Whilst we love a bit of H&M and Zara for children’s clothes, if you’re after something a little more special, there are plenty of offbeat, independent and higher-end kids’ brands to shop. From the party dress line offering mini-me designs for your little girl to the Swedish brand that nails whimsical print and bold colour, here are seven of our favourite brands right now.

Ando Stores

This adorable brand brings together trend-led pieces with practicality and an age-appropriate aesthetic for little ones. Think cute slogans and oversized boilersuits, quilted coats and hipster-style beanies.

Ando sources their stock from around the globe, from local designers here in the UK to minimalist brands in Japan, all with a common focus on design, quality and comfort in mind.

Favourites of the collection have to be the oversized boilersuits with ‘Milking It’ emblazoned on the back, the winter-appropriate wool leggings with built-in braces, and the baby sets in the softest ribbed cotton.

The collection is very reasonably priced for the quality, and the clothing comes up big, so lasts for ages in your little one’s wardrobe. Be aware that their new drops sell out fast, so snap before they go.

Shop the full collection at andostores.com

Meri Meri

If you’re looking to fill your child’s dressing-up box with a myriad of magical characters or want a show-stopper of an outfit to wear on Christmas Day, Meri Meri is by far the best in the business when it comes to fancy dress for little ones.

Their whimsical characters flit between magical princesses (in fairytale colour palettes and a sprinkling of glitter rather than Disney-style saccharine shades) to rainbow-hued parrots and pink flamingos.

Founded by Meredithe Stuart-Smith at her then LA-based kitchen table, the brand has been going for over 30 years and now operates out of her three-floor studio in Cheltenham here in the UK.

As well as dreamy dressing up, you’ll also find adorable party invitations, decorations, retro-inspired toys and games all with that unique Meri Meri’s sense of fun and joyfulness.

Shop the full collection at merimeri.co.uk

Pepa & Co.

From fair isle knits to Peter Pan collars and velvetine bloomers, Pepa & Co. do traditional childrenswear so well.

The brand was founded by Pepa Gonzalez in 2013, who had come to London from Spain to work as nanny. She spotted a gap in the market for high-quality childrenswear with a focus on traditional and smart, and so, Pepa & Co. was born.

Catering for newborn up until age 10, the collection is perfect if you’re after something smart and polished for your little ones. There are beautiful military-inspired knits for little boys, smock-detail dresses for girls and the cutest rompers for newborns. We love their days of the week babygrows too, which come in the silkiest of soft cotton – they make for a great first birthday or newborn gift.

Shop the full collection at pepaandcompany.com

Self-Portrait Kids

Fans of Han Chong’s party dress-heavy label Self-Portrait will be delighted to hear that the brand also has a mini-me division. The collection comprises mainly party dresses (naturally) as well as some cute two-piece knitted sets for girls aged three to 10.

Just like the mainline womenswear brand, expect an overflow of lace, ruffles and plenty of polka-dot patterns – this is partywear at its best. The price points are high for childrenswear but the frocks are a great option if you’re after an outfit for a super special event or are on the lookout for a unique flower girl dress.

Hero piece of the current collection has to be the Navy Velvet Mini Dress which we’d quite happily wear in an adult’s size, please.

Shop the full collection at self-portrait.com

Stella McCartney Kids

Heroes of the AW22 collection are the intergalactic-inspired Cosmic Gabardine Jacket, the space cowgirl-worthy Cosmin Star Boots and the cosy Mushroom Dot Knit Intarsia Cardigan.

Shop the full collection at mytheresa.com

Mini Rodini

Founded by illustrator, Cassandra Rhodin, you can expect a collection of whimsically doodled pieces, bold print and crazy colour for your little ones.

The Swedish label has been crafting fun pieces since 2006 and has become a recognisable and cult offering in the childrenswear world.

We love their grungy stripey knits made playful with their cute signature Panda badge; their snuggly snowsuits in vibrant colourways; and off-beat collections such as last season’s sell-out ET line (check out eBay for secondhand finds) and this season’s adorable Nessie collection inspired by Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster.

Top tips: whilst on the more expensive side of things, Mini Rodini does come up big so it lasts for a good few years. We also always keep an eye on the sale or for some of the hero pieces popping up on pre-loved sites.

Shop the full collection at minirodini.com

Lou Lou Bear Knits

Baby clothes don’t come much cuter than this…. Lou Lou Bear Knits operate out of an Etsy store and specialise in handmade knitted cardigans and jumpers personalised with their name on the back.

Everything is made to order and one of a kind, making for a heartfelt gift for a newborn, or first birthday, and one that you’ll keep in the memory box for years to come.

So how does it work? All the knits available are pictured on Lou Lou’s Etsy page, if you spot one you like and that’s the right size, be quick to shop as there is only one of everything. This will then be personalised with your name of choice.

Browse the collection at and keep an eye on their Instagram page for new arrivals.

For other fantastic ideas for kids, check out our Christmas gift guide for children.

The products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however, The Handbook may make a small commission on some of the products purchased through affiliate links.

Want to receive more great articles like this every day? Join our daily email now