Fashion editor Sarah Clark about dressing children
Tell us about your family…
I live in Petersham, Richmond with my boyfriend and our nine-year old twins, Tabitha and Marlow. And our two Burmese cats, Miu Miu and Duchess.
As a stylist what is your top tip for women who want to look stylish yet effortless?
Firstly, identify the pieces and outfits that make you feel great when you’re wearing them. What’s your ‘go to’ outfit when you want to feel and look your best, but not look like you’re tried too hard? Then build on that. Once you start tuning into what makes you feel good, dressing in a stylish, but effortless way becomes much simpler. I am a big fan of ‘uniform dressing’ - I generally always gravitate back to the same type of pieces and styles. When I don’t, I always tend to feel ‘awkward’ and uncomfortable, and ultimately not like ‘me’. I then can’t wait to get home and change.
Do Tabitha and Marlow play together? What activities do they like best?
They do, although maybe a bit less now then they used to, now they’re growing up…They do love to play imaginary games, and they also sometimes invent games that combine different elements of each of their favourite games, such a Tabitha’s Maileg mice and Marlow’s remote control cars. It’s lovely to see. And can be very creative.
What are the first things you look out for when dressing your children? (Comfort, quality, style etc etc)
Style first (sorry, but I am first and foremost a Fashion Editor!!), then quality, then comfort. But to be honest, with kids’ clothes, I always try to find all of these elements wherever possible in the pieces I buy. Marlow in particular, is very particular about how clothes feel on, and has been from a very young age. He won’t even consider something if he doesn’t like the way it feels.
The best tips for stylish children dressing are..
As a mother I guess it depends on your kids, and how strong willed they are! Compromise plays a big part now! I do think it’s so important that children have some control about how they look and present themselves to the world, as with adults, it’s an important part of communicating who you are. Marlow would live in sweatshirts and joggers (the slim leg ones I might add!) all day every day if he could! So the compromise is, I choose nice colours. That way we’re both happy!
I still buy and choose the majority of Tabitha’s clothes, but always allow her full 'creative control’ when it comes to actually putting her outfits together. She has a great eye, and is very intuitive about fashion and style, and what works together. She often surprises me with unexpected combinations that on paper would sound all wrong, but in reality are amazing! I love seeing what she’s going to come up with next! She also still loves to ’twin’ with me, which is so sweet! She will often change when she sees I’m wearing something that she can easily replicate from her own wardrobe.
What I like most about As We Grow is?
The simplicity and timelessness of the designs, the gorgeous ‘sludgy’ colour palette; and of course, the sustainability element.
Have you ever visited Iceland?
I have. I did a shoot there for Marie Claire many moons ago. In fact, I found the pictures just the other week when I was having a sort out of our attic. I still love them today. I would love to go back!
What did Tabitha like most about modelling for the As We Grow x Sweet Salone charity capsule?
That she was modelling with her friend, Missy. Tabitha also loves the whole energy/environment of a fashion shoot, and is very at ease in front of the camera (unlike her mother!!). She has been coming along to shoots with me since she was tiny, so she understands the overall process, and the different roles within the team. She is very comfortable on set, and intuitively understands what is required of her.
My favourites pieces from the As We Grow AW19 collection are..
The ‘Pocket 'dresses, the striped ’Sister’ dresses, the ‘Grandpa’ sweaters, the ‘Peter Pan’ collar tops; and for babies the cotton and alpaca lace front rompers. The colours!