About Julia & her Blog
Julia is a winner of Top 25 Kids' Style
What inspired you to start blogging?
Julia: My little sunshine, naturally. My initial panic over having a boy had been replaced by an anticipation of the challenge. It’s amazing how dramatically the boys’ fashion landscape had changed during the last 5 years. I know, this had become an extremely overused statement but it truly was “Mission Impossible” to satisfy my style cravings for the boys’ clothes and shoes on a tight budget. I refused to settle for “boys colors”, boxy fit and sports’ appliqués. I had no choice but to set out on Boys Be Cool style crusade with an ambitious goal to change the bleak landscape of the boys’ fashion. A little over a year later the vision of unique and one of a kind style and shopping resource where the boys rule, and style conscious parents get the valuable information on what to buy, where to find unique, awesome and affordable duds for their boys and how to style the most dapper and hippest outfits had materialized. An amazing Shannon Everett – Goldberg who recently joined Boys Be Cool shares my passionate conviction that boys and style are not mutually exclusive and you don’t need to be a celebrity to dress your kid like a star.
How do you keep up with the latest kids' fashions and being a mom?
A severe lack of sleep and lots of caffeine. I do a lot of research and writing when the little tsunami is finally off to the dreamland and work until my brain goes on a strike. I steal every moment to check fashion, men’s and industry magazines and start my mornings with opening a gazillion of subscription e-mails from various stores, blogs and style and shopping resources to stay on top of the fashion news and trends. It gets really overwhelming sometimes, and I am in permanent awe of the Supermoms, like Melissa Nash of Knuckleheads, Elina Furman of A-List Moms, Nadia Carriere of Child Mode and many others (my list can go on and on) who juggle their booming businesses and kids so effortlessly and look stunning!
What are three things parents should think about when styling their kids?
I actually wrote a Style Manifesto and Rules for Boys Be Cool, where the main postulates of styling are laid out, but if I had to pick just 3, then I would definitely go for:
1. Quit the Matching Game. Loosen up! It’s the little boys we are talking about. Mix the colors, mix the patterns. Experiment!
2. Break the Rules. Create the occasions; do not follow them! The “casual dressy” trend, currently sweeping the fashion world is the perfect opportunity to utilize all the unused clothes bought for the special occasions.
3. And the bottom line - Have Fun. If your boy does not feel like squeezing into this stunning ensemble you have concocted, do not force him. Offer him a choice (carefully orchestrated by you, naturally) or just let him experiment. Embrace his choices even if he clips neckties and bow ties on his t-shirts.
What are your favorite blog posts?
At what age do you let your child decide what to wear?
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I think it really depends on the child's personality. Some kids have very strong opinions and style ideas. I let my son pick his clothes but step in when he looks like "a parrot" or a "clown". SO he knows he needs to done the rainbow down:) He is 5.
How do you make shopping for your family's clothes affordable?
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First of all get social! It takes a village to raise a child and putting stylish clothes on this child's back is certainly one of the aspects you will need this village's help with. Turn to online shopping communities, digital villages so to speak, for the shopping companionship and valuable advice. Being this tribe member will save you big bucks and boost your kids' style ratio.
As a style and shopping resource we've made dressing our boys on a tight budget a form of art. We put an emphasis on creating and styling outfits for our readers as a guidance for developing their own fearless style, creativity and bold and unique statements.
We educate our readers on how to build their kids' wardrobe, what to invest in and what to save on, what brands hold a great resell value, how to resell kids' outgrown clothes, how to mix colors and patterns, how to accessorize, when to shop and when to give plastic a break and DIY tricks.
Follow style deal sites that collect and process sales info, so you don't have to is a great way to shop smart. Boys Be Cool carefully curated Facebook feed is a treasure trove of styling ideas, great finds, cool deals, exclusive promo codes and a home to a great community of savvy shoppers obsessed with style. Also follow http://www.newdaynewdeals.com/ that delivers never ending stream of sales and deals.
What's a great source to buy formal clothing for children?
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If you need a formal attire on a budget - the best source is http://www.cookieskids.com/. An enormous selection of very decent looking and very affordable sets outfitted with vest and ties in every color.
For hip flair and pieces you could easily dress down - definitely Zara. If you decide to shop flash sales sites, like Zulily or the Mini Social you have to be very careful with your timing and order at least a month in advance. Just to make sure you have your clothes arrive in time.
E-bay is always a great option to search for formal clothing that was maybe worn once.
Retro shorts suits are all the rage for the little boys this season and Tom & Drew offer an amazing selection in the most sumptuous pastels.