Thursday, January 31, 2008

Frosty bursts, frigid conditions, angry winds. Sure, an occasional spate of warmer-than-usual weather lulls us into thinking winter wants to play nice, but The Hawk always finds its way to January's door.

Then comes the big disconnect: finding winter clothes and accessories when retailers have moved on to spring. It's especially annoying for parents who need to replace errant gloves, misplaced scarves or ripped down jackets at a regular clip.

Luckily, cold weather basics for kids are still available -- and many are on sale. Stalwarts like Target, Gap, Wal-Mart, Old Navy and Kohl's will have winter basics through February, albeit hidden far back in the children's department on plucked-through racks.

The fashion-forward kid can also still find plenty of chic winter gear. Black came out of Mommy's closet this season and skipped down the hall to Junior's chest of drawers. It's a standout color for nearly everything your infant, toddler or child can wear. So long Elmo and hello Emo!

For the budding Goth tot, features a sizable collection of pirate and skull-emblazoned hats, shoes, boots and jackets, and Daisy Baby, the Bethesda-based store, carries Jack and Lily's faux fur-lined booties that'll match Mama's Prada pair.'s black Snowflake parka is one of the New York-based shop's bestsellers.

For those opposed to such things, sticking to primary colors and bold, graphic prints can cut down on the cutesy factor. But don't cut the fun out entirely. Lands' End's Snow Flurry Boot comes in 13 child-friendly colors, and a pair of Gloomy Bear Mittens from -- claws attached! -- is a bit of straight-from-Japan whimsy that any kid will love.

-- Jill Hudson Neal

© 2008 The Washington Post Company