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How to Enjoy Spring School Shopping

January 15th, 2015

Shopping is probably the most difficult part of the back-to-school process, especially if you have elementary-age children, and it starts all over again once winter begins to thaw. Replacing clothes ruined in the fall and getting the right looks for the spring palette requires engaging your sons and daughters all over again. Aside from the difficulty of getting them to concentrate on the task at hand, you have to deal with all the attendant chaos of small children in a store. Don’t knock anything over, don’t hide in racks of clothing, and don’t open anything until we buy it – it’s so much to remember!

elegant girls dresses for spring

But if you’re reading this, you have the solution at your fingertips. You can get all you need for the spring, from children’s formal wear to accessories, with some online shopping. Pull junior up a seat, or give them some space on your lap so they can follow you on your shopping expedition.

To get more participation out of your kids, make them their own shopping list. Type up everything they need in a neat list, with a check box next to each item. Children like the feeling of accomplishment that comes with completing all the items on a list. If you want to make it more fun, offer a reward for getting everything checked off the list.

Shopping for clothes should be the most fun part of your virtual shopping expedition. Make sure to show your kids all the different colors they can choose from. Ask for their top 3 favorite colors, so you can hunt for the ideal shade together.

For ordinary outfits, remind them that they need an outfit for each day of the week. Consider giving them a visual aid – print and cut out pictures of items of clothing and show them how to mix and match tops and bottoms. Ask them to show you what they think will match with what. Throw some shoes in the mix for extra variety, and maybe a few bows and sweaters.

Remind them that they need outfits for dress-up occasions as well. It won’t be too hard to get your daughter to get caught up in the wide variety of elegant girls dresses. Your son can get in on the action – bowties or Windsor knots? Suspenders or a belt? You have endless options for personalizing your boy’s suits.

If you’re feeling really creative, try a paper doll project! First, print out a picture of your daughter, facing forward, standing straight. Make it approximately the same size as the online pictures of the dresses. Print out pictures of dresses from the website and let her play with putting different outfits on her personalized paper doll. Getting kids to participate in the decision-making process will get them super excited for the day their new outfits arrive in the mail.

Staying Warm and Festive: Winter Looks for Kids

December 22nd, 2014

Your kids shouldn’t feel like being asked to bundle up before going outside is some kind of punishment. If you want your kids to actually be enthusiastic about dressing for the weather, you’ll need to make sure they love the look of their winter clothes.

holiday dresses

The key to assembling a winter outfit that your child looks and feels great in is to master the art of layering. By adding layers, your son or daughter can get extra mileage out of some of their favorite warmer weather clothing while staying comfortable. For example, if your daughter has a favorite dress that she just can’t bear to put away, help her winterize her look by adding a pair of tights and a cardigan or knit sweater. If your son is clinging to his favorite T-shirt, help him dress it up and stay warm by adding a sweater or light jacket.

Another part of the winter outfit you’ll need to consider is footwear. Start by making sure your kids have warm, comfortable socks (it’s hard to stay happy in school or at home with cold feet, after all). Next, pick out shoes or boots that look good but are also practical. For example, if you live somewhere that usually has icy surfaces in the winter, you’ll want to make sure your kids’ footwear has plenty of grip. If you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow, you’ll want to look for a pair of insulated, waterproof boots that at least come up to your child’s ankles. As far as the look goes, take your child’s personality and tastes into account. You could purchase the warmest boots in the world, but it wouldn’t do much good if your son or daughter refuses to wear them.

Finally, you can’t forget to top your child’s winter look off with a weather-appropriate outer layer. If your little girl is wrinkling her nose at the puffy parka she wore last year, she may be ready for a more grown-up coat. Try a long fleece coat with cute accents like buttons, ribbons, and a faux fur lining. For a fashion-forward boy, try a black or grey pea coat or a lightly padded coat in his favorite color. Again, you should let your child have some input whenever possible so that they end up with a coat they will actually wear.

It’s certainly possible for kids’ fashion and comfort to coexist during the winter. Put together a winter wardrobe made up of great accessories and holiday dresses or holiday suits that fits your child’s personality and bundling up won’t be a chore.

Holiday Traditions for Little Ones

December 18th, 2014

Are your kids a little too young to go sledding down a steep hill or to stay upright at the local ice rink? Fortunately, there are plenty of other holiday traditions that kids of all ages can enjoy. If you’re looking for an age-appropriate way to help the little ones in your life celebrate the holidays, try some of the suggestions below.

christmas outfits for children

Take a Family Photo

Sure, you’ve probably snapped plenty of candid shots of your tykes, but consider using the holidays as an excuse to get a professional family photo taken. Have your little girl dress up in her favorite holiday dress and get your little boy to put on a dress suit if he’s old enough (or just a nice shirt and pair of shorts if he’s not). If you get the photo taken early enough in the season, you can even use it for a holiday card.

Look at Holiday Lights

Take an evening drive or stroll through a neighborhood where the residents go all out with the holiday decorations and lights. If you’re walking, make sure to bundle up and bring some hot chocolate or cider to keep you and your family warm!

Decorate Stockings

Decorating a stocking is a craft that kids of any age can participate in. Sure, your 8-year-old’s stocking might be a little more ornate than your 3-year-old’s, but even toddlers can personalize a stocking with a little help from a parent. Just pick up plain stockings, felt, glitter tubes, and non-toxic fabric paint from your local craft store to get started.

Make Cookies

Holiday baking is a classic tradition that the whole family will want to participate in (well, everyone will at least want to eat the final products). Kids who don’t yet have the fine motor skills to help in the kitchen can still help pick out cookie cutter shapes, frosting colors, and sprinkles, and older kids can help with tasks like mixing ingredients, rolling the cookies out, and pressing the cookie cutters.

Start Your Own Tradition

Traditions have to start somewhere, so why not invent your own that you and your family can enjoy every holiday season? It can be something as simple as reading a favorite book aloud, watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer together on Christmas Eve, eating a special holiday meal, or picking out a new ornament for the tree every year. Just make sure it’s something the whole family can get involved in!

Holiday Jewelry and Accessories

December 17th, 2014

This time of year, it’s hard to go anywhere without seeing glittering displays in store windows and twinkling lights on houses. Why not let your child shine with the season by getting her a new necklace or bracelet? Girls’ jewelry is the perfect gift for a daughter, granddaughter, or niece who loves dressing up and expressing herself through fun accessories.

holiday jewelry

Trying to decide what piece of jewelry to get when there are so many choices? Look for something that reflects your little girl’s personality. For example, if she loves dancing around the house, a ballerina charm necklace might be fitting. A young artist who is always reaching for the markers might enjoy a colorful bracelet, and the girl who knows she’s secretly royalty is sure to be delighted by a princess charm bracelet.

If the gift you choose is going to be your child’s first piece of jewelry, it will be extra special. This kind of trinket is something that she can hold onto for years and maybe even give to her own daughter one day. While a child’s clothes and toys may only last for a few years, a beautiful piece of jewelry is timeless.

Of course, jewelry isn’t the only way your child can accessorize during the holiday season. If you believe that your daughter is too young for jewelry or that she would just appreciate another type of accessory more, you can always choose something like a hat, tiara, purse, or gloves. For the girl who loves playing dress up, long satin gloves could be the perfect unexpected stocking stuffer. Choose a pair in her favorite color and she’s likely to find plenty of occasions to wear them, whether she’s going to a party or holding court with her stuffed animals.

Hair bows and headbands also make great little gifts that can be worn to fancy events or even just to school and around the house. Again, there are plenty of colors and patterns to choose from, so go with a bow or headband in your daughter’s favorite shade. Better yet, get her a multi-colored pack of hair accessories so that she can pick the perfect bow or headband to match her outfit or mood on any given day.

Good things really do come in small packages. Pick out a meaningful piece of jewelry or other accessory for your little girl this holiday season and watch her face light up when she unwraps it.

Making Baby’s First Christmas Special

December 15th, 2014

Have a son or daughter who will be celebrating their first Christmas this year? It’s time to make sure your little one has such a great time this holiday season that she’ll be talking about it for years to come!

Alright, so your baby won’t actually remember this first Christmas, and it may be a few more years before he’s regaling you with his favorite holiday anecdotes—but you can still have a Christmas celebration that’s special for you and your family.

christmas outfits for infants

Look for Holiday Photo Ops

Since your baby won’t remember this holiday season, it’s up to you to document it so that you can embarrass her with photos years later. Look for opportunities to take candid pictures—for example, your tiny tyke entranced by a Christmas light display, or laughing while exploring a new toy in her holiday dress. Before the big day, consider having a professional photographer take a photo of your child looking fancy in an adorable infant dress or a snappy shirt and pants complete with baby suspenders. The resulting photo could be a great present for your spouse, parents, or in-laws.

Baby-proof the Decorations

‘Safety first’ is a good mantra when you’re decorating for your baby’s first Christmas. If you decide to get a tree, make sure to stabilize the base and put up some kind of barrier, such as a play fence, to prevent a newly-mobile infant from getting to it. As an easy alternative, you could also just get a small tabletop tree. Look for flame-resistant, non-breakable ornaments that can be hung well out of your little one’s reach, and watch out for choking hazards in the form of bows, ribbons, and gifts with small parts from well-intentioned relatives.

Start a New Tradition

Hold on to your most-loved family traditions, but don’t hesitate to start a new tradition that can become a part of your child’s annual holiday experience. Maybe it’ll be baking cookies for Santa, decorating a stocking, or reading a favorite Christmas story aloud. Your baby may not be able to actively participate now, but you may just stumble across a new tradition that you and your child will cherish in the years to come.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Don’t get too hung up on the ‘perfect’ holiday experience. If you get too stressed out, your child will recognize that something is wrong, and then no one will have a good time. Rather than searching for dozens of gifts that will overwhelm your baby, choose just a few toys to give out over the course of several hours. Instead of scheduling the whole day or taking on a cooking project of epic proportions, give yourself time to slow down and relax with your family.

Best Holiday Looks for Girls

December 12th, 2014

Whether it’s a school holiday party, a seasonal recital, or a Christmas Eve church service, chances are there’s a fast-approaching event that requires your daughter to be dressed in her winter finest. Or maybe all the colorful decorations, store displays, and wrapped presents have inspired her to want a dress befitting this glamorous season. Whatever the case, it’s time to start thinking about how you can help her find her perfect holiday outfit.

holiday childrens outfits

© Nevit Dilmen

Colors for a Winter Wonderland

While pastels rule the spring and earth tones have their place in autumn, winter is a time for rich colors. Black is always an elegant choice this time of year, but many little girls may prefer vibrant hues like red, green, teal, or even plum or deep pink. If you want your daughter to have a look that combines color and elegance, look for a bright dress with a dark tulle layer or a black bow accent.

‘Tis the Season for Sparkles

If your little girl is as enthralled with Frozen as most of the elementary school set, she’ll probably jump at the chance to wear a dress that looks like it’s covered in icy crystals. Luckily for her, sequined and sparkly dresses are a popular look during the holiday season. Let her show off her inner snow queen in a glittering party dress, or choose a dress with just of hint of sequins on the skirt for a classic look.

Deck the Halls with Bows and Headbands

From holiday lights lining windows to presents wrapped up with ribbons, winter seems to be a season of ornamentation. That means it’s a great time for your child to break in new hair bows or headbands. Choose a color that matches or complements her holiday dress, or choose a neutral shade like black that will go with everything.

Happy Feet

A great holiday outfit requires planning from top to bottom, so don’t forget to have your daughter wear a pair of dress shoes. If her outfit needs more color (or she just wants to make as bold a statement as possible), try a pair of red patent dress shoes with a Velcro strap. For something a little subtler, try black patent shoes with a silver strap. Since it may be a little chilly out, make sure she wears her shoes and dress with a versatile pair of tights.

Remember, this is also the season for snapping plenty of photos, so make sure to get the camera out when your daughter is dressed in her festive best!

Infant Holiday Dress Tips

December 10th, 2014

As an adult, you probably already know the drill for the holiday season, but if you have a child or grandchild under the age of one, keep in mind that this is his or her first time experiencing this year end extravaganza. There are guaranteed to be plenty of photo-worthy moments as your child takes in all the lights, decorations, music, and toys associated with the holidays, so why not make sure your little one looks their best?

infant holiday dresses

If ever there was a good time of year to get your little girl all dressed up, this is it. Let her celebrate this special occasion in a beautiful tea length dress with a bow accent or a fun knee length taffeta dress. While you might gravitate towards lighter-colored dresses during the warmer months, December is a good time to choose outfits in rich colors such as red or teal (these darker colors have the built-in benefit of being less likely than lighter colors to show a stain). Finish the look off with a cute pair of tights or ruffled socks and infant Mary Jane-style shoes in black or red.

Need to dress up a baby boy for an upcoming holiday event? Consider showing off his dapper side with a pair of infant suspenders over a dress shirt and dress pants. Or, if it feels a little chilly, dress him up in a warm, stylish cable knit sweater. Dark colors like crimson and navy blue are particularly elegant winter hues (again, these colors are less likely to show stains than lighter shades). Don’t forget the footwear–if your child is growing into the toddler stage, let him show off his newfound walking skills in a pair of patent leather dress shoes.

Keep in mind that at this age, your child isn’t likely to sit quietly and avoid messes just because they have a fancy outfit on (but you already knew that). Holiday outfits for infants work best when worn for a short period of time, such as for a holiday photo or for making an entrance at grandma’s house. Cherish the moment while it lasts, but consider bringing a pair of back-up clothes for your child to play with their toys and eat their holiday dinner in. If your child isn’t a fan of wearing shoes for more than a few minutes at a time, let them wear just a nice-looking pair of socks instead. There will be plenty more opportunities for your baby to get all decked out in their holiday finest in one of our holiday dresses for girls as they get a little older!

Formal Shoe Shopping Over the Holidays

December 4th, 2014

Kids can grow so quickly that they might need another pair of shoes every month. But don’t despair – nice shoes, made from high-quality material, will go a long way toward making them feel comfortable in their formal ensemble. Besides, Velcro fasteners make shoes the easiest part of the outfit to put on.

holiday shopping

Every little girl should have a pair of adorable, round-toed Mary Janes in her wardrobe. Make that at least two – get one pair of girl’s shoes in shiny material and another in a matte color. Get one pair in black, and the other in white, so you have a pair to go with every outfit.

Little boy’s shoes come in a similarly cute style – a round-toed shoe with a Velcro buckle. More advanced gentlemen can sign up for the shoes with laces, in patent leather or a two-tone fabric. For an all-out, card-carrying future member of the GQ fashion squad, get a square-toed formal shoe. Consider adding a slip-on to his shoe collection for church events, or in case one of his elementary school friends regularly attends soirees aboard a yacht.

If your little girl is approaching elementary graduation, introduce her to the world of grown-up girl’s shoes. With an itty bitty kitten heel, she’ll be able to walk with ease. This girl’s shoe will make her feel like she’s ready for the red carpet – it also comes with an open toe, so she can show off her pedicure.

To make sure your child has a perfect fit for their shoe, follow a few simple steps. Check both ends of the shoe. You need about half an inch from the end of the toe to the front of the shoe. Make sure you can fit a pinky finger between the back of the shoe and your child’s heel. Your child might not be able to tell how well their shoes fit them. Watch your child walk in the shoes to make sure they look comfortable. Show them how to do a runway walk so they can show of their shoes with a brand new strut!

Make sure they do some walking in their new shoes, so they can break them in before they wear them to an event. Look for shoes made with flexible material, to ensure your child’s feet will stay comfortable while they skip through your next formal occasion.


Formal Dressing Tips for the Holidays

December 1st, 2014

The holidays are a busy time in anyone’s life, but for a parent of young children the holidays can be even more hectic. Holiday events, family gatherings, and photos call for formal wear at least some of the time, and wrangling your kids into such outfits can be a challenge. How do you keep the holidays both fun and formal for you and your children? Check out our tips below.

christmas formal clothes

Pick the Perfect Fabric

As adults, we are (usually) pros at dealing with uncomfortable situations and are used to having to wear scratchy sweaters, ties, heels, and so on. For children, it’s not so easy. Choose a boys dress suit or infant girl dress that is made of comfortable fabrics. There are plenty of styles to choose from at Puddles Collection, so if your child does not favor a tight collar, or doesn’t like sleeves, or ruffles, (or does!) you can choose the perfect outfit that will keep them smiling through family functions.

Keep it Fun with Accessories

Children are easily distracted, and the difference between a frown and the perfect smile can sometimes be a toy or, in this case, an accessory. Especially for little girls, we offer a number of accessories that match our girls dresses and can add some flair to the look. From girls jewelry to tiaras and purses, Puddles Collection can keep your child engaged while wearing formal wear.

Limit Wear

Whether your child loves the formal boys clothing or girls clothing they are dressed in for the holidays or not, it’s probably a good idea to limit the wear. While kids certainly grow up fast, you can usually get several events out of one formal outfit, if not more, and hand-me-downs are a better option when the clothing is in great shape. While it’s good to have kids feel comfortable and not too stuffy in formal clothes, when it comes down to play time, it’s probably good to dress down.

Fight Stains

With all the delicious holiday treats on the table during the winter, stains are certainly a possible danger. Make sure to bring baby wipes and stain markers to attack stains when they happen. This will help keep your family looking great throughout the holidays. Enjoy!

Get Bundled Up for the Holidays!

November 25th, 2014

Time to get bundled up! It’s that time of year when we contemplate hibernation and re-evaluate our winter wardrobes. Every year, the old pile of sweaters and jackets looks a little dingier than it did last fall. But your child’s sweaters don’t have to be a cocoon they enter, covering up their adorable outfits until spring arrives again. Get a jacket or sweater that makes the whole outfit look more dressed-up, and create a stylish incentive to keep cozy.

children's winter jackets

Now that fall has arrived and winter is on its way, get your boy a classy, layered suit. It’s notoriously difficult to get little boys to put on their jackets. Give them an outfit that will stave off chilly weather without weighing them down in a bulky overcoat. Go for a classic look in one of our boys dress suits. Or make your son stand out in family photographs in a flashy, brightly-colored 3-piece suit. To complete the look, these suits come with coordinating shirts and matching ties.

Before it gets too cold, the simple addition of a short sleeve can transform summer dresses into appropriate fall formal wear. Warm up some of those sleeveless dresses by adding a bolero with a poofy sleeve for an adorable transition into fall. Cardigan and long sleeve sweaters have a reputation for making the wearer look slouchy and drab. To avoid this fate, choose a knit sweater with a special detail. With a flower-studded button at the collar, this sweater will brighten up a dull winter afternoon with a pop of pink. Your daughter will appreciate the satin ribbon and the whimsical sensibility that transforms a humble long-sleeved sweater into a thing of beauty.

Around Thanksgiving, when that nip in the air becomes a frosty bite, you’ll want to put your little girl in something more substantial. Make them feel like they’re in the lap of luxury in a coat with fur trim. Nothing says snow queen like a white coat with a large, fur-trimmed hood. Bows on the pockets make your daughter look sweetly gift-wrapped for formal occasions. Or, opt for a polished look in a coat with a collar and a hat. No matter what outfit your daughter picks out, she’ll arrive to formal events looking smart in her matching hat and coat. And don’t worry what will happen to the coat as she darts around the corn maze – these coats are all machine washable.