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A cool unique independant retail clothing store for CHILD - TWEENS - TEENS. Quality brands, the latest trends and age appropriate clothing. Boys and Girls styles - Ages 3 to 16 - Sizes 3 to 16
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    Here to help this Christmas

    Here to help this Christmas

    Believe it or not, we’re nearly at ‘that’ time of the year again! Yes, good people, it’s time to get out the tinsel, ‘don the Santa hats and put up the Christmas tree again.

    As your friendly and helpful kids, tweens, and teens fashion retailer, I thought I’d write a blog on how I can help you with your Christmas shopping this year.

    Shop local and take advantage of extended trading hours

    Here she goes again! Yep! I want to remind you all how important it is to shop locally. It’s easier for you, and it keeps the money in our town. With all the water around us and the current conditions of our roads, shopping locally this year may be easier for you in many ways.

    Starting Sunday, 20 November 2022, Innocence and Attitude will be open 7 days right through to Christmas Eve. I find the Sunday trading around this time of year gives my valuable customers a chance to pop in and shop when they’re not as pushed for time.

     Do your homework before you buy

    If you’re buying clothes as gifts, find out the size you need to save the disappointment on Christmas day. A few months ago, I shared a blog on how to buy for your kids online, and this may be worth checking out if you need some help buying items without the kids knowing.

    My most important reminder is that sizes and ages don’t necessarily go together. I have so many grandparents, aunts, and uncles come in and say things like ‘Billy is 7, so he’d be a size 7’. While this could be right, it may not be. I highly suggest checking with their Mum, Dad, or carer first.

    Want an easy solution?

    Buy a gift voucher! I love it when my kids get gift vouchers from family and friends because I know they can get exactly what they want, and let’s face it, most kids know what they want.

    Buying a gift voucher not only takes out the guesswork, but also saves on waste. There’s nothing worse than a well-intended gift being shoved to the back of the cupboard for reasons like they don’t like it, it’s the wrong size or colour.

    This year, I have my new gift cards to offer. They can be used both online and in-store. These cards can be used numerous times until the money runs out and can even be topped up. I spent a bit of time during the year working on them, and I’m so happy with these gift cards.

    Stocking filler ideas

    Just like Oprah has her favourite things of 2022, I thought I’d share some of my top stocking filler ideas with you.

     

    Good luck with your Christmas shopping. If I can assist you over the next few weeks, please pop in and see me in-store. I look forward to catching up with you all soon.

    How to create a capsule wardrobe

    How to create a capsule wardrobe

    Believe it or not, it’s Spring. As I write this blog, the weather is crazy in the Mallee. Hopefully, we’ll see lots of warm and sunny days soon. When the days finally warm up, we’ll all be looking for tees and shorts again.

    Then you might hear the dreaded words, “I have nothing to wear.” Argh, haven’t we, as parents and carers of the next generation, all been here before?

    I have a solution for you. It’s simple! It’s affordable! And space saving!

    Are you interested to know more? Let me introduce you to the Capsule Wardrobe.

    What is a capsule wardrobe?

    Back in the '70s, the founder of London's unique ladies' fashion clothes boutique, the Wardrobe (Beautiful Clothes) Ltd, Susie Faux, invented the term capsule wardrobe. It works on the principle of less is more. Suzie believes that a capsule wardrobe should consist of 12 pieces of clothing for each season. 

    As a fashion retailer, I am a massive fan of the idea. I like to think of a seasonal capsule wardrobe as a selection of evergreen clothes that can be put together in different ways. The idea is innovative, cost-effective and prevents clutter.

     

    In my store, I've selected a range of Australian brands that work well together. It's no accident that St Goliath items match well with the Indie Kids range. I've spent hours researching and selecting the brands that can be mixed and matched, making my store the perfect place to put together a capsule wardrobe for kids/tweens and teens.

    How to create a seasonal capsule wardrobe for your kids and tweens/teens

    Because I specialise in clothes for kids aged three to teens up to 16 years, it isn't a one-size-fits-all when it comes to creating a capsule wardrobe. In this article, I'm going to walk you through how to create capsule wardrobes for kids and tweens/teens.

    But before I break this down any further, no matter who you're creating a capsule wardrobe for, step one is the same for everyone: clean out your wardrobe first! Now is a great time to have a Spring clean.

    Make some piles, including:

    • No longer fits
    • Seen better days
    • Never been worn

    For the clothes sitting in all the above piles, it's time to make the call and move them on. Maybe the items that are in good condition can go to other family members, friends or donated to charity.  

    Word of advice: Many op shops are inundated with clothes thanks to fast fashion. Check with them before donating, as you may be handing them a problem.

    How to build a Spring/Summer capsule wardrobe for your kids

    In my opinion, excluding the uniforms, a kid's capsule wardrobe for girls and boys should comprise of around 12-14 items for each season.

    When setting up a capsule wardrobe for your kids, here are some things to keep in mind:

    • What do you want the clothes to say about them? Like it or not, our clothes speak for us. Keep this in mind.
    • Think of the lifespan of a garment and try to put quality ahead of price. I know this can be hard (especially with the ways things are going up), but as I've written about in an earlier blog post, cheap isn't always best.
    • Will the item lend itself to being mixed and matched?
    • Don't blow your budget! It's always a good idea to set a budget before you go shopping and stick to it.

    How to build a capsule wardrobe for your tween/teen

    Once us parents and carers have entered this phase with our tween/teen, it's time to step back!  I know! I get it! It's hard!

    But these are the years of discovery, experimenting and establishing their identity. The good news is that we can still help them build their capsule wardrobe by asking some questions to guide them into making good decisions.

    For tween/teen girls, ask them questions like:

    • What colours do you feel comfortable wearing?
    • Are there clothes in your wardrobe that you've never worn? Why haven't you worn them?
    • What features do you like most about yourself? Thanks to the overworked images of 'beautiful' they're exposed to on social media, this will probably open a conversation about what they don't like about themselves. Turn it around and get them to realise their best features and how they can highlight them by choosing the right clothes.

    For tween/teen boys, I'd suggest asking questions like these:

    • What clothes are you comfortable in? Clothes that are either too baggy or too tight are known never to see the light of day. (i.e., they live at the back of their wardrobes)
    • In tops and tees do you like V-necks, round necks or polos? It's typical for tween/teen boys to have never thought about this. Get them to try on a few different styles of tops and let them decide.
    • Where do you like your pants (jeans/chinos) to sit? (i.e.) At your ankle or below the ankle. This is another small detail to point out. The littlest things can make the most significant difference when it comes to feeling comfortable and confident.

    Being an intentional shopper

    What I like most about the capsule wardrobe is how it drives organisation and purpose. It's frustrating when you can't see the trees for the woods when searching through your kid's wardrobes. By doing an audit at each change of season and knowing that around 12-14 pieces of clothing are all that's needed, the wardrobe is no longer a temple of doom. Instead, it's a place of organisation and order.

    With a capsule wardrobe, at the start of a new season, everyone knows what they need, eliminating unnecessary and sometimes wasteful purchases. Depending on the growth between seasons, sometimes there will be a lot to buy, and other times there won't be much.

    It's good for our kids and tweens/teens to learn about shopping intentionally. This may be a valuable lesson they can take with them throughout life.

    Want to get started?

    If I've inspired you to introduce capsule wardrobes at your house, feel free to pop into the store or send me a message to learn more.

     

    What were you doing back in 2017?

    What were you doing back in 2017?

    Five years ago, I was a frustrated parent, struggling to find quality clothing styles for my then 13- and 9-year-old. Finding a store that sold quality Australian brands for tweens and teens was impossible. 

    So, I decided to do something about it. I opened my store, Innocence and Attitude, in Swan Hill North. With all the emotions going on, I turned the store sign to Open…. And now I am getting ready to celebrate Innocence and Attitude’s 5th Birthday!! 

    I feel happy knowing I successfully managed to fill a gap in the market that was desperately missing. I have been able to help many Aussie families, and of course, kids find suitable, good quality and affordable clothes. 

    I have the best job in the world, and this is thanks to all of you, my amazing customers. Over the last five years, I’ve watched tweens and teens grow into young adults. I’ve met many new faces and made friends I hope to keep for life.

    In this blog, I want to take a journey back to 2017. Time goes by so quick, and a lot happens in five years, and it’s good to take some time out to reflect.


    Back in 2017

    What were we wearing?

    We saw bold earrings, floral patterns from the 60s, and white boots re-emerge from our wardrobes. Our kids were rocking the plaid pants, denim jackets and tracksuits. Drop-waisted dresses, cropped pants and animal print tees were all the rage. Phone case bags and newsboy hats were the accessories to have.


    What were we watching?

    We watched SuitsStranger Things and Pretty Little Liars on our screens. The kids were going mad at the cinemas over Wonder, Boss Baby and Despicable Me 3


    What were we hearing?

     Among the top hits in 2017 were The Shape of You, Ed Sheeran, and Despacito (featuring Justin Bieber) [Remix] - Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.


    What was making news?

    Samuel Johnson won the Gold Logie for playing Molly Meldrum in Molly. Richmond broke their 37-year drought and won the AFL Premiership. On 9 December 2017, the right to marry was no longer determined by sex or gender. Donald Trump was inaugurated as US President. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement.

    What do I know now that I didn’t know then?

    Back in 2017, I didn’t know that life-changing events like pandemics could be a thing. Now in 2022, I’ve learned to be prepared for anything. We’ve all been through so much, but together we’ve come to the other side. 


    The pandemic taught me never to give up. Hearing the press conferences to learn about ANOTHER lockdown almost destroyed me, but I got out of bed each day, and you, my wonderful customers, supported me. 

    I’ve learned how vital face-to-face connection is. Every day is a gift, and every customer I serve fills my cup with joy.

    Here’s to happy days ahead, my lovelies!


    Cazz xx

    Innocence and Attitude – Your all-occasions retail store for kids, tweens and teens

    Innocence and Attitude – Your all-occasions retail store for kids, tweens and teens

    A big part of my business ethos is being real. I love to relish in the good times, but I also know about the hard times too. Sometimes life deals cards that aren’t what we expected, and we are required to face facts and often these are sad moments in our lives. For these moments I can help, even if it’s only in a small way.

    I keep an extensive range of clothes and items in my store for all the occasions that life presents to us. Good and bad. Happy and sad.

    It's my absolute privilege when families choose my store to dress their kids not just for birthdays, engagements, communions, and weddings but also for funerals. I dress so many kids and young people for funerals.

    While we don't like to talk about them much, funerals are also a celebration of life, and choosing the right outfit to wear to honour a person is an integral part of belonging.

    I guess drawing from my experiences, in that I have lost friends, all grandparents, and a parent, my dad, I have an absolute understanding of how hard the task is to dress everyone in the family for funerals. It's excruciating! It is honestly the last thing that you want to do. I will never forget my experiences of having to do just this.

    From when customers come into my store to when they reveal they need outfits for a funeral, I see (and feel) all the emotions from that point on—the heartache, the absolute grief-stricken kids, and adults during the worst time of their lives.

    I've had to console so many parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, and of course kids. I draw on my experiences, emotions and well empathy. My understanding of how they are feeling right at that point, I just go with it, with patience, and whatever is required to help them get through it. I allow clothing to be taken (without payment) to try at home if the experience is too much. I sometimes take over, work with the kids, and allow the adults to take a seat, breathe, and regroup.

    Knowing that I've been able to help is my whole reason for opening my store. My customers have often told me how much they appreciated my help and how I've made the task so much easier for them. I can assure you, being in retail goes a whole lot deeper than a transaction running through my till.

    If you think small business owners like me aren't affected by these experiences, think again! Sometimes I've had to have a seat after grief-stricken customers has left the store to work my way through the emotions also. I feel everything they feel. How can you not? My heart absolutely breaks for them. It also brings back emotions for me. I am, after all, only human.

    For the happy occasions, like weddings, confirmations, and milestone birthday parties I love it when customers send me photos of their kids a spruced up in their outfits. It brings me so much joy knowing that I had a part to play in another family’s special occasion.

    I am so privileged when customers choose my business to buy clothes no matter what the occasion is. From bathers, to bow ties, I’ve got you covered. I've been put on this earth to assist people. Like you, I have good times, hard times and sad times in my life too. Afterall, we’re all in this together.

    TIPS ON HOW TO SHOP SUCCESSFULLY ONLINE

    TIPS ON HOW TO SHOP SUCCESSFULLY ONLINE

    Remember this time last year when we were getting dizzy as we went from being locked down to being let out again, and then locked down again. OMG! 

    Thankfully that chapter is past us. But we can’t pretend that the pandemic hasn't changed the way we do life. More and more of us are now hitting the shops online. For example, in October 2021, Australians spent a massive $4.1 billion online.

    For retailers like me, our online stores were the way we survived. While many of us have returned to shopping instore, online shopping is here to stay. I don’t run from reality; instead, I face it front-on, and this month I’ve decided to share some tips and hints on how to shop online safely and successfully.

    When it comes to shopping for the kid’s clothes, being able to shop online can be so much easier. By the time you pack all the snacks, exercised bribery and promised a trip to the toy shop to reward their ‘good’ behaviour, any wonder shopping online may seem like a much easier plan B. But there are some challenges, and I hope this blog can help you overcome some of them.

     

    How to get the sizing right

    One of the biggest hurdles of online shopping is buying the right size, and here are some tips I’ve learnt along the way:

    • Sizes don’t go with age! I could scream this from the rooftop of my store. If your child is three, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be wearing a size 3.
    • Don’t rely on generic sizing charts, as sizes vary between brands.
    • Know your child’s height, weight, hips and bust. Here’s a guide on how to get these measurements:
    • Waist – Measure around the natural waistline.
    • Hips – Measure around the fullest part.
    • Chest – With their arms down, slip the tape underneath the arms to go across the chest and around the shoulder blades. Note for girls include the fullest part of the chest.
    • Inseam – Measure from the crotch to the bottom of the leg.

     

    What to look for in fabrics

    You can’t go past touching and feeling an item before purchasing, but when shopping online, this is something we have to forgo. But all good retailers (like Innocence and Attitude) will provide details of the fabric. Here is a list of the fabrics I’d suggest you look at for the cooler and warmer months:

    Cooler months – 

    • Fleece: Lightweight, warm, affordable, and dries quickly.
    • Nylon: A waterproof synthetic that can be worn in harsh conditions. While it won’t keep you warm, it will keep you dry.
    • Down: These feathers will insulate and keep you warm when stuffed inside items like jackets. You can’t beat a feather-down jacket.
    • Wool: The warmest fabric of them all! (If wool makes you itchy, go for merino wool, it’s much softer)
    Warmer months – 
      • Cotton: I love versatile and lightweight cotton! This fabric is natural and breathable, a perfect choice to withstand the summer heat.
      • Chambray: A lightweight fabric made from 100% cotton. It’s the perfect alternative to denim in the summer, and designers use it to make super cool casual wear.
      • Linen: Made from plant flax stalks, it is a super breathable fabric. 
      • Viscose (AKA Rayon): A synthetic fabric blended with natural fibres like wool pulp and cotton. Often used as an alternative to silk. Lightweight and drapes beautifully. 

       

      Do your research

      As a retailer with an online shop, a big part of my week is spent uploading photos and product descriptions onto my website. I do this so that when you come to buy from my store, you have all the details needed to make a purchase. If you need more information, always reach out to the store and ask more questions. 

       

      Check the returns policy

      As a general rule, I wouldn’t recommend buying from online stores that don’t have a returns policy. Measuring and getting the sizing right is hard. Always check the returns policy before purchasing to avoid disappointment and potentially losing money. The Innocence and Attitude Returns Policy can be found on the website.

       

      Postage and shipping charges

      Always know how much you’re paying for postage /shipping before purchasing. What may seem like a good price can all be undone when you get to the checkout and find the shipping costs are outrageous. I have a shipping policy on my website. From the moment you purchase with me online, I am on watch until it’s delivered to you. (This is what good small business owners like me do.)

       

      Make sure you’re shopping safely online

      Be careful! We’re all so vulnerable online! There are scammers out there, and they do want our money. Here are some things to look out for when visiting a new online store:

      • Look for the padlock in the top left of the search bar

      • Use sites that start with an address of HTTPS. Be wary of sites that have an address with HTTP. Confused? If you type in my address innocenceandattitude.com into a web browser and hit enter my address turns into https://www.innocenceandattitude.com/  The HTTPS = secure. The HTTP only means that the data is not encrypted, and therefore, your details can be passed between two systems.
      • Take the time to read the customer feedback and reviews. Angry and happy customers alike usually don’t hold back in sharing their experiences of a business.
      • Look for the contact details.  If you can’t find any contact information, who are you going to contact if you need to return an item?

       

      How to pay safely online

      Once you’ve checked for the padlock and the HTTPS and established that the website appears safe to go shopping on, the next thing is to make payment of your item. Here are some things I suggest to look out for:

      • If the store asks you to email your credit card details to them, I’d be asking further questions.
      • Credit card surcharges. There are rules around what businesses can and can’t charge, so make sure you’re up to speed on this before paying for charges you may not need to be paying. Check out this article for more information.

       

      So, there you have it, my simple but somewhat comprehensive guide on how to purchase safely and successfully online. I’m grateful to have both an online and physical store as I can cater to suit the needs of my customers. Remember, though, that no matter which way you shop with me, I’m the face behind each, and I’m here to serve you.