Who Says That Shopping For Boys’ Clothing Can’t Be Fun?

by Sandra Foyt on April 20, 2011

in Uncategorized

77_kids2There is a new store in town, and it just might change the way we shop for kids’ clothing. 77 Kids, a line of stores from American Eagle Outfitters that’s just for kids size 0-14, opened today at Crossgates Mall.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not much of a shopper. With rare exception, no one in my family likes to shop. Certainly not my tween son. It takes exceptional persuasion skills and a hefty bribe to get him to set foot in a mall. And yet today he willingly accompanied me to the grand opening of 77 Kids.

Partly, he was curious about the new store and the chance to visit before the official opening, but mostly we was willing to go because he could see from preview photos that the clothing line met his exacting standards, i.e. clothes that look like they could go from surf to skate park.

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It might have been hard to tell from his typical expression of tween angst, but I could tell that my son enjoyed the shopping expedition. He found several items that he allowed me to buy for him, and believe me, that’s not the norm. Between his pickiness and a hard-to-fit tall and skinny frame, it’s challenging to shop for him. Fortunately, all of the 77 Kids pants had the interior adjustable elastic. And with the shredder style attire, the brand is clearly in tune with what tweens like.

I also appreciated hearing from the staff that 77 Kids stands behind a promise that the clothing will last through 77 washings, without fading or damage. And that they are committed to making clothes that is exceptionally soft to the touch. My children are not especially sensitive to clothing, but I often hear from moms who have to be very careful about this. The care that went into producing the clothing was evident in all of these details, from finished seams to sewn-on name tags.

Best of all, the prices are reasonable – higher than Target but not by much. And, I hear that the sales are exceptional. (Sign up here for clearance prices of up to 60% off!)

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There was a lot to like at 77 Kids.

Surf boards and skate ramps provide the décor, while the fitting rooms double as playrooms with peekaboo windows.

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The neatest feature was the interactive kiosk that allows kids to skip trying on clothes. Instead, they add their own heads to pre-set ensembles. They can also create photo cards which are printed twice onsite – one to keep, and one to put up on the metal walls.

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But as you head to the back of the store, you find the truly brilliant design features of 77 Kids. Around the register, where you might want to keep young children entertained as you wait in line to pay, there are toys and a chalkboard to keep the kids amused.

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When you go to pay, parents can give permission for their kids to pick a prize from the selection of candy, stickers, and small toys (toys are not yet available.)

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And, at the very, very back of the store, moms will find the one architectural detail that sets 77 Kids apart from the pack. I’m convinced that a parent helped design the store, a parent who knows what it’s like to shop with young children in tow.

Best Design Feature at 77 Kids? The Family Restroom with changing table.

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Disclosure: I received a gift card as a token of appreciation for attending the grand opening of 77 Kids. No strings attached. No blog post required. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on GetawayMavens.com, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at SandraFoyt.com, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email: sandrafoyt@albanykid.com, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

Beth @ TheAngelForever April 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm

This store looks fabulous. I was so sad that I could not make it this morning. Just too much going on with Passover. Can not wait to stop by with all of my boys soon. Thank you for sharing.

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