Clothes shopping for boys is boring. It’s true. If you’re a parent, grandparent or anyone else who is on the hunt for little boy’s clothing, you’re going to discover that fact for yourself. It is massively dull. It’s not like girls, where there’s a huge range of sparkles and rainbows and, most importantly, options, it’s plain, it’s all the same and there’s not much variation. Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on here.
What’s the Difference between boy’s and girl’s clothes?
As a parent, shopping for little girl’s clothes is fun! There are so many options and so much to pick from; it’s an exciting day out! But for boys? Not so much. If you walk into a shop, open a catalogue or head online, the amount available for boys is shockingly less than for girls. The options they do have are usually pretty similar wherever you go as well; dinosaurs, cars and sports are three of the main clothing themes.
To find out some more on the divide, we did a quick search of some children’s clothes retailers to see what the differences were like. M&S have over 100 more girl’s items than boys, and that’s one of the better figures. River Island girls aged 3-12 have 735 items, whereas boys of the same age have a measly 470. Debenhams are even worse, with 2728 items under girl’s clothing, compared to 2202 for boys. How is that fair? If you could see us, we’d be shaking our heads in exasperation.
What’s the Big Deal?
If you’re wondering why this is a problem, we want to try and explain it a bit better. Basically, by putting more of a focus on girl’s clothing than boys, there’s already this idea from such a young age that, firstly, girls should be more into fashion and style and, secondly, that they should consider their outward appearance more important than boys do. By giving girls much more choice, it’s making it seem as though their clothing, and what they wear, is of more significance.
As they grow older, this is only enhanced by things like the make-up industry being heavily pushed towards the female gender, and this idea that boys who care about the way they look are more feminine.
But you can see it starting right when kids are born in this huge divide of options.
Why is this Happening?
Believe it or not, clothing wasn’t always gender-biased. Oh no, ladies and gentlemen, this was quite a recent social construct! It all began around the 1920’s, when scholars of child phycology started introducing the idea that boys would be more likely to have homosexual tendencies if they identified more with their mums, and that things like frills and bows on boy’s clothes should be quickly thrown in the bin. We know, it’s very stupid.
This is where the idea of gender division came from. It began with making a clear divide in what girls and boys should wear, then came the ‘pink and blue’ phenomenon that a lot of people, for some weird reason, stick to today (we mean, it’s a colour; how can it have that much weight on a gender?) and then things like children’s toys and TV shows also picked up on the bias. Then, voila, gender stereotypes entered the everyday lives of everyone, and now clothes shopping for boys is boring.
What Can We Do?
If you agree with us that these ‘social norms’ and unfair stereotypes should be a thing of the past, then there are things you can do. The first thing is to stop seeing the divide in kid’s clothing. When you walk into a shop with a little girl or boy, don’t see gender sections – let them shop wherever they want. Think of the choice you’ll have then!
The second thing you can do is to stop shopping at these places all together and turn to gender neutral ranges. As this becomes more popular and chains start to lose customers, they’ll catch on. Just recently, John Lewis announced the removal of gender labels on their kid’s clothes – what a triumph that was! If all of us who care make a stand against the gender bias in clothing, shops will be able to do little else than change.
Kidult and Co
At Kidult and Co, we don’t believe in creating clothes for boys and girls – we just make clothes. It’s as simple as that. Why put a label on something when there’s no need? There are already too many rules we have to follow in this world, why make more? You get what we mean.
If you agree with what we say – or you just love our awesome gender-neutral kid’s clothing – then check out our full range of products. If you want to hear more about what’s going on in the world of gender-bias and gender-neutral clothes, then follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.