Children grow so fast. Shoes and clothes are being worn through or grown out of before I can blink in this household. Nathan is 9, he will be 10 in July this year. He has finally caught up after having a massive growth spurt a few months ago and is average height for his age group, he is however, very slim.
Buying clothes for him at the moment is a nightmare. Because he is slim, anything that is not slim fit in jeans or trousers, looks like he is attempting to be MC Hammer. T-shirts can come in various sizes but are not normally too bad – he is actually wearing age 11-13 in t-shirts just now. Hoodies and jumpers however think that young children have arms like Mr Tickle. Do not get me started on shoes, he is a size 5 already!
Nathan has a very defined style of clothing which he likes. He is verging on hipster with his skinny jeans and “on trend” glasses. Choosing clothing is tough as it now has to be something he likes and his friends will also appreciate – in other words, he has to be “cool”.
I have been finding it harder and harder to buy boys clothing recently. Everything has either garish character prints which are not “cool” any more, or everything is black, grey, or white. Nathan refuses now to wear something branded with Angry Birds, Minions, Ben 10, Skylanders, and a few others. The only brands or character prints which are passable are Minecraft, Star Wars or retro film tshirs, like Goonies or Back to the Future. Everything else is a big no-no. And this is where we come to our problem.
I went shopping recently with Nathan just to buy a t-shirt. We came away empty handed as he did not like anything in the store. The two small racks of all the boys clothes, which included underwear and PJs was lost in the sea of pink girly clothes which filled the shop. Nathan even said if he was a girl or liked pink he would be ok, but I was asked why there were more fashion lines for girls, more choice, more styles, and I could not answer.
I did get me thinking, we always assume that boys growing up do not care what they wear, which I am finding a very different story now. My son wants choice, not from just 10 tshirts, 2 hoodies and 3 styles of jeans each season. He wants the same choice as the girls. Clothing designers take note! Why should we only think that girls care about their appearance? I will no doubt regretting this in a few years time when he is a teenager, taking forever to get ready, using countless cans of smelly stuff and taking hours in the bathroom, but I do believe that the media and peer pressure states that girls should be caring about their appearance from a young age, encouraged to wear make up and perfumes from early on as they have Barbie and Moshi Monster make up packs in all the shops. Why should this pressure be put on girls from a young age? Revealing clothing, short skirts, clothing which is designed to show off hips and busts being shrunk down to a young girls size is not necessary.
What is also needed is colour. Everything in the shops right now is black, grey or white. If it has colour it is branded from a movie or toy. I spent an hour or so online looking at boys clothing with Nathan and made our own lookbook of clothes which he liked. He commented on the lack of choice and the lack of colour. Putting all the images together you can see how bland this wardrobe look would be.
What are your thoughts on children’s clothing styles and ranges? Do you have problems shopping for your children? I would love to hear your thoughts on this and if you have any good places where Nathan and I may shop for cool boys clothes.