Thursday, September 15, 2011

Troubles with baby clothes, the saga

I believe I've mentioned in the past how I have baby clothes issues. Don't get me wrong I love little tiny cute clothes, but there are three reoccuring baby clothes issues I encounter.

Issue #1: Extreme gender emphasis. Don’t get me wrong I love a little girl in a cute dress, but does every single piece of girl’s clothing have to be pink with sparkles on it? I am not a huge pink fan, and our babies tend to be pretty pink themselves, so I think the huge amounts of pink in girl’s clothes is nuts. There are so many awesome colors out there, but I find myself really searching to find colors other than pink (and the occasional purple accent).

Boys clothes are similar. We seem to think little boys only wear blue, black, brown, and camo (seriously camo?? Do we want to be telling a baby boy his job is to be a soldier?! Give the kid some time to, you know, learn to sit up). Baby boy clothes also seem to assume that every boy will automatically love sports, American sports, mostly baseball. I am totally fine if my son plays baseball, but he can decide if he likes it. I also am cool if my daughter plays baseball. How about a little title 9 in baby clothes?

Issue #2: Lack of creativity. This is a close cousin of my first objection. Baby clothes seem to be completely dictated by the gender of the baby, because it is the worst thing that can happen for a stranger to not automatically know your kids’ gender. Lu has been mistaken for a boy many times due to her mostly baldness (and my somewhat androgynous clothing choices for her) and believe me that little girl is confident despite these mistakes. These are what I like to put babies in.

Issue #3: Babies don’t need real clothes. I remember being given several pairs of newborn jeans when Lu was born, and I never used them. Putting that new fresh skin in jeans just seemed silly to me. Babies mostly eat and sleep, so I see no reason why they shouldn’t wear basically pajamas all the time. Lu wore onsies and sleepers exclusively until she was about four months old. She was born in the winter so little dresses were out of the question. Plus onsies and sleepers are super practical for an immobile baby. They are easy to change diapers in and easy to wash. I never bothered with little dress, jeans, shoes, or headbands because I was all about practicality for Andy and I, and comfort for Lu. Once babies start crawling I can see a need for tougher pants (like jeans) to keep their knees from chafing and for the extra wear, but I really didn’t like putting Lu in dresses until she could walk since they impeded her exploring. And she still spends much of her time in a tshirt and diaper.

We've been been somewhat creative and selective in our own baby clothes purchases to build a practical and colorful wardrobe. I know I have some weird baby clothes hang ups, and this isn’t to say we aren’t grateful for all the gifts of clothing we received. We are! I know lots of people love tiny, grown up clothes for kids, and getting their babies all boy or girled up. Personally I have always believed that babies are cutest when naked, so really anything you dress them in makes them less cute.


  1. I totally agree. Most of our clothes are gifts or handmedowns, but when given the choice, I love simple, classy clothes without a lot of pictures and slogans. Why is it so impossible to make a boy's outfit that doesn't have baseballs, animals, or cars on it? I like clothes that look more like grown-up clothes -- that is, simple colors and patterns instead of a lot of pictures. But, of course, as comfortable as possible!

    Of course, I say that, but my kid BEGS to wear any garment with cars on it. So it's kind of an uphill climb.

  2. My biggest bone is with the skull and crossbones look for little boys: they even appear on "accent" pieces like trim on socks. How is that all attractive and/or cute? "Look! My son likes death!"

    Also, I kind of feel like a lot of little girl's clothes start to look skanky once they turn about four.

  3. @Sheila: Yes! Totally agree, that I prefer basics. Although I tend to go for bright colors for little kids, boys and girls alike.

    @Laura: Yeah the whole death theme in babies' clothes seems a little silly, they will have enough time to go punk later in life if that's what they want. And I also think the over-girliness in baby girl clothes leads straight into imposed sexiness in little girl clothes. I mean really, can't they just be little kids for a while?

  4. You would put your babies in tie-dye!!