I’m sure they wear them, but away from the cameras. The Duchess of Cambridge has always preferred traditional brands when it comes to official appearances. This is important because the pictures don’t date and it’s almost impossible to determine what year the photograph was taken. When Prince George was a baby, she dressed him in outfits by British childrenswear designer Rachel Riley; her buster suit was a favourite.”

Shoshana sums up the royal baby look: white cotton Peter Pan collars, distinct prints and knee-high socks, as well as buster suits for boys (a short and shirt set, with inbuilt buttons so the two are held together).

“It ensures the messiest of boys look neat and tidy thanks to the inclusion of concealed buttons at the hem of the shirt, which can be fastened to the shorts to ensure the shirt never comes untucked.”

Meanwhile, reportedly influenced by the Cambridge’s family nanny, Spanish brands like La Coqueta, Amaia and Pepa & Go have been seen on Princess Charlotte, who teams the looks with matching bows and cardigans.

Beyond that, Shoshana says the children’s brands loved by the royal family use intricate embroidery and techniques like smocking, where the fabric on shirts and dresses are tightly gathered, allowing them to then stretch when they are worn.

She explains: “Nothing says ‘royal baby or child’ more than smocking. Hand-smocking is a traditional form of dressmaking that designers like Riley have brought back to the mainstream.”

A hand-smocked dress from Rachel Riley

As the mother of a one-and-a-half year-old-boy, I’ve tried to emulate the royal baby look. My son has worn buster suits to weddings and received coos as he was carried down the aisle. But high-end baby clothes don’t come cheap and with a starting price of £55 the Riley buster suit would only be worn for parties with a dress code and those invites are rare for toddlers who also outgrow everything in minutes.

Fortunately Shoshana Kazab has a solution for those who want the royal swank without a royal purse as she set up Kidswear Collective. Stocked in Brent Cross’ Fenwicks and Selfridges, the Collective promotes the selling of pre-loved children’s clothes. “It’s a great place to snap up gently worn pieces by many of the brands loved by the royals including Rachel Riley, Bonpoint, Il Gufo and others at a fraction of their original retail prices.”

Whilst many shop for the regal looks online from MyTeresa, Childrensalon or the Childrensalon Outlet – there are alternative high street brands such as Matalan, which has introduced smocked dresses for little girls. “Resorting to the second-hand baby market does not mean second best either as it is booming,” adds Shoshana.

Allegedly our fascination with royal baby style only came into force when Prince George was born, according to Shoshana.

“Mothers might have looked at how Princess Diana dressed the young William and Harry but the focus only took effect when George came along,” says Shoshana, a member of St John’s Wood synagogue.

“When the Duchess of Cambridge stood on the step of the Lindo Wing holding him for the first time and then Prince William transferred Prince George into his car seat, we had our first glimpse of the Aden + Anais Jungle Jam ‘bird’ print swaddle. The brand, already well known in the US, instantly became a household name. Over 100,000 orders were placed almost immediately, causing Aden + Anais’ servers to crash and the term ‘the ‘Prince George effect was coined.”

Whether George continues to be an influencer only time will tell, but his great grandmother, the Queen, has never strayed too far from the lace gowns and necklaces she wore as a child and it has worked for her.




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