Cititour: The New York Guide to Events, Restaurants, Music, and Nightlife

Jellyfish New York

Neighborhood: East Village

Type of Place: Women's Clothing

Description: As most parents will likely tell you, the first bold sign of your child’s independence comes not by asking to walk to school alone or go to a sleepover party, but by demanding to choose their own clothes. Just like you, children want to rock their own individual style. In some cases, problems arise not because of that desire for independent thinking, but when the outfits they gravitate toward are just too risqué. Once upon a time, those initial flights of independence marked the prelude to adolescence; today, they can begin in children as young as four years old. Not surprisingly, designers of children’s wear are all over this trend, many of them creating tiny-sized versions of biker’s jackets, rock ‘n’ roll T-shirts, and hot pants — not exactly back-to-school duds.

Enter Jellyfish, a new children’s clothing boutique in the East Village that has set out to please both parents and kids with a variety of gear that will appeal to both without prices high enough to sting. Jellyfish’s owner, Adam Kirszner, a former marketer for American Express, has a natural instinct for retailing. He keeps Jellyfish’s collection evenly divided between girls’ and boys’ fashions and serves well all ages from toddlers to size 12. His wife, who works in the fashion industry, and his two pre-teen girls help him choose Jellyfish’s inventory, which includes plenty of moderately priced items from local and national designers like Wonderboy, Stella, Appaman, Fred Perry, Tea, and Brooklyn Junior.

Even though we don’t have a pint-sized fashionista tugging at our purse strings just yet, we adored several pretty party dresses, especially those with loads of pink ruffles ($70), sleeveless cotton “baby doll” blouses that may be worn over shorts or leggings ($55), and sweet, long-sleeved sweater coats (pictured), which are perfect for spring. For boys, we loved the mini version of Joe’s Jeans with a removable wallet chain ($70) paired with a cool graphic T-shirt featuring retro robots or monster trucks ($30) and topped off with a fisherman’s hat that’s cool enough for the next Beastie Boys concert.

The vast selection at Jellyfish is trendy and classy, not suggestive or trashy. In fact, nothing that we found felt overly priced or so directly tied to a trend that it wouldn’t make for an excellent hand-me-down later, which is important for parents with limited budgets and a handful of kids to dress each season. On a similar note, we were very happy to notice that the majority of items seemed well made and produced with high quality fabrics that should take all the recreation and play your average kid can dish out. Most were also soft enough to make us wish we could shop there for our own wardrobe.

The next time you and your tribe set out to buy new duds, stop by Jellyfish, where the quality garments are cool enough to keep you from suffering through another in-store tantrum or two-hour pout-a-thon.   -Joann Jovinelly

Jellyfish New York
244 East 13th Street
(Second and Third Aves)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 260-4960