Not happy with how you dress your kids? These mothers not only made their own clothes but decided to make kidswear trendy yet practical

Have there been times when you’ve combed through endless clothes racks to find something comfortable for your little boy? Or ended up buying yet another sparkly pink top your daughter refused to wear?

Moms today will readily admit that finding trendy yet practical clothes that don’t hamper a child’s movements, is no easy task. While most parents moan and keep hunting, these Puducherry moms turned their predicament into a business prospect. They simply made their own clothes. And then went one step ahead to make kidswear more comfortable.

“I have absolutely no experience in designing. But when I moved to India, I could not find clothes that I liked for my daughter,” says Geraldine Humeau, a partner at La Maison Rose. “That’s when I decided to make my own clothes.” Geraldine who feels it is pretentious to call herself a designer says her clothes are very simple and unfussy. Her clothes are the very antithesis of what she found in the market which were loud, rough on the skin and lost shape after three washes. Her brand Le bacille d’amour is all about comfortable cotton and linen pieces.

Akshaya Vikram, on the other hand, is a trained designer who worked with various warehouses in Chennai and designed for stage shows. But her daughter’s birth was an inspiration to turn entrepreneur. “I first made clothes for my 11-day-old daughter when I could not find any comfortable ethnic clothes for her naming ceremony,” recalls Akshaya Vikram who launched Patchouli. The soft pattu pavadai with a halter neck design was designed to give ample breathing space for the newborn. Egged on by the compliments that came her way, Akshaya designed clothes for daughters of her friends and slowly launched her own line.

You may have meekly got into that peach frock with six layers and umpteen ruffles that your mother bought you, but today’s children have a mind of their own and want to choose the clothes they have to wear, say the designers. Mass-produced clothes attempt to keep with the latest fads and are tailored attractively. But they ignore the comfort factor. As mothers, designers bring in that unique perspective that comes from dressing up a child everyday. “I designed a kid’s collection back in college,” recalls Akshaya, a NIFT graduate. “But I suspect no kids will wear that today,” she grins. “When you have a child of your own, you are used to dressing them how they like. You know what is comfortable for a child and what is not.”

“Children, as they grow bigger do not want childish clothes printed with bunnies,” notes Geraldine. Agrees Dhanya, who designs accessories for Patchouli. “My daughter is always trying to imitate me.”

Geraldine whose clothes are tailored for clients in the United States and France, who want neither high-end brands nor cheaper Chinese imports, abhors garish colours. “Children are so bright themselves!” Her clothing has commonsense written all over it with subtle colours, smart prints and simple cuts. “The cuts should not be complicated as kids are getting taller and bigger all the time. The orders pour in particularly before holidays like Christmas. I guess parents want new pyjamas when they take photos of kids opening their presents.”

While sequins and sparkles are attractive, most of the time they end up hindering the kids, feels Dhanya. “Minimal embellishments make them happy. Little buttons, tassels, bells, beads and appliqué.”

Kidswear while high on comfort, should also be trendy, believes Akshaya, who contemporises traditional Indian handiwork.

Dressing, no kidding

- Stay off halter necks unless they have support straps

- Clothes that tie with bows are of little use as they come undone in a few hours

- Cartoons unless they’re the latest fad are not the best bet.

- Elastic on puffed sleeves and sequins on the underams may not win you brownie points

- Try cotton over synthetic materials

- Clothes with soft lining are not rough on the skin