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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Boy Clothing Nightmare - Guest Blog

Emilie, school teacher and blogger extraordinaire over at Teaching Ain't For Heroes, was kind enough to give me some insight on shopping for boy clothing.  And I thought I had it rough with girls!

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I kind of always knew I was having a boy. It was just a hunch. I just couldn’t imagine having a girl. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have a daughter and would be delighted with a girl, but my surprise pregnancy just had some sort of boy vibe to me. I like being the mother of a boy. I’m not sure what would be different, aside from diaper changes, about having a boy, but this seems like the gig for me.  If I could make one complaint about being the mother of a boy, it would be the clothes.
Shopping for clothes when you have a boy can be a frustrating, depressing and futile process. Just walking into the clothing section of Target or any children’s clothing store is depressing. You walk in and you see that approximately three quarters of the floor is dedicated to girl clothing. Not only that, it’s all freaking adorable! The first time I walked into my local Children’s Place, there was a tiny corner for baby boys while the girl baby clothes took up more than a quarter of the store.
Then there’s the variety. Boys don’t have many looks to choose from. You can do dinosaurs, motor vehicles and sports. A lot of the shirts talk about how boys are “Daddy’s Little Champ” or the kind of annoying “Daddy’s Wingman”. Boys also sport labeled shirts explaining that they are wild, trouble makers or ladies’ men. As boys get older, they move into the camouflage, skulls and rock star clothes.
What really boils me up about shopping for clothes isn’t the lack of variety or the fact that the girls get double the space. No, the problem is that despite the label shirts, there are some nice unisex clothes in the boy clothing section. The girl section? There are what would be nice unisex clothes that have little flowers sewn on the pockets or those darn ruffles on the sleeves. So even if I could venture into the girl section for a little variety, the clothes are still all girl.
I could make some rant about how we over label our children using gender. I know the labeling isn’t unique to boys. Girls are princesses and brats with flowers and pink everywhere. The reality is that they sell. Girls get more space because people like to dress up little girls more than little boys. People buy the sports and dinosaurs, so they make more of it. We could try to figure out what came first, the chicken or the gender labels that distort clothing ideals for small people in America, but there are other options out there for those willing to look.
Despite all of my ranting and thinking about clothes, my son tends to do his own thing. My husband is always the one who drops him off at day care. As I picked him up sporting an orange shirt and blue pajama pants, which my husband informs me, were what he insisted on wearing, I realized that overanalyzing the clothing options for boys is useless when my kid is just going to pick out his own clothes anyway.  

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Emilie writes Teaching Ain't For Heroes, a blog giving readers a rare inside look at the school system, the children within it, and the state and federal programs and regulations that are working...or not.  She can also be found on Facebook.




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I will be doing a guest blogging series on Wednesdays. Feel free to contact me if you are interested!
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28 comments:

  1. I found H&M has some cute things for boys. So does the Gap and Gymboree. I tend to shop their sales so as not to pay $30 for a t-shirt.
    I remember how frustrating shopping for Garrett was at first. Some times it feels like everything is trucks, dinosaurs and pirates.

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  2. A bit of insight into the Target floorpad (I just ended my career there after 15 years). It's divded into Newborn layette, Infant/ Toddler girls and Infant/ Toddler Boys pretty much diveded into 3 right down the line. The layette- because of the cozy, neutral, babyish feel often gets lumped into the "girl" visual when people are comparing what's available for girls vs boys. I notice this in other stores as well. I have 3 boys 2 and under so I understand feeling like there isn't anything out there! Girls is always going to seem like more because they have the skirts and dresses as well as tops and pants/ shorts where boys are stuck with tops and pants/ shorts.

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  3. "I have 3 boys 2 and under."

    Picks jaw up off the floor and applauds. For life. !!!!!!!!!!

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  4. I gotta say, one thing that got me the most angry is when I just need necessary clothes for my son. Like a winter jacket (1 style for boys, and very hard to find his size, a million styles for girls).


    Also, at Gymboree, they had a bunch of rain jackets and rain boots for little girls. Pink, with flowers or whatever. I asked about rain jackets and boots for little boys and they were like, "oh we only have for the girls."

    Oh. okay. I forgot, little boys don't like to play in the rain.

    I mean, seriously?? I finally found one at Target (the wrong size but I made do) but I was thisclose to buying him a pink rain jacket and boots (because he wouldn't really care). Seriously, why not unisex?

    Frogs, duckies, rainbows, I could think of a million things that would be cute on a raincoat for both boys and girls. But no. They had to be pink, frilly, and covered in flowers and bows. REALLY?

    lol as you can see, this hit sort of a nerve with me.

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  5. Hooray! My sentiments exactly! I hate the fact that there is just a couple of choices in style and sizes for boys and a hundred times that for girls.
    And I vocalize it loudly in the boy section whenever I have to go shopping. Like anyone who even hears me is going to care.

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  6. a lifetime ago, I had my son (he's now 18). It was like that pretty much then too. It was such a pain to try to just find... a plain black tee. Or a nice button-up shirt that didn't have a dratted train.

    fwiw, I found Sears was an ok place (and yeah, a lot of baby girl clothes-- hey, those ruffly dresses take a LOT of room to display!) for boy clothes, and they offered Kidvantage, where if for some reason the clothes get ripped or something before the kid outgrows it, sears would replace them for free. And that's a comfort no matter what gender you have (my three year old is a rough and tumble kind of girl).

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  7. I say this every time I'm at the store. Boys clothes are BORING. I have been known to dress my little guy in girls clothes on more than one occasion. He looks GREAT in purple!

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  8. You are absolutely correct people do actually like to dress up little girls more than little boys. That's one reason I had a much bigger closet than my brothers. LOL!

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  9. Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.
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  10. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u

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  12. Creating the perfect look for your little guy may take some creative thinking. Having lots of separate pieces in his wardrobe instead of outfits and pjs will give him lots more options. With some creative thinking the little boys can look just as fashionable as the little girls! חליפת חתן

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  13. My friend had the same thing with the boy vibe when she was pregnant. She absolutely knew that it would be a boy when he was born and she was right. Great post on boring boys clothes.

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  14. Shopping for boys clothing are not just easy like girls clothing. There's a lot of available clothes for girls rather than boys.

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  15. Shopping for toddler tuxedos are a pain. Luckily amazon and ebay have great deals a wide variety of sellers.

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  16. Yes, Boys dress we can easy to select because its not so complicated as we know they have very few common wearable dress male wear. If we talk about girls, then we need to think many things and also having many sort of design apparels what they prefer to choose with color, design, trend, fitting, style etc.

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  18. Shopping for boys clothing are not just easy like girls clothing. There's a lot of available clothes for girls rather than boys.

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