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LITTLE KIDS GET THE GOOD STUFF

Children's wear is becoming so interesting that the major designers are finally coming around - and spending time on it, to boot. This spring, for the first time, Ralph Lauren introduces a line for newborns, infants and toddlers in sizes 3 months through 4T. These kids can wear their very own Polo shirts, American flag sweaters and USA sweatshirts.

The spring line reflects the energy and spirit of childhood summers in 3 groups - Nautical, Edgartown and The Keys. Nautical includes red, white and navy striped leggings, dresses and henleys and a navy overall with a cream sailor collar.Edgartown (meaning the trendy Massachusetts summer retreat) features broadcloth cotton stripes and madras in shirts, shirt-dresses and rompers. Blue and white boat motifs are printed on cotton jersey snap shoulder T-shirts and matching shorts. Cabled or ribbed cotton sweaters are offered in primary and pastel colors.

In the Keys group, little ones can romp or lounge in print halter sunsuits or swim trunks - and the little fly fisherman can don a mini-version of Dad's fishing vest in twill, lined with a vintage stripe.

Lauren for kids also features the finest fabrics, including delicate, hand-embroidered details. There are cotton pique and creamy Irish linen dresses for girls, and shorts with matching white linen mini-Norfolk jackets for boys. Boys also can wear a navy wool military jacket with brass buttons and sailor pants with attached suspenders.

Finally, there are luxurious cashmere, cabled cardigan sweaters for toddlers and receiving blankets for newborns. And if anyone is interested in pint-size versions of Polo favorites, Lauren offers them as unisex separates. The tiniest Polo shirts are recast as rompers and dresses, and little chambray shirts, chinos and washed denim have the same quality of detail of their grown-up counterparts.

At last the kids get the good stuff.