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Before this, cheongsams and samfus for kids were mostly available in Chinatown, not exactly the most ideal shopping destination, especially with children in tow. Thankfully over the years, more brands have started to cater to this growing market and one no longer have to brave the heat of Petaling Street for Chinese New Year outfits.

Here are 10 places to shop for Chinese New Year clothing for the kids this year:

1. Pokoks 

Photo credit: Pokoks

Pokoks’ contemporary reinvention of traditional wear with a sleek and simple silhouette will definitely appeal to the minimalist parents. The brand’s latest Chinese New Year collection, LIMAU 2019, incorporates Malay design elements into traditional Chinese costumes, which perfectly portrays Malaysia’s multicultural society. 

Price range: RM68 to RM122

Age range: 1 to 14 years old

Gender: Boys and girls

Shop: https://pokoks.com 

2. Maison Q

Photo credits: Maison Q

Maison Q’s unique reversible outfits are double the fun and double the mileage.  A favourite from the collection is the Minmin dress, an asymmetrical hemline cheongsam with traditional scallop print on one side, and when flipped inside out,  voila, you now have a blue striped cheongsam.  Some items are designed exclusively for specific retailers to commemorate the first year in the Malaysian market, such as the pink Sheila Onesie featured above which can only be found at Shoes, Shoes, Shoes.

Price range: RM179 to RM360

Age range: 6 months to 8 years old

Gender: Boys and girls

Shop: HappiKiddo, The Gardens Mall and IPC Shopping Centre.

ShoesShoesShoes, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Publika and Jalan Telawi.

3. Ginger Duck

Photo credit: Ginger Duck

The Chinese New Year collection from Ginger Duck is 100% locally handmade, no mean feat considering the vast array of cheongsams, tunics and dresses available for adults and children. Each piece has a quirky characteristic; psychedelic print collars, parrot prints and my favourite – a pastel blue cheongsam with batik collar and flouncy skirt. There are plenty of matching outfits available for mother and son, brother and sister and father and son. Definitely a brand to check out.

Price range: RM88 to RM108

Age range: Infant to 10 years old

Gender: Boys and girls

Shop: 163 Retail Park, Mont Kiara (pop-up store from 21 Dec to 31 Jan )

Bangsar Shopping Centre concourse, Bangsar (10 Jan to 4 Feb)

Button and  Wheel, Gamuda Walk, Kota Kemuning

Robinsons, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City

4. Tesco

Photo credit: Tesco

Yes, you heard right. Every year, Tesco has a wide range of Chinese New Year outfits for children and adults, from lace qipaos to tutu dresses with Mandarin collars and Tang suits (tunic with Mandarin collar and frog buttons) paired with shorts for the boys. The affordable price tag is definitely an additional plus point because your kids are only going to wear them a handful of times before they outgrow it.

Price range: RM19.95 to RM80

Age range: 1 to 10 years old

Gender: Boys and girls

Shop: Most Tesco outlets nationwide

5. Lazada

Photo credit: Lazada

Warning: you may end up spending hours browsing through Lazada. A search for “girls cheongsam” and “boys Chinese New Year” produced hundreds of results from traditional designs to updated versions of classic Chinese costumes to cotton onesies with cheongsam collar and frog buttons. Tip: if you’re worried that delivery will not be in time for Chinese New Year, select vendors that ship from Malaysia. 

Price range: Prices start from RM10

Age range: Infants to teenagers

Gender: Boys and girls

Shop: www.lazada.com.my

6. Tiny Button

Photo credit: Tiny Button

This brand has beautiful cheongsams in pastel colours (as well as the traditional red) and boys tunics. Best of all, they’re made from lightweight cotton, perfect for sweltering Chinese New Year weather. They also have cute cotton cheongsam tops which can be dressed down with leggings or dressed up with a tutu skirt. Oriental-themed ensembles are available throughout the year, so do check out Tiny Buttons if your child has a Chinese wedding to attend.

Price range: Prices start from RM10

Age range: Infants to 5 years old

Gender: Boys and girls

Shop: http://www.tinybutton.co

7. Whitesoot

Photo credit: Whitesoot

One of the perquisites of having daughters is matching outfits! If you’re thinking of twinning this Chinese New Year, you can find mother and daughter cheongsams at Whitesoot. From personal experience, getting kids dressed on CNY morning can result in tantrums, “I don’t want to wear that!” “I don’t like that!” But when you tell them that mummy will be wearing the same outfit too, they will put it on with no more complaints because, hey, who doesn’t want to look like mummy (milk it while you can, this generally expires around the age of 8).

Price range: RM95 (for kids) to RM229 (for adults)

Age range: 2 to 9 years old (sizes tend to run a little small)

Gender: Girls only

Shop: https://whitesoot.com

8. Sea Apple

Photo credit: Sea Apple

This Singaporean kids’ wear brand was named after the sturdy sea apple tree. The trees were originally planted as firebreaks along the borders of highly flammable lalang wasteland in Singapore as the tree does not burn easily. The brand’s ethos is to produce high-quality garments with classic lines using natural, comfortable materials that are suitable for everyday wear. Materials are from brand name fabrics, European and Japanese mills (there are several Liberty London pieces in this year’s CNY collection). What I love is the embroidery detail on many of the pieces featuring local plants and flowers, ie: bunga gambir, nutmeg flower, banana tree, etc.

Price range: RM120 to RM272

Age range: 6 months to 12 years old

Gender: Boys and girls

Shop: https://seaappleshop.com

9. Chinatown Classic

Photo credit: Chinatown Classic

Chinatown Classic has a range of casual cotton cheongsams and tunics to traditional satin brocade gowns. Besides clothing, there are also Oriental accessories such as embroidered handbags, beaded slippers, purses, hats, and so on. The brand has three stores but the display at Robinsons in The Gardens Mall has the largest selection for kids. 

Price range: RM65 to RM250

Age range: 1 to 12 years old

Gender: Boys and girls

Shop: Robinsons, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City

Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur

Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur

10. Major Departmental Stores

Photo credit: Purple Fish

Most major departmental stores have extensive selections of Chinese New Year clothing. Home brands such as J Kids (Aeon) and Somerset Bay (Metrojaya) have charming outfits to offer at very affordable prices. Another brand to look out for is Purple Fish. Pro shopper tip: do go as soon as the malls open to beat the crowd and queue.

Price range: RM35 to RM250

Age range: 1 to 12 years old

Gender: Boys and girls

Shop: Aeon, Parkson, Robinsons, Isetan, Metrojaya.

Kooshboo is slowly taking the Malaysian market by storm with its statement t-shirts, ikat prints and classic yet contemporary designs.

The brand is the brainchild of two sisters, Natasha (dressed in black) and Natalia Navin. They wanted to fill a gap in the Malaysian market for kids-wear with well-tailored, simple designs made from natural fabrics.

Natasha, who now fully runs the brand, was an architect before; while Natalia who is a lawyer, provides business input where and when it is needed.

We caught up with Natasha to find  out the exact inspiration behind the brand and how the sisters evolved into ethically conscious entrepreneurs.

Q: Tell us a bit about the Kooshboo brand.

A:  I would say Kooshboo is a homegrown lifestyle brand that does Boho Chic wear. It is also an eco-conscious and ethically produced brand.

We started with kids-wear and recently added women’s wear to the line, due to the demand for it.

We will also be introducing our homeware collection soon.

Kooshboo uses only natural fabrics and aims to provide simple but well tailored designs

Q: What was the inspiration behind Kooshboo?

A: There were many factors that contributed to how Kooshboo was created.  I would say it has always been our dream to start our own business. We just didn’t know what it would be.

We grew up wearing beautiful, lovingly made clothes by our grandmother and mom. They were in all these soft, natural fabrics.

When we had kids of our own, we wanted the same thing for them. But we found clothes in the market to be boring, had no character, and were cheaply made.

We wanted something simple, yet still well designed. Thus, Kooshboo was born.

Natasha and Natalia in clothing made by their grandmother

Q: Tell us more about this picture!

A: These dresses which we wore were actually sewn by our maternal grandmother (a Malaysian) who was the best tailor in our kampung in Kuala Pilah. She used to follow all the English classic designs from the pattern books she owned.

We used to wear these matchy-matchy outfits all the time, even when we visited India. Kids there would envy them.

Q: We have been a fan of Kooshboo for a while and just love your use of natural materials. Can you tell us more about them?

A: We knew from the start that our line would utilise natural fabrics like cotton, silk and linen. We wanted something that would be weather-friendly and natural fabric definitely does that, with its moisture wicking properties.

When we were kids, we went to India often because we have family members there. India’s penchant for cheerful and bright colours in wonderfully soft and flowy textiles became Kooshboo’s signature style.

It was no surprise because we were exposed to the culture from young. What’s more, there were cotton fields close to where we stayed in India.

The vibrant colours and intricate details found in the fabrics and outfits in India became especially alive during weddings. In this picture here, we were attending my cousin’s wedding.

We were in our late teens or early 20s. Perhaps this was when we told ourselves we need to bring back some of these wonderful treasures back to Malaysia – but in a fresh and current way.

Q: Kooshboo has been one of the vocal voices in the #whomademyclothes movement, where fashion brands provide transparency in their manufacturing process. What made Kooshboo decide to be a part of it?

A: Just like in choosing the fabrics, the awareness has always been there. When looking for my kids clothing, I wondered, ‘Why are they so cheap?’

While developing Kooshboo I read up and learned about the movement and about ethical fashion. It appealed to me and the brand ethos so much.

I started to look through our process to see what aspects of the movement could be applied.

One of the measures we took was to outsource some of the work to refugees.

I have always loved rosettes on my dresses, and we couldn’t cope with the demands of making them ourselves when the brand grew.

We found a mother-daughter pair from Syria to work on our rosettes and it was a win-win situation for us. We also work with this lady from Palestine, who makes our wonderful crocheted hairclips.

I love the fact that even though they get paid for the work, they love doing them and are really proud of their handicraft. I love that they get to support their family while doing something they like. The benefits go both ways and that makes me happy.

Q: What is Kooshboo’s process from design to dress?

A: The first and best part is the idea and inspiration for a new line or collection. This is followed by choosing the fabrics. Our fabrics are either from India or Malaysia.

The fabric for our latest Raya collection was sourced from India. I have been wanting to do ikat prints for the longest time. Next, we manage sampling and grading which is very important to us.

The production then starts, and this then leads to the branding and marketing of the new collection.

Q: How does Kooshboo ensure that the brand remains relevant in the world of ethical fashion?

A: There are many aspects to touch on and many definitions to the term ethical fashion. Instead of being overwhelmed by them, we decided to incorporate into our brand the things we could do. For instance, ensuring that our line is not mass produced.

We currently work with an awesome sewing contractor whose working principles echo ours: their staff are paid full wages, and are all local.

We also try to create awareness among our customers, letting them know that a lot of meaning and love went into the pieces they bought from us.

I was recently on the panel for the Fashion Revolution Malaysia discourse (hosted by the wonderful Earth Heir’s Sasibai Kimis) talking about Kooshboo’s process and promise of ethical conscious fashion.

Every single thing we do for Kooshboo comes with the questions: How is this ethical? How do we make it transparent? And whatever we can do with it, we would share on our social media for awareness.

Natasha as a panel speaker for Fashion Revolution Malaysia’s event.

Q: If Kooshboo could dress a local mom-daughter pair, who would they be?

A: I love this question! I’ve definitely thought about it and the answer is: Aishah Sinclair and her girls. Aishah was one of our earliest customers when we were selling at Pasar Seloka Raya and she was really nice and warm.

Since then she has supported us right up to our recent Raya collection. We would totally love to dress her and her kids up in Kooshboo.

To me she embodies what a Kooshboo woman is: she is a tree hugger and an environmentalist; she is active and also a loving mom.

Photos by Natasha Navin.

Need some outfits for the kiddos this Raya? We’ve compiled a little Raya kidswear list to make it easier for you mummies out there! If you’re less keen on going to the tailors for the usual fittings for your children, now you can get the entire family ready for Hari Raya … at the click of a button!

AERE

Founded by Raja Nadia Sabrina, this year Aere showcases super cute Baju Melayu for the boys. As you know boys love to run, so the airy and comfortable material is perfect for them! You can even fold the sleeves up with the adjustable button cuff.

RAIEN Mini Duo in Plum
RM 229.90
VALE Mini Duo (in Beige)
RM 229.90

VANDERLYLE

Fancy some pastel colours for your children’s outfits this Raya? Vanderlyle, a label specially for children, has a variety of options to choose from. They have pretty loose dresses, kebaya and baju kurung for the girls and stylish baju Melayu options for the boys.

Vela Pleated Kurung Set in Grey Blue
RM 199.00
Talitha Kebaya Set in Charcoal
RM 179.00
Tigris Pleated Baju Melayu Set in Blue
RM 189.00
Leo Baju Melayu Set in Brown
RM 189.00

ADRIANNA YARIQA

If you love vintage designs for your little ones, Adrianna Yariqa has Raya kidswear that will impress. Each design is basic, yet the materials used makes it so trendy. Even the cute little pockets on the designs screams cuteness. It will make it easier for your little ones to keep their duit raya in.

Kids Kurung Pahang Set in Brown and White
RM 145.00
Kids Vintage Kurung Set in Pink and Grey
RM 145.00

 

BAYOU BATIK

You can never go wrong with batik material – Bayou Batik brings this year’s Raya collection with traditional yet modern designs. The children’s collection comes in various pastel colours of kaftan kurung design.

Mini Alena Kaftan Kurung Set in Mint Green
RM 199.00
Mini Alana Kaftan Kurung Set in Cream
RM 199.00

POKOKS

Pokoks launched 3 collections this year for Raya. It comes in the ingat, the tali and the pulang collections.  They even introduced the instant samping this year for the boy’s collection, which has been selling like hot cakes. Should you want to dress your little fashionistas, Pokoks will definitely have something for you!

The PULANG Far East Jubah – Baby Mangosteen
RM 99.50
The PULANG Blossom Baju Kurung – Peacock Blue
RM 159.50
The PULANG Traditional Baju Melayu – Jade green
RM 135.50
The PULANG Far East Baju Melayu – Tiffany Blue
RM 135.50

WHIMSIGIRL

Adorable but classy outfits and not your typical traditional wear for Hari Raya. There’s always the element of playfulness and simplicity in every Whimsigirl‘s design. For something unique and of good quality cotton for your little ones, check out some of the designs from this brand we love.

Amirah Girl in Pink Dot
RM 179.00
Michelle Dress in Chartreuse
RM 149.90
Amal in Yellow
RM 179.00
Ilham Top in Navy Check
RM 99.90

KECHEEK

Looking for bright hues and something simple for your children?  Kecheek has exactly that. Not only will your little ones be super comfortable in it, they’ll look very chic and modern at the same time. For the girls, the KecheekAmynah collection comes in 7 different colours while the KecheekRhu collection has 11 colour options for the boys. Kidswear is looking mighty fine!

 

KecheekAmynah 2018 – Peach RM 110.00
KecheekRhu 2018 Baju Melayu (Ash Grey) – Sampin Sold Separately
RM 100.00

POPLOOK

Offering a wide variety of styles and colours, you will definitely be covered for the many days of Raya with Poplook. And what’s more fun is that mummies and their little ones can dress alike! Be spoilt for choice with blouses, kaftans, baju kurung and more.

Kids Magnus Blouse & Skirt set
RM 179.00

 

Kids Doralie Zip Front Dress
RM 99.00

DEIR

The Raya collection for Deir this year is called ‘City of Pink’,  and what’s absolutely a must-have is its ‘Mummy’s’ collection. Get ready to pair with your daughters in the most stylish and charming designs.

SAMA

Can’t resist dressing your children in earthy tones this Raya? The Sama collection brings out satin, brocade and cotton linen materials.  It is also loose fitting so that your little ones are always feeling cool and comfortable. The collection is simply shouting cuteness any way you look at it!

JUWITA Kurung Set in Brown
RM 239.00
JUWITA Kurung Set in Maroon & Gold
RM 239.00
Raed Modern Kimono Set in Grey
RM 159.00
Conan Top in Grey
RM 69.00

KOOSHBOO

If you like knowing your clothes (and your kids’ clothes!) are ethically made, Kooshboo is the brand for you. For their Eid collection this year, traditional ikat print and jewel colours rule. With rich hues and patterns,  your kids can look good and feel good, in more ways than one.

Noah – Sapphire (With Anik Sampin) RM 235
Maya Dress Citrine (Baby) RM145
Adam Romper Emerald RM95

PETIT MOI

With sweet looking outfits that your kids can wear with ease even beyond Raya, look out for Petit Moi’s little Eid line.  With some lovely touches like sweet scalloped collars and ruffled sleeves, this collection is classic and dreamy.

Wendy en Ciel – RM179.00
The Hugo – RM169.00
The Audrey – RM179.00