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Smart, classic and wearable – here’s how to add a touch of dress-up to your kids’ look that still works for outdoor adventures


Dip into schoolwear

Don’t be afraid of borrowing staples from the school uniform range. Pretty blouses and classic jumpers and cardigans add a well-dressed vibe and look great mixed with cool skirts like this one. And, because it’s schoolwear, you get all the added innovations (like non-iron shirts), so it’s super-durable and easy to wash.

Add a touch of tartan

Whether it’s a shirt or skirt, tartan is a great way to add a preppy-smart look. But there are a couple of rules to follow: don’t over do it; one item is enough. And pair with neutrals (grey, black or white) to keep the look sleek. And this skirt is actually a skort – a skirt panel over shorts – making it brilliant for tree climbing and handstands.

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Try out a chino

An easy upgrade to a well-dressed look, chinos are a great addition to a boy’s wardrobe for those moments (particularly coming up to Christmas) when he needs to add a touch of smart. Plus, these are cotton mix, which also makes them perfect for playtime as they’re stretchy and (thank goodness) supremely washable.

Give a button-up a go

There’s something about boys in a button-up shirt that’s just adorable. Whether you choose from check, gingham, plaid or plain, worn open over a plain tee in early autumn and, come winter, worn under a jumper, they will look brilliantly smart.

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Switch in a polo

Polo shirts add instant prep to jeans and they’re just as durable and comfortable as a tee. The secret to ours is the cotton mix, which gives them extra stretch, adding to the comfort factor and making them easy to wash and tumble-dry too. Top tip: if he’ll let you, do the top button up for an extra-smart look.

Go cord

Timeless, durable and classic, cord is having a moment in kidswear. It’s a great autumnal material and this green pinafore is the perfect piece to buy now, as it’s easy to layer and will look just as cute in the winter worn over a jumper with tights and ankle boots.

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Stick to muted colours

Kids look absolutely brilliant in bright colours, but if you want to keep the look classic, go for autumnal shades (navy, deep red, bottle green, mustard yellow and rust). An added bonus: these colours don’t show up dirt as much.

Get the shoes right

Ballet pumps, monochrome high-top trainers, plain ankle boots and brogues are the preppy footwear of choice. For your peace of mind our suede shoes and boots are treated so they’re water-repellent, meaning they’ll stay smarter for longer.

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Don’t be afraid of sparkle

Glitter and sequins are too fabulous to leave out of a dressed-up look. So add sparkly trainers, bags, gloves, scarves and hair accessories. If the outfit is simple and classic, like this awesome spotted jumpsuit, then adding some sparkle won’t stop the look from being smart.

Go collegiate

That old-school US college look of baseball jackets, cardigans with striped bands on the arm and jumpers with contrasting trim is a style that works fantastically on kids, looks cool and gives their outfit a smarter vibe.

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Layer, layer, layer

Preppy is a very practical style trend in autumn and winter, as it’s all about layering, particularly for boys. Whether it’s shirts over tees, cardis over polos or jumpers over button-ups, layering adds detail. As a general rule of thumb, only have a pattern (check or stripe) on one of the layers and keep the block colour neutral using blue, black, grey or white. Layering means you can strip off or add on – very handy for active kids!

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Editor: Claire Askew / Creative director: Tom Usher / Photographer: David Burton at Sarah Laird & Good Company / Stylist: Grace Poulter at S Management
Styling assistants: Liv Burch and Hannah Last / Hair and make-up artist: Rose Angus at S Management using Liz Earle and Kevin Murphy / Hair and make-up artist assistant: Lucy Ridley
Digital technician: Adam Goodison / Lighting assistant: Richard Bartram / Seamstress: Leah Hall at Chapman Burrell / Casting and production: Amelia Trevette at AT Casting and Production
Models: Isaiah, Jacob, Isla, Aubrey, Ava and Belle at Kids London

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