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Paris Kid Street Style: French Children’s Fashion

I gave up long ago on the idea that I might ever effectively emulate the effortless chic of your average parisienne. It’s an innate sense of style that one is either born with or without, and it has become abundantly clear who has it (most Parisian women) and who doesn’t (me). I’m OK with this. But upon moving to Paris, I made a shocking discovery: not only do I look like a hobo compared to Parisian women, but also compared to their impeccably dressed children. This was a harder pill to swallow.

But it’s undeniable; there is a significantly shorter—but equally intimidating—set of fashionistas roaming the streets of Paris, and they put me in my place (style-wise) on a daily basis. This realization initially sunk in one day when I found myself on a bench in the Tuileries next to a 4-year-old girl who was clearly way cooler than I will ever be. I was immediately overcome with “outfit envy.” It’s the same way I feel about the girl in the photo above. Every last detail—from the classic trench, to the trendy nautical striped shirt, to the perfect ballet flats and the playfully rolled cuffs—is absolutely spot-on and leaves me shuddering as I remember myself at age five: decked out in OshKosh B’Gosh overalls, fluorescent-colored stirrup leggings, L.L. Bean turtlenecks, and poofy hair scrunchies. On really fashion-forward days, I would rock the almighty slap bracelet.  To make matters worse, I usually had peanut butter in my hair and magic marker all over my face. My look was indeed effortless, but it was far from chic.

Now, surrounded by these dapper young ones, I can only gawk in amazement and resolve to dress my own future children in head-to-toe Bonpoint. It’s not fair, and it never will be. Parisians—mini and full-sized alike—just do it better.

Written by Tory Hoen for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

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Written by Tory Hoen

Tory HoenAfter attending Brown University and spending two years in New York, Tory bought a one-way ticket to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a writer (and of drinking wine at lunch). During her time in the City of Light, she chronicled the euphoric highs and the laughable lows of ex-pat life on her blog, A Moveable Beast. Though she's now based in New York, she travels frequently to Montreal and Brazil, and she'll use just about any excuse to jet to Paris ("I ran out of fleur de sel"). A regular contributor to Hip Paris, Tory also writes for New York Magazine, Time Out New York, and she is a co-author of's Guide To Life After College.

Website: Tory Hoen

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Posted in Shopping | 14 Comments »

14 Responses to “Paris Kid Street Style: French Children’s Fashion”

  • Edwina says:

    I love the clothes and especially the hat (top pic) the one with the lace around the brim. Beautiful! I design kiddies hats and think this is fabulous. Love the French as they have such style and always dress their kids so smart.

  • petit bazaar says:

    So true! French kids look uber stylish all the time – love these kids clothing looks you’ve featured here

  • i think so your blog is one of the best blog for children’s clothing.the images are also really very attractive.thank you

  • mscanada says:

    Oh my…that child’s lovely outfit is the epitome of chic. I have to agree with the above readers, in my days, tie-dye was the way to go! And the sneakers with the flashing lights! I was too busy reading and playing around in the sand digging a hole to the far side of the earth to care about outfits, haha!

  • nyca says:

    Life was simpler then.. the “tie-dye shirt” days haha..
    Comme Les Grands are the best for my little boy and girl here in Australia =)

  • […] was beautiful. When I woke up, there was literally a small French child singing “Frère Jacques” outside of my window. I quickly exited happy-daydream-mode when I […]

  • haveninparis says:

    Lindsey: I miss stirrups and scrunchies! Life was so much simpler than, eh? –Maggie

  • Lindsey says:

    ahhh bobo children! While they are cute, you know they are going to turn into their parents. Whatever happened to wearing stirrup pants, scrunchies and tye-died tees? No anglosaxon adult woman can compete with these little fashionistas!

  • haveninparis says:

    Hi Suzanne. Great question! Anyone have any ideas? I would guess that the big department stores (Galeries Lafayette, Printemps) probably have sections with clothing for kids in the in-between phase. Brands like Petit Bateau (sold at their own boutiques and in department stores) certainly have classics and basics for all ages. Tory

  • Suzanne says:

    For the older child, age 13, who can no longer wear a US 12 but still doesn’t fit into adult sizes – where can she shop in Paris for classic looks?

  • Kristin says:

    Beautiful images! I want to run to the store right now and buy clothes for my children!!!!

  • Gail says:

    Love the peanut butter and magic marker image.

  • haveninparis says:

    Thanks for the tip on Le Vestaire de Jeanne. I did not know that one. – Erica

  • Maia says:

    Oh, yes. Too true. And Bonpoint always makes me daydream. That said, I’m faithful to Le Vestiaire de Jeanne when it comes to my daughter’s staples. Great shot from The Sartorialist.

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