To dress a child

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Children's clothes for sale at the Little Anh Em concept shop in Ho Chi Minh City

The Little Anh Em concept shop doubles as a children's clothes store and cutesy café where parents can release their inner child with a fresh juice break after a day of shopping for their kids.

The clothes come from a range of influences across Asia, from "tonkinese" Vietnamese-inspired outfits, to Morrocan and Thai designs.

The tiny shoes, shirts, bags, hats, skirts, dresses and underwear are mostly cotton, linen and other fabrics kids find comfortable. There are also a few items for women, presumably to please the mothers and nannies who shop there.

My favorite pair of kids' cotton shoes costs around VND750,000 and a lovely pink shirt costs VND240,000. There are also other rare but thoughtful items such as petite gloves and socks to cover tiny babies' feet and hands.

At little Anh Em shop, I found the kinds of things I haven't seen sold at local markets for 20 years. For example there are plastic bags made of knitted durable plastic strings that can be easily washed.

The bags are meant for kids so that children learn the value of recycling, particularly when it comes to materials like fabric, instead of just throwing away each plastic bag after use.

After a shopping time with my friends, we sat at Little Anh Em's café for fresh fruit juice and tea.

The café is divided in small, interesting areas. There is place with tiny tables and chairs designed for children, there are chairs made of colorful knitted fabric, plus a big and long wooden table for parents to gather at. Here kids can drink fresh juice no sugar added while mom and dad prepare a comfortable and airy new wardrobe for the youngsters (most of the clothes are loose-fitting).


43 Ton That Thiep Street, District 1, HCMC

A view of Little Anh Em concept shop

There is a balcony with a view above the trees of bustling Ton That Thiep Street toward the French colonial villas on the opposite side. The balcony is adorned with pretty white, silk curtains.

We choose a cute table (children's style) and ordered orange juice (all regular juices VND55,000) and mixed-flower tea (VND80,000). We also ordered slices of chocolate, banana and pineapple cake (VND50,000 for each portion).

Alongside the list of usual juice suspects, the café also offers organic tomato juice and organic carrot juice for VND10,000 extra (VND65,000).

Another highlight of the café is its diverse collection of organic coffee, ranging from Vietnamese coffee (VND30,000) to Italian Cappucino's (VND60,000).

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