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Are there ANY kid clothes out there without gender messages??? - Page 3

post #41 of 92
We have some gendered clothes for DS. I happen to like dinosaurs, so there's some of those around, for example. What I hate is the ones with messages about what your kid will become. Things that say "future all-star" or "mommy's hero" with a firetruck. My son may not be a sports star or a fireman - if he wants to be those things, great, but I'm not into labeling his future as a tiny baby! If I had a girl, I'm sure I'd feel the same way about the equivalent things for girls.

If you're looking to avoid things like trucks, dinosaurs, sports, etc but are OK with plain/stripes in blues, reds, greens, greys, browns, it's not hard to find in my experience. But those things still seem "boyish" in color combo and look. Totally gender neutral may be harder.

I love Zutano. I've never ordered from these guys, but I like the solid colors . http://www.cottonseedclothing.com/ But I think it only goes to 2/3T. Baby Gap has the baby basics line for babies and playtime favorites for toddlers and preschoolers which has some gendered colors and messages, but also lots of plain, solid colors and stripes. Old Navy is decent for plain and striped things. Target sometimes has solids and stripes.
post #42 of 92
H&M also has a lot of cute unisex clothes--I've been able to hand down all of ds's H&M baby clothes to dd. And the items that are more boyish or girlish are still really cute, not obnoxious, no weird themes.

I also like Old Navy a lot.

Children's Place seems to have changed--they used to be reliable, but now their clothes are just yucky.
post #43 of 92
Oooh, I'm so happy to see this thread!

My partner is a gender sociologist so we gave our DS a gender-neutral name and have been trying to put him in gender-neutral clothing as much as possible. It does seem to be getting harder as he gets older. Plus DS is big so everyone keeps telling me he's going to be a linebacker. OVER MY DEAD BODY I reply (not b/c of my resistance to the gender stereotyping--girls can be linebackers too in my community--so much as I'd prefer him to remain concussion-free...)

My partner and I are both female and couldn't be more opposite in our gender expressions, plus we have a lot of different male friends and family members with a spectrum of gender identities/expressions. While I still think it's important to be intentional about how we model gender to and for him, I think he'll learn the most about it from the people who surround him. So we educate those people (when we can) if they don't get it.
post #44 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadBuddy View Post
I hate is the ones with messages about what your kid will become. Things that say "future all-star" or "mommy's hero" with a firetruck. My son may not be a sports star or a fireman - if he wants to be those things, great, but I'm not into labeling his future as a tiny baby! If I had a girl, I'm sure I'd feel the same way about the equivalent things for girls.
Yes! I agree.

Some of the slogan tees for kids go too far (IMO): i.e. "chick magnet" and worse.

On children's clothing?
post #45 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy's Mom View Post
Could someone explain the problems with gender-specific clothes to me a bit more? Does that mean no dresses for girls, etc.?
The problem with rigidly gendered clothing, IMO, is that it enforces norms about who or what a child can be/like based on their gender. There are many girls who like butterflies and ballet, of course, but the way the clothing is marketed and designed makes it seem as though 1) girls are supposed to like those things, 2) boys are not and 3) any child who doesn't conform to those expectations is somehow "wrong." So I would say the problem isn't that clothing with trucks on it is marketed to boys but that the same clothing is NOT marketed, EVER, to girls. The worst to me is the clothing that is plastered with stereotype-enforcing slogans: pink toddler shirts that say things like "Diva" or "Future Shopper" and so on.

It's the same with toys: I don't know a toddler boy out there who doesn't like to push around a doll or stuffed animal in a toy baby stroller, but most of the strollers are pink (designating that they're for "girls") and located in the "girls'" section of the toy store.

My dd wears dresses, but she also wears dinosaur pajamas. She wears pink and purple, but also red and navy blue and green (which I often have to buy in the boys' department...sigh). If she decides that pink is her favorite color and the only thing she wants to wear, that's fine with me. But I don't want her ever to feel that pink is a color she HAS to like and wear simply because she's a girl, or that there are certain colors/styles/toys/hobbies that are off-limits to her because she's a girl.
post #46 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
The problem with rigidly gendered clothing, IMO, is that it enforces norms about who or what a child can be/like based on their gender. There are many girls who like butterflies and ballet, of course, but the way the clothing is marketed and designed makes it seem as though 1) girls are supposed to like those things, 2) boys are not and 3) any child who doesn't conform to those expectations is somehow "wrong." So I would say the problem isn't that clothing with trucks on it is marketed to boys but that the same clothing is NOT marketed, EVER, to girls. The worst to me is the clothing that is plastered with stereotype-enforcing slogans: pink toddler shirts that say things like "Diva" or "Future Shopper" and so on.

It's the same with toys: I don't know a toddler boy out there who doesn't like to push around a doll or stuffed animal in a toy baby stroller, but most of the strollers are pink (designating that they're for "girls") and located in the "girls'" section of the toy store.

My dd wears dresses, but she also wears dinosaur pajamas. She wears pink and purple, but also red and navy blue and green (which I often have to buy in the boys' department...sigh). If she decides that pink is her favorite color and the only thing she wants to wear, that's fine with me. But I don't want her ever to feel that pink is a color she HAS to like and wear simply because she's a girl, or that there are certain colors/styles/toys/hobbies that are off-limits to her because she's a girl.


You explained it better than I could, thanks!
post #47 of 92
Add to the list all the 'princess' crap. Or my favorite, the ones with 'princess' written across the butt of your toddler's sweatpants.


So, since we're talking about gender-stereotyping, I can add my family story. Ds is our eldest. I think my Ds was at least 6 if not 7 before he heard or 'learned' certain colors pertained to girls or boys. After age 7 he really started focusing on typically "boy" activities and interests, though still retains enjoyment of playing dolls with his little sister and of course loves to cook like his father. Prior to that age his interests were quite androgynous. He never asked for dresses, etc. and I never went so far as to buy them, but he liked pretty much any activities any child would like, regardless of gender. I think he still does, but he pretty much intitiates play that would be stereotypically considered 'boy,' at this point.

My Dd started telling us at age 2 1/2 that she liked pink (OMG, I detested pink and have now had to learn to...ahem...somewhat embrace it) and at age 3 started saying blue was a 'boy color' (of course we gently explained anyone can like blue and in fact it's mommy's favorite color).

So, I guess my point, and learning experience is that sometimes they're just born that way.
post #48 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
The problem with rigidly gendered clothing, IMO, is that it enforces norms about who or what a child can be/like based on their gender. There are many girls who like butterflies and ballet, of course, but the way the clothing is marketed and designed makes it seem as though 1) girls are supposed to like those things, 2) boys are not and 3) any child who doesn't conform to those expectations is somehow "wrong." So I would say the problem isn't that clothing with trucks on it is marketed to boys but that the same clothing is NOT marketed, EVER, to girls. The worst to me is the clothing that is plastered with stereotype-enforcing slogans: pink toddler shirts that say things like "Diva" or "Future Shopper" and so on.

It's the same with toys: I don't know a toddler boy out there who doesn't like to push around a doll or stuffed animal in a toy baby stroller, but most of the strollers are pink (designating that they're for "girls") and located in the "girls'" section of the toy store.

My dd wears dresses, but she also wears dinosaur pajamas. She wears pink and purple, but also red and navy blue and green (which I often have to buy in the boys' department...sigh). If she decides that pink is her favorite color and the only thing she wants to wear, that's fine with me. But I don't want her ever to feel that pink is a color she HAS to like and wear simply because she's a girl, or that there are certain colors/styles/toys/hobbies that are off-limits to her because she's a girl.
Really great post! I totally agree.
post #49 of 92
I always found that thrift stores were the best places to find a wide variety of neutral clothes. I could find plenty of solid colored shirts without all of the themes and designs.

OT, we did a wide variety of "boy' and "girl' clothes for DD when she was a baby and toddler. For her 2nd birthday, she picked out a one piece, grey romper with a Panda bear on it for her party. For her 3rd birthday, she picked out the most elaborate, silky, blue, fancy, girly dress that Ive ever seen. Somewhere between and 2 and 3 she became very girly and it has only gotten more intense. She hasnt worn pants in 2 months... only skirts and dresses.
post #50 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smalls181 View Post
I always found that thrift stores were the best places to find a wide variety of neutral clothes. I could find plenty of solid colored shirts without all of the themes and designs.

OT, we did a wide variety of "boy' and "girl' clothes for DD when she was a baby and toddler. For her 2nd birthday, she picked out a one piece, grey romper with a Panda bear on it for her party. For her 3rd birthday, she picked out the most elaborate, silky, blue, fancy, girly dress that Ive ever seen. Somewhere between and 2 and 3 she became very girly and it has only gotten more intense. She hasnt worn pants in 2 months... only skirts and dresses.
Recently my daughter is the same way! She's suddenly turned into little miss Girly girl priss. I really don't know where she gets it from: she doesn't watch TV, she goes to a really crunchy Montessori preschool, I buy her a real range of clothing. But now she'll pretty much only wear something if it's satiny or glittery.
post #51 of 92
I'd third Basic Brilliance. I also really really love Kate Quinn Organics (but they can be expensive unless a good sale is going on).

Oh, and also Baby Soy! And Under the Nile.

I actually buy a lot of stuff at Carters - mostly short and long sleeve plain white Onesies and cotton pants in all colors.

My thing is also that I want my 9 month old in comfortable clothing. I hate all that dressy stuff often found at places like Gymboree, etc. i.e. shirts with collars or rough pants.
post #52 of 92
The problem I see with rigidly gendered clothing is that girls can get away with wearing "boy" things and just be called tom boyish. But trying to find some nice purple or pink boy things is awfully, awfully hard. DS1 loves pink - loves, loves, LOVES it but we can only find pink boy shirts in the dress department, and not in just plain t shirts. I end up thrifting to find pink shirts and then doing some crafting on them to make them more "him" than just a boy wearing a girl shirt.

we do a lot of basic t shirts (solids and stripes) and comfy pants from Old Navy (like this)

For little boys, we love Zutano. I love their prints and stripes and the fact that they are rarely emblazoned with trucks/sports/etc.. Here's my youngest wearing a great orange/green combination.

we also like Conceptual Tea, like this outfit

Not sure what your weather is like, but I adore little sweaters on baby boys as well. This one is from my baby sister, so it's over 20 years old (my mom saved it for me).
post #53 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehighernest View Post
I also really really love Kate Quinn Organics (but they can be expensive unless a good sale is going on).
When she does have a sale, it's great. I bought a shirt and a velvet corduroy jacket from there on clearance a couple of years ago. The jacket was too big so ds should be able to wear it soon. The shirt is dressy and he adores it.
post #54 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alathia View Post
The problem I see with rigidly gendered clothing is that girls can get away with wearing "boy" things and just be called tom boyish. But trying to find some nice purple or pink boy things is awfully, awfully hard. DS1 loves pink - loves, loves, LOVES it but we can only find pink boy shirts in the dress department, and not in just plain t shirts. I end up thrifting to find pink shirts and then doing some crafting on them to make them more "him" than just a boy wearing a girl shirt.
We love DS in his pink and purple Ralph Lauren Polos. To add additional colors we layer them with long sleeve t-shirts in contrasting colors.

If you don't want to pay full price, Marshall's and Steinmart carry them for about $11.
post #55 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehighernest View Post
I'd third Basic Brilliance. I also really really love Kate Quinn Organics (but they can be expensive unless a good sale is going on).

Oh, and also Baby Soy! And Under the Nile.

I actually buy a lot of stuff at Carters - mostly short and long sleeve plain white Onesies and cotton pants in all colors.

My thing is also that I want my 9 month old in comfortable clothing. I hate all that dressy stuff often found at places like Gymboree, etc. i.e. shirts with collars or rough pants.
I don't know if you're familiar, but there's a discount website called The Mini Social and I've seen all three brands on sale there. You can get really good deals (I get a lot of cool toys on there too). The only downside to the site is that it takes forever to ship: most things I order from other websites come within a week, but it usually takes about a month before they even ship.

/Not affiliated with them in any way
post #56 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
The problem with rigidly gendered clothing, IMO, is that it enforces norms about who or what a child can be/like based on their gender. There are many girls who like butterflies and ballet, of course, but the way the clothing is marketed and designed makes it seem as though 1) girls are supposed to like those things, 2) boys are not and 3) any child who doesn't conform to those expectations is somehow "wrong." So I would say the problem isn't that clothing with trucks on it is marketed to boys but that the same clothing is NOT marketed, EVER, to girls. The worst to me is the clothing that is plastered with stereotype-enforcing slogans: pink toddler shirts that say things like "Diva" or "Future Shopper" and so on.

It's the same with toys: I don't know a toddler boy out there who doesn't like to push around a doll or stuffed animal in a toy baby stroller, but most of the strollers are pink (designating that they're for "girls") and located in the "girls'" section of the toy store.

My dd wears dresses, but she also wears dinosaur pajamas. She wears pink and purple, but also red and navy blue and green (which I often have to buy in the boys' department...sigh). If she decides that pink is her favorite color and the only thing she wants to wear, that's fine with me. But I don't want her ever to feel that pink is a color she HAS to like and wear simply because she's a girl, or that there are certain colors/styles/toys/hobbies that are off-limits to her because she's a girl.
I do appreciate yours and others' explanations. I was raised in the early 70s with parents who were brutally rigid about gender roles, down to toy, clothing, and chore assignment, as well as preaching that education for girls is pointless and a waste of money. Kids today have so many more choices in life, I just never thought their clothing or even toys were really an issue. Or maybe it's just my personality. If I wanted to play basketball, I did, parents be damned. I was fighting with teachers in first grade who told me I could only be a stewardess (which is what they were called back then) not a pilot. If my son wants a play kitchen, I get it for him. No biggie. It never crossed my mind there was any controversy with that today.
post #57 of 92
http://www.alternativeapparel.com/Collections/Babies/

A friend of ours works for Alternative Apparel and gave us a bunch of onesies, including a pink one , when DS was born. They are super soft and comfy!
post #58 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy's Mom View Post
I do appreciate yours and others' explanations. I was raised in the early 70s with parents who were brutally rigid about gender roles, down to toy, clothing, and chore assignment, as well as preaching that education for girls is pointless and a waste of money. Kids today have so many more choices in life, I just never thought their clothing or even toys were really an issue. Or maybe it's just my personality. If I wanted to play basketball, I did, parents be damned. I was fighting with teachers in first grade who told me I could only be a stewardess (which is what they were called back then) not a pilot. If my son wants a play kitchen, I get it for him. No biggie. It never crossed my mind there was any controversy with that today.
Oh, I assure you that these issues are very much still around. In talking to friends and lots of random strangers at the park and at dd's school I've heard amazing stories: a dad who actively tried to sabotage his son's love of a toy kitchen because they thought it was effeminate; a mom of two boys lamenting that she would never get to buy a toy kitchen because she had boys; a dad who allowed his son to have a doll, but took away the pink clothes the doll came with, threw them out, and replaced them blue overalls; a dad who would only let his son--grudgingly--have a toy stroller if it was blue and not pink (despite the fact that the boy wanted a pink one); and countless parents who didn't get their child the toy/shirt/whatever they wanted because "that's for boys/girls" and the child was the other sex. And I've lived only in very liberal, urban places.

There are many people like you, for whom this stuff is not an issue. But I don't buy the idea that children aren't affected--subtly or more overtly--by the cultural messages with which they're bombarded every day. This stuff pervades not just clothes and toys but television, movies, advertisements, books, you name it.
post #59 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy's Mom View Post
I do appreciate yours and others' explanations. I was raised in the early 70s with parents who were brutally rigid about gender roles, down to toy, clothing, and chore assignment, as well as preaching that education for girls is pointless and a waste of money. Kids today have so many more choices in life, I just never thought their clothing or even toys were really an issue. Or maybe it's just my personality. If I wanted to play basketball, I did, parents be damned. I was fighting with teachers in first grade who told me I could only be a stewardess (which is what they were called back then) not a pilot. If my son wants a play kitchen, I get it for him. No biggie. It never crossed my mind there was any controversy with that today.
I don't think these issues have gone away at all. I think in some ways they've gotten worse. Surveys have shown that over the past 30 years, popular views about the differences between women and men have actually gotten more pronounced over the past few decades, not less. And I definitely think that the difference between boy and girl toys and clothes have gotten more pronounced since I was a kid. Sure there have always been boy toys and girl toys, but there's also always been a whole range of gender-neutral toys too. The difference is that nowadays you can only buy them either with pink butterflies or blue dinosaurs on them.
post #60 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewsMother View Post
We love DS in his pink and purple Ralph Lauren Polos. To add additional colors we layer them with long sleeve t-shirts in contrasting colors.

If you don't want to pay full price, Marshall's and Steinmart carry them for about $11.
unfortunately my kids have really big heads. like, off the charts big. it's either stretchy necks (like basic ts), or total button downs. Polos or rugby shirts get caught on their heads and everyone is sweating and unhappy. I love the look of little polo shirts, but alas, not for my guys!
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