Wear Kids' Clothes (or Raid Their Closets) Just for Fun

gap kids girls
Tell me you don't want this hoodie
I bet you didn't know this, but I am totes The New York Times' style muse. Yes, 'tis true. Just this fall I snagged an adorable shaggy faux fur vest from the girls' department at Target. And my favorite chambray button-up? Gap Kids, this time from the boys' department. And now here's the Times, blogging about what a fab idea it is to raid kids' clothing stores. Hello! I invented that trick!

What, you're not teeny-tiny? This little requirement has another blogger peeved. Do we really need to make women who aren't tiny enough to fit into Crew Cuts feel inadequate? But here's the thing -- from someone who dips into kids' clothes all the time -- those pieces aren't really all that small. And I'm not going there because I'm wee -- I'm there because those lines are cheaper than their adult counterparts.


First of all, there is a pretty decent overlap between adult women's sizes and kids' sizes -- as in, a size 6 woman could fit into a Gap Kids size 14. Kids these days are getting bigger, and this is the one and only advantage. True, size 6 is still on the mini side for most women. My point is, it's not like fitting into kiddie department wares means you're even smaller than the smallest women's sizes. That would put you at a Gap Kids 8 or 10.

Second of all, I give you this pea coat and this pea coat. The kids' version even looks better! And what's with the fur on the women's one? That doesn't even make sense! I rest my case.

So, if you're curious about trying on children's fashions, what should you know?

1. Do not expect a tailored look. Kids' clothes tend to be on the boxy side, and the sleeves run a bit short.

2. Boys' clothes tend to be more "grown-up" than girls'. If you want to avoid fuchsia/bedazzled/ruffle overload, stick with the little boys. Then again, I do love my silver sequined headband ...

3. Do compare with the adult versions, just for a reality check. You may feel a flush of shame as you realize you really should stop being so ridiculous and buy a piece of clothing that actually fits you. Or you may realize the kids' one actually looks better. Either way, knowledge is power.

4. Try on the clothes before you buy them. Some neck holes are so small, a grown-up head can't pop through. The arms may also turn out to be constricting.

5. Don't go head-to-toe. My womany hips won't fit into the junior pants anyway, but even if they did, I recommend mixing in just one child's piece per outfit. You don't really want to look like a little girl (or boy), do you?

6. Just have fun and look for the silly, novelty stuff.

And now if you don't mind, there's a wool pea coat with my name on it waiting for me in the boys' department.

Do you ever shop the kids' departments and if so, what do you buy?


Image via Gap

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