Online Shopping with Itsy Bitsy Me (And a giveaway!)

J and Little E are growing up so fast! In fact, I just got round to decluttering their wardrobes last week and cleared out all the clothes that they have outgrown. Which left their cupboards looking woefully bare. This can only mean one thing…

It’s time for some retail therapy! Yay!

I was really excited when Mei, the Mumpreneur behind the online kids clothes store, Itsy Bitsy Me, got in touch with me. I have been stalking Itsy Bitsy Me since Little E was born, way back in 2008 and it always seems to stock the most beautiful things.

What I find particularly impressive about Itsy Bitsy Me is Mei’s commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of her store as well as seeking out eco-friendly and socially responsible brands. Most of the clothes are made from sustainable materials such as organic or bamboo cotton, or printed with non-toxic water-based dyes which are environmentally friendly.

During our email conversation, Mei told me that when she first started out bringing children’s products into Singapore, she was shocked to learn of the unethical manufacturing practices that exist today, which not only have a negative impact on the environment but also exploit vulnerable groups. To her horror, she realised that the clothes our children wear are made from the sweat and tears of other children working under terrible conditions. Since then, she has taken great care to source only for sweatshop-free brands in her store that are committed to fair-trade practices and focus on worker’s welfare throughout their manufacturing process.

A graphic designer by trade, Mei describes herself as a very visual person, which is why the lovingly curated collection sold at Itsy Bitsy Me features unusual, innovative uses of colours and prints, with cleverly designed, eye-catching details seldom seen elsewhere. All the clothes carried instore are produced in very limited quantities based on the orders of each brand’s official retailers. This not only ensures each design’s exclusivity, but also prevents wastage of materials through overstocks.

Needless to say, I am so thankful for the opportunity to pick a few new togs for J and Little E from Itsy Bitsy Me’s gorgeous selection of kidswear! Here’s what we chose in the end:

itsy-bitsy-me-mustard-pie-separates

On Little EElizabeth top in cream lace (SGD$29.34) and Kensington Skirt in Turquoise (SGD$25.96)

I just love Little E in this cream lace top and multilayered skirt from Mustard Pie! They are just so much fun. The minute she put the skirt on, she just started swishing and dancing around. The material of the cotton top is thick and soft, and will definitely hold its shape even after many washes, whilst the skirt, with it’s unique colour scheme is not only striking but is lined with comfortable cotton-jersey. I really like the ruffles at the back of the lace top, which is a pretty touch.

Mei was thoughtful enough to throw in a matching headband as well, just for ‘the fun of it’, which Little E absolutely loves. Thanks, Mei!

J in Mini Shatsu

On J: CEO Tee (SGD$31.20) and Herringbone Pants (SGD$33.60)

For J, I picked out this supercool tee and 3/4 trousers from Mini-Shatsu. J really liked the tee, with it’s tie appliqué, pocket and vest (which really buttons up in front!), and I think the cargo-style trousers give him a cute Hobbit look! I appreciate the fact that the trousers are lined with cotton-terry which wicks away sweat from active little legs.

I actually find it quite difficult to buy trousers for J from online stores, because he has such a slim, tall frame that he can only wear trousers that come with a specific type of belted, adjustable elastic waistband and most online web stores fail to fully describe their clothes. Not so with Itsy Bitsy Me – Mei takes the trouble to write loads of very helpful descriptive detail including advice on the cut and fit of the clothes, so I was absolutely confident in what I was buying! In fact, the quality of the clothes really exceeded my expectations.

I couldn’t resist picking out a new dress for Little E, also from the Mustard Pie collection on Itsy Bitsy Me. It was the combination of pink and grey as well as the unusual mix of fabrics and patterns that attracted me to this deceptively simple dress. I think the detachable rosette belt might double up as a cute headband as well! Once Little E put it on, she was so reluctant to take it off that I let her wear it for the rest of the day – and she stayed cool and fresh in it, despite running around in it all over the place!

I also chose this Stella Industries Starlet dress for Little E which I am saving for a very special occasion later this year. It is so gorgeous in real life – a deep midnight blue with silvery sparkles all over it – and reminds me of the night sky. The reason why I don’t have a picture of Little E in it is because I’ve hidden it away for now (otherwise she will be begging to wear it ALL THE TIME).

I normally avoid “ballerina princess”-type dresses because they tend to be polyester-lined and the tons of fluffy tulle can become rather hot and scratchy to wear, especially in Singapore weather. However, this dress features a seamless, super-soft 100% cotton-jersey lining and will be utterly comfortable. Plus at the bargain price of a mere SGD$42.50, it’s a real steal!

(By the way, you will notice that all the clothes I chose are from the Itsy Bitsy Me sale section! This is because I find it very difficult to pass up an awesome bargain. Heehee.)

Right now, Itsy Bitsy Me is running a special New Year’s Promotion from now until the 19th February 2015 with 20% off regular priced apparel (with the discount code MC20) and an extra 10% off the purchase of any 2 items instore (including the sale section – with the discount code FB10). So, if you are looking for some very special party outfits for Chinese New Year for a special little person, you should definitely check it out,

A bonus for Owls Well Readers: Itsy Bitsy Me is very kindly sponsoring a giveaway of one SGD$10 shopping voucher for TWO lucky Owls Well Readers!

To take part in this giveaway:

  1. Be a fan of the Owls Well Facebook page
  2. Like and share this Facebook Photo and tag a friend – make sure your post is public!
  3. Visit Itsy Bitsy Me and leave a comment below telling me your favourite outfit from the store, as well the name of your Facebook account that you used to like and share the page. Don’t forget to include your email address! (If you would like to send me the email address privately, leave a comment for the other answers, then email me at 4owlswell [at] gmail [dot] com)

(Giveaway is open worldwide and will end on 22nd January 2015. Winners will be picked via Random.org – just make sure you complete all 3 easy steps!)

Good Luck!

P.S. Check out this post about shopping at Itsy Bitsy Me over at Life’s Tiny Miracles – and do join in the giveaway there too!

(update: This giveaway is now closed and the winners have been contacted via email – thanks for playing!)

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Online Shopping with Paley & Love (plus a giveaway and discount code!)

When I was growing up, I had a large collection of Barbies that were either given to me as presents or handed down from my older cousins, but I never really understood how to play with them. My friends who came over on play dates had much more fun with them than I did, and I would watch them uncomprehendingly as they dressed the dolls up and fussed with their hair. I was much more interested in pulling off the dolls’ heads to see what was inside. [1]

Now, however, I have TWO LIVING DOLLS of my own and I love dressing the both of them up! Every piece that I purchase for J and Little E has to be extra-special in one way or another – mostly because I look for heirloom quality clothes that will last more than one generation.

However, I hardly ever shop at the local brick-and-mortar stores in Singapore because I don’t really have the time or the inclination to drag the kids round the malls, or the budget to afford some of the really classy clothes in the shop windows. Additionally, I want my children to stand out and not be wearing the same clothes as everyone else.

This is why I tend to buy most of the children’s clothes overseas (usually from the UK) during sale season or from online retailers who carry a carefully curated selection.

Like myself, May (one of the two homegrown mum-preneurs behind the new online children’s clothing store, Paley & Love) is also very particular about the clothes she buys for her kids, looking for high quality materials and cool designs, but she also does not want to spend a bomb on clothes that will soon be outgrown. Between working long hours in the office and trying to be there for her two boys, the only time that May had a chance to do any shopping was from blogshops during the morning commute. This is why she decided to start her own online retail store, carrying only stylish yet affordable children’s clothes that she would be proud to dress her kids in!

I was really excited when May contacted me and gave me the opportunity to choose some gorgeous togs for J and Little E from Paley & Love! The shop updates once a fortnight, so there were so many lovely pieces to choose from. Here’s what we ended up with:

dress-girl-shirt-boy

On J: Dark Blue with White Polka Dots Long/Roll Up shirt (SGD$29.90). On Little E: Tri-colour Shift Dress (SGD$32.90).

J really likes his polka dot shirt, which I think will also be a great piece for Little E in the future! I really like the contrasting pocket and the mandarin collar. The sleeves can also be worn long which is great for J because he often gets cold in air-conditioned places. This shirt really does wash well and it is very easy to iron!

frozen-style-norweigan-inspired-dress

Box-pleats and embroidery!

Little E’s Tri-colour shift dress is really gorgeous – the style of the dress with bolts of colour hidden within the pleats as well as the embroidery along the hem, reminded me of the rosemaling and pleating of the Norweigan style garments in Disney’s Frozen. It’s very versatile too – I think it would look cute with a long sleeved teeshirt underneath and tights!

I would recommend that this dress be pre-washed separately as the colour does bleed a little bit on the first few washes.

kids-tee-dark-blue-aeroplane

Silver Plane Tee (SGD$19.90)

J chose this cool tee-shirt by himself! The silver foil plane is very shiny and stands up well to repeated washes. The tee-shirt itself is a very soft cotton, which is light and thin – very nice for our summer weather. I personally prefer a thicker cotton which I feel will hold its shape, but my son really likes the airiness of this tee-shirt.

Little E also chose a dress for herself – the Calliart Ink dress that you can see in the picture below.

calligraphy-watercolour-print-dress-kids

Calliart Ink dress (SGD$32.90)

This is a very pretty cream coloured dress, with a lovely print of flowers and butterflies all over it. I especially like the tie at the back which can be adjusted to give a more customised fit or loosened so that the dress can be worn pinafore-style.

Paley & Love ships both locally and internationally, and there is free local shipping for orders above SGD $80! May’s fussiness when it comes to clothes is definitely in your favour, as she scrutinises every piece that enters and leaves her hands, making sure that there are no stains or marks on them. This means that your order is sure to reach you in great condition.

Bonus for Owls Well Readers: Paley & Love has offered an exclusive discount code for all Owls Well Readers! Just enter the code PaleyMA at checkout to enjoy 10% off anything in store. (Promotion code is valid until 30th April 2014)

Paley & Love is also generously sponsoring a giveaway of $20 worth of shopping vouchers for FIVE Owls Well Readers! Hurrah!

To take part in the Giveaway just:

  1. Be a fan of the Owls Well Facebook page
  2. Be a fan of the Paley & Love Facebook page
  3. Like and share this Facebook photo and tag a friend – make sure your post is public!
  4. Leave a comment below telling me what you look for in choosing clothes for your kids and the name of your Facebook account that you used to like the page. Don’t forget to include your email address! (If you would like to send me the email address privately, leave a comment for the other answers, then email me at 4owlswell [at] gmail [dot] com)

(Giveaway is open worldwide and will end on 30th April. Winners will be picked via Random.org – just make sure you complete all 4 easy steps!)

Good luck!

 (edit: The winners have been emailed! Thanks for playing!)


1. Conclusion: Barbie is an airhead.