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Skinny on skinny jeans for kids

Elizabeth Holmes of The Wall Street Journal is reporting on the trend of toddler “skinny jeans.”

You read that right. I had to read the article three times to make sure I was!

The article features a 29-year-old mom explaining how her 2-year-old daughter is loving her four pairs of “skinny jeans” — jeans cut slim (tight?) through the thighs and knees, and even slimmer (tighter?) through the calves and ankles. Everyone has heard of “skinny jeans” at some point, but when you — as a seemingly well-adjusted American — think of “skinny jeans,” you should be thinking of the jeans you haven’t been able to fit into since college.

You should be thinking of Audrey Hepburn circa 1957’s Funny Face, resurrected for the 2006 Gap commercial.

In fact, everyone thinking of today’s skinny jeans should just think Audrey Hepburn period — as she was really the only woman ever meant to wear skinny jeans, then or now!

Turns out that Gap (NYSE: GPS) is just one retailer pushing the skinny jeans for toddlers. They’re part of the casual apparel giant’s 1969 Collection, more specifically they’re part of babyGap’s “1969 premium jeans” line. (“Born to fit.”) The Mini Skinny is “for the budding fashionista” and favorite ways to wear are “under dresses or with a graphic T and sneakers.” The price of these little scraps of material ranges from $24.50 to $34.50.


As the WSJ article points out, parents will forgo buying clothes for themselves in a downturn, but they continue to spend on children, which is good news for the children’s apparel industry.

From the story:

Children’s clothing sales are up 5.3% year-to-date, over the same time last year, according to MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, a unit of MasterCard Inc. that tracks sales by cash, check and credit card. Total apparel sales are up just 1.4%.

Ralph Lauren is also cashing in on the trend with its Beekman skinny jean. (Pssst: They’re a bargain at $19.99, marked down from $40. Sizes available: 9 months and 12 months.) For the less-cost-conscious consumer, Joe’s Jeans has a toddler line at Saks Fifth Avenue (NYSE: SKS). (Retail price: A very adult $49. Sizes: 2-6.)

The WSJ article quotes Gap veep Mark Breitbard on the appeal of “fashion-right clothes” as they get smaller. He’s not wrong. As I clicked around for this post looking for more trend take-downs, I could see his point. The tiny outfits were super cute, if pricey. Ralph Lauren in particular had some mini-me ensembles that I would have a hard time resisting if I were a parent. Even so, the skinny jeans should be left for the grownups.

Better yet, let’s just leave ’em to Audrey.

Author: Jacqui Barrineau

Jacqui Barrineau is a writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with husband Trey, a Shetland Sheepdog and two unhelpful-but-funny cats. Her work has appeared in "So to Speak" and "Calliope," and she's a regular contributor to the flash-fiction sites Paragraph Planet and Doorknobs & Bodypaint. Once upon a time, she was the audience engagement editor at USA Today. Now she does other fun things that involve advertising, marketing and social media. The views expressed here and in other outlets are hers, not her clients'. Outside of work, she's proud to serve on the Northern Virginia Community College Marketing Advisory Committee. As a committee member, she joins industry leaders in lending their knowledge and expertise to ensure the college's Marketing curriculum is relevant and responsive to the needs of the students and the surrounding business communities.

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