I’m a stylist and how you dress your children says a LOT about your personality – so are you a ‘social climbers’ who copies Prince George’s outfits or an inverted snobs whose kids wear designer tracksuits?
- Miranda Holder gives her tongue-in-cheek analysis of family fashion faux pas
- From ‘wannabes’ who dress like Kardashians to Boden-wearing professionals
- READ MORE: Miranda Holder: Are YOUR colleagues judging your wardrobe?
When it comes to dressing your family, you might be one of those parents who opt for glam, designer looks or for more colourful child-friendly clothes from high street brands.
Everyone has their own personal style and takes inspiration from different places and it can be hard not to follow fashion trends.
But, often parents can fall into the trap of copying celebrity trendsetters like the Kardashians or even the likes of Kate and Wills and their well-turned out children.
Others go for dependable retailers who dress kids in bright colours and bold prints, as seen on Jamie and Jools Oliver’s brood.
Parents can fall into the trap of copying celebrity trendsetters like the Kardashians or even the likes of Kate and Wills and their well-turned out brood (pictured)
Another popular choice is to go for a greener alternative for your family’s outfits, with eco-minded A-listers like Alicia Silverstone and Drew Barrymore opting for more bohemian looks for themselves and their children.
In her tongue-in-cheek analysis of the different types of family looks she has come across, British stylist Miranda Holder suggests what your parental style choices could say about you…
The ‘professional parents’
Stylist Miranda Holder shared her fashion know-how with Femail and revealed what your children’s outfits say about your personality
The professional parents dress their little darlings in fun, preppy separates from trusted, British brands such as Boden, Joules and The White Company at Christmas.
Little Barnaby and Isabella romp around in colourful, hardworking separates which endure the marathon of endless washes, post a muddy tumble or two at Forest School. Their clothes usually have bright stars, stripes or wholesome cartoon monsters on them, making them easy to spot, until they get lost in the melee of identically dressed children at home time.
The couple, (let’s call them Nick and Lucy), moved to the countryside from Wandsworth to fulfill their dream of starting a family, and are the smug owners of a black Labrador, two Spaniels and an Audi estate, although Nick will know he has truly made it in life once he has secured a Landrover.
Though he still commutes to his consulting job on the train, Nick loves nothing better than to fully embrace country life at the weekends, disregarding any vestiges of a more stylish city existence, to lounge around in ill-fitting baggy jeans, farmer-style checked shirts and questionable green gilets, (his favourite Christmas present this year was a flat ‘Country Squire-style cap’ from his mother).
Jools and Jamie Oliver (pictured with their kids) might fit Miranda Holder’s description of a ‘professional parent’. They ‘dress their little darlings in fun, preppy separates from trusted, British brands such as Boden, Joules and The White Company at Christmas’
Lucy, equally as enthused to complete the middle class cliche, discarded her role in event management the moment she was pregnant, and now has an entirely new career – running her family – which she executes with military precision and unparalleled enthusiasm.
Since moving out of London, she too has lost her way with fashion, and, because she doesn’t know where else to shop, saves on delivery charges and adds to her own wardrobe when she’s buying for the children. Somehow however, the Breton tops and Culottes never look quite as nice on her as they did in the catalogue and she struggles to put outfits together.
Like the ‘professionals’ Miranda describes, Jamie and Jools’ family live in the countryside and holiday in Cornwall
Lucy secretly dreams of Gok Wan turning up on her doorstep and showing her how to ‘look good naked’ but daren’t confess this to her pals as it’s unfashionable in ‘the country set’ to be seen as trying too hard with one’s appearance.
Life revolves entirely around the children, with never a world book day, concert or parents’ evening being missed. Competition runs high with other families to see just how many extra-curricular clubs and hobbies it is possible for a young person to do, with at least two musical instruments and a language such as Mandarin, being the bare minimum to save face at the local organic cafe.
Regular family holidays are spent in Cornwall with the rest of their ilk, spending time enjoying water sports and stubbornly picnicking in all weathers, a smile planted firmly on their faces whilst being ‘terribly British’ and always having the most ‘lovely time’.
The Wannabe parents believe that life is a catwalk the minute their kids are out of the womb, adorning their latest shiny new accessory with ear piercings, gaudy hair bows and frills galore the moment they have had their first breath of H2O.
The kids are naturally their pride and joy and they treat them accordingly, showing them the same devotion to their image as they do to their pimped-up Range Rover Sports, but instead of adding aggressive alloys and blacked out windows, they elevate their little outfits by matching their miniature handbags to their dummies, just like they saw on ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’.
Favourite shopping haunts are Zara Kids, Boohoo and Primarni to seek out trending, hot off the catwalk looks at bargain prices, so they can all pose with attitude in each of the dozens of daily selfies which proudly grace the family Insta feed.
Miranda says that ‘wannabe’ parents take inspiration for their kids’ clothes from Keeping up with the Kardashians. Pictured: Kim Kardashian with her sons Psalm and Saint West
Mini leather jackets, platform boots and sequins all go down a treat – usually accesorised with a radio-active looking lollipop or two – however the one piece of kids clothing the Wannabe refuses to skimp on is the humble tracksuit. This is because they all like to wear matching ones, and anything other than a designer megabrand for the family twinning sessions would just look chavvy.
These parents love the buzz of the city lights, with all the clubs, coffee shops and cut-price nail bars, but moved to Suburbia after the final straw, which involved their local tanning salon refusing to let the kids ‘have a go’ – which they swear is what blew their chances during their latest audition for ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.
When she’s not hanging out at Westfield with her Mummy mates, Kirsty (the Mum), spends her time hosting tweakment parties, re-bleaching her already blindingly white teeth and trialing the latest brand of fake tan.
The ‘Wannabe’ takes inspiration for their perfect homes from cleaning guru Mrs Hinch (pictured right with best friend Stacey Dooley)
Kirsty has recently decided to become a social media influencer as apparently you can get free clothes and holidays if you pose in your bikini. To help get her name get ‘out there’ she has set up an ‘Only Fans’ account because she has been told she looks a bit like Kylie Jenner and could make loads of cash.
Kirsty fantasizes about one day being scouted by Simon Cowell, and being made into a star in her own right – the number one entry on her bucket list, (aptly renamed her f**k it list because it also contains a list of stars she’d love to spend the night with), is to be chased down the street by the Paparazzi, which she is sure will happen once she’s got enough followers with her bikini shots.
The husband Jamie, has a thriving property business which has helped to secure them the home of their dreams in Chelmsford, which they have ‘Mrs Hinch’d’ to perfection. The moment you walk in, your nose is assaulted with the smell of the Jo Malone knock offs from Aldi, with a top note of Zoflora, and all the surfaces from the walls to the carpets to the sofa, are an anaemic shade of pale silver grey.
The Social Climbers
The Social Climbers pride themselves on a distant relative being vaguely related to Winston Churchill, and dress their offspring accordingly. For the women, Royal fashion is the paragon of high style and they avidly study what George, Charlotte and Louis are wearing and recreate it upon their own ‘heir and several spares’ faithfully.
Their little darlings – who are of course also named after members of the Monarchy – prance about the substantial family residence dressed as mini ‘Royal rip-offs’ wearing smocked dresses and sailor suits, being chivvied by a longsuffering stream of maternity nurses, nannies and housekeepers until they are shipped off to boarding school, ideally Ludgrove followed by Eton, for all the obvious reasons.
The mother, (who’s real name is Sophie, but for some inexplicable reason is known as ‘Bunny’ to her associates), is secretly rather jealous of Kate Middleton, and convinced that if she were chosen to wear the transparent dress at that fateful fashion show back at St Andrews in 2002, she – rather than Miss Middleton – would have got the top gig, but instead she has to make do with Tarquin and his country pile in Herefordshire.
For ‘social climbers’, Royal fashion is the paragon of high style and they avidly study what George, Charlotte and Louis (pictured with their parents the Prince and Princess of Wales) are wearing and recreate it upon their own ‘heir and several spares’ faithfully
This particular social set initially breed like rabbits, the gentlemen taking firm advantage (pun fully intended) of every opportunity for a bit of nooky in the early years, knowing full well that the the ladies will soon come to their senses, shutting the bedroom door along with their legs, and restricting any hanky panky to high days and holidays.
The ensuing side-effect of being kept in a permanent state of sexual starvation leaves the men on tenterhooks, anxious that they could at any moment be betrayed by their hungry Todger, should an innocent innuendo down the local Gastro Pub become too exciting, especially once the second glass of single malt ‘touches the sides’.
Once the children are safely out of the way, this ambitious couple indulge in their favourite hobbies which revolve around all things equestrian, and include hacking out through their country estate on one of their own trusty steeds, or attending ‘Badminton Horse Trials’ with the obligatory refreshments of foie gras canapes, washed down with cut-crystal flutes of vintage Tattinger inbetween events.
Perhaps the ultimate event in their social calendar however, is ‘Royal Ascot’, for which they both dress up in all their finery and set out to deliberately hob-nob, taking no prisoners and clawing their way up the social ladder to cavort with the wealthiest or ‘most Royal’ attendees in the vicinity, hoping to secure a future invite to their summer residence – a fully staffed Chateau in the South of France.
Social climbers’ little darlings – who are of course also named after members of the Monarchy – prance about the substantial family residence dressed as mini ‘Royal rip-offs’ wearing smocked dresses and sailor suits
When not attired in top hat and tails for Ascot, the gentlemen typically don their red cord trousers and bottle green smoking jackets for a night out, complemented by their wives who look like they’ve waltzed blindfolded into their wardrobes, and pulled together a random but very expensive selection of garments which do absolutely nothing for their figure but, together with the family heirloom jewels (which more often than not don’t go), help to silently but effectively announce to the world how wealthy they are..
The final flourish to Sophie’s ensemble is typically one of her many prized fur coats, which she adores and feels perfectly appropriate given that she’s not vegetarian so can’t understand what the fuss is all about wearing some innocent animal’s pelt. These prized heirloom possessions are also frequently worn inside the house during the colder months, as the Social Climbers don’t have enough liquid cash for the vast heating bills it costs to heat the place, making do with layering up and huddling around an old radiator.
The Eco Warriors
The eco warrior parents dress their kids in preloved hand me downs, usually picked up from their local charity shops. If it’s a special occasion, they might break out the organic cotton – or even better, hemp. Shoes are always vegan, but they gave up on the mushroom leather footwear a few months ago because their rescue dog kept burying them along with his bones.
‘Annabel’ and ‘James’ like to live an uncomplicated life, priding themselves on being fully connected to ‘mother earth’. Ever since the children were toddlers, they have encouraged them to ‘intuitively dress themselves’ which means that at any point the children could be wearing anything from James’ anorak to wandering around starkers (apart from Annabel’s old Tiffany necklace), smeared in something that smells suspiciously like yesterdays homemade hummus.
Actress Alicia Silverstone and her son Bear (pictured) could fit in Miranda’s eco-warrior category – families who priorities ‘natural fabrics’ and opt for hand-me-downs or second-hand clothes
When pregnant, the mother would eat seeds in sync with the lunar cycle and meditate in a sound bath every Sunday. Unfortunately her planned candlelit homebirth didn’t quite go to plan and she ended up in hospital – she has never forgiven herself for succumbing to the relief of gas and air, and desperately hopes that her ‘right-on’ comrades will never find out.
Clothing-wise, the adults like to drape themselves in yoga pants in natural fabrics and earthy tones, accessorising with piercings, meaningful tattoos and plenty of body hair, which Annabel likes to flaunt to prim-looking older ladies when she visits the library…
When they aren’t busy homeschooling their young, James spends his time whittling small deities out of willow wood, while Annabel makes a mean – if highly fibrous – bean curry which stinks the house out for days.
Speaking of odours, you know this family are coming a mile off if you are standing down wind, as they have their own particularly musty, signature scent that reeks of vinegar, bicarb and lavender oil, which is all they use for cleaning and personal hygiene purposes.
Drew Barrymore’s vegan lifestyle means she and her family could fit into the eco-warrior group
The children are of course also fully vegan, and besides Mum’s infamous curries, exist mostly on avocados and breastmilk, as Annabel intends to keep feeding them ‘as nature intended’ until they reach their teens.
Since they mud-bathed with the children from babies, the little ones have a robust immune system and rarely get poorly – when they do, it’s nothing that can’t be cured with a herbal poultice from their kitchen garden and a couple of crystals charged in the sunlight.
The highlight of the year for the politically correct parents is when they take a trip to the M25 and the whole family glues themselves to the tarmac of the middle lane. If they manage to get themselves into the news they celebrate with a furtive cheeky McDonalds ‘just to check that it’s still poisonous ‘ greedily gobbled up in the back of their ancient family wagon on their way home.
When they are off duty they love to relax around the fire, sipping magic mushroom hot cacao and dreaming of the refill grocery shop they would one day like to start unless they have a ‘bad trip’ in which case they become positively vitriolic about all things Royal, right wing and wealthy whilst conveniently forgetting that they attended Harrow and Cheltenham Ladies College respectively.
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