Curious Parents

The Clothes That Grow With Your Kids

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Don't kids just grow up too fast? No, seriously, don't they grow up way too fast? We're the ones buying their clothes, and it just seems so wasteful (not to mention expensive!) to have to replace their entire wardrobe every six months or so. Fortunately, one design engineer got sick of buying kids clothes that only fit for a couple of weeks. Meet Petit Pli.

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One-Size-Fits-All (Toddlers Only)

The key to Ryan Mario Yasin's design is an ultra-pleated, accordion-like pattern that parents can expand as toddlers grow and retract when a baby sibling comes along. It's a look that might seem familiar (remember those one-size-fits-all popcorn shirts that were so popular in the early 2000s?), but Petit Pli takes that expansiveness to new heights as little ones go through the first big growth spurts of their life. The design draws heavily on Yasin's other area of expertise — aeronautical engineering. His work on foldable structures for small satellites inspired him to look into folding structures to solve the problem, and Petit Pli's current lineup relies on advanced materials that are still patent-pending.

The result is an adorable little suit that's perfect for playing around the house or in the backyard. Because of their dynamic structure, Petit Pli react to a child's motion and keep kids comfy as they crawl, toddle, run, and jump. The clothes are wind-proof and waterproof, and with some support, future versions could provide more protection against the cold as well. The only drawback is that it gives you one less gift to disappoint a child with during the holidays.

Growing Pains

How bad is the problem that Petit Pli is trying to solve? According to Livestrong, the average parent spends between $28 and $44 on their infant or toddler's clothes every month. That might not sound like much, but it adds up fast — and money isn't the only cost of clothing waste. The United States alone sends about 10.5 million tons of discarded clothing to the landfill every year, and rapidly changing fashions are only exacerbating the problem. The answer to both our environmental and financial woes is probably going to be something like Petit Pli: a clothing style that everyone, adult and child alike, can get some extra mileage out of. Personally, we feel that green designs are always in fashion.

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