Parents are Fed Up: Why This Kids Wear Trend is on the Rise
When it comes to kids wear, we’ve long-since been trained to see the colors pink or blue, and immediately associate them with “girl” or “boy”, while other colors like yellow, red, brown and white remain neutral. Even specific characters and hobbies are divided amongst both sexes: ballerinas, kittens, castles, and princess are for girls; and trucks, dinosaurs, comic books, and sports are for boys. As such, it can be difficult for shoppers who have children with varying interests to find clothing that are suitable to their likes. Retailers like Target have begun stepping up and offering parents more options suitable for all kids. Rather than ticking specific boxes for girls and boys, garments are created for both, leaving the decision on what to buy wholly in the parents’ (and kids’) hands.
Brands and retailers of all sizes are following this trend
Yes, major retailers are making small changes to their offerings, but many smaller brands have launched out of the frustrations of parents wanting to create the very items they could never find as well. Lands’ End launched a line of science-inspired unisex t-shirts. Meanwhile, Zara launched an “Ungendered” collection for teens and older kids under their TRF line, which focuses on basic t-shirts, sweatshirts, and jeans. Parents may even begin to notice images like dinosaurs are popping up in previously unconventional places like girls’ clothing under brands like Boden, etc.
Although the market is responding well, it’s still not easy to seek out girls’ clothing with dinosaurs or pink shorts for boys. As mentioned above, this lag has inspired parents to branch out and create their own brands. Clothes Without Limits hosts 13 independent children’s wear companies that challenge gender roles within the industry. Free To Be Kids, Baby Blastoff, Jessy & Jack, Handsome in Pink, and Budding Stem are just some of the brands parents can find when looking for inspirational, neutral, and eco-friendly kids’ apparel. “There is really a sharp divide between what is considered girls’ stuff and what’s considered boys’ stuff,” says Courtney Hartman, founder of Seattle-based Jessy & Jack, a collection of unisex T-shirts for kids that have robots and dinosaurs, and Free to Be Kids, where a shirt with the slogan, “I’m a Cat Guy” comes in blue, gray and yellow.
Ultimately, these brands hope to continue breaking stereotypes, while offering a broader spectrum of options that enforce positive messages to all children.
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