Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Boy Fashion Makes Me Say "Eww!"

Can I be honest here?

Whenever I walk into the Gymboree at my mall, I die a little on the inside.

On my left is a plethora of lovely dresses and stylish patterned shorts and t-shirts, complete with adorable accessories. On my right are some clothes that are trying oh-so-hard to be cute, but they just don't quite make it there, or they crossed the line entirely and look extremely effeminate. I think the ladies that work there know it too, since the boy-clothes are mostly positioned on the wall with maybe two floor displays, while the rest of the store is girl-clothes and coordinating floor displays.
Avenger Graphic Tee, $6.97

Bigger, all-in-one stores are even worse. Passing by the boys' department is like walking through a giant advertisement for whatever superhero/cartoon character/wrestler is popular at the moment, designed by people who couldn't be bothered to put something sophisticated on these fabric sandwich boards. The designs on these clothes are so bold that they are borderline offensive.

That's not to say I wouldn't let my boy wear superhero-themed clothes at all. I just prefer subtle designs over boisterous slaps-in-the-face. I would be okay with my son wearing shirts like these onesies at ThinkGeek. They say, "Yes, this is the logo for my favorite superhero," but they don't scream it at you.

One of my favorite stores is Threadless because of their awesome prices and clever designs, which sometimes include subtly nerdy prints. And now they carry baby clothes too! One day I will have to order a kid-sized "Do-Re-Mi-Quack!" shirt so that he can match me.

I think the biggest issue I have with boys' clothing, though, is the fact that there is very little crafting/sewing/knitting/creating done for boys on the internet. There are endless tutorials for pillowcase dresses and giant head-eating-flower headbands, but when it comes to making things for boys, most of the time I see "he doesn't like handmade stuff, so I don't bother." But there are people who are trying. I started following Seven Thirty Three because she does a weekly linkup of boy-themed projects on the internet. Dana from MADE has also done an annual series on Celebrate the BOY, and I really hope that she does it again this year because the projects from the last two years are phenomenal.

Maybe I should be the change I want to see in the world, and start devoting my time to boy-specific projects, to finding fabric prints that are appropriate and not tacky, to creating patterns that result in garments that will make both of us yell, "AWESOME!" and give each other high fives. And then some future crafty mom who's expecting a boy can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that she can still continue doing her thing but now she can share it with her son too.

It's definitely something to think about.

For legal purposes, I should probably mention that while parts of this post read like a review, I was not approached by any company or person, nor was I compensated for any opinion I had. This post was thought of, researched, and written by me, and only me.

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