A Rant about ‘Girls’ Clothes

Calke Abbey National Trust-21

We spend our weekends getting mucky. Going by many high street retailers that’s not what girls do. Before a chilly day out at Calke Abbey earlier this year I went shopping for a hoody or fleece for my 8 year old daughter. I couldn’t find a single thing suitable for running about outdoors. So I started looking in the boys’ departments.

I found this tiger hoody in the boys area of Marks and Spencers and she loves it. Blue is her favourite colour, not pink. I didn’t tell her it was a boy’s jumper, because she would probably reject it, so much have our children been conditioned. She loves playing tennis after school on Tuesday, whatever the weather, she loves rollerskating in the park and landing on her bum, she loves climbing trees and she loves mucking about in nature. This hoody is perfect.

So for goodness sake stop making pink stuff with kittens on and flimsy cardigans the only order of the day. And trousers, stop making the bum so low rise that climbing becomes an arse, literally. I have lost track of how many pairs of girls jeans we have got through, because the knees go the moment the first time she climbs a tree, or falls over. My son doesn’t have a single pair of trousers that have gone at the knee. Stop making girls’ trousers stretchy and skinny, and make them to last, like boy’s jeans do.

The number of times she complains they just don’t feel comfortable. Because they are cut for fashion not for having fun. And 8yo girls just want to have fun too.

She shouldn’t have to define herself as a tom boy, just because she doesn’t like pink, or kittens, or dresses. She has a right to play comfortably too.

Get real.

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21 Comments

  1. 04/05/2015 / 9:34 am

    I totally agree. It makes me really cross too. My daughter does love all the girly stuff but she also needs to be warm when it is cold and dry when it rains. Whilst there are hundreds of chunky knits, fleeces and thick trousers for boys, finding them for girls isn’t easy. My four year old girls has an older brother so luckily she has a lot of his hand-me-downs. I recommend outdoorsy shops like Mountain Warehouse for practical and cosy girls stuff. Much better than standard high street clothes shops.

    • parentshaped
      05/05/2015 / 11:51 am

      Louise, I will check them out, annoying you have to go to a specialist shop though isn’t it!

  2. Em @ snowingindoors
    04/05/2015 / 6:49 pm

    Annie will only wear clothes that are pink, frilly or flowery, and they never last. I wish they made sturdy clothes in pink, her skinny jeans and fluffy jumpers never last her playing and she won’t wear anything that looks like it might be *gasp* durable 😉

    • parentshaped
      05/05/2015 / 11:52 am

      I think we had that phase, albeit briefly! L likes less practical things too, but none of it seems made to last 5 mins it seems.

  3. 04/05/2015 / 7:43 pm

    Yeah, my girls wear clothes marked as “boy’s” clothes too. They love the colour and style and I find the jeans etc a less revealing fit to the girls ones. They’re happy wearing boys and girls clothes but do get people asking “Why have you got boys shoes/boys bags?” etc to which they answer happily. They just like what they like. I love the hoody! Interestingly, my son wouldn’t be happy to wear his sisters’ clothes though (and they wouldn’t fit as he is a lot bigger!) x

    • parentshaped
      05/05/2015 / 11:53 am

      Agree, it’s the revealing thing that is annoying too, they discourage girls being active I think, which is another issue. Great hoody isn’t it! Yep, my son is the same, but I would rather wear his clothes too 😉

  4. 04/05/2015 / 8:36 pm

    Funnily enough I wrote a rant post about girls’ clothes a couple of weeks ago. My problem is that I have a tall five year old and she wears aged 8 clothes and most of these are teenage style and totally inappropriate. There certainly does seem to be a generally pink and girly thing with girl clothes and although that suits my daughter, I know it isn’t for everyone. Maybe we should design our own?

    • parentshaped
      05/05/2015 / 11:55 am

      We’ve just hit the 9, 10 year old stuff a few years early and it suddenly leaps into teen style in some stores and it’s scary. I would love to see our girls design their own gear.

  5. 05/05/2015 / 6:58 am

    This is something I hadn’t even realised (my daughter is two). She does batter her clothes but I had no idea they might be coming off worse because the fabric and cut was to blame. That’s shocking.

    • parentshaped
      05/05/2015 / 11:56 am

      Alison Perry posted a pic recently on fb that showed the clothes at your daughter’s age are cut much tighter and shorter too – really made me think.

  6. 05/05/2015 / 6:59 am

    i have the same problem with Eliza as we are always out and about – I’ve found Frugi are great for jeans that last and do some gorgeous unisex fleeces too

    • parentshaped
      05/05/2015 / 11:56 am

      Thanks Kara, will check out Frugi

  7. 05/05/2015 / 8:04 am

    I have 3 girls aged 13, 11 and 6 and constantly struggle to find clothes that are well made/ not covered in naff slogans or colours that they hate. They’re all very outdoorsy and want to wear clothes that both look nice but are comfortable and functional. It also seems to me that girls clothes are more expensive than boys ones and yet they fall apart in no time at all!!
    I really wish there was somewhere that did well made clothes for girls who don’t identify as tomboys but also aren’t frilly fashion queens.

    • parentshaped
      05/05/2015 / 11:57 am

      Spot on Jules, agree with all you have said here. Why shouldn’t everyday practical clothes look good too and why are we wasting money on things that fall apart!

  8. 05/05/2015 / 9:18 am

    There does seem to be acres of pink and frills, but as a mum to a boy, I find the boys clothes dull and boring. Often muted colours for older boys. Clothes retailers need to use a little imagination.

    • parentshaped
      05/05/2015 / 7:06 pm

      Yes, I haven’t had to think as much about boys clothes yet as my son gets a huge pile of great quality hand me downs and is happy to have Star Wars emblazoned all over them currently – I am sure that will change!

  9. Nomita | Ebabee
    05/05/2015 / 2:09 pm

    When I saw the title of this post I had to have a read! I do agree that some shops, especially high-street shops can be exactly like you say and I agree that we could do with a lot more unisex clothing because not every girl wants frills and fuss! I personally like girly clothes but that doesn’t not mean I like pink, kittens, sequins and lace! Girls clothes can be girly and cool and don’t have to be fussy. I’ve also often bought stuff in the boys department too and I will continue to do so. By the way, a great shop for unisex adventure outdoor clothing is Polarno.

    • parentshaped
      05/05/2015 / 7:11 pm

      I know what you mean and I know you have fab taste! L def has her own style and it is very feminine at time, she certainly doesn’t choose to wear joggers and hoodies or ‘boys clothes’. I just think finding stuff that is cool in her eyes and practical in play terms is harder for girls than boys. And so often girly is one big stereotype. She had a blue dress from Polarno to review, that she chose, she ended up cutting holes in it so she didn’t have to wear it anymore – she is fickle as well. But we really should revisit it now she is older! Lovely to hear from you x

  10. 05/05/2015 / 10:08 pm

    I do love it when you rant. My little girl loved all things pink until a few weeks ago when her allegiance changed to purple. Nobody who knew me or knows me will think I conditioned her into pink but maybe society and peers did. I too struggle to find clothes for her that meet our needs when we are going out and about and pink lace just won’t cut it. Sounds like you have a sassy daughter and that pleases me loads. Little legacies and all that.

    • parentshaped
      05/05/2015 / 10:15 pm

      Kate I should clearly rant more often as it is bringing all my favourite people out 🙂 Haven’t done enough of that lately! I don’t think we have much sway really, they like what they like!

  11. 29/04/2017 / 6:45 pm

    So many points I agree with.

    I started making my girl’s clothes because I can’t stand pink and frilly. They still have some ‘nice’ clothes but that doesn’t have to mean totally girly and why should boys wear such boring colours? I try very hard not to label anything as girl’s or boy’s but they get it from somewhere as they often make comments about colours or styles. I’m trying to sell my clothes now but it’s early days so I haven’t got a full range of styles yet but I would love to sell just the kind of things that have been mentioned.

    I also agree about the low cut thing. Why would anyone think it’s OK for kids to show off their backsides? And why does everything have to have a slogan on it?

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