When we first discovered the chic kids’ store, Ethel + Row in Sag Harbor, New York we experienced one of those moments parents know so well: We wished everything in the store came in our size, too (or realized that we owned the adult version of many of the offerings already).
Understated and stylish (if you can say that about children's clothes) it's filled with some of our favorite brands like Bensimon, Lennon + Wolfe, Goat Milk and FUB. As [add a space here] a mother to a 9-year old boy we thought she’d be the perfect person to ask about why in the world it’s so hard to find great boys’ clothes (and so much more)...
Let’s just start with our burning Q: Why is it so difficult to find great clothes for boys?
I think it’s similar to what we see in women’s vs. men’s apparel. There is simply more design emphasis on girls versus boys, therefore selection is often minimal in comparison.
Does your son have any sartorial preferences? How has his personal style evolved through the years?
He doesn’t really. His only preference, as with many children, is comfort. I’ve been very lucky. As long as he’s comfy, he defers all style choices to his mom with little to no complaint.
Do you have a "mom uniform"?
Oh absolutely. I believe in investing in a pair of jeans you love and feel great in. This paired with a simple tee, light sweater, or striped top and a pair of fashion sneaks or clogs. It’s basic, but doesn’t conform to the idea that all goes out the window once you become a mother.
Does your son have a uniform? Do you think mothers should approach shopping for their kids with a uniform in mind?
He sticks to a particular style, which is much like my own. He’s a jeans and t-shirt kind of kid. I think a mother should approach shopping for their kids like they would any other parenting skill. With the ability to compromise. I’m pretty particular. If my son wants something that I may not love, we work together to find something we can both live with.
Any secrets for kid-shopping?
I try not to over purchase as kids grow rapidly. About twice a year I buy quality basic items that can withstand food, dirt, and sports. I shoot for comfort. Kids appreciate comfort and soft texture. And I always wash in cold water to make clothes last.
Any tricks for juggling work/life?
Planning. I’m organized to a fault, but it’s what gets me through each day. I look at the week ahead of me and establish priorities, set aside the time, and get it done. This applies to work, home life, family, fun, everything.
What's the best advice a child has given you?
My son once said to me, “It’s not right for you, just move on.” I was absolutely blown away. He was six years old at the time. A child’s beautiful simplicity can be extremely eye opening.
Advice to budding mom-preneurs?
Guilt is an unnecessary anxiety. Listen to yourself. Recognize unsolicited advice as just that and do what works for you. There is no set of rules to this journey.
Thank you, Vanessa!
Ethel + Row is located at 83 Main Street, Sag Harbor NY 11963, USA