Helsinki is a beautiful city. It’s also close knit, being intimate and spacious at the same time. Spend enough time in the city centre and you’re bound to run into a friend. So it’s always surprising when I hear new mamas remarking how tricky it is to find good pieces for their babes. I know it’s never easy in those first months (or years for that matter), and the thought of strolling around a city with a newborn or toddler, well… only for the brave. Still, it’s good to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air. Best to do it with a direction involved. So to make life easier and more pleasurable (there are some seriously awesome brands featured here!) I’ve created a list of must visit brick and mortar shops that’ll appeal to the creative in you.
Conveniently located on the 3rd floor in Kamppi, Polarn O. Pyret is my ultimate go-to for winter essentials. I can’t sing praises enough on the quality of the pieces. The merino wools are breathable, light, and machine washable. And after a sound beating from my little ones at daycare, they’re still holding strong, the colours are vibrant and no holes. Sorcery! Best of all it’s a one stop shop. Gloves? Check. Socks? Oh look there’s a 3 for 2 promotion. Snoods, first layers, coats, rain boots. You name it, it’s there. Plus the sizing is generous so it’ll fit for months to come. The damage to your wallet, minimal considering you’ll only need to repurchase when your little ones have outgrown it.
Located on the 6th floor, the children’s department at Stockmann’s has seen some refreshing changes this past year. Besides well-known classics such as Mayoral and Reima are fresh new brands such as Papu, Gugguu, and Molo that feature bold colourways and busy prints as well as modern styles that could easily translate to women’s wear. And they do! Papu’s collection usually includes women’s dresses alongside toddlers to darling results. I have my eye on this piece here. As an added bonus, the toy department and Mumin Kaffe are on the same floor.
If you’re looking for that special piece for your little one, or a gift for that friend who has all the basics covered, then this is the place. Located on Bulevardi, one of Helsinki’s swankier shopping streets, Le Bunuell specializes in children’s luxury brands and accessories. Expect to find traditional high-end labels such as Karl Lagerfeld kids, Little Marc Jacobs, as well as Il Gufo, alongside fashion favourites Kate Mach, Timberland, Lili Gaufrette and Tartine et Chocolat.
With two locations to choose from Little Copenhagen has been a long time staple on Helsinki’s children’s scene, because they know their customers well. And it shows. Although, as the name suggests, they feature a fair amount of Danish brands, expect to find good basics and charming pieces from true classics such as Petit Bateau, Wheat, Ver de Terre, and Billyblush & Bandit. It’s not solely clothing either, there are the most darling party supplies (think Meri Meri), and accessories.
Created by Swedish illustrator Cassandra Rhodin, this brand has been a fast favourite in the Nordics, and it’s easy to see why. Each season’s collection features bright prints with various animal characters on easy to wear styles – a win for parents who crave something more than the proverbial blues and pinks, and for kids who find the illustrations amusing. The flagship store on Iso Roobertinkatu is the largest of it’s kind and the first to open it’s doors outside of Sweden. Take in the selection, and ask questions. The sales reps are some of the friendliest around.
One of my all time favourite shops, Tikau is fantastic on so many levels. It carries incredible home and accessories products, with a focus on sustainability and fair trade. But the best part is their kids collections. Immaculately curated and presented, you’ll find ample pieces to choose from, from labels across the globe. I personally love their new collections from Tiny Cottons, Ketiketa, and Easy Peasy. The selection is always changing, so it’s a great way to discover new brands. Plus, it’s a short walk from Johanneksenkirkko (St. John’s church), and Design Museo – both worth strolling by if you have the time.