Sydney Scoggins, left, is wearing a red corduroy dress with pearl smocking and bishop sleeves. A crochet ribbon bow, gray tights and patent leather Mary Jane shoes accessorize this classic look. Hays Scoggins is wearing khaki chinos with a hunter green shirt that pictures a bulldog in antlers. Fashions courtesy of Treehouse.Photo by Angela Lewis.
Whether it's a new outfit to wear to Grandma's house or to church on Christmas morning, many youngsters will be decked out in new duds this holiday season.
Tiffany Quarfordt and Rachel Griffith, co-owners of Treehouse, a children's clothing boutique on Taft Highway, said designers keep children in mind when designing holiday clothes.
Though jewel tones are popular, red and green are the predominant colors this year, along with tartan plaids, they said. Cotton and velvet are traditional children's fabrics.
"Vintage fabrics, ruffles and bows are also big this season," Griffith said.
For boys, bow ties and vests remain in fashion. They are commonly worn with khakis and a white shirt and blazer.
"A basic button-down in a deep winter hue worn with a tie or bow tie and blazer is always in style," Griffith said.
For girls, a velvet or corduroy dress in navy or forest green is a timeless look. The look is complete with leggings or tights and a white sweater.
Quarfordt said she picked one of her favorite dresses, a chiffon fabric with gold polka dots on a cream background, for her daughter Carmen, 5, to wear this holiday season. She'll pair it with red patent shoes.
In the past, Quarfordt said, she has opted for a more traditional look for her three girls.
"Last year, Carmen wore a red corduroy dress with a Peter Pan collar. Jenna wore a flannel cotton dress with a dainty holly-berry pattern on the fabric, and Eva wore a solid white cotton, knit smocked dress," she said. "All three dresses were different from the other but coordinating and on the traditional side."
Because trends usually play on colors and patterns, Griffith said, many moms choose one trendy item to mix with classic pieces to add visual interest.
For example: "A smocked dress could be paired with holiday stripes or polka-dot tights, or a tartan blazer might be worn with a white button-down and dress pants," she said.
Heather Scoggins, mother of Hays, 5, and Sydney, 3, said she prefers classic styles for her children since trends can come and go quickly. That's worth noting when handing down or consigning clothing. Trendy clothing, Scoggins said, might have "reached its expiration date by the time my children have outgrown it."
Quarfordt and Griffith said choosing classic styles also helps ensure that the clothing won't look too "grown-up."
"Unfortunately, children's fashions get more inappropriate every year in all seasons," Quarfordt said. "Rachel and I work really hard to find age-appropriate clothing that parents and kids can agree on."
Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...