CHILDREN, TRADITIONAL GENDERED CLOTHING, AND THEIR OUTFIT CHOICES

This is going to be an interesting post that might stir up a bit of feelings or opinions in some. My intent is to only share what we do or have done–as always, you do you. You only know what is best for you and your family, please respect the decisions of mine and our family.

Personally, I really dislike clothing aimed at a child’s gender. When we found out we were having girls, my family rejoiced at the thought of frills and bows, but I made it clear we would be offering neutral clothing. I didn’t want the girls to just have a drawer of pink, but rather a rainbow of colours for them to choose from.

Now, if you’ve seen photos of the girls, you’ll notice that they usually prefer the colour pink (E even choose that for her cast colour), tutus, dresses (especially the ones similar to baby Sally’s), and bows. They even try to open my safe to get my jewelry. But that’s only half of their clothing, the other half is more neutral tones. It’s all there for them to choose from every morning.

With the girls having clear favourites, their great-aunt and great-grandma have begun making clothing based on them–respecting their choices.

When T was three, he became really interested in princesses. Like, obsessed, and he really wanted a princess dress. He had all kinds of superhero costumes even doing many outfits changes throughout the day, regularly putting Cher to shame, haha. So I talked to a professional who specializes in gender roles and children. Their recommendation was to get him a princess dress, but only if he had traditional male outfits too, which he had more than enough of. So, the next time we went to the store, I let him pick one out. The joy on his face when he finally got his princess dress, oh my goodness.

I heard many opinions on the topic, but the advice of a professional holds far more weight than the uncle who wouldn’t allow his sons to hold dolls and whose own child was having issues from being suppressed.

When we got home T put on the princess dress he had picked out. He looked in the mirror, giggled, did a puzzle, and then took it off. Five minutes–tops. He wore it one other time after that. He literally put it on, looked in the mirror, and then took it off. That was it. Princess dresses have never been brought up or worn since. But how do you think it would’ve been if he was never given the opportunity to possess one?

If we had a son would I dress him up in the frilliest tutu I could find? If he went through his sister’s closet and picked it out, sure. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to find and offer it. I’m even hesitant about providing some of the options we have that once belonged to the girls, although my husband insists that if it was a fine option for one child it’ll be fine for all the others until their sense of style and decisions are clear.

While much of the girls outfit options are now made by their great-aunt and great-grandma, who I buy clothes I find that I’m needing to purchase from the “boy” department as, heaven forbid, trucks and sharks and bug be on girls clothing. The last lot of undies I purchased fro E and V were boy trainers as they had ships and fish on them. Again, they like princess undies and dresses, but they also like fish.

What do clothing choices look like in your home?

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