Author Archives: Hannah Kerr

Baby on Board? We’ve Got You Covered: Consider Your New-Baby Shopping List Checked Off

orig-1Whether you’re awaiting the latest sibling or the stork’s bringing your very first bundle, preparation is key. Which is why we’ve put together a comprehensive offering of the absolute essentials to get ready for baby — brought to you by a roster of our best brands.

Bring your bundle home in style with some of the softest linens around from Gilt-favorite aden + anais (a delicately printed swaddle wrap is a perfect post-hospital pick). And they’ll be outfitted for every occasion with adorable matching sets from Little Me and comfy-cute dresses and play clothes from Lilly & Sid London.

With their layette all set, arm yourself with essential, routine-tackling gear: Think BabyBjörn’s go-to carriers and spill-proof bibs, Maclaren’s adjustable strollers, and JJ Cole’s multitasking diaper bags and backpacks. Your day-to-day has never run more smoothly. Lastly, pick up Nursery Works’ sleek wooden cribs, changing tables, and plush rocking chairs, and create an ideal space for them to start dreaming.

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Artsy Easter: DIY Crafts for Kids (+ Everything You Need to Fill Their Baskets)

Sure, you can pull a Martha Stewart and engineer an elegant Easter yourself…but we’ve got a feeling there are some little helpers at home eager to lend a hand. From brunch decorating to egg dyeing, your live-in assistants will hop at the chance to test-drive their DIY skills — and nothing says family fun like an afternoon of easy crafts you can prep as a team. Check out three of our blogger favorites, then shop basket-filling goodies kids will flip for, dressed-up outfits for boys and girls, and more festive musts for a picture-perfect holiday.

“A Fun New Way to Dye Easter Eggs” [c/o Handmade Charlotte]
“Paper Plate Easter Chick” [c/o Simple As That]
“Make Your Own Easter Crayons” [c/o Moonfrye]

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New to Gilt: Maison Jean Bourget for Kids (+ French Style Wisdom Straight from the Source)

Around here, we admire — i.e., are borderline obsessed with — French style. That certain “je ne sais quoi” has a classic, never-trying-too-hard appeal, and the fashion-centric have long flocked to France for rich inspiration.

Enter Maison Jean Bourget, who have translated the timeless Gallic look into kid-friendly form for more than 50 years. We’re celebrating the storied family brand’s debut on Gilt with a little history lesson from company rep Pascale Adelson — along with the scoop on color trends, design inspiration, and some tips on how to dress your little Francophile.

How did the brand get its start?

In 1918, Jean Bourget’s grandfather, Emile Bourget, created a little atelier composed of three people at La Chaussaire, in the region of Maine et Loire, mainly focused on suits. Later, his son Emile gave the small company a boost and focused on military uniforms made with quality fabrics, bringing them a step ahead of the clothing industry in their time. With their expertise in strong, comfortable clothes, Bourget began specializing in children’s clothing in the early ‘50s.

Jean, the eldest of Emile’s 10 children, created the Le Bourget brand in 1959, and with growing demand, launched a children’s collection for winter sports and opened subsidiaries in Milan, New York, and Barcelona. The company was later renamed Jean Bourget, and run by Jean’s sister, Elisabeth, who launched newborn and layette with a group of freelance designers. Namesake boutiques and nearly 1,000 shops later, the extraordinary adventure of Jean Bourget continues with the same passion: innovative children’s clothing with a focus on constant quality.

What makes the designs distinctly French?

The motto is: We have to see children as children — not mini-adults. The brand has a comfortable, contemporary style with casual-chic designs that are easy to wear and laid-back, but not without elegance. Our fabrics are selected precisely to be strong and durable, and creative details like fun prints and colors and modern shapes give the line a sense of uniqueness.

How would you describe the way French children dress?

French children dress chic and casual for their everyday life. Sportswear is usually worn for sport days at school, but it could also be paired with something fun and comfy such as a vest or shirt. You wouldn’t wear sweatpants at work every day, so why should your child? They might play rough and get dirty at school, but why not put them in comfortable pants and shirts with fun character and a great fit?

What are the main components of that “French look”?

A marinière sweater, a raincoat, rubber boots, and soft pants.

What are some trends you’re seeing for next season?

The sun on the “roof gardens” of Brooklyn inspires us — a hipster-inspired range of contrasting off-white, ink, camel, and yellow curry. Also cotton satin polka dots in fuchsia and blue ink. A “smart-rebel” look.

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The Lowdown on Down: An Expert’s Tips on Picking the Perfect Bedding


The allure of down bedding is powerful year-round, but as cold winter nights get even colder, we’re in hot pursuit of a particularly cozy place to rest our heads.  If you’re looking to upgrade your slumber situation, we’ve taken the guesswork out of buying new bedding with help from Chanielle McMillan, resident pro at one of our favorite names in down, Ogallala. Check out her thorough guide to selecting the right styles for your home, then shop down essentials from Ogallala and more top brands:

Break down the different types of down (goose, duck, etc.) What are some highlights of each one?

Down is a three dimensional, intricate sphere with lots of filaments extending from the center. It is under a goose’s feathers to provide warmth. We sell our down based on cluster content — the higher the down quality, the larger the clusters in the Hypodown®  and the longer it lasts.  White goose down has been the long-coveted and best-in-quality down for ages.  Geese are larger than ducks, so they will produce larger clusters of down.  Gray goose down or gray duck down are not going to be ideal for a comforter or a pillow.  Generally, the quality will be a lot lower (anything “white” is sterilized differently and is regarded as a better product, and more luxurious).  Also, the more mature the goose, the larger and better-in-quality the down will be (think 800-fill).  Duck down will have a bit of an odor, whether it’s gray or white (another reason goose down is preferred), but the white duck down will always be the better of the two (less odor since the white is sterilized better).

What do fill numbers refer to? And what’s an ideal one?

The fill numbers refer to the quality of the down.  Down quality is rated by fill power, or the amount of space one ounce of down occupies. The larger the down clusters, the better the down quality. Larger clusters produce warmer, fluffier products that are higher in density and longevity. Think of marshmallows: mini marshmallows would be like Hypodown® 600, regular marshmallows would be like Hypodown® 700, and jumbo marshmallows the Hypodown® 800.

How about stitch technique – why does that matter? And what are the best options in that department?

Ticking:  The shell or outer covering of your pillows and comforters should be a lightweight, down-proof cotton fabric. Ogallala’s ticking is all 100% cotton and is down-proof (the fabric must be “down-proof” or the small down clusters will leak out of the fabric). The thread count of the ticking is the number of threads in a square inch of fabric.  We have various types of ticking; however, most of our comforters boast a beautiful 353 long-staple Egyptian cotton thread count.

Baffles:  A “baffled” box comforter is the best option when it comes to the style of comforter.  A baffle is a piece of material that runs vertically between the top and bottom fabric. Baffles allow Hypodown® to loft to its fullest potential, without unnecessarily compressing the down.  It also prevents the down from shifting.

What about down blends? What are the benefits to those vs. 100% down?

Our Hypodown® fills are made up of 70% of the finest white goose down, and 30% syriaca (milkweed) clusters.  Syriaca is not a synthetic, nor is it used as a down filler.  It is the natural fiber from the milkweed plant and it is non-treated.  Milkweed traps and suppresses allergens found in down that cause allergic reactions, making the product naturally hypo-allergenic.  Syriaca makes the down more breathable, more durable, and helps the body regulate temperature by whisking moisture away from the body 70% faster than down by itself (or synthetic down).  The combination of milkweed in our down is the reason that you can sleep comfortably all season long, and it keeps you cool even in the hot summer months!

How do you clean and care for down bedding without spending half your paycheck at the dry cleaner? (Any DIY tips?)

Since our products are unique, they cannot be cared for like other down products.  Spot cleaning is the best practice for cleaning any Hypodown® products. In the event you need to do a major cleaning, we highly recommend a professional launderer familiar with down. Do not dry clean! The chemicals used actually break down the composition of down fiber. When professional laundering is needed to keep your product luxurious, we recommend Blanc Plume French Laundry (1-800-307-0229) for guaranteed cleaning results.

Many of our customers ask, “may I launder my comforter or pillows myself?” Yes; however, the “do-it-yourself” approach is at your own risk. We would opt to leave it to the professionals! If you are feeling brave, here’s how:

* Use a large capacity front-loading washing machine. Do not use a top-loading washing machine.

* Detergent must be an approved down wash, such as Down Wash (by Le Blanc), or Dreft. Do not use Woolite.

* Washing machine settings should be on cold water, and cycle should be “delicate” or “hand wash”.

* After the first cycle is complete, run the cycle again without detergent to ensure all of the soap is removed.

* Dry in a large capacity dryer at medium heat for a minimum of 6-8 hours, checking every 30 minutes to pull apart down clumps.

* When you think your comforter or pillows are dry, put them back into the dryer for one more cycle. Do not attempt to air dry since they will not dry quickly enough and will cause mildew.

Finally, what should you run from when selecting down bedding?

Avoid selecting a product that has a greater ratio of “other blend,” “feather,” or a “filler.”  These will generally be lower in quality, and will be very warm.  Most blends, feather, and fillers do not breathe.  A lot of products are blended with synthetic fibers, which are what enables the product to be at such a low price point, but this means that product will be very poor quality.  Always pay attention to the “other blend” in your down product.  If the ratio of the “other blend” or “filler” is greater than the down content, then this won’t be the greatest choice for a high-quality down product.


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