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Finding truly stylish clothing for babies and children can sometimes be an arduous task. Too often are chic parents left to choose between gaudy colours, cartoon characters and sequins or twee mummy-and-me matching sets. Good news, then, that London boasts some of the country's finest childrenswear stores, offering quality, contemporary clothing that both you and your child will love. Here's our guide to the capital's best boutiques for babies and children.
La Coqueta, Notting Hill
With a flagship boutique on Notting Hill’s Ledbury Road, La Coqueta has a traditionally Spanish aesthetic, honed by founder and mother of five, Celia Muñoz. Kitting out kids from birth until the age of ten, the label is known for its pastel-hued merino wool baby sets, adorable romper suits, hair bows and Mary Jane shoes in a rainbow of colours. Prince Louis was photographed wearing one of the brand’s blue and white rompers to ring in Prince Charles’ 70th birthday celebrations, while fans also include Keira Knightly, Sabine Getty and Millie Mackintosh.
9am-6pm (11am-5pm Sundays), 61 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, W11 2AA, lacoquetakids.com
Caramel, Notting Hill and South Kensington
With outposts in Notting Hill and South Kensington – as well as concessions in Harrods and Selfridges – Caramel offers a gorgeous array of sustainably produced lifestyle wares, spanning home decor, toys and clothing for both babies and adults. Rompers, bloomers and dresses are designed with a vintage sensibility, in striped linen and printed cotton, adorned with ditsy florals and paisley pattern swirls. For the colder months, there are cosy alpaca wool cardigans and cashmere jumpers in grey, navy, blush pink and popping marmalade hues. Caramel has recently collaborated with Kids O’Clock to encourage customers to exchange pre-loved children's clothes for a voucher to spend in-store. This is part of the brand's new focus on eco-conscious shopping, which also includes working with select makers and sustainable fabrics.
77 Ledbury Road Notting Hill, W11 2AG, Monday-Sunday, 10am-5pm; South Kensington, SW3 2DY; Friday-Saturday, 11am - 5pm (closed Sunday and Monday), caramel-shop.co.uk
Papouelli, Chelsea and Belgravia
Footwear doesn't come sweeter or smarter than Papouelli. Another royal favourite – Princess Charlotte wore a pair of its ballerina flats at Princess Eugenie's wedding – shoes are designed in London and handcrafted in Portugal and Italy. With shops in Chelsea and Belgravia, the boutique stocks baby slip-on styles for tiny toes but also goes up to size 39 for teenagers (and perhaps mums too).
Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm, Sunday, 12pm-5pm, 51 Elizabeth Street, SW1W 9PP, papouelli.com
Trotters, Kensington & Chelsea
For many well-heeled London residents, a first haircut at Trotters is a rite of passage. Sophie Mirman and her husband Richard Ross opened the childrenswear institution on the King's Road in 1990, after growing frustrated at the limited offering of high-end clothing for little ones. Catering to kids aged 0-12 years, it now has outposts in Kensington, Battersea, Chiswick, Westfield White City and a smart concession at Harrods. Shoes are professionally fitted onboard the renowned Trotters train or plane and the shop also offers an array of beautifully crafted wooden toys, books and home decor.
Pepa & Co., Belgravia
Pepa & Co. is positioned on London’s eminently charming Elizabeth Street. Founded by Andalucian designer Pepa Gonzalez, clothing is designed in London and crafted in Spain. Think adorable bloomers, Fair Isle sets, hand-smocked dresses and smart double-breasted coats, all of which are accented by ruffles, velvet trims and cute collars. It also has the royal seal of approval: the Duchess of Cambridge dressed Prince George and Princess Charlotte in Pepa & Co at aunt Pippa Middleton’s wedding in 2017 and the children are frequently photographed in the brand’s beautifully made ensembles.
10am-6pm (closed Sundays); 40 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, SW1W 9NZ, pepaandcompany.com
Luna and Curious, Shoreditch
Luna and Curious in Shoreditch is a cornucopia of trendy childrenswear, toys and accessories by European labels like FUB, Bobo Choses and Barn of Monkeys. We love the colourful pom-pom hats, woollen cardigans and Haptic Lab sailing ship kites. There are plenty of treats for adults too – the boutique showcases a curation of independent jewellers, stationery and homeware.
11am-5pm, 24-26 Calvert Avenue, Shoreditch, E2 7JP, lunaandcurious.com
Honourable online mentions
Alex and Alexa
Considered the NET-A-PORTER of childrenswear, Alexa and Alexa is where you’ll find baby Gucci, Burberry, Stella McCartney, Fendi and Dior. It also stocks modern labels like Mini Rodini and homeware by Ferm Living.
Snüz lays claim to the SnüzPod, the bestselling bedside crib. With a mid-century Scandinavian aesthetic, the SnüzPod is as much a timeless piece of furniture as it is a baby's cot. The newest SnüzPod 4 includes a lightweight bassinet with breathable mesh sides, which zip down for easy feeding. The bassinet also lifts off, meaning it is easily transportable around the house. The much-admired brand also offers an array of stylish sleep aids, nursery prints and bedding.
Otis And The Wolf
Otis and the Wolf offers a gorgeous array of toys, kidswear and nursery furniture with a Scandinavian aesthetic. There are beautiful wooden teething toys, tactile garlands, patchwork blankets, mobiles and Moses baskets, from brands including Maileg, Konges Sløjd and Fabelab. In short, it offers everything you need to create a calm, modern and stylish space for your little one.
Rachel Riley gained worldwide recognition after the Duchess began dressing Prince George in her ensembles. Sarah Jessica Parker, Beyoncé and Claudia Schiffer followed suit, leading to a standalone boutique on Marylebone High Street and a concession at Harrods. The designer has since moved her store online, specialising in decorative ensembles for newborns and children. Riley, a former model and Cambridge graduate, studied pattern cutting at an atelier in Paris before launching her label in 1994. Shop timeless smock dresses, floral prints and embellished cardigans for girls, and classic corduroy trousers, smart shirts and cable knits for boys, as well as nursery furniture, newborn gifting bundles, toys and books.
Meri Meri is playfully packed with glittering, delightful party supplies, from illustrated crackers, streamers, bunting and tableware to costumes, cake-toppers and baby accessories. Ignite your child’s imagination with soft toys, mobiles and charming stationery, curated by American-born, Cheltenham-based founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith.