The Petite Sophisticate

Elegance can start early with unique European clothing for children at Baci.

It's the kind of place where an international jet-setter like Suri Cruise might shop.

Baci, a boutique for little ones that carries mostly European clothing lines, is not for the ordinary child. Suri wouldn't be caught dead in a Gymboree number, nor would the children of the mothers who shop here.

Baci moved to Eton Chagrin Boulevard in November after seven years in Beachwood. "It's the place to be," says Vittoria Colantuono, who owns the shop with her sister Francesca Elhibir.

"It all started when my first daughter was born," says Colantuono. She would travel to Toronto and New York and see the darling boutiques that carried clothes you could not find in Cleveland. Thus inspired, she opened her own boutique, increasing her customer base by two when she had her second and third daughters (her girls are now 4, 6 and 8).

With concrete floors, gentle lighting and racks of clothing elegantly displayed, the shop feels hip and inviting. It carries girls clothing from newborn to size 12 and boys clothes up to size 6. Lines include IKKS, Jean Bourget, Lili Gaufrette, Blush and Sister Sam.

The most noticeable difference between European and American clothing for children is the color palette. At Baci, you'll find lots of soft pinks, mauves, creams, grays and browns. "The muted colors are just a different look altogether," Colantuono says. "It's much more sophisticated."

We found a mauve tiered dress adorned with tiny bows ($57) that we loved, as well as other pricey, but pretty, dresses. But we also saw an ombré IKKS dress ($83) that seemed out of place alongside the simple patterns.

If you prefer to spend more modestly on your children's clothing, Baci is still worth a stop. The front of the store is lined with old-fashioned toys such as the wooden Schylling tool box ($16) and eeBoo paper dolls ($16). The Pamela Marcuzzi hair accessories ($3-$16), adorned with beads and sparkles, would appeal to little and big girls.

As for Suri, Colantuono spotted her in People wearing an IKKS white dress with red stitching. She looked very sophisticated, of course.

28699 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere, 216-896-1111,

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