Dressed to impress

Published: Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 29, 2005 at 12:30 p.m.

It’s not often that kids are expected to dress in their Sunday best. When they do have to dress up, it's often an event in itself. But it can be a happy, hassle-free one with a little planning and forethought on your part.


A FAMILY AFFAIR When the Braddys venture out, they go in style with bright colors that are perfectly in step with the season. Harrison, 3, is decked out in a white button-down shirt by Strasburg ($44) and red corduroy pants by Tea/Little Citizens of the World ($43). Ed's wife Alex looks simply elegant in a classic black dress by Garfield & Marks ($210) and a handcrafted cashmere shawl trimmed with genuine ostrich feathers by Magaschoni ($275), both of which are available at Four Seasons. Daphne, 8, wears a festive red-andwhite checked silk dress trimmed with red roses by Lavender Blue ($120.25). Henry, 4, sports a red hounds-tooth, hand-stitched shirt by Strasburg ($36) and khaki pants by The Bailey Boys ($33). Ella, 1, is all dolled up in a red silk dress with hand-embroidery and hand-smocking by Strasburg ($130). Children's clothing available at Sophie Bee.

To create a unified look, Sarah Villaret, owner of Sophie Bee children's boutique in Haile Village Center, says “Try to choose outfits that work for the whole family.” Start with a fancy dress for the girls and coordinate the boys' tops and trousers with matching colors. Even Dad can get in on the act with a tie that picks up the colors of the children's clothing.

To get the most out of your investment, look for clothes that the children are likely to wear more than one time, says Dana Clayton, general manager of Macy's. For boys, versatile khaki pants are appropriate for practically any event. For a buttoned-down look on a special occasion, Clayton recommends pairing khakis with a woven shirt (shirt-tails tucked) and, if it's cool outside, a knit sweater. When the date calls for more casual attire, the woven shirt can be worn unbuttoned (tails out) over a tee shirt.

When choosing holiday fashions for the children, keep in mind another crucial factor: “Make sure they're comfortable,” says Clayton. Children are much less likely to put up a fuss about what they're wearing when they feel unencumbered by their clothing.

Finally, look for easy-care garments, such as noiron dress shirts and slacks, washable silks, and clothing made with stain-resistant fabrics. The easier the clothes are to care for, the more relaxed you'll be if (or, more likely, when) they get soiled.


EDWARD BRADDY, 33, was reelected for a second three-year term on the city commission in May 2005. A lifelong Alachua County resident, he also serves as an administrator at Santa Fe Community College. His wife, Alex Braddy, 30, teaches French part-time at Santa Fe Community College. Daphne, 8, and Henry, 4, attend the Cornerstone Academy. Harrison celebrated his third birthday on November 22, and Ella celebrated her first birthday on November 19.

CHARLES “CHUCK” CHESTNUT IV, 43, was re-elected to the city commission for a second three-year term in May 2003 and currently serves as Mayor-Commissioner Pro Tem. He is a licensed funeral director at Chestnut Funeral Home. Tiffany Chestnut, 34, is an Alachua County school teacher. Charlie, 4, attends preschool at St. Patrick Interparish School.

PEGEEN HANRAHAN, 39, was elected mayor of the City of Gainesville in March, 2004. Before serving as mayor, Pegeen worked as an environmental engineer for the University of Florida, the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department's Hazardous Materials Program and the St. John's Water Management District. Tony Malone, 33, is a civil engineer at CH2M Hill. Their daughter Evyleen Malone, 3 months, was born on September 13.

RICK BRYANT, 40, is serving his second term on the city commission, this time as commissioner-atlarge. He is also coordinator of graduate school admissions at the University of Florida. Tracy Bryant, 41, is a school psychologist at the School Board of Alachua County. Weston, 13, is an eighth grader at Westwood Middle School. Christian, 8, is a third grader at J.J. Finley Elementary School. Olivia, 3, attends a preschool program at Littlewood Elementary School.


A special thanks to our store consultants: Dianne C. Gates and Jennifer S. Laliberte, Four Seasons The Village Jeweler; Dana Clayton, Macy's; Sarah Villaret, Sophie Bee Children's Boutique.


FOUR SEASONS THE VILLAGE JEWELER Haile Plantation Village Center 5215 SW 91st Terrace (338-0015)

MACY'S DEPARTMENT STORE Oaks Mall 6419 Newberry Road (333-2321)


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