FASHIONISTAS: Kids of all ages are now more aware of trends.
Toddlers can be trendy and comfortable.

RAISING confident children is key for parents and when a child can express their likes and dislikes through their own sense of style it's a great confidence booster.

Happy fashionable kids are all good and well, but how does this impact on your budget?

Many parents have the misconception that trendy kids wear is pricey. This doesn't have to be the case as affordable, good quality and trendy clothes are within reach.

This is where retailers like Ackermans are filling the gap in the market. “There is a greater focus on value, explains Charl Cronje, managing director of Ackermans.

“Many of our customers are looking for added value at a good price. There is an emphasis on getting more for less.”

A pre-teen girl wearing a graphic print T-shirt.  

Boosted by the infiltration of fashion into children's clothing, this category is consistently outperforming other lines. “The advent of technology and rise of social media have also been huge contributors to this growth, specifically in the pre-teen category,” admits Cronje.

With fashion trends changing from season to season it's sometimes hard for parents to keep up with what's hot or not. And as a parent one doesn't want to come across as uncool. You need to stay on top of things when it comes to kids and especially teens.

With younger children it's a bit easier but even so you would want your little ones to not only be comfortable but trendy as well. Yet, as soon as they can talk and dress themselves you will discover how their personalities shine through with the outfits they pick out for themselves.

My daughter has an obsession with rain boots and tutus because she loves being a ballerina who's not afraid of a bit of rain.

Here are a few 2017 children's fashion predictions from Sam Jones, the global design executive at Ackermans, to keep parents in the trends loop.

Simplified styling, intricate detail: While kids are veering away from fussy, complex styles, they are focused on detail; embroidery, lace and even holograms are set to be big news in 2017. “Children's fascination with social platforms that utilise augmented reality – such as Snapchat – will also influence design. “I anticipate Snapchat’s quirky filters popping up on T-shirts and hoodies,” predicts Jones.

Kids like to copy what their parents wear.

Mini-me: Kids are drawing style inspiration from celebrities, but closer to home it's mom and dad that they look to as well. “We saw this trend a few years ago and it's making a comeback in 2017. Kids want to wear the same styles as mom and dad, and there's a demand for kid-friendly replicas of what they see their parents wearing. An example is a woman wearing a maxi dress, with her daughter emulating her in a three-quarter version, appropriate for her age,” says Jones.

Twinning: As much as twinning has become a big trend among fashionista and their BFF’s (Best Friends Forever), siblings are increasingly choosing to wear matching or complementary outfits as well. Establishing their identity is important to kids, but in 2017 children are finding comfort in choosing to express themselves with their siblings as a unit.

Active little boys need to be comfortable.

Active wear: Children love active wear as it is both fashionable and functional, and even more so in 2017 as they see the "athleisure" trend become more and more popular with adults. Little ones are always on the go. Running around in the backyard or climbing the jungle gym in the park. So comfort is always key.