Unisex Children’s Clothing – That’s why we need it:
When I tell my mother about the gang of dresses, she sometimes says: “Oh, we don’t need that, the differences between boys and girls’ clothes aren’t that big either”. We looked closely once:
Young clothes are simply getting bigger – even if the label says the same thing.
Boys get used to losing things with freedom of movement, girls, on the other hand, are actually permanently cramped in from 3 (!) years and feel this as normal, especially at the waist and at the waistband.
You could say: Boys are just physically a little bit bigger and wider than girls – only that’s not true! Size tables do not differentiate between boys and girls up to 8 years, both in total body size and in chest and hip circumference. Our clothing measures itself by body size – just as it is intended.
Girls and boys do not differ physically, but the clothing nevertheless suggests this: the fit of children’s clothing mimics that of male and female adults. Why clothing for 6-year-olds has to be’sexy’, let’s put it there. If T-shirts for girls have a wide neckline, this is a problem, at least in winter. Children get used to their own reflection – boys look broad-shouldered through wide cuts, girls have a waist, although there is still none physically. And every day they see children in the day care centre either in a box or watch-glass form. Is it any wonder if at some point they have trouble with their body image? The gown clothes are suitable for children: especially comfortable and easy to put on yourself.
If you look at a boy – and a girl’s T-shirt next to each other, you’ll notice something else: Girls’ clothes are often decorated more elaborately – frills here, glitter there. Even baby bodies for girls have tiny little bows on them. Can you imagine? As long as you remember back in your rather short life, either all your things are decorated – or none at all. That’s quite an experience.
Well, after my son had played down one or two girls’ T-shirts, I thought: Young clothes simply last longer. And that at least makes me buy mainly young clothes, especially trousers.
The fabrics are thicker, more durable and the seams are better finished. And in winter they are simply warmer. Why is that so? Girls are expected to take better care of their clothes. That’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem: I can buy this fragile shirt, she’ll take care of it – then admonish if it gets something that will stop the wearer from playing wild next time. Only we parents will succeed in breaking this cycle.
Apart from the practical aspects – size, fit, quality – it has become clear to me: By printing certain symbols on clothing, we express various aspects of our world. In our culture, women are expected to do most of the emotional work. Girls’ clothes are littered with emotional symbols such as hearts, stars, unicorns. Boys get trucks, excavators and rockets – show them early: “Feelings are not your area.” They learn that feelings are only for girls, while girls are reduced to exactly these feelings. Her interest in technology is nowhere represented as if someone were saying all the time: “Girls can’t do that!