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Thread: Dressing Boys (clothing choices)

  1. #1

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    Default Dressing Boys (clothing choices)

    Not wanting to hijack BW's thread HERE. I'm hoping to continue the discussion about how we dress our sons.



    What, do you believe, crosses the line of appropriate clothing? Do your boy/s only wear masculine colours? Blue, Brown, Black. What is your definition of a masculine colour? Did you dress your baby son in what many consider to be "gender neutral" colours: Green, yellow, red. Do you consider these colours to be gender neutral?

    Do you put your son/s in sandals? Are you specific about what type of sandal... eg Pre-1970 it was common to see young boys in T-bar type leather sandals.

    Do you feel panicky about the idea that your boy might favour feminine colours or styles? How would you react if your son wanted to wear a dress? or a pink T-Shirt.

    Do you think current society has any "hang ups" or inappropriate expectations when it comes to boys clothing? Too limiting? Too message-laden? Or is the current situation really positive due to the "anything goes" policy?
    Last edited by Bathsheba; March 11th, 2009 at 03:53 PM.

  2. #2

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    No problems with my sons wanting to wear pink. I don't fancy pink much myself (although I do wear it on occasion) but if they want to wear it that's their call.
    Yasin's favourite jumper last winter was his pink fleece one. I told him he could have any colour on the rack and he picked pink. He also had much love for his glittery white snow boots with furry lining.
    Imran has a pink t-shirt - it came off the boy's racks so obviously a few mums must choose pink if they're putting it in the boy's section.
    Both my boys wear sandals. I never though that they were feminine before.....
    Yasin loves Angelina and has an Angelina book that he likes me to read to him. He also loves Thomas....

    ETA - I'm perfectly happy to wear a man's shirt myself if it fits and it's comfy.
    As for dresses. If someone sent one of my boys a kilt I'd let him wear it. Yasin has a dish-dash but never wears it. If either of my boys wants to wear a dress they're welcome although I would feel that I should warn them that they might get funny looks and maybe be teased. If they're cool with that then they can wear the dress. They're only little once so why not let them enjoy it without imposing the restrictions of gender on them.
    We have some gorgeous photos of my brother dressed as a princess when he was three - now he's 33 and he has no gender issues.

  3. #3

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    With the sandals: if you are my vintage LOL you might be familiar with children's books like the Little Golden Books series that (Pre-1970's) feature boys (illustrations etc) wearing what many people today might consider to be girly sandals. Personally I like the look... and British children's shoe company Start-Rite still make them... occassionally you might see young male members of the royal family still wearing them. What makes them "girly" I guess is the covered toe. If I can find an image of them I'll link.

  4. #4

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    My daughter doesn't wear pink so I don't see myself dressing my son in pink. However if he came to me and said he wanted to wear pink I'd oblige

    And if you go back to certain period stages of french fashion, powder blue was a feminine colour and pink (or salmon) was a boys colour. These were very aristocratic colours.

  5. #5

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    LOL at the sandals Bath. Yasin has a pair like that. They're hand me downs from my sister. Never occured to me that they were too feminine - they look quite comfy and they're great quality.

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    Cai: Yep, I mentioned that about blue being feminine, pink being masculine in BW's thread. Interesting how colour symbolism isn't set in stone... how it fluctuates... that it's interpretation is a product of culture, time and place.

    Remember how horrified most of 'us' (Australians of the 1980's) were that Lindy Chamberlain chose to dress her DD in black...

    Bron: Yes! Fantastic quality! I scour second hand shops for un-used or little used Start-Rite sandals!

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    when my son was a baby i dressed him in yellow ( as its my fave color ) greens,blues. Now its jeans,he has alot of different colored tops. but most are blues,reds and browns.

    he has his sandals they re just sooo cute but he loves them. i think itd be funny to see my son in a dress i think he'd look cute lol

  8. #8

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    I haven't had a son to dress for very long, but apart from refusing to put him in a frilly dress, I can honestly say that what I want to dress him in doesn't appear to be particularly "masculine" as it's impossible to find in stores.

    Where are the bright colours for baby boys? I'd love to dress him in red and yellow as well as blue, but instead I can only find drab brown, green and grey. Dark, sombre colours with slogans splashed all over them. Dispense with the slogans and give me plain, bright-coloured clothing, dammit!

    Obviously, Sam's a little too young to be expressing any obvious preference for clothing... but he is currently wearing a jump suit with pale blue, orange and green stripes which others have considered to be horridly girly, but I think the colours suit him!

    I don't think it would worry me too much if Sam wanted to wear a pink shirt when he's older... I think the skirts and dresses would, though... However, if someone were to give us a kilt in DH's family tartan, he may just get dressed in it!

    BW

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    Just to add my thoughts on baby clothes:

    Because I had a DD first I had loads of her used baby clothes. And I didn't hesitiate to pop my DS that followed in anything that both fitted, was comfy and not going to raise eyebrows while out shopping LOL so he wore lots of clothes that are what I guess most people would consider to be gender neutral... I recall bottle green, burgundy, white, orange and purple being predominant. However at night I would happily pop him into a pink Bonds grow suit if that's all was left in the drawer. Didn't phase DH either although we did have a bit of a giggle. It really was no biggie.

  10. #10

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    i think part of the issue is perception from those around you. i mentioned to my SIL when i was only about 8 weeks pg that i'd like to get some nighties as well as sleep suits - it didn't seem to gel that boys (as babies) would wear a nightie

    i have no issue in crossing "the line" color wise - i've deliberately looked for blue and other colors that are typically boyish, and would look for similar for a boy (i KNOW BW's boy has a bright red suit somewhere!) - but i think part of the issue is in HOW feminine something is, and the fact that, as a baby, they have no say in their individual likes. htere are some things that are just feminine, and i wouldn't choose to put them on a boy myself.

    having said that, Gremlin has pink and purple sleep suits - and if we were to have a boy, he'd wear them to sleep too! that part doesn't worry me cos the cut isn't feminine kwim?

    can't see myself putting a lacy pinafore on a boy for any reason (unless he was into the arts and it was costume - my bro has worn some VERY feminine stuff!) - particularly as a baby!

  11. #11

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    To be perfectly honest, 95% of DS' clothes thus far have been hand me downs from my friend's little boy and my nephew so I haven't actually chosen them as such (although there is stuff I don't like and he hasn't worn). I have actually only had to go out and buy him a handful of outfits.

    But he wears pretty much every colour: black, brown, blue, green, red, yellow. He has nappies (mcn) in every colour but pink I guess, including purple, red, orange, yellow.

    I wouldn't buy pink for him but if he chose something when he was older that had pink in it, I can't see that would phase me too much.

    Are sandals an issue I had no idea about that! As long as they were blue, black, brown, any dark colour I'd put them on him I think?

  12. #12
    Matryoshka Guest

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    I dress my boys in bright clothes, i love greens, orange, reds, purple.

    I'm constantly disappointed that the generic fashion is lots of brown, grey, royal or pale blue, navy. And i absolutely loathe the baggy knee length shorts, i wish they still made proper shorts for boys, not military skater style. (though lenght is handy for protecting knees from scrapes), the cuts though could be so much nicer.

    I don't buy pink because i hate pink for myself. But if either boy wanted something in pink i wouldn't mind, in fact i encourage my toddler to choose what he'd like to wear.

    I prefer he wears sneakers over sandals, only because they are a perfect fit and more supportive on his feet, and i'm very pedantic about shoes that fit properly. Many of the sandals in stores have soles way too hard for little growing feet. But if we are at home or outside our home he goes barefoot.

  13. #13

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    ooh, i did want to add - i have NO issues at all with putting little boys (babies etc) in hand knitted cardis/jackets - as old fashioned as that is! from the day i found out that all was ok at 8 week scan, i was hunting for someone who made matinee jackets - i just think they're so cute for babies! i have found it so hard to find anything like that when looking in shops - so have found people to make them for me!

  14. #14

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    One of Alex's fave things to wear for a while was his sister's silky princess printed nightie. I didnt mind, DH was a bit "reluctant" about it but his family, OMG what a fuss they made about it not being right. We also have lots of photos of him wearing fairy and princess dress ups because to him that was the most natural thing to do especially with a big sister prancing around in them.

    As a baby I also used up a lot of his sister's hand me downs and he regularly wore pink jumpsuits around the house and to bed. DH and I didnt really see a problem with that, altho upon saying that I would change him if we left the house. He did wear quite a bit of yellow and green outside the house tho.

    Now as an "older" boy he wears blues, greens, reds and a bit of black, brown and grey. He has at least one purple top too. There really isnt a lot of deviation choice wise out in the shops anyway if you wanted to dress him any differently.

    He also wears little leather sandals as well as his fave spiderman ones!

  15. #15
    Matryoshka Guest

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    I love anything handmade or knitted. I find that if you trawl the WAHM sites you can buy vintage looking stuff because its hand made. Plus you're supporting local industry. That's how where i like to buy the boys clothes and toys.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bathsheba View Post
    Remember how horrified most of 'us' (Australians of the 1980's) were that Lindy Chamberlain chose to dress her DD in black...
    HAHAHAHAHA!!! Some people are still horrified... believe me

  17. #17

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    Hmmm Chase had a fairy dress, he walks around the house in high heals (mine) and loves his doll...

    If someone has issues seeing my boy wearing a fairy dress, that it THEIR issue not mine lol

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by MummaB View Post
    I'm constantly disappointed that the generic fashion is lots of brown, grey, royal or pale blue, navy.
    I've got five girls, so when this one turned out to be a boy, I wondered how much fun I might have going and buying "boy clothes". I've always loathed that little girls' "fashion" has always been so stereotyped. I thought there might be more freedom in the boys' sections.

    How wrong I was! A sea of dull colours, with "boy" motifs, a preponderance of blue with the odd splash of red or whatever... I became quite depressed after a while. It felt like boys' clothing was even more constrained than girls' clothing. I'd already been getting a lot of comments about What Boys Are Like, and I felt quite defensive that this little mite should turn out the way he *wants* minus pressure from everyone else.

    I live in a community that is extremely gay friendly and has a lot of transgender people and it is always so foreign to me to hear the comments of almost fear, I guess, when people contemplate their kids wearing clothing that isn't appropriate for their gender, but that fear doesn't seem to move so close to something like disgust or anger as when it is about little boys wearing dresses or skirts or whatever. I don't understand what people think it says about a son who might like to wear "girlie" clothing, although I should since my 11 year old is constantly called a "tomboy" because she doesn't like girlie clothing.

    It's not just the clothes, either - it's the toys. I had a friend once whose husband *refused* to let their ds play with any "girls' toys" like kitchen stuff or dolls. He sincerely saw it as a threat to his son's masculinity.

    It's like this pressure right from the moment they are born to tell them, "This is how you will behave. This is who you are. You cannot escape it and we will remind you at every turn."

    I do wonder what would happen if I had a son who lived in a family who expressed horror at the idea of a son being dressed in "girlie" clothes who felt drawn towards them naturally, and how he would respond to that kind of pressure to deny that part of himself. I imagine it would be so much worse than my dd being called a "tomboy" because at least there's some kind of patronising acceptance of a girl who doesn't act like a "proper" girl.

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