You may or may not be aware that children’s clothing is VAT free, that’s to say that the standard 20% extra that we pay to the government on pretty much everything (apart from food below a certain temperature or anything that isn’t considered a luxury) doesn’t apply here.
In effect, you can consider everything to have a 20% discount provided you can fit into clothing that is designated for those aged 16 and below.
While many parents have made complaints about the precocious nature of children’s clothing over the years, I have no such complaints. I don’t want to be dressed like a giant toddler, for example, and at 25 I’m even pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable when it comes to ‘teen’ style.
I’m not going to beat around the bush (prepubescent or otherwise (slightly graphic pun intended)) you do have to wade through a synthetic minefield of boyband related T shirts but eventually you’ll step on a gem and the risk of having your guts splattered on the ceiling of the New Look 915 section amid a myriad of The Wanted baseball caps will all seem worth it.
Lesley spotted this super cute Aztec print skater dress for only £12 in Tesco. If the Aztec print retains its strangle hold on the High Street for the next 6 months, and I predict it will, then the slightly chunky knit of this fabric will transcend the seasons with the help of 40 denier tights and an ankle boot.
Keeping oneself firmly in the summer months, however, I elected to wear this out last weekend with a pair of shoes that cost me around the same.
Pedro Garcia cork platform bandage style sandals. Their leather straps are chunky, comfy and their colour perfectly matched the creamy colours in this dress’s fabric. Pedro Garcia shoes cost in the region of £200 but I paid just £12.50 for these from Tk Maxx around 2 years ago. I felt that they would have given the outfit a grown up feel were they not slightly too big for me therefore having the unfortunate side effect of looking like I had stolen my mother’s shoes. Similarly, no one would have known the original source of my dress had I not announced it with glee every time I was asked.
The dress is a great versatile cut and the stretchy fabric provides very little resistance to extreme activity should I wish to run around the garden after the cat like a 6 year old (a past time that doesn’t often grip my imagination but it’s nice to know that it’s possible). There are however some downsides; as an adult you can’t really be much bigger than a size 10-12 to fit into the kids section clothing. Also, you have to consider that hemlines are often shorter to deal with the discrepancies in height between adolescents and full grown humans. At 5″5 this doesn’t cause me too many problems and I don’t mind showing leg above the knee. However, if the idea of displaying your knee cap or higher is more distressing than delivering triplets I would suggest staying away from the non trouser end of the kids clothing market. Similarly if you have the hips for delivering triplets you’re probably unlikely to fit into trousers designed for a girl aged 13-14.
To conclude; if you are the proud owner of a 13 yr old daughter you can effectively get 2-4-1 every time you go shopping provided you yourself have the body of a teenage boy.