One of the first questions I ask my clients when we make a consultation call is "What kind of design complexity do you want for your kidswear collection?" The answer to that question depends of many factors: some obvious like their client's needs and characteristics or their client's esthetics, but other are also important like the budget and price range of the brand.
Before deciding what's best or not, let me first show you the different steps of complexity from a very basic to a very complex one with an example. Most of these steps can be transferred to other types of garments.
The example is the basics of the basics in a baby collection: the baby suit or onesie. But even in a basic like this, there are many steps of complexity that will impact in the look of the collection as well as in the pricing.
This is a very basic but also one of the most practical. It's a very comfortable way to dress babies, since most of them hate having clothes pulled over their heads. This flap technique is ideal, because it opens and stretches a lot but at the same time keeps it tight once on the body. Many do not know this but it is also ideal in cases of "explosive diapers" because you can take the sleeves off the arms and slide the garment underneath, instead of having to pull it out by the head, with the whole garment stained.
This is a very common variant too, in which instead of using the flaps, the opening is done on one shoulder (or both, I have also seen these) and they are closed with snap buttons. When opened, there is enough space to pass through the baby's head and when closed, it remains fixed. On the other hand, more supplies are needed and as far as practicality goes, well, you always have to think about what happens if you have to change the baby at 3 am and you have to close the three snap boots on the bottom and also the two or three on the shoulder. I know, it's all little details, but it all adds up, believe me.
This one is just PERFECT for newborns! You don't have to put anything through his head and it wraps around the baby in a way that the snaps are on one side. A double layer is created in the front, which keeps them warmer. It is very parent-friendly because to dress the baby you have to stretch the whole garment, put the baby in and "wrap" him in the garment. On the other hand, this model requires more fabric and supplies: three snap buttons on one side and two more inside, on the other side. With this system there are also shirts and they are tied with straps but they create bulges and are not comfortable.
The next step is to add details in the esthetic of the garment, such as ruffles, pleats and different styles of collars. The details add esthetic value and a certain "cuteness" to the garment as well as the cost of production according to the level of detail.
Another option is to merge two garments like a shirt type onesie or a onesie with skirt. These models already move away from the functional purpose of the garment (to create a first layer of clothing between the skin and the garment) and become the garment itself, which is absolutely OK.
The complexity of the garment can be varied at the level of graphic or textile design. Some option would be: plain, with bindings in a different color, the fabric as yarn-dyed stripes, printed fabric, pocket size artwork at chest, bigger front artwork, textured fabrics, and the list goes on...
Last but not least, garment finishes are also a factor to consider. Things like neck tapes, bindings, pipings, stitchings, to name a few.
Usually there is no right-or-wrong in these matters, we just have to think about the design of the whole collection in a strategic way, so that nothing is missing or overlooked. Also, the collection hast to be adapted to the needs of the customer (parents or the person who is going to buy the garment) and the user (the baby or child) following the visual and quality parameters of the brand.
Let me guide you through the process of creating the perfect collection for your clients. Years of experience with the niche, dealing with manufacturers and buyers, an eye for esthetics and trends, as well as a lot of personal and first hand experience will allow me to develop quality garments and make a difference for your brand.