How to create a classic chic French look for your child

In our Parisian boutique L’île aux Fées, we are often asked questions on how to dress children in a classic chic French style.

Raised in Paris and living in the French capital half of the year, here are a few guidelines from our designer and tips from our Parisian team:

Picture of Brune wearing one of our dresses in front of la Grande Roue in Paris

Picture of Brune wearing one of our dresses in front of la Grande Roue in Paris

  • Less is more

To enhance children’s natural features, sobriety is the keyword. No need to overdo it by dressing them up too much. Leonardo da Vinci’s quote “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” perfectly reflects this French state of mind.

Avoid superficial details, bold accessories and rich ornaments. Life is party and childhood is meant to be celebrated but with discretion and subtleness.

Beautiful thick cotton navy smocked dress

Beautiful thick cotton navy smocked dress

  • Favour quality

First of all pay attention to the fabric. Prefer high-quality noble materials which will ensure long lasting garments. Check the fabric composition, feel and touch to assess its softness and thickness. Then take a look at the seams and hem which will help you to determine if the garment is well made.

The French tend to believe there is no age to appreciate high-quality garments and that children’s sensitive skins are much better off with natural fabrics than artificial fibres.

The outstanding number of handmade kids’ clothes brands in France speaks for itself!

  • Clean lines

Prefer classic clean lines over complex extravagant ones. Stay on the safe side with well cut basics. French elegance lies in its neat, clear line designs creating flawless silhouettes.

Elise and Mila wearing classic smocked dresses

Elise and Mila wearing classic smocked dresses

  • Stay true to traditions

Focus on tradition more than fashion trends. Prefer timeless pieces over extravagant short lasting mood-of-the-moment garments. This does not exclude a subtle modern twist but always keep in mind the innocence and tenderness of childhood to avoid falling into the mini-me trap.

Olivia in a daffodil yellow summer smocked dress

Olivia in a daffodil yellow summer smocked dress

  • Harmony of colours

Taking into consideration and respecting your child’s complexion is essential. Spend time observing your child’s eye, hair colour and skin tone. No need to be an expert, the loving eye of a mother is often the best judge. Try several colour palettes to see which one best highlights your darling’s demeanour.

And of course, follow the basic rules. Prefer soft pastel colours over bright and loud ones. One can never go wrong with a pastel pink for a baby girl or a soft light blue! We recommend building a wardrobe with basic classic pastel shades and then adding a touch of fantasy with a few, more daring pieces.

For example, a daffodil yellow or poppy red dress can look beautiful on a suntanned skin in the middle of summer. Navy blue and pearl grey are also classic colours present in little Parisians’ wardrobes every season.

Léonore wearing a typically French vichy print smocked dress

Léonore wearing a typically French vichy print smocked dress

  • Subtle prints

For prints, the French are deeply fond of floral prints for little ones. Our favorites are of course the ones from Liberty of London, timeless classics that never go out of style.

Delicate pastoral and animal prints are also appreciated as well as the traditional vichy print of course.

Try to avoid total looks and favour subtle print details, for example on the collar or sleeve biais. And above all no logos!

  • Chic detailing

As the quote says “'Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail.'” It is indeed by the precious finishings such as delicate sleeve embroidery, mother-of-pearl buttons, a velvet collar or elegant piping that one can feel the Parisian chic of a garment. It is the subtle details that make all the difference.

  • Most of all enjoy!

Dressing one’s darling must remain a pleasure. Take time to carefully select your little one’s looks, let it bring back happy memories of your own childhood, make pictures to capture the sweetest of your little one’s outfits to look back on in a few years and have fun!


The guidelines above are reflected in all of our collections. Smocked dresses are the perfect emblem of a classic chic French style

*Our dresses are available both in our unique Parisian boutique L’Île aux Fées and on our e-shop Charlotte sy Dimby