How do style mavens dress their kids? Where do they shop? And do they ever put them in Disney dresses?
This is the first of many interviews with stylish mums, influencers and possibly even the odd celebrity on how they dress their kids and motherhood style subjects.
And it’s with the fabulous Editor of Red magazine, Sarah Tomczak
Always immaculately put together herself, Sarah is also a champion of women and manages to juggle being the Editor of one of the UK’s most successful magazines and everything that goes along with the role alongside being a mother of two beautiful little girls; Coco, 5 and Sylvie, 2. I recently bumped into Sarah at a work event with Sylvie in tow who was dressed SO perfectly (in a little wool bonnet, blush pink wool coat and Mary Janes) – as was Sarah – so I badgered her into being my first stylish mother to grill on her secrets to having the best-dressed kids at the school gates.
How do you dress your kids?
I think my own style is ‘just girly enough’ and that’s how I tend to dress my girls too. I love them in blush pink, and a bit of sparkle, and skirts and dresses, and I adore prints, but I temper all this with Breton stripes, lots of navy, grey, black, forest green and ochre. I like stuff to feel quite childlike and old fashioned too, so thick tights or knee-high socks and chunky cable knit cardigans are always good additions. You’ll usually find both of the girls in a dress or a skirt and blouse/Breton, socks and Chelsea boots and a cardigan or wool coat. In the summer they live in cotton sundresses and leather sandals.
Where are your favourite places to shop for kidswear?
My favourite brands are a high/low mix. I especially love Olivier Baby & Kids for their beautiful cashmere and Liberty print dresses and tops. I like Outside the Lines because they design special pieces at really reasonable prices. If money was no object, I’d shop at Caramel and Bonpoint all the time, but I usually have to wait for the sales. I also love Velveteen, Louis Louise, Simple Kids and Louise Misha. On the high street I buy Zara Kids and Mango, and the occasional piece from Boden, Next or M&S. Whenever I’m in the US I stock up on Crewcuts, in France I buy Monoprix and every year I buy the girls Salt-Water sandals for the summer. I love nightwear from Faune and Nights by Wilder and accessories from Mimi and Lula and Woodstock London. Little Circle is my one stop shop for a beautiful curation of brands.
Any children’s style rules?
I veer away from anything too bright, Disneyish or over styled (sequins and print and frills etc.). I also hate it when little girls look too grown up. My style is def not very ‘street’, but as Coco grows older, I can see she wants to be cooler than I might like. I’m trying to negotiate with her most of the time to wear the things I like. It’s a battle and sometimes there’s something I love that she’ll refuse to wear (she’s not so into the smock dresses…).
Is there anything you buy every season?
I often repeat buy, which is lucky as Sylvie inherits all of Coco’s things anyway. I annually stock up on navy or tan Saltwater sandals, plus the same gold pair from Boden. We have bright yellow Petit Bateau raincoats in many sizes too! Gap jeggings are another favourite and gold leather Mary Janes from Boden. I always buy Liberty print blouses and cashmere from Olivier Baby and Child too.
Do you dress your daughters in matching outfits?
I do like the girls to be in harmony and probably prefer this to dressing them exactly alike. Usually Coco decides what she wants to wear (I lay out a couple of choices for her) and then I dress Sylvie to coordinate. I tend to stick to a colour palette rather than matchy matchy outfits. At the moment though, Sylvie also wants to live in princess dresses so she can often be found in a tutu and a cardigan. I love clothes and get a lot of enjoyment from them, so I want my girls to do the same.
Finally, how do you balance work and motherhood?
The juggle is constant, but I am really lucky that I adore my job, but also have a husband who supports my career and is happy to do the majority of the childcare. I am really pleased that the girls see our version of ‘normal’ and will just assume that a woman can have a career and a family just as much as a man can. None of this completely stops the guilt though and I hate the later nights or earlier mornings that mean I don’t see the kids. I’m quite strict about leaving work on time and I only attend events that are really crucial – breakfasts tend to be better for me as I always want to put the kids to bed. I am also really good at compartmentalising, so when I am at work, or at home with my family, I am truly present.
What’s on Sarah’s shopping list?