One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is putting together the perfect holiday outfit for my kids–all four of them. In the past, that has led to me purchasing all sorts of shoes and accessories, on top of the fabulous holiday dress for my girls, and new sweater for my son. You can imagine the bill. So over the years, I’ve learned that you invest in one beautiful, splurge-y dress or a fantastic skirt or pants that’s super special for the holidays, and then you pair it with more budget-friendly items. Including ones you’ve already got in your closet.
It’s a great trick for making a holiday look feel completely new and expensive, without splurging on every single piece of a new outfit.
So that’s exactly what I did this year with the newest collection from our sponsor eden & zoe, a cashmere knitwear brand for girls 2-10 which we have adored for years. It was created by designer and mom Melissa Wang (you know how we love supporting mom-run businesses) and this season, she’s added boys’ pieces too. Which, as a mom with a son to dress for the holidays, makes me more than thrilled.
Don’t miss a huge exclusive discount for Cool Mom Picks readers below!
Here I’ve had so much fun taking a few of eden & zoe’s gorgeous pieces that are perfect as core holiday staples, then styled three holiday outfits paired with truly inexpensive items that you probably already have in your closet, or that you can snatch up on your regular holiday shopping trips.
Also? My daughter had the best time. As you can probably tell.
A cool holiday outfit for the girl who loves tutus
Start with the tutu. A good one.
With three girls in the house, you can just imagine how many tutus we’ve gone through over the years. Probably because none have been as gorgeously-made as the tutus from eden & zoe (above in black), which happen to be on sale right now, by the way.
Because they material is so soft and the skirts are lined, even my little one who’s very sensitive to fabrics and tags has no issues at all. In fact, she didn’t want to take her tutu off all day and that’s saying something. I’ve found a good quality tutu is a smart investment piece because you can buy it a little long and your daughter will get quite a few good years out of it, for both imaginary play, and heading out on the town.
Add basics you already own
I added a mint green shirt my daughter already had in her closet for a little pop of color. Red and hot pink work great for holiday wear too, or try a metallic tee, but I think mint is really modern. (And the cotton is comfy.) Then I wanted to layer the tee with a cardigan, so I used eden & zoe’s ballerina style Rose Wrap cardigan (above in gray), that actually looks amazing with any skirt or dress, so you can get plenty of use out of it too.
In fact that style is such a smart buy, because even as it gets shorter on your daughter, it starts to look more like a stylish shrug. Liz has had ballet-style sweaters like this one that her girls have literally worn for four or five years.
Top it off with inexpensive accessories
The best tip: When you’re starting with high-quality clothing, you can totally pair them with cheaper accessories and the whole outfit still looks like, celebrity kid fancy.
Accessories can make the outfit: Headband, patterned tights, jewelry if you want. You can match a headband or pretty barrette to the shirt–they are so many affordable ones at your local mall store–or go with black and silver like we did for more shine. The heart tights keep the outfit from getting too stuffy (or any pattern like argyle, stars, polka dots), then just add whichever “dress shoes” you have around. Fortunately, ballerina shoes for kids are in right now and it’s not hard to find a pair under $10 or $20.
Now you’ve got a ballet-inspired holiday outfit that’s playful, comfortable, and photo-ready. And that your kid won’t want to take off–in case you missed that part.
A cool holiday outfit for your stylish boy. Hold the Santa sweaters.
Start with what he already owns
I want my son to look as put together as my girls in our photos. (That’s not him up top, though it could be.) My favorite part of the holidays is capturing all my kids together in their holiday best. However, if your son is like mine, then dressing him up can be quite a challenge, especially since my own is super sensitive to materials, fabrics, and tags. Being able to pull from his own wardrobe is key for me.
So first, take inventory: Does he have a great vest? A cool button-up? One pair of favorite cords? A pair of dark denim jeans that aren’t yet stained with who-knows-what? Unless you’ve got a male fashionista on your hands, boys often like what they already feel comfortable in. So start with key pieces he already loves, then work around it.
Add a gorgeous sweater
There really is a difference between truly fine sweaters and cheaper acrylic blend ones. So If I’m going to pick a holiday splurge for my son, it’s probably going to be the sweater, as opposed to pants or a shirt. The new eden & zoe boys collection (yay, for parents of boys!) features soft cashmere sweaters that are really amazing. Actually, my girls will probably wear them when he outgrows them.
Coordinate. Dare to stray from red and green.
I paired eden & zoe’s blue v-neck Frank cardigan (the heather gray is nice too, but I like how the blue pops) with his favorite gray t-shirt. Just be sure the neckline isn’t stained or stretched-out! It works great over a pair of slightly dressier pants he owns, because the child hates real dress pants. (Not just my kid, right?)
As for the color, I love that it’s not red and green, which to me often limits how long he can wear the items. With a sweater like this, you want to get as much use out of it as you can.
Last, make the outfit more festive with a fun pair of socks–which thankfully my son is always game for–then grab some boots, like these super affordable chukkas which he’ll get so much more wear out during the cold weather months than loafers or dress oxfords.
A cool holiday outfit for the girl who loves Elsa from Disney’s Frozen
It’s all about the dress
The second I saw the beautiful eden & zoe Florence dress (above in blue) and remembered my daughter had silver shoes and snowflake tights, I knew it would be perfect to put together an outfit inspired by Elsa from Disney’s Frozen.
Unlike the uncomfortable and not so holiday-appropriate Elsa costumes, this dress is beautifully-crafted and unbelievably soft, with beautiful chevron detail. But what I love most is that it’s age appropriate and playful even though it’s made from luxurious cashmere. No crinolines, no scratchy sleeves–just a comfy, stunning, modern dress she can actually move in.
Straddle the line between “inspired by” and costume
If you’re in cold weather climes like me, the eden & zoe Yvette capelet (below) works fabulously to keep her shoulders and arms warm–this is like an awesome gift from the grandparents, isn’t it?
What my daughter likes though is that it won’t hide the snowflake necklace, the essential accessory for this look.
As for the crown and bow headband pair, I picked them up at Target, which is a much more comfortable (and let’s be honest, functional) alternative to a princess crown. I’d probably stay away from the licensed merch, at least if you’re planning a real holiday outfit. In other words, no faux-satin superhero capes with cartoon characters on them. (Not that they’re not adorable.)
And the best part is, snowflakes are perfect for the season, regardless of what movie is popular right now.
The thing that’s important to me as a mom, is that my kids will get a lot of use out of each of these looks. I’m thinking holiday parties, Christmas dinner, our holiday card photos (I know, we’re so late!), a performance of the Nutcracker, a visit to Grandma’s. Aren’t the holidays fun?
Exclusive discount for Cool Mom Picks readers: Take 30% off your order from the eden & zoe website with COOL30 through 11/23 midnight EST. And don’t miss their past season collection, featuring items (like gorgeous wrap cardigans) are already on sale!
Editor’s note 12/9/14: Discount is now 25% off with code CMP25 through the end of December 2014.
Thank you so much to our sponsor eden & zoe for making such beautiful clothes for girls (and now boys too!). And for lending us these pieces for our photo shoot.
Photos of Kristen’s daughter Bridget by Aaron Adler Photography. Thanks to Bridget for being the best model ever.