S/O... GIRLS in dresses? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 01-29-2012, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a spinoff of the boys in dresses thread.

 

If I had a son, I'd be fine with him wearing a dress.  I figure he should be allowed to experiment if he wishes, so long as he is given the right tools (age appropriate of course) to deal with any criticism he may encounter.  I then started thinking about my daughters.  They only wear dresses- my reasons are different, though.  In the summer, they are flowing and let a good breeze in and keep them cool in 100 degree weather.  In the winter, they are long and thick and help keep the cold out.  They wear yoga pants under their dresses.  

 

As babies, regardless of gender, my children are outfitted in longies or shorties and a lap or kimono tee.  It is easiest for a baby who is crawling around- not tripping on a long skirt, etc.  Once my girls reached walking age, I put them in dresses.  Not big frilly ones, but land's end type knit cotton dresses., for the reasons above. 

Now, after reading that thread, I'm beginning to question my choice.  Should I be buying an equal number of pants sets as dresses?  (just pondering).  My 4yo is pretty vocal in her desire to wear dresses- she likes that they flow when she dances.  My 2yo couldn't care less about her attire.  Should I be giving her the option of both until she can express desire to wear one or the other? 

 

And then, I think to myself, if I had a boy, I wouldn't buy him an equal number of dresses as pants- I'd just buy him pants and shirts and if he decided he'd like a dress I'd honor that request.  I guess I'm going with the "cultural norm" of boys wearing pants and girls wearing dresses.  But then again, in our culture, girls also wear pants.  But boys "don't" wear dresses (as in it's not the "norm").  I just feel like a huge sexist.  I'm really not sure what my take on this is.  

 

Would I be unfair to my boys if I were to buy my girls pants and dresses, and only buy my boy pants?  Is it teaching them something wrong by outfitting them in culturally "normal" attire?  


What is your take on the whole thing?  

 

 

 

FWIW... If I had a boy, I wouldn't cut his hair unless it was interfering with his vision, or unless he told me he'd like it cut.  I almost feel like the equivalent would be just raising them nude and letting them choose attire once they express desire too, though I know that is unrealistic and not necessarily appropriate in most climates and in our "omg a naked body!!!" culture.

 

 

Anyways, what's your take on it? 

 

 

ETA:  Buying one set of each type of clothes for a young child could be perceived as raising them as asexual, or allowing them to choose their sexual identity.  But clothes aren't what makes a sexual identity at all!  I'm just so confused by all of this.  I'd want my girls to be okay with being whatever sexual orientation they should choose to be, same goes for my hypothetical boys.  I just don't know if I'm sending the right message to them by putting them in dresses.  It is clear in our society that men just don't wear dresses- so my girls already know from experience that their boy cousins don't wear dresses, etc.  AND that it is a "girl" thing to do.  Should one of them grow up and identify as male, I don't want them to feel like I was trying to force them into being a "girl".   This is hard to explain.. I hope someone *kinda* understands what I'm talking about.


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#2 of 25 Old 01-29-2012, 09:46 AM
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I think it's fine that you buy your dd's dresses.  Of course if they voiced opposition to it, that would be different. 


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#3 of 25 Old 01-29-2012, 10:26 AM
 
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I usually take whomever I'm shopping for with me and let them pick out their clothes.


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#4 of 25 Old 01-29-2012, 10:35 AM
 
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I do understand what you're saying, but I do think you're overthinking this.

 

Why not concentrate on teaching your kids to express what they want, and yourself to honor their clothing preferences, rather than buy a bunch of extra clothing that they'll never wear out of some sense of equal # of all clothing "types"?

 

If you have a child that identifies with a gender other than what they're born with, if you are listening to them, and honor who they are, then really that is what matters.  Not whether or not you bought them an article of clothing that they never wore just so you could say that they have all types in their closet, KWIM?  The loving act of accepting your son's choice of wearing/purchasing/making a dress has nothing to do with the dress itself and everything to do with the fact that you are *honoring HIM*.  And transgendered kids are going to be who they are even if you were to force them to wear 'traditional' clothing styles for their gender.  Buying clothing does not change any of that, either way.

 

What kind of message do you think it sends to have someone say, "I know you like to wear that, but you may not, because that's TOO <girly/feminine/masculine>.  You can't be trusted to make your own clothing decisions?"  Though in a way, that is unavoidable (search all the threads about toddler trollop clothing, or bratz dolls, ect).

 

Plus, I dunno.  Maybe I know some weird people or something, but a good number of my women friends who are gay wear dresses more often than I do, and none of my men friends who are gay have ever worn a dress at least around me.  Meanwhile, I saw my very straight father and his military buddies in drag for comedy night at the officer's club on a fairly regular basis growing up.  My dad is not transgendered (so far as I know).  I really think you're reading into this far more than you really need to.  And girls get enough shitty "You Cannot Trust Yourself To Know What You Want To Do With Your Own Body" messages from our society, I just think it's unnecessary and sad to turn around and say, "zOMG no dresses!" when they WANT to wear them just because in theory it might offend someones gender-clothing-balance sensibilities, you know?  Just seems over the top to me.

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#5 of 25 Old 01-29-2012, 11:17 AM
 
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I don't think there's anything wrong with teaching kids the cultural expectations for the culture they live in.

 

(To be mean about if those cultural expectations don't work for the child is a whole different topic. )

 

But to pretend that kids can really wear and do whatever they want without some serious backlash is just foolish. To believe that a child should be able to handle that backlash *especially if there isn't some real reason for them to deal with it* is just mean.

 

Bullying is real. It's nasty. It happens in homeschool groups, neighborhoods, and private schools as well as public schools. Why set a child up to be bullied?

 

I only have girls. They've worn dresses when they wanted to and worn pants, jeans, shorts, etc when they wanted to. This is a much easier issue with girls than boys because females in our culture really can wear what they want.

 

Personally, I think dressing a little girl in only dresses really limits movement. How is she supposed to ride bike or hand upside down from a tree?  I think it brings too much attention To Being Female and can lead to too many conversation about the importance of Always Keeping Your Legs Together. On Acting Like A Lady.

 

I think our gender is an important, but small thing, about us as people. It's just one facet of who we are. I don't want my DDs lives to be all about Being A Girl.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#6 of 25 Old 01-29-2012, 11:51 AM
 
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Honestly, I don't think it really matters.  DD1 wore Thomas the tank engine shirts and Cami shorts every day of the week until she was 6.  That was her choice.  I say go by what they want.  It doesn't really matter.  Some kids are opinionated early on about what they want to wear.  Some are not.  If my kid ask for her hair to be cut short.  Then off we go to get it cut short.  If she wants to wear dresses so be it. 

 

 

 

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#7 of 25 Old 01-29-2012, 12:07 PM
 
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This just made me laugh because my daughter has pretty strong opinions about what she'll wear and it changes day to day.

 

One summer she wanted nothing to do with any outfit that wasn't a dress. Then she went through a stage where "girl" clothes in general were out of the question. If it didn't come from the boys department she wasn't wearing it. Now she's at a stage where she absolutely will not wear a dress, but it has to be "girly" or she won't wear it either.

 

As long as your daughter is happy and comforatable in what she's wearing and the outfit is appropriate for the activity she's doing I'd go with the flow.


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#8 of 25 Old 01-29-2012, 02:41 PM
 
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It would never have occurred to me to dress my daughters only in dresses, but I don't really see a problem with it, as long as the girls are happy in them.  I'm sure your two year old will figure out that pants are an option, and ask for them if she's interested. I actually wore dresses, by choice, a lot when I was younger. Since then? Umm...wore a dress to ds1's graduation banquet last June. I think I wore a long skirt out to dinner with dh when our favourite restaurant closed, last April or May. I wore a skirt to dinner with him one night a couple of years ago. Those are, literally, the only occasions when I can remember wearing anything but pants in the last decade. I simply don't like skirts/dresses, in general. But, I loved them when I was a kid. As long as you're paying attention to what they want, and not trying to force them into a mold they don't want to be in, I don't see a problem.


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#9 of 25 Old 01-29-2012, 06:15 PM
 
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I don't think you're overthinking this!  I think it's a pretty interesting thing to think about, and that it's important to Q our motives/influences regarding how/what we teach/treat our kids.  

 

I only have boys, so my issues have been different.  But it horrified me when my older one was little how pigeon-holed little boys are for the most part.  You can go out of your way to find fun and interesting clothes for boys, but the mainstream stuff is so narrow  --  lots of brown, tan, green, blue, earthy colors (I like earthy colors, but I almost never wear them myself), not much in the way of fun bright colors other than primaries, which I don't love.  I get that our culture sees pink and purple as "girl colors", and I could almost abide by that, at least as they get older (as important as it is to me to avoid hurtful stereotypes, I'm more adverse to having my children be made fun of, especially for something as silly as the color of their shirt), but I have hear people claim that orange and some greens (not the boring dark earthy ones, but the bright, fun, cheery ones) are girly.  There was a thread on this very forum several years ago now (can you tell this is a raw spot for me?) about whether or not it was "okay" to dress a boy in periwinkle.  

 

So, when my boys were little, like so little that I didn't have to worry about them being made fun of, I put them in any color I wanted (still doing this for the most part with my almost 3 yo), which meant that they had a tiny bit of pink but a fair amount of purple.  I like purple.  Not lavender so much though, but what I would consider to be a nice deep manly sort of purple.  2whistle.gif  Dark plums, lots of yummy orange, bright lime green, spring green, etc.  And then when ds1 got to be old enough that it was verging on being an issue, I toned down the purple a bit and got rid of the pink.  Of course if he asked for a pink shirt I would rejoice and pull out my "ballet pink" dye and go to town, but he doesn't put nearly as much thought into his wardrobe as I do, and so I doubt that will ever happen.  

 

Another issue for me was boy themes.  I mostly hate them.  So, I decided that I would only put "themes" on them that I really liked myself or that they managed to express to me that they liked.  For my older ds that meant no trains, trucks, construction, etc until he was probably around 2.  He started talking pretty late and I think that's when he started showing all the signs that he was completely into all that boy crap.  lol  For ds2 it was earlier because he was a little more verbal and, having an older brother, probably more exposed.  Once they were able to tell me what they liked, I rather enjoyed getting or making them t-shirts with things like excavators on them because it was fun for them.  But I didn't think the fact that they were male was reason enough to believe that they were going to automatically think that excavators were exciting.  

 

If I had a little girl, I think I would want some pants in the wardrobe.  But it sounds like dresses really work for you guys.  If you're dressing them in dresses for reasons other than "girls should be feminine and wear dresses" then I don't see anything wrong with that.  There is nothing wrong with wearing a dress (or an excavator, or tan) every day if that's what one wants and finds comfortable.


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#10 of 25 Old 01-29-2012, 08:17 PM
 
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My kids were VERY vocal about their likes and dislikes at an early age so it always amazes me whenever anybody says they pick out their kids clothes at all. I mean, I do shop for the clothes, but the kids have a lot of input and pick things out themselves. They combine their own "outfits". If I suggested my 4 yr old and 2 yr old only wear dresses with yoga pants/leggings underneath they would have been wearing undies on their heads and parading around the house naked -- oh, wait, they did do that. Actually getting them to wear clothes was a struggle at times. One particularly memorable time 18mo dd1 was adamant she wanted to wear her "bazoot" (bathing suit) in February. I just bought 'em clothes and then they told me what they were wearing that day/hour/minute and I helped as needed. 


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#11 of 25 Old 01-30-2012, 07:51 AM
 
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I think the important thing is that you simply honor your children's desire to express themselves and be who they are--whether that's through clothing or other choices. If you find dresses easier to manage, and your daughters aren't complaining, I see no reason to worry about buying them dresses. I do think that having age-appropriate conversations about what dresses "signify" can be useful. 

 

Dd refuses to wear jeans or any pants that button. So she's pretty much in leggings and shirts or leggings and dresses. I often prefer the dresses in winter, because there's that extra layer of fabric over her legs to keep her warm. But she also knows that we believe that girls AND boys can wear dresses, that girls AND boys can have short (or long) hair, can paint their nails, can play with dolls or trucks, etc. If she decides that she wants to wear nothing but overalls or cut her hair short, we'll honor that. On the other hand, if she decides she wants to nothing but dresses, we'll honor that, too. 

 

For us, the important thing is that she knows that we don't expect her to be a certain way and that there's no one way of being a girl. We try very hard not to impose gender-based or heteronormative expectations on her--we never say things like "when you get married" or "when you have kids" or "girls do/like this" and we've made it clear that she can love whomever she chooses and that marriage and children are things she CAN choose but not "defaults" that we expect her to choose. Ultimately, I feel like my job is simply create a safe space for her to explore who she is. 

 

ETA: Linda: My dd typically wears Hanna-style dresses with leggings or bike shorts underneath. She can climb trees, ride bikes, do pretty much anything. The reason she refuses to wear jeans is because she feels they're too stiff and restrict her movement too much--she prefers dresses BECAUSE she likes to climb and play on the monkey bars and do cartwheels and so on.

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#12 of 25 Old 01-30-2012, 09:30 AM
 
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I agree that the important thing is allowing your child(ren) to choose what they like and are comfortable in. For some, it will be pants; for others, dresses. Of either gender. Same with hair, etc. When my two were young, as long as it wasn't anything permanent? I didn't have any problem with it.

My son (20), is very open to all sorts of things when it comes to attire, appearance, etc. He does understand that there are situations where certain "looks" are more appropriate than others, . But he is also quite comfortable with dressing in drag, getting his friends do his hair and put on make-up, etc. He's very confident in who he is. He's heterosexual, but finds it fun to bend things a bit.

 

My daughter (18 soon) is a jock, through and through. Shorts and a sports bra is her usual home attire. Toss on a pinny and she's good to walk out of the house. But... She also likes to dress up and look feminine. Dresses, lace, earrings, etc.

 

Give them the opportunity to choose different things to wear (or not - if they like what they're wearing and don't want something different - that's fine, too!). They'll figure out what their personal style is.

 

Personally, I grew up having to wear dresses. And I hate them now. Will only wear one when it's socially necessary.

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#13 of 25 Old 01-30-2012, 10:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post


Another issue for me was boy themes.  I mostly hate them.  So, I decided that I would only put "themes" on them that I really liked myself or that they managed to express to me that they liked.  For my older ds that meant no trains, trucks, construction, etc until he was probably around 2.  He started talking pretty late and I think that's when he started showing all the signs that he was completely into all that boy crap.  lol  For ds2 it was earlier because he was a little more verbal and, having an older brother, probably more exposed.  Once they were able to tell me what they liked, I rather enjoyed getting or making them t-shirts with things like excavators on them because it was fun for them.  But I didn't think the fact that they were male was reason enough to believe that they were going to automatically think that excavators were exciting.  



The themes drive me nuts. I'm lucky in that ds2 actually does love machinery and dinosaurs. But, ds1 didn't. Fortunately, the themes weren't quite so dominant when he was little (and he loved Spider-Man, so we went with him sometimes - yes - licensed character, but I'm an old Marvel comics buff myself, so I didn't mind it so much), so he could find clothes that were plain, striped, or had more neutral themes. Oh, and ds2 isn't interested in sports at all, which eliminates a lot of "boy" clothes. My MIL sends the kids a lot of Gymboree stuff, and they have some really neat dinosaur shirts. DS2 loves those.

 

But, yeah - if a boy isn't a "real boy" (OMG - what a nauseating expression), finding "boy" clothes that actually represent anything about him or his interests is difficult. Most of my less mainstream (for lack of a better way to put it) friends tend to go with a lot of solid blocks of colour, and/or stripes.


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#14 of 25 Old 01-30-2012, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This has all been *very* interesting to read.  My 4yo DD has sensory issues so jeans are way out of the question for her.  She doesn't like them.  I wear a lot of jeans, but I also wear sundresses in the summer, as well as cargo shorts!  I do think jeans restrict her movement (she did have a few pairs when she was nearing 2yo) much more than her stretchy pants and dresses do.  She can straddle a bike just fine, but lacks the coordination to do risky things like hang upside down.  My 2yo is a lot more active, and can peddle a bicycle just fine in her dresses.  She is actually on a naked kick right now, but that's another story :)

 

 

I keep telling myself I'm overthinking, and then think, "But wait-!" lol.gif  I guess I'm just looking into how other families feel about the matter.  

 

I guess my concern right now is that my 2yoDD doesn't really express a difference in taste of clothes.  She has been a slow grower, so she does have a few shirts that she could pick when we get dressed, but she always goes for the dresses.  

 

I usually shop at the thrift store for their clothes- DD1 always finds the dresses she likes- she loves the land's end ones because of the pockets.  She says shirts make her tummy cold (she has and always has had a very round belly!, on top of a long torso) and always goes for dresses.  I of course say no to things that are horribly stained or ripped beyond mending, and explain why, and she's cool with it.  My DD2 doesn't seem to care, she's more interested in hiding under the clothes racks and finding random golf balls than picking out her clothing at the store.

 

I really wouldn't want to take them to a mainstream store to pick out their clothes because I do not, like, many of you, agree with the statements those clothes express.  I also like to buy from the thrift store because I feel less guilty about giving money to sweatshop companies.  I order online alot... this spring I was going to order them some basic brilliance dresses and call it done.  They're light and breezy and sturdy cotton.. that's really what matters to *me* for summer clothing.  I guess I should really sit down and ask DD1 about what she wants, but again... DD2 is too young to really understand. 

 

Again, I'm lost lol.gif


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#15 of 25 Old 01-30-2012, 05:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
I guess I should really sit down and ask DD1 about what she wants, but again... DD2 is too young to really understand. 


 

I don't think so. I don't think its helpful to try to get an opinion out of a small child when none exist.

 

Soon enough they will be quite clear with you about what they like and don't like.

 

BTW, my sensory DD likes sweat pants. thumb.gif

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#16 of 25 Old 01-30-2012, 05:48 PM
 
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i guess i should consider myself lucky. dd was v. wilful and had v. strong preferences about clothes.

 

the thing is its easier to let a 2 year old lose in a typical clothes store. they are laid out and easy to find.

 

i had my own thing, but i let dd chose. from about 18 months. if she chose character i didnt stop her. but she went to the boys dept and always chose boys clothes and underwears. while yes she wanted flowers and hearts she also wanted crocodiles too. i did not like going to big stores even then but did it for the convenience of when dd bought her own clothes. when i bought them i went to a thrift store.

 

i would say just let your dd go and guide her with what she can wear or not.

 

she might not choose pants because sisy does not wear pants. btw we had the same problem with jeans as your older. so dd wore sweats till 5 and seh still prefers sweats to jeans. however its really hard to find quality sweats in thrift stores. they were better in sales from regular stores.  

 

when i get lost like this and confused like you,  that for me is key for myself that i am overthinking things. i need to let it go. just do it without really thinking about it.

 

 

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#17 of 25 Old 01-31-2012, 05:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post

  I guess I should really sit down and ask DD1 about what she wants, but again... DD2 is too young to really understand. 

 

Again, I'm lost lol.gif


If you are lost, your DD1 will be your best guide on what to buy for her. If your DD2 doesn't express her own preferences yet, it's likely that she will start soon since I find 3 y.o.'s are often developing that independent streak. If she really doesn't care, then great, it's easier for you. Since you like thrift-shopping etc., I imagine that her wardrobe contains a lot of hand-me-downs from your DD1 and she'll tend to wear whatever your DD1 liked anyway. 

 

Regarding your OP, I had a boy and then a girl. I did exclusively buy pants for ds, it never occurred to me to buy a dress or skirt for him and he never expressed any interest in wearing that kind of clothing. When dd came along, I had lots of "boy" hand-me-downs for her to wear, so she did. I suppose if I had dd first and then ds, and he wanted to wear her hand-me-down dresses, he could have. I tend to agree that pants or leggings make sense for little ones who are active and moving about a lot, but as an adult I've come to enjoy wearing dresses, at least in summer, because I find they are cooler and more comfortable than pants or even shorts.   

 

 

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#18 of 25 Old 01-31-2012, 05:47 PM
 
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My daughter wore mostly play pants as a young child.  But, at about age two, in the summer it HAD to be dresses that twirl up.  If it didn't twirl up, she wouldn't wear it.

 

Then by age five, she would only wear dresses on picture day, or the first day of school, then all summer long.  

 

So, I think if YOU like dresses on them, they like them, I wouldn't worry about what's fair until they ask for something else.  If you family prefers dresses for whatever reason, then they should wear only dresses.

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#19 of 25 Old 01-31-2012, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Today DD1 wore a long sleeved shirt and yoga-ish pants.  As per her request (we do have a few shirts floating around, mostly for bedtime.)  I noticed a few things:

 

-DD started her sensory digging at her skin again (around her waist- she picks till she bleeds)
-4yo DD could not keep her belly and back covered despite the shirt being a size 6

 

I ran into an uncomfortable situation when (we were at the in-laws house, if you've followed me on MDC at all you know that a bunch of extended family lives there...) DD lifted up her shirt for her sister to tickle her (they do this with their dresses at home, and find it hillarious to chase each other around) and a boy family member commented on how DD had "Great big Chi Chis".  Thankfully we use anatomically correct names for things and DD had no idea what he was referring to.  That could've happened with a dress too though.

 

I also ran into a rather maddening situation.  My DD was in the other room and my SIL and MIL started commenting on how large my DD's belly is (she has a very  large belly despite being a small girl).  It was pretty noticable poking out from under her shirt, so I guess that's why they noticed?  Anyways I ripped MIL a new one and when they questioned I told them that it's rude to discuss the way people look, especially in a derrogatory way.  DH was quick to jump down their throat.

I suspect DD may have heard this all, because when we asked her if she'd like to come eat (she hadn't eaten much for lunch) she said, "No, I'm not hungry, my tummy is real big".  She ended up eating, but I really hope she just meant that she was full, and now I'm more worried about her having body issues then figuring out dresses.

The dress thing still nags- I'll talk to DD1 about her preferences when it comes time for spring shopping.. though I feel I';; get some shorts sets for DD2.  I do have a feeling she'll be running around naked for the most of the summer, so maybe I won't even have to worry about it.


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#20 of 25 Old 02-01-2012, 09:12 AM
 
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I let my kids wear whatever they want. DS doesn't care much as long as it's comfortable and not jeans. He'd prefer to wear shorts and no socks year round. He's been wearing shorts all week since it's been in the 60s. He's got most colors. I "think" that the only color he doesn't have some shade of is pink. He's got several purple shirts. It looks good on him and his school colors are purple and gold.

 

DD will be five in a few weeks. She loves all kinds of clothes. She likes looking at catalogs and pictures of new collections of clothes when they come out online. We don't always buy her picks, but we keep a mental note for when funds are available (w/sales and coupons) and/or the need arises. In the winter, she prefers jeans (often with embroidery) and leggings with coordinating tees. She'll wear dresses, skirts, and tulle skirts but she doesn't always want to wear tights. In warmer weather, she'll add skirts, skorts, and dresses into her regular rotation. She doesn't have a ton of clothes compared to some of my friends, but she has more than most kids at her school. We resell at our local consignment sales and make a good percentage back. She's a good sale shopper, too. I'm not into clothing for myself but I'm enjoying watching my daughter develop her own sense of style.

 

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#21 of 25 Old 02-10-2012, 01:45 AM
 
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I have noticed on this thread that there's some confusion between gender identity and sexual orientation, and I just wanted to clarify that they're different things.  Sexual orientation is about who you are attracted to.  Gender identity is about who you feel you are.

 

So for example, I have a friend who is transgendered (born with female "plumbing" but identifies as male and takes male hormones and has a beard, etc).  He is attracted to both males and females and is thus a bisexual male.  I have another transgendered friend (also female-to-male) who is attracted to males, and is thus a gay male.

 

There are a number of straight men (non-transgendered, their plumbing "matches" their gender) who like to dress in "female" clothing.  This has nothing to do with either their sexual orientation OR their gender, but rather with their clothing preference.

 

So, a person's clothing preference actually might say nothing either about their gender identity OR their sexual identity.

 

Just thought I'd throw that out there.  :)

 

As for my own kids, the older one identifies as a boy, the other has made no identification yet.  We're poor-ish and lazy-ish and just dress them in the stuff that the relatives buy them, which is mostly ultra traditional boy-looking stuff.  Neither one objects or has expressed another preference.  If they did, I'd get off my duff and do something about it.  :)  The odd times I do have money and decide to buy something for my kids, they get a say.  That's how my 7-year-old got his pink and purple Barbie bike and his Transformers toys, and how my 5 year old got his Princess birthday pinata and his pop gun.  Clothes haven't really seemed to be a big deal around here, except that ds1 insists on warm pants, and ds2 insists on pants that pull up and have no buttons.

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#22 of 25 Old 02-10-2012, 08:39 AM
 
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My view is that dresses are for dressy or semi-dressy occasions.  (Even just lunch with Grandma can count as semi-dressy.)  Because children are, and should be, actively playing much of the time, pants and shorts are for everyday wear.  I would not want my daughter encumbered by a skirt, focusing on her looks, or showing her underwear, if she were on the playground.  For this reason, I think I would go with a 90/10 pants/dress mix for a little girl.

I don't think it's unfair to a boy that you wouldn't buy him dresses without having him request it.  If nothing else, I would refrain from doing this because we are on a tight budget and it is most likely the case that he wouldn't want the dress, anyway.  In keeping with my "dresses are for dressy occasions" philosophy, it would be even more unlikely that he'd want to wear the dress to a wedding, a family lunch, etc., when he would be more on display than usual.  If he wanted to, great, I'd buy it then.  I understand the idea of purchasing both options preemptively, because it's hard for children to speak up or think of defying stereotypes on their own, but personally, it's just not where I'd put my anti-sexism dollars.  (I'd be more focused on finding a good school, for example.)

I realize that my answer is a bit of a cop-out in the sense that, just because I would buy a girl 90% pants (and tops, of course), that doesn't mean that I would be buying the pants and tops from the boys' department.  I would avoid skimpy cuts (like the ultra-short shorts that are sold for preschool girls, while the boys' are knee-length), and try to choose a variety of colors (perhaps actively avoiding pink because it is so pervasive that it's boring), but they would still be pants and shirts from the girls' department, and it would be pretty easy to tell that this was the case.  My reason for this is that, since few to no stores have a "unisex children's" department, to buy from the boys' would seem to be actively saying, "You should be a boy."  Perhaps I am being overly cautious, but I fear that it would be taken that way.

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#23 of 25 Old 02-10-2012, 10:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSlocombe View Post

My view is that dresses are for dressy or semi-dressy occasions.  (Even just lunch with Grandma can count as semi-dressy.)  Because children are, and should be, actively playing much of the time, pants and shorts are for everyday wear.  I would not want my daughter encumbered by a skirt, focusing on her looks, or showing her underwear, if she were on the playground.  For this reason, I think I would go with a 90/10 pants/dress mix for a little girl.
 

It's kind of baffling to me that people on this thread keep repeating the claim dresses are so restrictive. My dd wears soft, cotton knit dresses with leggings or bike shorts underneath, because that is how SHE feels more comfortable playing. She is not "encumbered" by her clothing (she finds jeans and corduroys and the like much more restrictive of climbing, biking, tumbling, and the like and refuses to wear them). She is not "focused on her looks" simply because she's wearing a dress, and she doesn't show her underwear (see above re. leggings or bike shorts). The kinds of dresses we buy, from Hanna Andersson and the like, are designed for playing. 

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#24 of 25 Old 02-11-2012, 05:42 PM
 
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DD wears mostly skirts. There are several reasons for this:

1. She WILL NOT keep socks on, so skirts and tights provides both the ability to keep her diaper on AND her feet covered when its cold outside.
2. She is really, really short. She is in the 10th percentile for height, so finding a pair of pants that fits both her waist and her legs is impossible. Im not hemming a 2 year olds clothes when I could just put a skirt on her.
3. In the summer she wears cloth diapers, and as one thread went into extensively, once she is potty trained she will wear bloomers or shorts under skirts. Honestly, most skirts have shorts underneath them. She still wears a lot of onesies that snap under the skirt too.


Personally, I like my kid in dresses and skirts. We have overalls, jeans, and other pants too, but I prefer skirts and tights when its cold.

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Adaline love.gif (3/20/10), and Charlie brokenheart.gif (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical  rainbow1284.gif  twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)

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#25 of 25 Old 02-11-2012, 09:12 PM
 
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My daughters wear only dresses (sometimes with legging under but the leggings have to be super super soft).. Last time I tried to put them in jeans I had two hysterical children. Like me they have really sensitive skin and like me they don't like anything but really soft fabric anywhere near their skin. So, I could either 1) make them wear pants or 2) let them wear the dresses (and sometimes leggings) they want. Its not important to me for my children to wear pants. They are comfortable just the way they are and that is what is important. Bonus is I can make their clothing so it actually FITS them. Negative my oldest wants to play teeball so I have to convince her the pants aren't going to be uncomfortable.

 

Now my son doesn't care what he wears.. Hes 12 months old, hed be happy crawling around naked winky.gif


~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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