thread: Dressing Boys (clothing choices)

  1. #19
    morgan78 Guest

    Its funny as I was only thinking this morning how "ordinary" boys clothes are at the moment. Im trying to buy DS winter gear and it is sooooooo boring, everything seems to have some cartoon character on it or is blue or green. I love seeing him in bright colours and was so sad to discover he has outgrown his yellow and red shirts. DS loves dressing up in my stuff and currently has nail polish on both of his big toes, he wanted it I dont see why not.
    Sandals, i love them and DS always has at least one pair.
    In response to the questions
    Inappropriate clothing for me is when "fashion" tries to put adult styled clothes on children. I would class red as a masculine colour, but i have no problems with DS wearing any colour he wants and he has had clothes in just about every colour including pink and the same goes for DD as well, though i am trying to increase the black atm.
    If DS wants to wear dresses and pink then thats fine with me but as Brontide said I would let him know that some people might find it unusual.
    Stores generally appear to be limiting in choice especially this year, there seems to be too much focus on supplying items with Thomas, Ben 10, Bob the Builder and the list goes on, but then again if the consumers didnt buy them they wouldnt stock so much of them.

  2. #20
    Registered User

    Oct 2007
    Middle Victoria

    When we were little, Mum had all us kids in nighties (boys and girls). It was easier to do nappy changes. All of us wore tights during winter (as little ones) because it kept us warm. We all wore sandles, but navy or white were girl sandles and brown were boys sandles.

    I do a lot of sewing for friends baby's and try to use gender neutral colours (not always easy). Some friends i know will dress either gender in purple (or another colour with purple), but others would not go purple for a boy.

    It is not always to easy to buy clothes or toys if you are trying to avoid characters or trademarks (disney etc), but i always try to.

    The majority of my clothes have come from the mens section, because i find them more comfortable.

  3. #21
    paradise lost Guest

    I don't have any boys but when i do they will be wearing exactly what DD wore because i'm not going out and buying a whole new set of everything exactly the same but in a different colour. She has some pink things (hand-me-downs from other people) but i'm a lazy washer so a lot of them end up different colours anyway She's old enough to choose what she wears now and we have days when she's a cowboy and days when she's a bride (wearing her flowergirl dress, usually over jeans as it is freezin here!). We were very excited recently to find a website doing next-gen costumes in her size as she loves all things trek.

    I don't see the issue with what one dresses a baby in. I mean, i know a 3 month old can't choose for themself if they want to wear a frilly frock but they can't choose ANYTHING - if you only did what they expressly agreed to mine would have sat in a corner in her own poo and starved to death! She didn't like having her nappy changed, but i did it, she didn't like being offered food if she was "busy" doing something else but i still did.

    There have been several tragic cases of boys who throgh accident lost their genitalia in early infancy being raised as girls and it doesn't work, they grew up thinking they were trnasgender (because they were told they were female but they felt male). If genital reassignment and a lifetime of dedicated social conditioning can't make a girl into a boy or vice versa, how could a dress or toy?

    It's also very interesting to me how weak the state of masculinity is seen to be. The inference that a dress or doll could emasculate a boy, when jeans or a toy workbench cannot similarly destroy the femininity of a girl is fascinating. Also fasciating is the assigned roles - i have had a father tell me he will NEVER let his son play with a baby buggy or dolly because those are "for girls" WHILE pushing his own baby daughter along in her buggy...erm, hello? What are you then? Mr mummy? Don't men cook? Hold their babies? Vacuum (alright, mine doesn't do that much! lol)?


  4. #22
    Registered User

    Sep 2008
    Croydon, Victoria

    I had a DD first then a DS. I dressed them both in nighties for bed and during the day they wore a bonds suit with a knitted cardie/jumper and knitted booties. When I have another baby it will be dressed the same.

    Now, my DS (3) wears sandals (I never knew anyone had a 'problem' with them) and wears 'boys' clothes - jeans, tshirts, jumpers, socks and shoes all from the boys department. He does LOVE Dora and has a pink Dora bag for kinder and thats ok with me.

    DD (7) wears all girl clothes. Shes getting into fashion at the moment and loves Hannah Montana, HSM and The Veronicas. Because of these fashions, she does have a top that has a skull on it and that is fine.

    I would rather my kids wear gender specific clothes to save them from being teased. DD makes her own choices on her clothes (within reason) and DS can make his own choices too when he is older. Mostly he chooses clothes with a bike or car on it anyway.

    As for the 'dressing bubs in black' - I saw a Bonds suit that was all black. Personally I wouldnt dress my newborn in black. Dont know why, just doesnt do it for me!

    PS- Cool Thread.

  5. #23
    Registered User
    Add boobaloo on Facebook

    May 2006
    Brisbane, Australia

    i have no issues whatsover with clothing, but at the moment, my 2 yo son has his finger and toe nails painted red.

  6. #24
    Registered User

    Jul 2005
    Rural NSW

    Morgan: excellent point about all the licensed clothing (Disney, Thomas, Superheros etc) I actively avoid it... correction: I did buy my DS a pair of Ben 10 thongs but only because they were on sale... heavily reduced down to $3 and we were on holidays... so glad I didn't pay any more for the stupid things... the picture of Ben rubbed off after about 2 wears! pfft! Licensed stuff is usually rubbish!!! And I also am very adverse to my child being a walking advertisement... a walking billboard almost... for a media company. I think it's inappropriate to get children sucked into that kind of consumerism so early... it just sets them up to have a warped perception that your clothes need to define you in a necessary way... so that they grow up to need it... and that unlabelled clothes won't do... and of course soon they will strive for higher and higher status labels... today it's Disney tomorrow it's Dolce & Gabbana (sp?) Personally I think it's the wrong message... JMO.

  7. #25
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2007
    Ever so slowly going crazy...

    My kids just wear what the last kid wore!!!

    My 2 young sons, aged 2.5 and 1.5, pretty much have no gender....

    They love trains and trucks, mud, water, dress ups with big sis, and LOVE having thier toes painted when mummy does hers!!! They also breastfeed their dolls....

    There clothes are boyish, from 2 older brothers, but Za often picks girly colours for shoes, toys etc..
    My MIL has bought them girly pj's cause they were on sale, and they love them!! Dorothy the Dinsour in pink, and Elmo in a flower garden...

    My boys are just as happy tearing around the house like aeroplanes, and quietly changing dollies nappies!!!

    Kanes absolute FAVE at the moment is a makeover from big sis, mummies heels, and my bangles up his arm... he walks around with his hands on his hips so they dont come off, so really looks the part.....

  8. #26
    Registered User

    Dec 2005
    In Bankworld with Barbara

    Colour doesn't bother me so much as the style of the clothes kwim? If I don't like the style I wont buy it simple as that. My girls have a lot of brown colours, chocolate through to beige/mocca/coffee tones and I love the colour on them. Lindsay doesn't like pink, cause he's just at that age LOL, but he'll wear red. I do prefer the darker colours for the boys gear simply because the darker colours hide a multitude of sins ROFL - you can't see the stains on them as much and I have really boyish boys, so they are always grubby.

    As for sandals I love them. I buy good quality ones and they don't look feminine at all on them. I think it's a bit cruel to make them wear a fully closed shoe during summer when sandals keep their feet cool.

    I loathe character gear though for everyday wear, but with their PJ's they will have some character stuff because to me it just looks more appropriate kwim? Like the girls have these really cute Little Miss flanny pjs and I love them. I've bypassed some really cute dresses for them in the past as soon as I see a flipping logo on it.

    With the colours though, some colours are seasonal trends - look at Pumpkin Patch. Every season they will have different colour themes. I loved it two winters ago when they had a lot of black for girls, which you don't see too often. Also you look at all the surfie branded clothes, so much of that is pastel colours now for boys and they wear it no problems, so I think the brand of the clothes has more to do with it than the colours when they are older kwim?

    and PS, MIL brought Erin a dress when she was a newborn that was nearly identical to the Azaria Chamberlain dress only it was a navy, but a really dark navy that looked black. I loved it and it's one of the 'keepers'

  9. #27
    Registered User

    Jan 2006

    Just another viewpoint here re gender sterotyping and boys clothes. My DH was mercilessly teased and bullied as a child and so is extremely sensitive to anything which makes a child prone to the same thing. Conversely though, he (and I) do not believe that children should be dressed head to toe in labels in order to fit in and be accepted. But he is of the very strong view that while boys should be encourgaed to be loving, nuturing and thus express "feminine" characteristics, parents should not actively encourage them (now I am talking about very little boys here) to dress in a way which will make them targets.

    I should say my DH is the stay at home parent in our household so he not some blokey bloke who just believes boys should be all about fishin' and shootin' and stuff. He is very much aware of gender and sexuality issues, not homophobic, rascist or anything like that. Phew, what a caveat! But I felt it needed to be said to have a discussion about this sort of viewpoint without labels.

    So : what about the issue that to some extent gender is a social construct which helps boys fit in to the world of men. If I allow/encourage/provide Flynn with a dress to wear to school in prep, or a fairy wand to pack in his lunchbox, am I setting him up to tackle issues in society (ie: our inability to accept difference within genders) which even adults have trouble dealing with? I mean, thinking and responsible members of society have issues and difficulty standing up to gender stereotypes - is it fair to ask a child, who is still learning how to "fit in" and socialise, to do so as well?

    I am not trying to come down on one side or the other - just to ask questions and promote discussion.

  10. #28
    Registered User

    Apr 2007
    Somewhere here and there.....

    DS is only one so at the moment he wears what I put him in. We live in the north so it's always warm and standard dress for him is shorts and a singlet. If we go out it might be nicer shorts and a shirt and thats it. He doesn't own shoes and I won't put him in any until he is a bit better on his feet, even then it won't be for long as I believe the best thing for growing feet is freedom (can see how this is not an option in cold areas). He wears several singlets that have pink writing on them and I couldn't care less. Once he is bigger he can wear what he wants, I am a big believer in self identity and expression so if he wants fairy wings and gum boots he can have them, likewise if he wants camo pants and thongs. Life is too short to worry about stuff like that I think so we may as well have fun.

  11. #29

    Mar 2004

    Aurora, as I mentioned in my previous post I think that as a parent we have a responsibility to warn our children that the fairy wand in the lunchbox might be unconventional and they might be teased but if they hear that and they still want the fairy wand then they're welcome to go ahead with it.
    My boys have lots of character singlets, socks and undies. They only cost a dollar or two more than the non-character stuff (if that) and the boys love them. Having special Diego jocks has made TT Imran much easier.

  12. #30
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Feb 2006
    South Eastern Suburbs, Vic

    - What's a masculine colour? I suppose that changes as culture changes. Right now it's darker colours like brown, black, blue, green, even red. And feminine colours are pink and pastels. But what is masculine or feminine by current culture doesn't bother me too much (this changes all the time, as it's been pointed out). I just have to like how it looks. Or have it given to me by mum.

    - He has shoes like Crocs and also sandals with velcro, like outdoorsy people wear. It wasn't a conscious decision to avoid the white patent leather sandals, it's just what I bought.

    - Riv wears what I like, because I buy what I like. So he doesn't wear pink so far (apart from a nappy or two) because I don't really like pink. If he asks for a pink top or whatever when he gets older, that's not a problem for me at all, I can't see why it should be.
    As for a dress - I'm not going to stop him painting his nails, or wearing a dress at home or playing with dolls or anything else seen as traditionally feminine. However, outside of the house he is not only subject to my opinion, but others too, and while I have the choice about what he wears, I'll try not to subject him to others' comments - you know the stupid comments people make. If he grows older and is adamant he wants to wear a dress, we'll explain that it's a bit different and people might tease him but we won't tease him and he can wear what he likes.

    - As for hang-ups, mine are just to do with taste, I don't like tacky characters faces plastered on shirts, but then I like some surf shop stuff, some slogan stuff, and grey and blue clothing. So I really think pretty much anything goes, and what our children wear comes down to taste and availability. ETA: And age. I'm guessing Riv's taste will change as he gets old enough to decide what he likes.

  13. #31
    Registered User

    Oct 2007
    Gippsland, Victoria

    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!
    Oh BG i wish i'd known! My Nanna makes the knits the most beautiful little baby cardigans. I have about 5 from when DS was a baby!

  14. #32
    Registered User

    Oct 2007
    Gippsland, Victoria

    Bath - I avoid all the licensed stuff too. The quality just doesn't seem to be there.

    I dress DS mostly in red! He is half Jamaican and has beautiful coloured skin and black curly hair. If he wanted to wear pink, i'd let him He loves wearing all my bracelets and my mums beads! He puts them on and we say "oh be-yoot-iful" and he loves it!

  15. #33
    Registered User

    Nov 2007
    Off with the fairies.

    My boys were bright stuff most of the time. Red, orange, green. I also like black. Alot of clothes DS2 wears are the clothes DS1 wore. They are super cute and I love them even more the second time around.


  16. #34
    Registered User

    Dec 2006
    In my own private paradise

    Oh BG i wish i'd known! My Nanna makes the knits the most beautiful little baby cardigans. I have about 5 from when DS was a baby!
    i only have one at the moment - a beautiful white one i was given for baby shower - mum has found a pattern she is thinking about making one with a matching blanket for Gremlin's baptism.

    i don't know why i love them so much (maybe cos i used to sit and watch my nan make these beatiful intricate cable jackets with her arthritic old hands!) - i just think that dressing a baby as a baby sometimes is really worth it - they grow up so quickly...

    ooh, i lie - the local hospy sells little cardis to raise money for fundraising for neonates - mum bought a pink and an apricot one - i think the apricot one will only ever fit on dolls for Gremlin (it's tiny but so sweet!) but she does have a little pink one as well

  17. #35
    Registered User

    Jul 2005
    Rural NSW

    HERE's a (non commercial) link to a children's book illustrating the type of shoe that many people (I think) would consider to be too feminine for a boy to wear... yeah?

    Like I said, they are still available today, for boys in the pre-school age group. But because of the covered toe most people will only buy them for girls.

  18. #36
    Registered User

    Dec 2006
    In my own private paradise

    HERE's a (non commercial) link to a children's book illustrating the type of shoe that many people (I think) would consider to be too feminine for a boy to wear... yeah?

    Like I said, they are still available today, for boys in the pre-school age group. But because of the covered toe most people will only buy them for girls.
    Bath - i dont' think i'd put those kind of sandals on either gender - not for any other reason than i think once you make it wearing sandals, i'd rather have sandals that breath (so the open ones) - but that's just my own taste. i find as long as my feet are cool and well supported, i'm comfy. i'm likely to look at well fitting shoes that let their feet breathe etc. i find, after having ankle surgery, that i either need good sandals (which are hard to find for big footed chickies) or well fitting runners (can't seem to find any other comfy shoes unless custom made boots which are damn exxy!)

    as to the stuff with cartoon characters all over it - i tend to look for tasteful stuff - but sometimes, you just go with what the kids like! i don't like dora, barbie etc, but some of the barbie stuff at the moment is very discreet (can't tell it's barbie unless you go looking) - boys stuff - well, it's hard to find discreet! my bro's little boy (7 in a couple of weeks) is a shocker for wearing weather appropriate clothes, and the only way to convince him to wear stuff that is right for the weather is to have character stuff (Cars and Spiderman at the moment) and get him to wear that. it's usually loud but he loves it and at least he dresses for the weather which is more important. this is a kid that will leave his jumper on all day at school - even when it's 40 degrees!