Getting dressed these days is like playing Russian roulette with the toddler-stained clothes crumpled on my bedroom floor. If I find the t-shirt and jeans not covered in spit up, I win.
Being a mom of 14-month-old twins hasn’t left me time to keep up with my own personal style (and for someone who used to regularly write about local shopping and style, this is soul crushing). Luckily, my kids aren’t old enough to figure out that I currently channel this creative outlet into their daily outfits.
Between diaper blowouts, runny noses and figuring out finger foods, it’s pretty easy to justify a Lady Gaga number of outfit changes for your toddlers. I try to have fun despite the mountainous laundry pile.
The hiccup, though? I have boys. And the options for boys in general, and more specifically in Alaska, is limiting. I’m not a huge fan of always dressing my kids, well, like kids. Leggings with animal-face appliques on the butt? Onesies with saccharin sayings and cute cartoon-like creatures? And almost every parent I know has the bear-print Carter’s fleece footie pajamas from Costco. The alternative is paying Baby Gap prices for something your kids will wear for two months or promptly destroy at daycare.
When I had the chance to test run a few H&M Kids options ahead of H&M’s Anchorage store opening this week, I was all about it. My little guys were too, but only because it meant they got a pass to climb all over the furniture while I snapped pictures. Here are my takeaways and few reasons why I will be including H&M in my shopping rotation:
The sizes run big compared to some of the usual suspects, such as Carters, Old Navy, and Baby Gap. But that means H&M Kids clothing probably just runs true-to-size. My boys range in size from 18-24 months to 2T in just about every brand they wear, but the 1 1/2-2 year H&M size was so generous I had to take full advantage of the adjustable elasticized waistband.
The clothes are adorable without being overbearingly or clichéd cute. But if you like those truly child-like touches, no fear, H&M has plenty of that too.
Everything washed and wore well – at least the first few times – with minimal shrinking and no unraveled seams. Like any clothing in their closet, it will be subjected to toddler torture, and we have yet to figure out how it holds up under that stress. But if it doesn’t fall apart right after the tags come off, I’m happy.
The prices are appealing, especially if you have more than one kid. We have a family wedding next month, and I will absolutely check out the H&M Kids options first so that I don’t have to spend a fortune on something my boys might only wear once.
I’m particularly interested in H&M’s Conscious collection, which promises more clothing choices that promote sustainability in myriad ways but without a higher price tag. The fact that this is even an affordable option when it comes to dressing my kids is a huge bonus.
H&M opens its first Anchorage store in the Dimond Center on Thursday, July 16, and the options will include its baby collection (newborn to 18 months), kids collection (18 months to 8 years), and big kids collection (9 to 14 years). The first 500 shoppers in line on Thursday will receive an Access to Fashion Pass valued from $10-$300. You can also take advantage of H&M’s garment recycling program. By donating old clothing at the store, you will receive a voucher for 15 percent off your next purchase for each bag of donated clothing. To kick-off the recycling program on July 16, customers who bring clothing to be recycled before the store opens at noon will also have the chance to win H&M gift cards valued between $50 and $100.
Leslie Boyd is a writer and mother who lives in Anchorage.