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Cool Mom Q&A: Melissa Magsaysay

Kid fashion advice from a local style pro

As a former fashion editor at the LA Times, a regular fashion correspondent on Access Hollywood, and author of City of Style, Melissa Magsaysay knows a thing or two about great style. But it’s her latest gig as co-founder of the Hive, an online magazine for stylish multi-tasking moms, that really has our attention. We asked the super-chic mom of 17-month-old Miles about where we should be shopping for our tots, what we need for spring (old-school Adidas!), and how she’s planning to stock her son’s wardrobe.
StrollerTraffic: You’ve spent time living in both New York and Los Angeles. What do you think is the biggest difference when it comes to style between the two cities?
Melissa Magsaysay: There's more of a uniform and understated approach to fashion in New York. LA can be, um, less subtle at times and people tend to experiment more with fashion since the weather is rarely a factor.
ST: The weather here is a definite plus, especially this winter. So what's the epitome of kid style in LA?
MM: When I think of how an LA kid is dressed, it's a "vintage" T-shirt, most often with a band on it that was broken up or dead about 30 years before said kid was born. Linen-y pants, Minnetonka moccasin booties with fringe and one of those amber bead teething necklaces.
ST: Totally! Now that you’re a mom, what are you loving about raising Miles here?
MM: The relative ease of getting out of town and over to Palm Springs or Ojai for a fun and amazing weekend. The wide-open spaces, temperate climate and mix of food and culture are all amazing things about LA.
ST: And we’re sure you’re already shopping for spring. What are the trends we need to know about?
MM: Spring is a great excuse for color, especially for little ones. I am seeing a lot of bold colors, plaids, gingham, and surfer-prep looks. 
ST: And for Miles?  
MM: I focus on comfort when it comes to dressing Miles. As adorable as a pair of skinny jeans may be, I can't bare to put him in anything I sense is the slightest bit uncomfortable. His style is preppy and a bit nautical. He has a lot of stripes, shawl collar cardigans, a little braided belt and even a couple of bow ties.
ST: Where do you find these things?
MM: I really love Eggy for its eclectic mix of harder-to-find labels and comfy PJs and leggings. Kid Firefly is also great for accessories and gifts and so is Poppy at the Brentwood Country Mart. Zara is also affordable and has a cool, Euro flare; Boden is quirky and colorful; Petite Bateau is nautical and whimsical; Marimekko is bright, fun and has that sort of elfin feel that is so adorable. And Etsy is perfect for when I have a vision of something I want Miles to wear—I can just plug in, "Madras baby shoes" and voila, there's a bunch of people out there who seem to specialize in these things no matter how random.
ST: Is there one must-have item that you can’t wait to get for Miles’ spring wardrobe?
MM: White Adidas shell toe sneakers with three rows of Velcro. I can't wait to get him in white little sneakers for his warm weather look.
ST: We may have to copycat those.