No Kidding

As mother to an 11-month-old girl, I can see all too clearly how the same design styles that are appearing in Paris and London can tug at the heart strings of parents in Delhi. I have made incredibly stupid impulse purchases, buying my daughter silly frocks with smocking and lace and blue jeans in June, when I know very well that she's happiest (and quietest) in tracks and a sweat shirt. I have to tear myself away from any shop selling clothes for girls and I'm in raptures for hours after, debating whether I should have bought that denim skirt or not. I was also buying buttoned down stripe shirts for my son when he was a year old, so it's clearly not just parents of girls who are victims. None of my shopping, though, has been at crazy Armani prices, but I know it doesn't take much to persuade parents to splurge on their kids. And for parents who've already bought themselves the Vuitton and Dior handbag and have a Merc in the garage and first-class vacations, where else do you splurge?

Before giving in to the urge to buy, you have to consider that there's something weird about exposing your kids to luxury commerce before they have the sense to comprehend it. You don't want to be raising a shopaholic, even if you can afford it. It's bad enough that there's peer pressure when it comes to toys at an unreasonably early age, if kids begin to compete in wardrobes as well, we've all had it. And from a practical point of view, are you really okay with your kid spilling tomato ketchup on a dress that costs ten grand, because inevitably, that will happen. Despite the impressive sounding numbers of expensive fashion brands, designer wear is a miniscule part of the worldwide $30 billion plus kids clothes industry. To keep things in perspective, the standard mark up for luxury brands is 7.5 times the cost, while a regular retailer's is 3.5 times. If you're still determined to have a designer wardrobe for your kid, I recommend logging onto the flipkart of kids stuff. Besides Benetton Kids, they have a nice range of Indian clothes for Diwali right now.

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