EXCLUSIVE: Nina Garcia on Buying Clothes for Her Kids: “I Like to Dress Babies As Babies”

Nina Garcia is a tastemaker and style expert who decides what’s trendy (and what’s not) on Lifetime’s hit reality show, Project Runway. The Colombian journalist has also written four best-selling fashion books, held the title of Fashion Director at top fashion magazines like Elle and Marie Claire, and at her Madison Avenue home in New York City—she has a walk-in closet that overlooks the beautiful clothing in Oscar de la Renta's store. Yet when it comes to buying clothes for her kids (sons Lucas, 3 and Alexander, who’s just eight months), the proud mom says she doesn’t concern herself with labels, or with what’s trendy.

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“You know how some moms like to dress their babies as grown ups?” Nina says. “I don’t—I like to dress babies as babies. I like to buy them little baby clothes like rompers, baby blues, stuff like that," she says. 

Still, Garcia says she can already tell that her sons have very different styles when it comes to fashion. “My older boy isn’t preppy—he’s a little more rock n’ roll,” she says. “I like to buy him all of those skull and bones kind of t-shirts and he wears a lot of crew cuts and little skinny jeans, washed jeans and cool t-shirts from Target. He’s just like a cool rocker kid,’ she says.

Garcia says that her 8-month old son Alexander is a bit more fashion forward. “Maybe he’s more preppy at this age," {Laughs}.

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We asked Nina if she thinks her boys will become as stylish as her when they get older and she said, “I don’t know. They’re boys! But I love buying clothes for both of them. With motherhood—you stop focusing on buying clothes for youself and you just want to buy clothes for your children,” she says.

She adds that balancing motherhood and her busy career isn’t always easy. “It’s hard because you want to be able to do everything and do it well," she explains. “I’m still passionate about my work and I’m obviously passionate about my family—I think what’s fallen off is the friends and the social life I had before because I don’t have time. Something’s got to give—I can’t be out at parties socializing as much as I did before, which was a lot of fun. But in turn I have a beautiful family and I like to spend time with them," she says.

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Still, that doesn’t mean that Nina doesn’t go to parties every now and then. “I have to be more selective and see what I can go to. Living in New York there’s so many possibilities to go out and so many fun things to do. But that part really had to calm down because you’re exhausted with two kids—and two jobs basically.”

So what advice does Nina have for new moms? “I would say family first—your family is first and foremost," she says.