Baby, you look so good

(From left) Sisters Mysha, six, Sharleez, eight, and Myreen Nadya, six, in their matching outfits.
(From left) Sisters Mysha, six, Sharleez, eight, and Myreen Nadya, six, in their matching outfits.PHOTO: DIAH MASTURA

Instagram is increasingly filled with stylish-looking babies and kids, thanks to fashion-conscious parents who post their Outfit Of The Day (OOTD) photos. Leong Kay Ean reports

It's a match

Ms Michelle Eng has been taking daily Outfit Of The Day shots of her 20-month-old daughter, Allyssa, since she was six weeks old, to document her development.

"I've taken a photo of her every single day of her life. For now, it's close to 700 days," says the 35-year-old director of a lighting company that her husband runs.

She started an Instagram account (allyssas.world) for Allyssa at the suggestion of one of her staff members who had seen Allyssa's photos on Ms Eng's personal account. "It's about sharing with friends and a good way for her to look back and know that mummy did this for her."

Aside from charting her growth, the photos also allow Ms Eng to indulge in her love for fashion by playing dress up with her daughter. Often dressed in tulle skirts and frilly tops, and artfully patched jeans and baby sunnies, Allyssa is every bit the fashionista her mother is.

However, Ms Eng admits: "Sometimes, I have to remind myself that she's still a little girl and that I should not dress her up too fashionably, but more like a toddler."


Allyssa in matching outfits with her mother Michelle Eng (above) and father (top). PHOTOS: MICHELLE ENG, DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

She tries to coordinate her outfits to match Allyssa's, according to theme or colour. "For example, if she's wearing stripes, I'll wear stripes. If she's wearing blue, I'll wear blue."

I’ve taken a photo of her every single day of her life. For now, it’s close to 700days.

MS MICHELLE ENG, 35, who has been taking daily Outfit Of The Day photos of her 20-month-old daughter, Allyssa

She prefers to shop online for Allyssa because it is cheaper than brick-and-mortar stores in Singapore.

Her go-to websites are Babystyleicon (www.babystyleicon.com) and Le Petit Society (www.lepetitsociety. com), where she spends about $300 each time. She also stocks up on clothes for Allyssa during their annual family trip to the United States because of the greater variety there.

She does not buy designer labels as she says Allyssa would outgrow them too quickly. As it is, she has so many outfits that she wears them only once or twice.

However, Ms Eng has made one big-ticket purchase with Allyssa in mind - a fuchsia Chanel wallet which cost about US$2,000 (S$2,700). Ms Eng uses it now but expects her daughter to inherit it when she is in her teens.

She hopes all this dressing up will rub off on Allyssa and that her daughter will love fashion as much as she does: "I look forward to the day when she starts appreciating clothes."

• Instagram account: allyssas.world
Number of followers: 335


Rocking the girl band look


The three sisters comprising (above from left) Mysha, Myreen and Sharleez Nadya are often seen wearing matching outfits on Instagram. PHOTOS: DIAH MASTURA

"They are like a girl band," quips

It’s important for the girls to know they need to present themselves in the best way possible, rather than not put any effort into dressing up.

MS DIAH MASTURA

Ms Diah Mastura, 34, referring to her three daughters, who are often seen wearing matching outfits and accessories on her Instagram account (etrangle).

Collectively called The Nadyas by their mum, they are Sharleez Nadya, eight, and twins Myreen Nadya and Mysha Nadya, six.

Ms Diah, a full-time blogger, says she was brought up to believe that dressing up is of utmost importance, which is why she firmly maintains: "It's important for the girls to know they need to present themselves in the best way possible, rather than not put any effort into dressing up."

She has succeeded in passing on this message to her daughters, whom she says immediately change out of their pyjamas whenever they hear that they are going out.

She has been dressing them up in matching outfits since they were babies.

"I try to make their dressing as unique as possible and not something you can just buy off the shelf. I like to mix and match everything."

Aside from shopping at H&M, Camouflage and online at Old Navy and Gap, she also gets clothes tailor-made for them based on designs that she comes up with.

For Hari Raya, she custom-made matching baju kurungs for the girls and herself. Her husband, who works as an operations technician in the engineering sector, also wore similar-coloured outfits. She adds that accessorising is key and often spruces up their plain outfits with costume jewellery, hair pins and stockings.

Her stylish daughters have received so much attention on Instagram that she started an online store, Studio Frost, in 2007, selling her designs after being asked numerous times where she bought their clothes from.

When asked if her daughters object to getting styled by her, she says it happens quite often as they become more vocal.

Her solution? Letting them take turns to choose what the trio wear for the day.

She says: "I think that the older you grow, the more important it is for you to be able to groom yourself, especially for jobs and when you meet various types of people in life."

• Instagram account: etrangle
Number of followers: 23,800


Cool kid with cool kicks


Judah Kang owns 15 pairs of shoes and has appeared in the June issue of Young Parents magazine. PHOTOS: GABRIEL KANG

Judah Kang is just over one year old, but he already owns 15 pairs of sneakers. His dad has 30 pairs.

We don’t like him dressing like a baby, so we try not to let him wear onesies unless he is at home.

MR GABRIEL KANG, 29, on his son Judah

He also has a wardrobe that would make most adult streetwear aficionados coo with delight - baby Nike Air Jordans and T-shirts by Baby Milo and Kenzo.

He has been appearing on his parents' Instagram accounts - gabrielkang and eisforevie - from the day he was born. They started posting his photographs to document his growth.

However, his father, Mr Gabriel Kang, 29, reveals that he started buying baby clothes even before he and his wife, Evangeline Leong, 27, were expecting.

The photographer, who is a fan of streetwear brands such as Adidas and A Bathing Ape, explains: "I like how clothes that I like can be so small and how certain brands produce such cool kids clothing".

He adds: "We don't like him dressing like a baby, so we try not to let him wear onesies unless he is at home."

Even Judah's haircut is not baby-like: His hair is shaved at the sides and grown out at the top - almost like the casually tousled undercuts seen on celebrities.

His look has attracted a fair share of admirers - Mothercare asked him to be an ambassador after seeing his photos on Instagram. He gets free clothes and is featured on Mothercare's Instagram account.

He has also appeared in a shoot for the June issue of Young Parents magazine.

Judah's parents say they shop more for him than for themselves, even though he outgrows his clothes quickly.

They simply buy his outfits in larger sizes so they can last longer. Besides streetwear labels and those from Mothercare, he also wears clothes from Cotton On Baby and H&M.

Mrs Kang, a stay-at-home mum, tells Life that dressing him up came naturally with the excitement of being a first-time parent: "He needs clothes, so it might as well be something that we like."

• Instagram account: gabrielkang
Number of followers: 1,699


No pink clothes for little Olivia


Olivia Tay’s mother dresses her in mostly black, white and grey. PHOTOS: ANGIE LAI-TAY

Six-year-old Olivia Tay's wardrobe consists mainly of white, grey and black clothes. Think monochromatic T-shirts, black leather jackets and biker boots.

When she goes to daycare, she can dress as badly as she wants. When we go out together, it's on my terms.

MS ANGIE LAI-TAY, 32, on her six-year-old daughter, Olivia

Her mother, Ms Angie Lai-Tay, a jewellery designer and co-founder of online accessories store Curated Editions, says: "I have an aversion to generic childrenswear. I prefer it when kids dress like adults. They are an extension of us."

She styles Olivia as a "mini-me", as seen on her Instagram account (angielaitay). Olivia even has a T-shirt (black and white, of course) that reads #AngieJr.

Asked to describe their style, Ms Tay, 32, who is married to an investor, says: "Most importantly, it's not cute. It's edgy, a bit off, tongue-in-cheek and never serious."

The couple also have an eight-month-old son.

Her go-to shops for Olivia include Cotton On Kids and Zara. Online, she shops at Babystyleicon (www.babystyleicon.com).

She admits that if she did not have a say in what Olivia wore, the girl would choose to wear a "rainbow of colours or anything that resembles mermaids or fairies", or what Ms Lai-Tay refers to as "dressing badly".

She says: "When she goes to daycare, she can dress as badly as she wants. When we go out together, it's on my terms."

However, she expects that Olivia might want to dress 'badly' more often as she grows older.

"Yes, I'm expecting it. I think I've poisoned her mind with all these blacks and whites. She may become the complete opposite and I'll just have to deal with it."

On whether she is concerned that posting photos of Olivia on Instagram will make her daughter narcissistic, Ms Tay says: "There are much harder things in life than being viewed as vain, narcissistic or shallow.

"My daughter dresses differently from most girls. With that, I'm teaching her that it's all right to be different, that we don't always have to fit into the traditional mould."

• Instagram account: angielaitay
Number of followers: 1, 399

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 06, 2015, with the headline 'Baby, you look so good It's a match Rocking the girl band look Cool kid with cool kicks No pink clothes for little Olivia'. Print Edition | Subscribe