Treasure: Matilda Jane

Matilda Jane...clothes that make the girl.

I love the name Matilda.  I love the name Jane.  Slap those two names together on the label of one of the world’s most adorable girl’s clothing lines, and you might as well stitch my heart on the sleeve.  Admittedly, there’s not exactly a shortage of cute girl’s clothes out there.  But Matilda Jane Clothing has a bit of je ne sais quoi to it.  A quirky, winsome attitude, perhaps, clinging to the folds of high quality, vintage-print fabrics.  Matilda Jane Clothing seems to be inspired by a mélange of sources: part circus frippery, part Grandma’s needlepoint, part craft fair flair, part Nantucket summer breeze.  Ask owner and designer Denise what makes her clothing designs tick and she offers the following lines…

“Come’on, who doesn’t love a compliment?  That is what I want Matilda Jane Clothing to do, make the girl smile from ear to ear. I want her to love what she is wearing and be proud of how she looks. I want Matilda Jane to showcase the sweetness of the child. I try to keep the silhouettes simple for that reason, it’s not about the fancy embroidery, it is about the darling girl wearing it. I want your little girl not to fight with you on what to wear, I want her to be comfortable and I want her to be happy! And that is it.”

The idea that Matilda Jane Clothing could disappear into the background, no matter how cute your little Matilda or little Jane may actually be, is quite simply ridiculous.  With clothing this unique and perfectly (un)coordinated, the MJC pieces will certainly turn heads.  The magic lies in the clothes’ ability to accentuate the uniqueness of the little girl residing in them.  The MJC designs, size 6 months thru tweens, come complete with aprons, ribbons, ruffles, buttons, and stockings to provide free (and compelling) advertising to the world that the girl surely has sass, vim, sweetness, and individuality.  Next to a Matilda Jane girl, the Baby Gap and Carter’s girls don’t stand a chance.

You won’t find Matilda Jane Clothing in your neighborhood boutique, no matter how exclusive.  One of the lovely, and at times challenging, secrets to Matilda Jane Clothing is that it’s all about who you know.  In order to snag arm loads of these adorable outfits, you must attend a Matilda Jane trunk show at a friend’s or neighbor’s home.  This kind of shopping breeds community, and the MCJ community is bordering on a cult.  Just a few weeks ago I hosted my first Matilda Jane trunk show, thanks to my friend Becca, the most supportive and effervescent Trunk Keeper you could imagine.   I had a glimpse of the MJC cult firsthand.  Moms came to the clothing racks with the intensity of a mother lion on the hunt.  Girls of varying ages and sizes wearing half a decade’s worth of Matilda Jane designs trailed in the mothers’ wakes.  Questions about the current clothing collection were bandied about along with speculation on what upcoming collections will unveil.  These mamas were devoted fans.  Buy one dress, and you’ll be clamoring for membership, too.

Little Friend sporting her first Matilda Jane

I personally fell head over heels for Matilda Jane while Little Friend was still in embryo form.  Hoping that the sonogram’s technician’s prediction was correct, I attended a Matilda Jane show and picked out a whimsical knot dress, size 12 months.  I waited approximately six months after Little Friend was born to begin trying it on her.  While some moms chart their child’s growth on handy ruler strips on the door jamb, I marked progress by how close my Matilda Jane dress came to fitting.  Around ten months old, Little Friend made her Matilda Jane debut.  Widespread applause.  Effusive compliments.  Encore demanded.

Matilda Jane Clothes are an investment.  Their price tag can’t compete with the deals I find on Target’s sales rack.  But I see my daughter’s Matilda Jane pieces as the dresses, shirts, skirts, and leggings that I will pack in tissue paper at the bottom of her hope chest, hoping that someday she’ll have a little Matilda or little Jane of her own to dress for applause, compliments, and encores.

If you can tear yourself away from the girl’s clothes to consider dressing yourself, Matilda Jane also offers select pieces for on-the-go yet still stylish moms.  It’s a rare day when I don’t don my Mossy Willow cardigan at least once.  Create your MJC wishlist online and then contact a Trunk Keeper for an invite to an upcoming Matilda Jane trunk show in your area.

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2 Comments

  1. Martha said:

    I have never heard of this clothing line, but when I started looking into it from your postings, I realized she is actually from Fort Wayne and I think her clothes are manufactured here. WOW.

    June 16, 2010
    Reply
  2. Jo said:

    They truly are amazing–adorable, unique, “head-turners” and really do showcase the child AND the apparel. They are worth every penny and more.

    June 17, 2010
    Reply

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