Category Archives: We Love…

January 19, 2010

Children’s Clothing Through the Years

Tastes and trends in kid’s clothing are always changing, and sometimes “style” seems hard to define. At Tea, we believe in timeless, original designs that are both beautiful and incredibly wearable.

Take a look at how children’s clothing styles in America have changed over the years. We’d love to hear which decade or trend is your favorite!

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The History of Children's Clothing

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November 4, 2009

Holiday Clothing Trends for Kids

Holiday Special Occasion OutfitsWe thought it would be fun to share some trends that we have seen in children’s special occasion clothes this holiday season.

Festive outfits that can be worn beyond the holiday season – Parents are seeking special occasion outfits for their children this holiday season; however they are looking for styles that are not the traditional red and green.  Especially in the current economic climate, it is important the pieces could also work for a birthday party, a nice dinner, or any other special occasion that requires a dressier outfit.  Tea’s holiday dresses are perfect – they offer extraordinary elegance and style that can be worn for special occasions any time of the year.

Jinja Floral Wrap Dress

East Meets West

East Meets West – East meets West fusion styling has been essential to this fall’s fashions and is also showing up on runways in Spring/Summer 2010 collections.  Inspired by the ancient Japanese practice, Shinto Traditions are fashions for children up to size 8 that incorporates kimono inspired styling and symbolic prints.  The Shippo Woven Shirt is a modern printed shirt with contrast cuff with a pattern that represents the “seven treasure” in Buddhism.

Relaxed, yet refined holiday fashions - Children love to be comfortable, so it is important to find holiday outfits that are special yet practical for day parties or running around at grandma’s house.  The Meiji Floral printed french terry dress will be well suited until spring with its sporty attitude and floral femininty, perfect for signature Tea

layering with Purity tees and leggings (layering is another trend).  For boys, the Satori Stripe Sweater offer luxe comfort in pimo cotton with sporty styling, paired with the Wabi Cargo pant; he will be ready for any occasion.

August 18, 2009

my new red shoes

my new red shoesHere at Tea we love a good cause, and in the spirit of getting ready for back to school, we wanted to highlight an organization that is doing great things to foster little citizens.  My New Red Shoes is a non-profit organization that works to provide brand new shoes and clothing to underprivileged kids in the Bay Area, and work with the local community to raise awareness and support for homeless children.  Each child gets a new pair of shoes and a $50 gift certificate to go pick out an outfit of their choice from various major clothing retailers.  Caron Tabb, the executive director at My New Red Shoes commented on the impact that their program has had on the 2,500 kids that they have helped since the beginning of the program in 2006, saying that the program can help alleviate a world of stress and anxiety that a child feels about going to school because of the clothes they are wearing.  When kids feel good about themselves and the clothes and shoes they are wearing, they are free to worry about things like learning, recess, or joining a sports team.

Things are starting to get a little chaotic with the end of summer, the beginning of the school season, and that growing list of to-do’s to get everything taken care of.  If you’re looking for a way to introduce your children to community service, looking for a way to stay involved yourself, or want to contribute, then we highly recommend checking out the ways to get involved at My New Red Shoes.  They’ve made it really easy to help out, and you can even involve your kids!  Gift bags are given to all of the children, and you can get crafty and help personalize them, or support the organization through monetary donations or by participating in one of the many programs that they host.  They even have a Teen Advocacy Council where kids can work to help other kids in the community, and inspire change around them.

We love how inspired My New Red Shoes is, and of course support anyone working to foster and cultivate our little citizens.  To borrow their own words, “My New Red Shoes has faith in the power of children to change the world; planting the seed of compassion is the first step toward creating community change. Providing the tools to advocate for and generate change is the second.”

August 6, 2009

indigo arts: a true love affair

tn_everyday-charm

In our travels, we fell in love with the subtle characteristics of Japanese culture.  We discovered exquisite vintage textiles in a quaint Kyoto gallery. We met a modest artisan who is revered for his heritage, knowledge and talent. And we became infatuated with small, independent design houses featuring clothes for a relaxed lifestyle.  This fall, we’ve created a collection of children’s clothes that expresses the grace and style of Japanese culture, especially the honored use of indigo dye.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved the raw beauty of indigo.  I’ve watched it age, growing richer in its blue hues, softening to the touch, but retaining its strength.  For me, indigo is an emotional inspiration because of its glorious, ancient origins, and how I’ve seen the Japanese render it today into a high quality, casual fashion.
In Kyoto, we visited the Aizenkobo Indigo Workshop where an artist revealed more to us about the dye than I ever knew.  In its natural form, indigo doesn’t burn.  It is rare to find such textural beauty and strength together.  In the 18th century, Japanese firefighters wore indigo-dyed garments because of its protective ability.  One of my favorite travel pictures is Laura Boes in the antique firefighter’s coat from the Edo period. 

Shibori is another traditional craft that is much like tie dye. Cotton fabrics are soaked up to 20 times, or even 40 times for silk, to achieve the deep blue-violet color.  Artists, then, painstakingly string-tie miniscule knots around pinches of the dyed fabric, creating a small-dotted circle shape. Thousands of these knots evolve into a sea of repeating geometric motifs that can cover the entire piece of cloth. 

Because of the arduous and expensive process, most of the world uses synthetic indigo.  However, a few Japanese artists and designers are keeping the craft alive in today’s culture.  We wanted to pay homage to this honored tradition in our boys and girls clothes.   

The Indigo Arts Collection includes great back-to-school and holiday essentials such as the Shibori Girl Dress and Top, Takayama Plaid Top and Dress  for girls and the Edo Firefighter Pullover for boys .  And we are bringing back our iconic Kimono Robe . When I see my son and other little citizens wearing it, I know that they have the softest, most quintessential piece of children’s outerwear for any time of year. 

I wish a wonderful fall season to everyone.  I look forward to your comments and hope that you will share the spirit of indigo with all who inspire you. 

-Emily

August 4, 2009

your child is the star of this book!

my very own name bookRemember all the gifts that flood in after your child is born? There are all the tiny little onesies and the soft Daily Tea. In the midst of the sea of pink we received the sweetest gift that we will keep forever. Olivia’s namesake came up with the ultimate gift for her. A book called My Very Own Name from www.iseeme.com. The title page on the inside cover is printed with a special note to Olivia from Uncle Drake and Auntie Brandi (she’s a fine girl). In the story, the animals are in search of a name for the baby in the bassinet. Each page has an animal that brings a letter to the other animals. For example the Antelope brings an A. One by one the animals choose a name for the baby. In the end it spells out the child’s name and the animals rejoice. The bonus is that the children learn to recognize the letters and spell their names. The bonus for the parents is seeing the pure happiness of your child when they read that the special book is about them. The illustrations are beautiful and now they offer other books which I have purchased for Olivia such as My Very Own Fairy Tale which was signed by the author. I recommend joining their website at www.iseeme.com and watching for specials such as book signings.

April 10, 2009

a worldly bedtime story

Kai’s favorite book right now is a wonderful story written by Karen Katz, Can You Say Peace? Even at 9 months, the colorful characters in the book resonate with him. Kai’s face lights up when I pull this book off the shelf and he laughs with excitement. Without leaving Kai’s room, we travel to 11 different countries and catch a glimpse of each child’s life with their own families. His favorite children in the book are Sadiki from Ghana who says “goom jigi” and Kenji from Japan who says “heiwa”. We have such a good time reading and learning to say peace in multiple languages. It’s never to early to teach our children to wish for non-violence around the world.

Of course, Katz isn’t able to cover evey single country. Here are some other ways to say peace:

Shalom-Hebrew

Salam-Arabic

Amani-Swahili

Hoa Binh- Vietnamese

Kapayapaan- Tagalog

Pyong’hwa- Korean

Shite- Tibetan

How do you say peace in your language?

April 2, 2009

destination dinners

Do you love cooking with your little citizen? If the economy has you eating in more, we’ve found these Destination Dinners- the perfect way to bring food from other cultures home. Each Destination Dinner kit includes spices, a shopping list, cooking instructions and fun information about the source of the meal. Bon appetit!

March 19, 2009

featured tea retailer: fiddlesticks, san francisco, ca

Spring is here, and so is the beautiful Tea Collection – a favorite in our store here in San Francisco… especially because they are local!

Beyond coveting this brand because of their consistent & exceptional quality, as well as the cohesive theme through and through… we wanted to share some of our season’s favorites!

Spring 1 is beautiful with it’s indigo colors. The Kasato Stripe Dress and Shirt, as well as the Heitai Sweater (which has a bit of a hip spin on a classic style) have been so well received by our customers. It’s perfect for a day at the beach…and a definite must for siblings to wear
on those family photo days!

The Santa Teresa dress (in the Spring 2 delivery) is a store favorite because it’s a fantastic “girlie” summer dress and it’s a clever translation to their brazil-samba theme.

And the jeans. The price point is spot on, the quality is present and the fit is slimming. With the increase need for skinny jeans these days.

But of course, we can’t forget Daily Tea. Always a popular grab for both our mothers and those baby shower gift givers! The price point is affordable, the quality always present & the summer styles are sooooooo cute. Especially the wave pattern for boys & ALL the dresses for the girls.

We can’t wait for our summer delivery to arrive, hard to believe it’s that time of year yet again. Hello beach and all those summer getaways….

Hurray to Tea for their consistency, clever designs, & top notch quality!!!!

-Elizabeth Leu, Fiddlesticks

cootie bug solution

Is there not a mother alive that is not simultaneously amazed and disgusted by both the frequency and interval with which a child can touch every surface in a public bathroom? Have we not all experienced saying in our begging yet sing-song voice, “Now honey, don’t touch ANYthing…okay?” while entering the tiny stall of a public restroom and once you are both inside the cramped stall you wiggle-turn around to see your child opening and closing the small “door” on the tampon disposal container? “Baby! I told you don’t touch ANYthing!” “Oh sorry Mommy” is the casual reply while moving on to explore the butt-gasket dispenser. “SWEETIE, STOP IT!”

I discovered I am way too Aries to be having that particular experience over and over. I came up with a solution that has generated many a kudos amongst eavesdropping stall-mates. Often times it was mothers of older children that wished they had thought of it too. When Olivia was very young I would say “Can you touch your eyes?” A young child’s natural response is to put both hands on their eyes. There in lies the beauty of the task. “Can you touch your ears?” Both hands touch her ears. And my personal favorite “Can you touch your elbows?” which was just funny to watch. This goes on and on until we make a clean exit and leave E-coli Central.

Once Olivia learned the names of all her parts, I panicked. The game was over for her and she was now touching everything again. I had to do something and do it quick. Spanish! I began asking “Donde estan tus ojos?” “Where are your dedos?”

Once Olivia learned the names of her parts in Spanish, I again panicked. I don’t know French. What will I do? Anatomy! Ah, thank goodness for Anatomy! I began asking “Where your femors?” Where are your phalanges?” “Honey, where is your mandible? Tell me?”

Now Olivia is 5 and a half and squeezing around in the stall becomes increasingly more like a Cirque du Soleil audition. We no longer have to play the game because she is old enough now to understand. I meet far less new friends at the sink now that we don’t have the neurotic-mommy method to discuss but Olivia now knows the names of her parts in English, Spanish and proper Anatomical terms. That is all a bonus.

March 13, 2009

bento box: a new way to bring lunch

Courtesy of Happy Home Baking

Ditch the bags and go for a box. I’m not talking about your regular American lunch box. The bento box is an option that kids will love for its unique style and cool factor. Your kid doesn’t have to be Asian to carry one either. I know you’re use to eating sushi and teriyaki out of restaurant bento boxes, but sandwiches and veggies work in them too. Each compartment will keep sandwiches, fruit, and cookie in their spot without the use of Ziploc bags. What an easy way to go green!

Bento boxes are a common way to eat lunch around Japan whether in school, on transit, or on a family picnic. Most boxes are beautifully lacquered while others are printed with popular Anime characters.

You can also wrap a furoshiki (pretty small cloth) around the box that can act as a place mat or napkin too.

Where to get a box:

Lunchboxes.com

Cooking for Monkeys.com

Any Sanrio Store