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Kid's Fashion??

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Double W Illustrations
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Time to alter the dress! I recently put up a post with a little girl in a dress I came up with. In no way am I a designer. I try to do something more than just have the kids in shorts and t-shirts. Here's the post. As you can see in the post I went back into it and altered it a little. (As well as some other things.) I'd love to know your thoughts and any ideas you may have on finding resources for kids fashions!!

Thanks!!!
#1 - September 21, 2012, 09:53 PM

Well, I have kids, so that helps. :) And I love your little girl's dress in that post. You can check out kid stores that moms love like Naartje and Gymboree, or even Old Navy, and just get a feel for what kids are wearing. You can also browse etsy for kid clothes, or read blogs where mom's are making their kids' clothes and talking trends. But I kinda think you can't go wrong between Gymbo and Old Navy. ;)
#2 - September 21, 2012, 10:04 PM
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Looks good, in #2, Wilson! I agree with Mystery Robin. Check stores' web sites for the latest fashions! Some others are Justice and Gap Kids.
#3 - September 22, 2012, 03:57 AM
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Go shopping. Either in real life or virtually. I always do that when costuming my kids. BUT don't copy the clothing exactly. Some designs are copyrighted by companies that might come after you for damages (like Disney.) So get ideas but make the clothing your own. Check out the image on my web site home page to see what I dressed my three newest kids in.
#4 - September 22, 2012, 08:03 AM
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Very cute image. I love the striped socks opposing the frills of the dress. My eye wants to take the top two ruffles out, change it to smooth and make the spaghetti straps into (three finger) straps. Here in Nevada, girls can't wear any tops or dresses to school unless the strap is three fingers wide  . . . bumps the sense of innocence  up a couple degrees I guess.
#5 - September 22, 2012, 08:09 AM
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Thanks so much everybody! I made some of the changes suggested.

Three finger straps! Wow! What other restrictions do public schools have? (See why I need help?)

Thanks again!
#6 - September 22, 2012, 10:28 AM

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Also, I know that women have magazines that deal with nothing but potential hairstyles and how to do them. Do things like that exist for children?
#7 - September 22, 2012, 10:30 AM

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Thanks so much everybody! I made some of the changes suggested.

Three finger straps! Wow! What other restrictions do public schools have? (See why I need help?)

Thanks again!

Ha! Well, speaking as a Mom whose daughter loved to dress up in elementary school . . even with a shrug-the spaghetti straps tear off easily if the girl likes to play rough and tumble but still look pretty.   Another restriction is that shorts and skirts should be fingertip length with arms to the sides . . . but one can always shrug their shoulders I guess!

As for hair, my daughter loved to look at what teens were doing. She also took her inspiration from television . . . Kid Disney and Nick.
#8 - September 22, 2012, 11:06 AM
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Thanks Cynthia! What about hairstyles for other ethnicities?
#9 - September 22, 2012, 02:26 PM

check out cutegirlshairstyles.com - lots of stuff on there about "doing hair" (but not about cutting hair) lots of trendy braids and updos and banded ponys and things. We use a lot of their styles and she has links to other similar blogs. She probably links to fashion stuff, too. She is white, but just adopted an African-American daughter... not sure if that daughter is old enough to make it in the hair tutorials, yet... but I know those exist, because I was googling hair dos for curly hair and found a lot for A-A hair... she may even link to some on the sidebar.

Regarding the fashion: remember it's an illustration, not a design to be produced for kids to wear. So yeah, maybe girls can't wear spaghetti straps to school (my kids wear uniforms, so I have no idea) but they're everywhere in kid's clothing and sewing tutorials and things. My daughter *lives* in strappy tanks in the summer. So you've got a lot of room to play.  I also see ribbons as straps a lot with cute bows and things like that. Or halters, but I think using current fashion as a jumping off point and then seeing where your illustration style takes you from there or how you want to interpret current fashion makes a lot of sense.
#10 - September 22, 2012, 02:44 PM
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Thanks so much for that Robin!!! I'll definitely check it out. I just know that the clothes are just an important item to consider when designing characters. So I want to make sure that I put together some good resources for that. I plan on compiling and sharing at some point on my onceuponasketch.com blog for others. Thanks so much for pointing me in the right direction, all of you!!
#11 - September 22, 2012, 03:28 PM

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True about wardrobe and character. One of the coolest things I saw was when I was going through an illustration program and the Art Director took issue of a couple of the characters choice of wardrobes. So the artist paintd out her character and had overlays of vellum renderings with different outfits. It was so fun to see how that changed the sense of the character along with hair stylings . . . some looked too mature while others were very whimsical.

Your girl's striped socks sort of say to me that she has a quirky quality to her . . . and maybe she likes to look pretty but play a bit harder than her dress suggests. I've a story with three sisters, two are extremely feminine, accesorizing with boas and pearls. They want to change their younger sister to be more like them . . . she likes shorts, has patches and sports a whistle around her neck . . . and I made it a bit more fun with polka dots.

We are set designers, directors and clothing designers as well as chacter renderers. Changing things out to see if something different strikes us is one of the funnest parts of the process.
#12 - September 22, 2012, 03:55 PM
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Very very true Cynthia!!!! There's a lot that goes into doing a kid's book that I don't think even we realize sometimes!
#13 - September 22, 2012, 04:05 PM

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Hey Wilson,

You can also get a general idea of what kids are "supposed" to wear at school by searching for dress codes for public schools like what's posted here:
http://www.tps.org/uniform-information/new-dress-code-policy.html

- Tanja
#14 - September 22, 2012, 06:21 PM

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Wilson, my (almost) 4 year old granddaughter would wear that ruffly pink dress in a second but I would go back to the thicker shoulder straps to retain her younger status. No question little girl fashions include tank tops and spaghetti straps but an editor/AD trends toward the safest choices in cloths(cause there is always a parent out there that will take issue with such picky things:) One other thing I was thinking, most of the little girls I see are wild about "Party Shoes". Those being any sort of strap shoe with sparkles and/or bows etc. My granddaughter would certainly wear those stripped tights, but she would add sparkly ankle socks to them, don't ask... she is certainly a fashionista that one:)
Can I just mention that I love the little girl on the cover of "I Can Read Too"! It's her hairstyle that really attracts me to her.
#15 - September 23, 2012, 03:23 AM
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Thanks so much Tanja and Chris!!!! I hate that we have to consider those types of things when coming up with outfits. In truth I know many parents that would be upset if I put her in shorts or pants. You can't please everybody, you know. I did thicken the straps in the third illustration and I like it better than the first option. I agree that I should have considered other shoe options. I guess that means more research for me! LOL!! But I'll take all that into consideration on my next one!

Thanks so much for liking the little girl on the See I Can Read Cover! That makes my heart happy!!!  :)
#16 - September 23, 2012, 09:17 AM

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I LOVE the striped leggings!! But I agree that the shoes seem so plain compared to the rest of her adorable outfit! I like putting little girls in Mary Janes and Converse All Stars, depending on their personality.

I also think the girl on the I Can Read cover is awesome! Her expression is wonderful, and I love her hair!

Another thing with dresses is that it's quite common for little girls to have either A-line dresses (which is essentially what you have here), or an empire waist. I love doing the empire waists because I find it adds a lot of visual interest, and I love playing around with how the dress hangs with folds and ruffles.

I think older girls (tween and up) have styles that involve more layering. Skirts and knee-length leggings, or skinny jeans and slouched boots or high tops with big tongues or ballet flats, longer shirts with a shorter shrug or sweater or jacket, etc...at least that's what I see with the girls I know of that age.

I try not to get too trendy when I design outfits, as I don't want stuff to look too dated down the road, but I do like putting lots of personality into their outfits, so it seems more like a personal style than a current trend.
#17 - September 23, 2012, 09:53 AM
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Artemesia, I think that may be the allure of shorts and shirts. They are kinda timeless if also pretty bland and at times devoid of personality.  But they don't put a timestamp on the book that would make it seem dated with future tellings.

On another note, Uhmmm...what is an empire waist? LOL!!! Can we get an idiot's guide for this please!! At least for some of us! (primarily me!!!)  ;)
#18 - September 23, 2012, 10:01 AM

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an empire waist is a high waist. usually sits just below the bustline. Most times it separates the dress with a wide ribbon or sash, but doesn't have to be.

I agree that shorts and t-shirts are more timeless, but I always thought they looked so devoid of imagination. When I was a child it used to bother me that adults had no sense of what kids actually wore.
#19 - September 23, 2012, 10:09 AM
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See, I was worried about the fact that I was making it up. I thought that I may be dating myself or my drawings by not being current. I know many illustrators that you can tell when they stopped paying attention to current fashion and trends because all their characters stopped too.

One in particular stopped in the eighties and he still does hairstyles, clothes, shoes, makeup and everything from that time period. So while the drawings are great the styling is really dated. Flock of Seagulls, Boy George and Adam Ant are not a good look! I don't wanna be that guy! LOL!
#20 - September 23, 2012, 10:16 AM

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LOL!! But Flock of Seagulls hair is so awesome!! And that illustrator may be in luck as eighties fashions seem to be creeping up in the stores around here. He may be in style again without even meaning to!!

But I agree, it's tricky. I try to balance timeless with something funky. Most of my characters have quirks. So I'll use something more timeless for the base outfit, and add something that shows the character's own personality. I like to use patterns and textures as well to give the outfit more personality.
#21 - September 23, 2012, 10:29 AM
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Yes, yes, yes!! All kinds of great ways to set your character apart!! And Ughh to eighties coming back!! Some of the music yes. But the fashion, please help us now. If I see someone wearing legwarmers I'll just die! And the jherri curl!! I'll blind myself!!!    ;)
#22 - September 23, 2012, 10:59 AM

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LOL! Yes, I'm not looking forward to big hair and neon and Hammer pants. sigh. I already see legwarmers...and have heard rumors of tight-rolled jeans. Agree about some of the music tho! And there were some really great movies.

#23 - September 23, 2012, 11:30 AM
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You mean movies that were originals and not remakes of pre-existing fodder. Sigh. They're redoing Gremlins now too.
#24 - September 23, 2012, 12:03 PM

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 :hijacked Um, kids's fashions totally have to do with 80's stuff... :whistle

WHAT?? Gremlins? Really? why?? *cries*

Did you hear they are making a tv series out of Beverly Hills Cop? It will apparently still have Eddie, but it won't focus on Axel Foley. I'm not sure how I feel about this. It's among my all time favorite movies.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2198389/Beverly-Hills-Cop-TV-Eddie-Murphy-return-Axel-Foley-CBS-orders-series-pilot.html
#25 - September 23, 2012, 12:19 PM
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 :muahaha: Yep. Sorry Gizmo. Beverly Hills Cop, really?? Sigh. I know they say what's old is new again but after a certain point it looses it's splendor. Ugghhh!
#26 - September 24, 2012, 09:13 AM

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Here's another little sketch from this weekend! A lot more conservative in dress, but wild in other ways!! ;)

http://kwankwest.blogspot.com/2012/09/quick-doodle.html
#27 - September 24, 2012, 09:46 AM

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I LOVE it!!! The dress is adorable, but her awesome hair gives away so much personality!! This is even better than the other one!!
#28 - September 24, 2012, 10:00 AM
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Very cute.  LOVE the hair!
#29 - September 24, 2012, 10:03 AM
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Cute! I agree that her beautiful, exuberant  hair makes this so much fun --  she looks like a valentine.
#30 - September 24, 2012, 10:06 AM
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