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Kids' Wear Catalogues Offer Complete Range

April 02, 1993|CINDY LaFAVRE YORKS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

If you're too busy schlepping your kids to school, swimming, gymnastics, soccer and McDonald's to shop for clothes, consider the catalogue option. Mail-order houses, specialty stores and chains offer everything from designer togs to more down-to-earth basics at reasonable prices. Consider:

* Bloomingdale's: Parents with cash to burn may be thrilled to welcome the arrival of DKNY Kids, Donna Karan's new line for little girls. Bloomies debuts a group of solid and striped cotton knit dresses and jumpers, anoraks, T-shirts, vests and shorts from the new collection. Prices range from $28 for a white cotton ribbed T-shirt with a satin bow to $140 for a hooded, red cotton anorak. (800) 777-0000.

* Children's Wear: Whimsically styled fashions with coordinating accessories and a group of more serious tennis wear for girls and boys are what make this catalogue so different. Recycled button-fly jeans for girls are designed to coordinate with patch-laden white T-shirts. Lively prints are featured throughout. Prints take their cues from cows, sharks, sneakers, cabana stripes and floral and fruit motifs. Beautiful straw hats, jaunty caps, headwraps, sun hats and baseball caps match the outfits. Though some parents might consider the prices expensive--$6 for colorful cotton girls' anklets to $49 for a robe--many items are under $30. b(800) 242-KIDS.

* Lands' End: The emphasis here is on basics at reasonable prices, though there are some fancier dresses and separates for boys and girls. Added incentive to check out the catalogue: Many of the items are based on customer suggestions and are marked with light bulbs reading "Your Idea." Examples: Plain one-pocket cotton T-shirts are $10. Hard-to-find cotton sweaters for toddlers in crew- and V-neck styles are just $16. Girls who want to get in on grunge will like the Birkenstock-style sandals, selling for $18 a pair. Then there are more traditional items, such as striped silk ties, for $10 to $14. (800) 356-4444.

* Just For Kids: Almost everything offered in this catalogue is hip, trendy and unusual. It features an excellent assortment of girls' swimwear. Leopard-print toga styles, black and gold bikinis, bandanna and denim styles-as well as an au courant Lycra and mesh tank suit-are $14 to $23. Less flattering, but highly practical is the Aqua Learn tank suit. It features a color-matched built-in flotation device around the waist that works like an inner tube to keep beginning swimmers afloat. Voguish mule tennies, hip-hop separates, tie-dye T-shirts and French Foreign Legion-style caps round out the fare. (800) 654-6963.

* Lilly's Kids: Costumes continue to be popular with kids year-round, so smart catalogues like Lilly's Kids are willing to stock them long after Halloween is over. Most costumes include thematic caps or hats and are $9.99 to $39.99. Kids can be robots, race-car drivers, firefighters, police officers, fairy princesses or flappers. The catalogue also offers complete dress-up trunks, workman hat sets and goofy disguise trunks for great pretenders. (804) 430-5555.

* Play Clothes: The catalogue describes "happy fun colors" and means it. Casual cotton clothes come in solid brights, such as fuchsia, lime, and lemon, along with lively batik, fruit and animal prints. Prices are budget friendly. Empire dresses are just $14, tank tops are $8.50 and paper bag-waist shorts are $15 and $16. OshKosh overalls and painter's pants are $15 to $17.50, depending on size. (800) 362-7529.

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