Have you ever taken your boy out in public in girl's clothing? - Mothering Forums

Have you ever taken your boy out in public in girl's clothing?

View Poll Results: Have you taken your boy out in girl's clothing?
Yeah, we do that all the time! What's the big deal? 14 100.00%
Occasionally. It's happened before, it'll probably happen again. 25 100.00%
Never, but I let my girl wear boy's clothing. 14 100.00%
Never; my girls wear girl clothing and my boys wear boy clothing. 22 100.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy (TS)
09:54 PM Liked: 16
#1 of 42
02-09-2004 | Posts: 15,067
Joined: Apr 2003
I'm not talking about gender-neutral or unisex stuff here, I'm talking about actual girly clothing, like with gathers, ruffles, lace and bows. :

Not too long ago, my son had ridiculously messy pants while we were at my mother's house, and had already been changed into his "extra" outfit. The only thing we could find to put on him was an outfit that had belonged to my niece-- a red jumpsuit with gathers at the waist over a white turtleneck with lace and a bow at the collar and puffy gathers at the shoulder & cuff. : He also had a clip in his hair, to keep his bangs out of his eyes (he wears one all the time, though). He's got a very masculine face for a boy, but big eyes, long lashes, dimples and long-ish hair, which all lead people to ask if he's a girl even when he's wearing very "boy" clothing.

I had to take him to the grocery store dressed like this. I didn't mind, really, any more than when he had explosive diarhea and I had to take him to see the doctor in girl's clothing. (The nurse said "Oh, I understand, I would never say anything about his clothing. You have to do what you have to do!") I actually enjoyed truly flaunting gender stereotypes. I don't buy him pink or dresses or anything like that, but I got a real kick out of it. So am I strange, or have you done it too? :

Edited to add: Diapers and underwear don't count! I'm talking about clothing you can see.
aussiemum's Avatar aussiemum
10:07 PM Liked: 13
#2 of 42
02-09-2004 | Posts: 3,205
Joined: Dec 2001
Do pink shorts count? 'Cuz ds (3) wore those to kindy yesterday. He likes pink, & because he wants to grow his hair out, we sometimes put a clippie in the front to keep it out of his eyes. But I've never seen anyone mistake him for a girl, not that I think he would care anyway......
ja mama's Avatar ja mama
10:08 PM Liked: 13
#3 of 42
02-09-2004 | Posts: 1,482
Joined: Sep 2003
I only have boys> I only have boys clothes that will fit them in the house. Ds1 has worn some pants with lace when he got his dirty at a girl friends house. But he just wore them home.
My dh would disown me if I let them wear a dress. I gave away all my girly dress-up clothes just so the boys won't hear the comments I know dh would make. I have to admit, though. I'm not comfortable choosing girl clothes for my boys, and would have a hard time if that's what they wanted to choose.
shanetedissac's Avatar shanetedissac
10:27 PM Liked: 24
#4 of 42
02-09-2004 | Posts: 797
Joined: Apr 2002
I personally do not have girls but friends of mine do. The other day I saw one of my sons school playmates wearing pick pants. He's 6. The mom did mention that the dad would have nothing of in in a joking manner.
Super Pickle's Avatar Super Pickle
10:47 PM Liked: 36
#5 of 42
02-09-2004 | Posts: 1,680
Joined: Apr 2002
What you did was perfectly fine. You had a situation and you dealt with it the best you could.

To intentionally cross-dress your children, though, just to flaunt gender stereotypes, would be wrong in my opinion. If a parent wants to make a statement s/he should cross-dress him/herself. Leave the poor child out of it.
fishy's Avatar fishy
10:53 PM Liked: 0
#6 of 42
02-09-2004 | Posts: 340
Joined: Dec 2001
we do have access to a lot of girly clothing bc my sister has 2 girls and always lets me go thru the clothes when her kids grow out of them. there are always a lot of nuetral stuff, jeans and tshirts, whatever. but i have always let my son choose what he wanted to wear and if there was soemthing 'girly' (in style, color, pattern, whatever) in the bag that he wanted, he got it.

i figure, colors are all made by nature and who is to say what color is for who. IMO, people can wear whatever they want as long as they feel confortable in it.

the last time we went thru the cousins clothes, he picked out a pair of jeans overalls that had flowers embroidered all over them. and he has worn dresses (his favorite all last summer was a purple one with flowers all over it) and i have made him skirts and sarongs. he also has a few shirts that are flowery . and i get comments everytime he wears the 'girly' stuff, but i dont care. at this point, either does he. like i said, its always his choice.

oh, and his favorite belt! (he is a belt freak, lol). he found this pink, sparkely belt somewhere once and it is always the one he has to wear. every time without fail he picks the pink belt. its really a cute belt, but people give us the oddest looks. like, once they see the belt, they just arent sure if he is a girl or a boy.

i say...break the stereo-typing!
aussiemum's Avatar aussiemum
11:33 PM Liked: 13
#7 of 42
02-09-2004 | Posts: 3,205
Joined: Dec 2001
Oh, I forgot about the flower pants, Dark blue Osh-Kosh ones with hydrangeas printed all over. DS loves those. A few other things too, probably...... It must be weird to have other people worry about what you dress your child like in public. I guess nobody's ever looked twice at DS in his girly pants.....but he doesn't choose to wear dresses, so maybe that might get a look or two. Can't imagine anyone cross-dressing their kid- doesn't that bring gender issues into it? Jeez, DS doesn't even know the meaning of the word gender yet, so how could he cross-dress???
Mama2Lennon's Avatar Mama2Lennon
11:59 PM Liked: 0
#8 of 42
02-09-2004 | Posts: 171
Joined: Jan 2003
four year ds loves to wear flowered or purple or bell bottomed pants, which most would say are "girls" clothes, they seem to be the only pants that fit when we go second hand shopping. has a "witch" dress for play and a seventies style sweater dress that he wears frequently, great for this cold weather.
dresses were great when ds was 2 and toiletting in the summertime, so much less fuss when you can just lift it up to go pee! ds also has long blonde dreaded hair so ... people just assume s/he should be wearing a dress ...
what's the big deal anyway? :
in other non-western countries men wear "skirts" or saris all the time, they are more comfortable and practical. let's stop sexism towards boys and let them wear whatever they'd like and not confine them to only certain clothes ...
in case anyone wonders .. ds is very boyish, likes to wrestle and usually goes out as spiderman or batman
Cloverlove's Avatar Cloverlove
12:01 AM Liked: 0
#9 of 42
02-10-2004 | Posts: 1,330
Joined: Jan 2003

I have always dressed ds very gender-neutral. When he started getting old enough to show clothing preferences, he never wanted things with sports and/or vehicles. He was a firefighter fairy for his 3rd Halloween and when he was 4 he did go through a phase of experimenting with glamour (nail painting, hair clips, frilly shirts). It was a short-lived phase as he did experience some peer pressure with our playgroup friends.

He still has a couple of twirly skirts that he wears to shows and places like the Oregon Country Fair.

Oh, check out this photo from Hanna Andersson. It is definitely a boy in a dress! How cool is that?

Now that ds is 6 he does dress completely like a "boy". But he extremely sensitive and has the soul of an artist. I feel that nurturing all parts of him really has helped to shape an amazing little kid!

I wonder why this is a big deal and I feel sad for boys that are denied the freedom to experiment or even be who they are.
aussiemum's Avatar aussiemum
12:08 AM Liked: 13
#10 of 42
02-10-2004 | Posts: 3,205
Joined: Dec 2001
I have been told by a reliable source that free-b#lling it underneath a sarong is a very liberating experience. Great for curing chafe, too. :LOL
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy (TS)
09:51 PM Liked: 16
#11 of 42
02-10-2004 | Posts: 15,067
Joined: Apr 2003
My son isn't old enough to make the choice yet, which is why he wears boy clothing most of the time. I really don't have a problem with it if he wants to have "spinny skirts" when he gets older; doesn't every kid?

I wonder if anyone deliberately dresses a child in opposite gender clothing to flaunt the sterotypes? I can't bring myself to do it. I mean, if we have problems again for some reason, I won't flinch at having to take him out in girl clothing, but I can't see myself just waking up in the morning and putting a dress on him for storytime at the library, kwim? Of course, it's an entirely different story when he gets old enough to ask. One of my best friends in elementary school absolutely loved pink, and still managed to be the most masculine boy in the class. I still remember things boiling down to "Boys can't wear pink nail polish? How about I beat you up and then you tell me that again?" Not the most positive message, but it certainly says something for his self-esteem. :LOL
aussiemum's Avatar aussiemum
10:41 PM Liked: 13
#12 of 42
02-10-2004 | Posts: 3,205
Joined: Dec 2001
Yeah, you're right, I never did deliberately put DS in girly clothes for a trip to the library or wherever. Now he's 3 & he can choose for himself. I pretty much say okay to whatever; I've always been a bit of a fashion-tragic anyway, so who am I to say what looks good!!
beanma's Avatar beanma
12:36 AM Liked: 2618
#13 of 42
02-11-2004 | Posts: 8,097
Joined: Jan 2002
i've always been a bit of a tomboy for lack of a better word and have no fondness for pink so i've dressed my girls in all manner of things boyish. eldest dd is 3 now (thurs ), though, and definitely has a mind of her own when it comes to things she will or won't wear. she has gone thru girlier phases and i am at peace with pink now. too much lace and ruffles still gets me a little bit, but it's what ever she wants. i still love her in overalls and a stripey shirt, but it's not nearly the "issue" for girls as it is for boys. don't have one of those, so can't comment on that, but if i did i'd let him wear whatever he wanted, too.
Shann's Avatar Shann
02:23 AM Liked: 14
#14 of 42
02-11-2004 | Posts: 253
Joined: Dec 2003
I have taken both of my boys (ages 5 and 7) out in girls' clothing on several occasions, and I see nothing at all wrong with that. Both my boys have long hair and pierced ears (most recently double-pierced ears), and hair clips, so they have been breaking the typical "boy/girl" stereotypes since early on. Now that they are both old enough to have a say in what they want to wear, I take them shopping in BOTH the boys' and the girls' sections of the stores and let them pick out whatever they want. They both LOVE extra long and wide bell bottoms with flowers, which *most* people would consider girls' pants. They also like flowered shirts and girls' tennis shoes. But they also choose so-called "traditional" boys' clothing too. So to me it doesn't matter what they wear as long as they are happy. (Frankly, I like it when they choose "girly" clothing, because I LOVE breaking gender stereotypes with them. But,no, I don't *force* the choice on them...I am just glad they choose to dress that way themselves). By the way, both are very much "boyish" and like to play rough and wrestle (not that that matters).
Annabel's Avatar Annabel
03:51 AM Liked: 1
#15 of 42
02-11-2004 | Posts: 423
Joined: Jul 2003
I have dressed my son in girls clothes on occasion (hand me downs) because that is all he had left to wear. Most of his clothes are very boy like because he loves cars and trucks and dinosaurs. If I ever have a girl she will be wearing boys clothes because that is what I have!
He has, however, frequently gone out in public wearing jewellery and toenail polish. He loves wearing my jewellery.
Jennifer Z's Avatar Jennifer Z
04:44 AM Liked: 84
#16 of 42
02-11-2004 | Posts: 3,755
Joined: Sep 2002
I dress ds pretty gender neutral and he is always mistaken for a girl. His hair isn't even "that" long...I mean it is longer than the typical jock cut (that I hate, hate, hate btw), but it is trimmed and I keep the bangs short enough to be out of his eyes (he will not wear any manner of things on his head...hats or clips). I did actually buy him some girl fleece pants from Old Navy on clearance, since there were no boy versions left and I needed some for diaper covers...but he hasn't worn them out of the house yet (but that is mostly because they don't fit very well...evidently girl size 3T is considerably smaller than boy size 3T). I wouldn't have any objection to him wearing girl clothes, but all of the hand-me-downs I get are boy clothes, so it has never been an issue.

I can tell you that if I have a girl, she will probably wear more gender neutral/boyish clothes simply because I hate scratchy lacy things. If I can find comfortable, non fru fru stuff in girls clothes, that is fine, but I refuse to buy uncomfortable clothes. (well, at least until they have an opinion...I will get what they want within reason).
nikirj's Avatar nikirj
04:41 PM Liked: 22
#17 of 42
02-11-2004 | Posts: 4,888
Joined: Oct 2002
I very firmly believe that clothing should be practical - and as such my daughter doesn't own any lace or anything with frills, puffs, or ruffles. This makes it hard for my DS to get in such clothing ;-).

He has worn pink things with little ruffly wrists and butterfly appliques a couple of times, though, when he has gotten something wet or dirty at my parents' house (they have a lot of spare clothes for DD, since she sleeps over a lot). But really only a couple of times, like once or twice. I'm not much for stereotypes, it is more that DDs clothes don't fit worth a darn (she is tall and thin, he is stocky). She, on the other hand, wears boy clothing ALL THE TIME, but is such a sweet-little-girly type of child (with a very feminine face and stature) I could shave her head, dress her in suspenders and a baseball cap, and everyone would STILL know she's a girl.
calgal007's Avatar calgal007
12:59 AM Liked: 0
#18 of 42
02-13-2004 | Posts: 662
Joined: Nov 2001
There's a boy in our neighborhood who wears a fairy princess nightie outside to play. He's nine. He also wears a necklace, very girly. The other kids just go, "Oh, there's _____, out in his dress again." Nobody seems to care that much.
UrbanPlanter's Avatar UrbanPlanter
02:04 AM Liked: 10
#19 of 42
02-13-2004 | Posts: 5,507
Joined: Nov 2003
I voted "never" only bc I never have had the "opportunity"
I have no girls clothes, but if the occasion should arise, I'm sure it wouldn't matter to me what ds is wearing.
Marsupialmom's Avatar Marsupialmom
01:15 PM Liked: 84
#20 of 42
02-13-2004 | Posts: 9,039
Joined: Sep 2003
My nine year old wears necklaces/beads that he makes himself. He never showed interest in them as preschooler (3-6) range but my girls love beading. He enjoys making them and showing them off.

He has worn a terra (girly crown) out for days, weeks, or was it months that we had that #@$# thing. He was almost four. I did not mind that he was wearing it but he was in love with the thing and we had to take it everywere. We had a new baby at the time and she was giving us some medical "worries."

He has a sweatshirt that has a Fairy on it. It is a girl’s sweatshirt but he likes fantasy dragons and the such. He found it in the girls section.

He just does not care. He did care about his fingernails being painted, I think he was questioned but he still lets me do his toes.

Honestly my dh and I have discussed if he is gay or not. He can be “all boy” but there are times that we wonder if one day he will come home and say “I am gay or bi”. I am bi-sexual and we have been thinking about how to bring up this part of sexuality.

He went to kindergarten and one month of first grade. We have seriously wondered about sending him to school because he can be so darn different. He is essenctric but happy with himself.
cottonwood's Avatar cottonwood
01:51 PM Liked: 37
#21 of 42
02-13-2004 | Posts: 7,153
Joined: Nov 2001
I voted "Never," because I *do* have a line I don't cross. I mean, I'm not going to put my daughter in a t-shirt emblazoned with trucks, or my son in something with bows and ruffles on it. I'm just not. However, I think my definition of "unisex" is probably different from other people's. My son's favorite shirt (that I finally had to get rid of because he wore it so much that it fell apart) was a knitted short-sleeve top with a V-neck, from the '70's I would guess, in stripes of bright red, yellow, and white. It was very Beau-Brummelesque. It wasn't at all traditionally masculine, but neither traditionally feminine. But it was certainly flamboyant, which boys in our culture are not supposed to be. We have a lot of items of clothing that I think aren't really specific to one or the other gender, but isn't what most people think of as "unisex", that I dress both the boys and my girl in. Like fuzzy socks. Or a pink piece of clothing in a non-feminized style.
lemon's Avatar lemon
01:51 PM Liked: 0
#22 of 42
02-13-2004 | Posts: 179
Joined: Dec 2001
Originally posted by Cloverlove

Oh, check out this photo from Hanna Andersson. It is definitely a boy in a dress! How cool is that?
I don't think that's a boy. As a former short-haired girl myself, I remember how annoying and confusing it can be to be mis-identified.

Of course, usually when I was misidentified I was wearing button-down shirts and long pants, my usual uniform at that age. But always from the girl's department!
jennifera's Avatar jennifera
12:41 AM Liked: 0
#23 of 42
03-21-2005 | Posts: 16
Joined: Feb 2005
My 6 year old Boy/Girl Twins get

mistaken for identical twin sisters almost all the time, It does not matter if my son is dressed in boys clothes, As i said in my original post, My sons hair is the same length and color, And their voices are very simular, If i am doing something and not looking at them and one of them says something to me, I actually have to turn around to see which one was talking to me.

It was chilly out this past Sunday, The kids were bored because they were stuck in the house, So they decided to play dressup, (Some of the clothes that i have for both my son and daughter are doubles, Because when we go out and they get dirty, I can change their clothes and no one else knows that i changed their clothes) They both came out of my daughters room dressed identically, they were in a pink sweater and pink pants, They both had on a pair of white tights and black mary janes, My daughter put my sons hair in pigtails held in place with pink ribbons with 2 barrettes with pink bows in his hair, He looked so cute, My daughters hair was done the same way, When i saw them, I have to admit that they did look like identical twin sisters.

I forgot that we had to go to my neices 6 year old sons birthday party at a local duckpin (small balls) bowling alley, When i saw the time, I told my son to go get changed into his own clothes,(we really did not know any of the other kids that were going to be there) What he said next surprised me, He said that since he looked just like his sister, He wanted to switch places with his sister, he would go as her and she would go as her brother, My daughter did not mind that, So my daughter got changed into her brothers clothes and before we left, I reminded them that since they were going as each other, They would have to answer to each others names, They said ok.

When we got there, I took their coats (Like alot of girls these days, My daughter has a pink winter jacket, Which means my son was wearing his sisters winter jacket) from them and hung them up and they both started playing with the other kids including bowling, We were there for a little over 2 hours and to my knowledge no one including my neice and sister knew that my son and daughter were wearing each others clothes.

When it was time for the kids to go to bed, I started putting one of my daughters nitegowns on who i thought was my daughter, But come to find out it was my son, I even forgot that it was my son wearing his sisters clothes since he looks exactly like his sister.
dharmamama's Avatar dharmamama
01:06 AM Liked: 0
#24 of 42
03-21-2005 | Posts: 4,447
Joined: Sep 2004
Just this evening I took my so to Urgent Care wearing his sister's sparkly red party shoes. That's what he wanted to wear. If that makes him happy, more power to him!

My son was raised in an orphanage for the first 2 years of his life, and although they didn't put boys in dresses, they didn't care if boys wore flowers and lace. My son loves pink ruffley clothes. Good for him!

onlyzombiecat's Avatar onlyzombiecat
03:07 AM Liked: 190
#25 of 42
03-21-2005 | Posts: 7,237
Joined: Aug 2004
I only have a dd so I've never put a boy in girl's clothing except my nephew one night in dd's pj's because he unexpectedly spent the night.
We have put dd in boy's clothing. We got some boy hand me downs when she was an infant/toddler. They had tigers, trains, cars on them- big deal.
We have gone shopping in the boy's section of clothing stores many times.
We got some super cute overalls with bugs on them. We bought dd Spiderman skates because Spiderman is cooler than Barbie. The boys section has red, black, navy and other nice colors that look good on dd and go with anything. Dd wears girly clothes too. Now that she is 5 it is more her choice.
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy (TS)
12:19 PM Liked: 16
#26 of 42
03-21-2005 | Posts: 15,067
Joined: Apr 2003
Wow, this is an old thread! :LOL

I have a daughter now who frequently goes out in boy's clothing. Even when she's wearing pink, though, people think she's a boy a lot.

My son recently asked for a pair of pink shoes. My sister talked him into red instead. He wasn't that hard to convince, but he told me that he'd still rather have pink because, "I like it. It's pretty." :LOL What a love .
Bufomander's Avatar Bufomander
10:51 PM Liked: 7
#27 of 42
07-18-2005 | Posts: 1,255
Joined: Feb 2005
RadiantMama's Avatar RadiantMama
05:58 AM Liked: 0
#28 of 42
07-19-2005 | Posts: 223
Joined: Sep 2004
I know it's not as controversial, but when she is called a boy, we just call her Brian and keep up the charade (if it is a stranger)...just so she gets treated more ways than the typical "girl" treatment from people...I wonder how long we can do it!!! :LOL
LovemyBoo's Avatar LovemyBoo
05:08 PM Liked: 14
#29 of 42
07-19-2005 | Posts: 1,671
Joined: Oct 2004
I voted the 3rd option "never" only because ds has never asked. If he wanted to I'd let him. Although, since he's the oldest and I'm not much of a girly-girl, his drag wardrobe is really lacking. I suppose we could throw something together with the pink silks and play jewelry.
avivaelona's Avatar avivaelona
06:28 PM Liked: 0
#30 of 42
07-20-2005 | Posts: 3,214
Joined: Jun 2005
How would I dress DS in girl clothes? I don't have any! I don't think I'd dress him in girl clothes intentionally but if when he's older if he wanted to wear something I'd let him and I wouldn't worry about it if he had to borrow a friend's clothes and they were ruffly.

I had a little boy in my class once who liked to wear girls dress up clothes and it was a big issue because his mom wanted to discourage him. We ended up compromising but I always felt bad for the kid. His little sister was allowed to do whatever she wanted while he was held to a very high standard I didn't blame him for thinking it might be better to be a girl.

As far as DS goes I'm just happy if I can dress him in clothes that aren't hyper-masculinized, he's a baby for goodness sake, I want him to look like a baby. We don't play sports, race cars, tinker with tools or drive trucks, so why would I want to put him in clothes decorated with that stuff?


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