Elizabeth Chambers Hammer is very passionate about children’s clothes.
While attending the Lilly Pulitzer x Pottery Barn launch event on Thursday with her daughter Harper Grace, 4, Chambers opened up to PEOPLE about why she thinks “it’s so important for kids to dress like kids,” and opt for classic, timeless styles.
“They have their whole lives to wear whatever they’re going to wear. I think it’s precious for them to wear dresses and Peter Pan collars. That’s how my mom always dressed us, exactly like I dress them. In fact, Harper has a lot of dresses that were mine when I was little, and Ford has a lot of little Jon Jon’s and outfits that were my brother’s,” the mother of two, who shares her daughter and 2-year-old son Ford Douglas Armand with husband Armie Hammer, explained.
Chambers Hammer, 36, went on to point out that the “beautiful thing about timeless clothing is that you can pass it down for generations and generations and it never goes out of style.”
“I always had a bow in my hair until I was probably too old — 6th grade?” she added. “Both my parents are from Mississippi, so I don’t think I ever had a choice, really. Smocking is just part of how you dress when you’re from the south!”
“I’m so passionate about children’s clothing, I could go on and on. My kids definitely dress better than I do,” she remarked. “I pay more attention to ordering clothes for them than I do for myself.”
For the event, which was held in celebration of the second Lilly Pulitzer for Pottery Barn collaboration, both Chambers Hammer and her daughter wore matching dresses, with the proud mom wearing the Hollee Dress, while Harper opted for the Girls Mini Marlow Dress.
Both of the dresses are part of the “Lilly in the Jungle” limited-edition collection, which is available at Lilly Pulitzer and LillyPulitzer.com.
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Now that her daughter’s getting older, and starting to pick out her own outfits, Chambers Hammer emphasized how important it is to make sure Harper’s closet is packed with winning ensembles.
“She definitely has an opinion about how she dresses and it’s really important to me to let her dress herself. Self-expression, especially at this age is very important,” she told PEOPLE. “She picks out her outfits every day, luckily she has only really good things to pick from.”
However, that doesn’t mean Harper always picks the most weather-appropriate outfits to wear.
“Yesterday she wanted to wear a white dress with pink ribbons, and it was essentially an Easter Sunday dress,” Chambers Hammer shared, adding that her daughter wanted to pair the “very, very dressy” outfit with “white knee highs and Easter shoes.”
“It’s March, but not yet Easter, and it was raining in Los Angeles,” she explained. “At that point, you’re just like, this is very important developmentally. I definitely let her pick out her own clothes, but like I said, you just got to stock the pond accordingly.”
A post shared by Elizabeth Chambers Hammer (@elizabethchambers) on Dec 6, 2018 at 4:38pm PST
Among Chambers Hammer’s favorite children’s brands, which include Anavini, Amaya, The Beaufort Bonnet Company and Feltman Bros., the BIRD Bakery owner says a love of Lilly Pulitzer runs in the family.
“Harper does wear a lot of Lilly. My mother-in-law is the biggest Lilly Pulitzer fan you have ever met. Her house is all pink and green even before Lilly came for Pottery Barn. She is hot pink and lime green everything,” she shared. “Harper has an extensive Lilly wardrobe because of my mother-in-law and her love of Lilly.”
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Despite the pair’s twinning mother-daughter outfits for the day, Chambers Hammer doesn’t usually try to match her daughter’s ensembles herself, but loves to have Harper wear coordinating outfits with her baby brother.
“I definitely coordinate the two of them,” she shared.
A post shared by Elizabeth Chambers Hammer (@elizabethchambers) on Feb 17, 2019 at 4:32pm PST
A post shared by Elizabeth Chambers Hammer (@elizabethchambers) on Mar 11, 2019 at 12:28pm PDT
Another opportunity for the whole family to coordinate outfits comes at bed time.
Asked whether she ever ran into any difficulties getting her husband to don matching sleepwear with her and the kids, Chambers Hammer said she doesn’t “ever have to bribe him to get into pajamas.”
“He will always gladly get into pajamas as we saw in his tracksuit days, he’s happy to wear leisurewear in public,” she added. “He loves pajamas and he is happy to do matching. I think if I were to ask him if we could all go to the zoo wearing matching clothes, he would think I’ve lost my mind, but pajamas are an easy matching sell.”