I'm a big fan of blue jeans. Which is actually quite surprising, given my past years as a goth who felt both fear and repulsion at the thought of ever having to put them on my body. I'm not sure what shifted, but suddenly, one day I woke up and decided that the biggest and best fashion statement ever was a pair of jeans with a white t-shirt. And then it was a pair of roll-cuff jeans under a dress or skirt. And here I am today, still of that same mindset.
And, as the person who most-often picks out the clothes for and dresses Samantha, I would often replicate this.
However...what is available for the under-5-year-olds and the 6-plus-year-olds varies drastically. Stretch-waist pants and jeans, so perfect for my little one who was potty-training for so long, so perfect for her lack of fine-motor coordination and inability to button or snap, even more perfect for comfort against her low-muscle-toned little tummy, became harder and harder to find as she grew.
I knew it would quickly become a thing of the past to be able to put her in jeans, and leggings and bike shorts became the staple items to wear under her dresses, on their own, or with heavy legwarmers during the winter. Thank goodness leggings are everywhere for little girls. I do definitely feel for the parents of little boys out there with the same predicament. Sending a child off to 1st Grade in pants she can't fasten after using the bathroom would be horribly unfair.
A year or two ago, I found and began following a blog written by a woman whose granddaughter has Down syndrome. The woman's mission was to design and create a clothing line just for people with Ds! The blog chronicled her journey as she searched for a designer, manufacturers and models, traveling the world in search of the perfect fabrics and the perfect people to fabricate them. Finally, with the completion of her first line of jeans, her dream has become a reality, and my need and the needs of so many others has been fulfilled.
While a complete clothing line will eventually follow, jeans, being the ultimate staple item for so many, are the logical first step. While at the NDSC conference last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting Karen and Jillian, the two masterminds behind Downs Designs, and had Samantha fitted for a pair of these miracle pants. When I say the jeans are perfect, I do them an injustice. But seriously, they're perfect. I'll let you in on a little secret...my own favorite pair of jeans is a pair of Gap maternity jeans. I still wear them, although my stretchy waistband has nearly ripped off of them with use. These are like those awesome Gap maternity jeans, except they're for kids. Uh, kids who aren't pregnant.
The waistband is wide (but not too wide), soft and stretchy, fitting gently around Samantha's stomach. The fabric of the legs is tough and durable, yet also soft and stretchy, although not at all clingy. There were no bags or sags in the seat, and the length will be hemmed to order. And the price? Fantastic. The children's sizes are $16.99. Sammi just tried on a sample at NDSC. I only wish there had been quantity to purchase on-the-spot, but with leg-tailoring necessary and us being smack dab in the middle of the hottest summer ever, I can wait a little bit. My mother is about to order a pair, and I can't wait to get them! They'll be the perfect back-to-school item to have.
I have a feeling Samantha will be able to wear these for the next two years, and am keeping the hem extra long so I can roll them now, and have her continue to wear them as her legs grow.
Get your measuring tape out and visit the Downs Designs site to order a pair. Sizes go up to adult, and are available in design shapes specific to male and female bodies.
I'll post again when they arrive, and write up another review! Thank you so much Karen and Jillian, for creating this unique clothing line!