Would You Put a Preschooler in a $1,200 Dress?

The New York Times is a great newspaper in a great city, but sometimes it seems to be sending in reports from another planet, and that planet's inhabitants have more money than they know what to do with.

Case in point: today's story about how "designer children's wear is all the rage." Two cute models at the top of the Thursday Styles section are outfitted in stunning and expensive clothing -- one a tulle dress for $1,200 with $1,570 coat and ballet flats for $190.

The second child, looking years beyond her age, sports a $375 trench coat and $180 kilt. And a pair of Converse sneakers for a measly $32.

We weren't the only one taken aback, as Gawker weighed in with its assessment.

The Times wasn't totally impractical; it sent researchers out to test how well the designer-inspired clothes held up. In some cases it found subpar seam work.

As it turns out, often once designers dip into the toddler pool, they license their work to others to produce and sell and not everyone out there is determined to achieve the same standard of perfection.

Alas, like new cars driven off the lot, it is noted, the worth of preschool haute couture has a steep depreciation when, six months later, a parent hikes over to a resale shop. In one case, according to the Times, a mom who'd spent $400 for a dress was told it could be resold for no more than $50.

Still, for those precious three, six or nine months that kid could still fit in that dress, or skirt or blouse bought at Barneys. Bloomingdale's or Bergdorf Goodman, wouldn't she have been on top of the world?

Well, as long as she didn't trip and fall and rip her clothes or drop food on them or chocolate milk, it'd be great. She'd be just like a little doll.

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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing