I have a son who loves "fashion" (less now than six months ago....he went through a whole Justin Beiber phase and decided purple was his favorite color) ....my issue is that it is next to impossible to find "boy clothes" with *pizazz* unless you want to pay a lot of money for them. We went to payless to get shoes....all the boys shoes were navy, black, brown...maybe some would light up but they all had transformers, trucks, etc on them. He wanted "shiny, glittery, fun"...the only options were super girly stuff. But he didn't want "girly" (pink, flowers, etc) he wanted stuff that was fashionable and shiny and cool. Why can't they make "boy" shoes with gold shiny lightning bolts or cool red studs or something? Or "boy" clothes that aren't boring? I had to look long and hard to find clothes that looked like something JB would wear that didn't cost an arm and a leg. Luckily i found some skinny jeans in size 4 at Target in bright colors (i think we got red, a bright blue, white, and black) and i was able to find some purple shirts that didn't have additional "girly" attachments (its harder than you might think to find a purple hoodie that has no lace, flowers, butterflies etc)....i sometimes wonder if a boy chooses "girl things" when really he just wants FABULOUS fun shiny cool things. If a boy wants to play with a horse with long hair he can brush often a pink or purple horse with flowers in its mane is his only option. If he likes the feeling of "twirling" often a dress is the only easily accessible option (but he might be just as happy with a tunic or cape or something like that if it was available) My son went through a period where he wanted to wear clips in his hair but it seems most of them were butterflies, flowers etc. NOT that there is anything wrong with a butterfly but why don't they make other options? (Im sure they do, but you have to look hard for them.)
My current personal pet clothing peeve is skulls on baby clothing. Don't know why. Its not like i find skulls particularly offensive. It just doesn't feel very babylike to me.
queenjane- I also don't mind butterflies, and my DS loves them, but like you said they are all frills and lace, not like real butterflies which are truly beautiful (and could be super BLING-y in some iridescent colors, or bedazzled, or whatever). I am knitting DS some socks right now and the pattern has butterflies on them. He loves them, BUT the pattern clearly says that the butterflies can be hazardous if worn while riding bikes, playing on playgrounds, or doing anything a 3yo might possibly want to do (because they hang off the socks with long flappy wings).
@ queenjane and re all the boys shoes were navy, black, brown...maybe some would light up but they all had transformers, trucks, etc on them. He wanted "shiny, glittery, fun"...the only options were super girly stuff.
Ok I've been through this one with ds. We got very into customising clothes. Say with the black shoes. Buy them, if that's all there is, and then go on ebay and get some sparkly purple laces, for example. With clips-my son had long hair for years so I know this one. Ebay will be your friend. Or if not ebay, get some plain clips and use a glue gun to stick cool stuff onto them. Its very, very easy. If you want purple hoodies without the frills, and both my son and my daughter did, buy plain ones and dye them. There are loads of options here. And its really a lot of fun and if you have a kid who likes fashion they will probably love modding their own clothes. I've done this with all my kids and I think its been helpful in passing on the idea that we don't have to accept the roles society hands us, we can actively create ourselves and influence how people see us.
The one very small point I'd chuck in there is that, IME of my own small kids who have not really been that exposed to societal norms, most kids are looking to have fun with their clothes. Re " sometimes wonder if a boy chooses "girl things" when really he just wants FABULOUS fun shiny cool things. If a boy wants to play with a horse with long hair he can brush often a pink or purple horse with flowers in its mane is his only option. If he likes the feeling of "twirling" often a dress is the only easily accessible option (but he might be just as happy with a tunic or cape or something like that if it was available)".
I think this is spot on, however IME a lot of girls are exactly the same but, because its easy for them to just get on with the pink and blue, no one really talks them through it and looks at the other options. If a girl likes twirling, she's just handed a dress and no one considers whether she'd be just as happy with a cape.
My DS is really fussy about the feel of clothes. He never cared about the look. But when he was little, he REALLY wanted a soft jacket. Who decided that velour and furry cloth is only for girls?
This is so sad to me. Depressing that our society (well, namely parent opinions forced on their children) has such control over something that shouldn't be a big deal.
As an early childhood teacher, I see some of this starting in the early grade levels. It disgusts me that parents will tell their children that it is wrong to wear or like "boy" or "girl" colors (toys, clothes, games)--enough so that it carries over into the classroom. If more parents allowed their children to dress as they want and be proud of who they are, the bullies (parents and children alike) would have much less power....
For the record, I wouldn't tell my son it's wrong (not that I'm saying you said I did, just so no one misunderstands), I'd just say 'this is what's clean, put it on and go to school'.
Luckily I live in a big city and have several friends who are same sex couples both male and female, and have families just like "normal" people, so if my son does happen to be gay, hopefully he sees that there is life after grade school and the bullying will end one day. I have faith that one day bullying will be a thing of the past, but the sad reality is that we're currently living in that past. Kids still call each other "gay" as an insult, they see that same sex couples can't get married (and surely can put 2 and 2 together). No kid ever asks a boy "why are you wearing pants, are you straight?" because straight is seen as "normal" and no one cares. As soon as everyone is given equal rights and equal opportunity to live their lives, kids will be able to stop enquiring "why are you wearing a dress, are you gay?" because it won't matter.
The gendering of clothing and toys (really, everything) is so disgusting to me. It's gotten worse over time, not better. I don't fully understand that. We are taking steps backwards as a society in the way we view gender.
I wear blue all the time. I have blue eyes and it is one of the more flattering colors on me. I don't understand why I can wear a blue outfit and get lots of compliments, but if I dressed an infant daughter in blue people would question it.
Pink/peach/coral is a very common color for adult men's dress shirts. Similarly to my wearing of blue, I know many men who I work with who rock the salmon shirt with some frequency. Totally normal as adults, but again, if they or I dressed an infant boy that way, people would wonder why we were trying to be so radical.
It has nothing to do with sexuality. A few people posted about that earlier and I'm not going to call them out individually, but look... There are lesbians (self included!) who love dresses. My sexuality has nothing to do with whether my parents clothed me in skirts or overalls as a kid - in fact, they probably dressed me pretty gender neutral. I'm a lesbian because I prefer having sex with women over men, period. Hand me a power tool or a tux and I look like a fish out of water. My wife's parents on the other hand put her in a lot of dresses as a kid - but she's the athletic one in the family and is most likely to wear pants to a formal event. Similarly, there are gay men - many gay men! - who wear very traditionally masculine clothes, and aren't into fashion or decorating, etc. Those of us gay people who actually DO conform to traditional gender expression in our style are the silent majority I think, we aren't portrayed much on TV because we're boring. It's more fun to laugh at the gay guy who is obsessed over fashion or the lesbian all butched out in men's coveralls. But no matter how many pink ruffles you throw at your daughter (or hide from your son), there is just as much of a chance that they will end up gay like me as if you put her in cargo pants (or let him wear the dress). So how about just letting them wear what they want?
My wife (31) and I (33) were married in 2006. We are proud queer mamas to W, born Oct 2013, conceived at home IVI via frozen WTBK donor sperm. Planning on TTC #2 starting in Sept 2015 through the same method. I am/will be the gestational mom.
First time mama to baby Easton born on 6/21/13!
Did i mention the story where my 4yo's preschool teacher told me i could not longer send him to school in his favorite pink coat because it was bad for his self esteem? (cringe not).
I kept that lovely pink coat for my younger son. When he was 4, he was allowed to wear the coat at preschool(no comment was made), but the mother of one of his classmates, 'donated' a blue coat to him...i accepted the coat graciously because it was a good coat. Should i have said something? Its so obvious to me, its hardly worth mentioning....
I wish we didn't have to shop in the boys' section to get denim, plaid and camo for our girls! :)
I also think it would be nice if dinosaurs didn't count as a "boy" interest. Why should they?
I'm a new mom, and I'm so annoyed that everything in the girls' section is pink (or has some pink on it), and if it's not it has ruffles or lace or sparkles or hearts...it's just too much, and there are no other options! And the boys' section isn't much better!
There's a new kids' clothing company that's making clothes that go beyond pink and blue. They're looking for input on their designs now: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/jillandjacksurvey
I'm kind of annoyed with the fact that you can't find just plain white onsies to dye everything comes gendered i'm planning on buying a lot of white onsies in various sizes and dying them into jewel tones green teal blue deep purple color, and red, orange, and yellow. i DON'T like the fact that all the girl stuff comes with hard to care for glitter, or sparkles or lace. I remember how much lace itched as a kid..... (got in trouble for cutting the netting out of a dress because it itched). Anyways all baby clothing used to be white so you could bleach it, I just wish i could find a sleeping gown that's not gendered towards girls, it's a lot easier to change a baby at 2am if you don't have to wrestle them out of pants.
I didn't know the sex of either of my babies before birth, so I received tons of plain white onesies and gender neutral gowns. In my area at least, they aren't hard to find. I suppose it would be tough to find non-"girly" gowns for older babies, but I didn't use gowns for my boy or girl past the 0-3 month stage, because once they started rolling gowns would just get twisted up.
One place I always see lots of plain white onesies, if you're having trouble finding them in clothing stores, is the craft store, usually near the iron-on patches and embellishments.
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