Let’s look at some ideas for finding kids’ apparel that make them look and feel great.
Color is one of the first things that differentiates “girls’ clothing” from “boys’ clothing.” There are “girl colors”— like pink and purple. Just about everything else falls into the gender neutral or boys’ clothing categories. All you have to do is walk into a brick-and-mortar store or look online to see how pervasive the color coding is in kids’ clothing. And of course, it is even more common with infant and toddler clothing. If you like the idea of teaching your kids that clothing doesn’t have a gender and adding more balance, start with color.
When you talk about clothing with your kids, talk about the fact that there are no “girl colors” and “boy colors.” There are just colors. If you want to go gender neutral with their outfits, primary colors and neutrals can be fun choices. An outfit based in red, blue, yellow, or green is inclined to look less like a “boy outfit” or a “girl outfit” based on the stereotypes in our society. Plain denim, grey, or black are great gender-neutral choices, too.
This is second only to color when it comes to categorizing kids’ clothes as belonging to girls or boys. Flowers, bows, kittens, dolls, and princesses are for girls. Trucks, tools, most sporting equipment, and male action heroes are for boys. If you want to teach your kids that they can grow up to be anything and anyone they want, allowing your kids to wear any design they'd like might be in order. Stripes, checks, and tie-dye are also designs that cut across the stereotypes.
Do you have a daughter who wants to wear “boy clothes” or a son who wants to wear “girl clothes”? If you are a parent, you have veto power over what they wear, but make sure to let them express themselves. A child who is allowed to express themselves will become a healthier adult who will appreciate the foundation of acceptance and respect that you taught them. In turn, they will extend those qualities of friendship to others.
For a gender-neutral look for kids, stick with pants. If you have ever been a little girl who tried to play in a skirt, you know that pants are just more practical. There is a reason that we love our women’s jeans—they look great, and they’re comfy. Give the kids in your life the same gift for their wardrobes. Kids’ jeans look great and are comfy, too (and far more durable than other options).
T-shirts and hoodies are favorites for most kids, and they will go with almost anything. Consider a fun graphic T-shirt in a color and design that stays away from gender stereotypes. Girls’ hoodies are not only comfy and warm, but they are just about the most versatile garment you can buy for a kid. You can layer them over a T-shirt, under a coat, and stuff them in a backpack just in case. By leaning toward neutral or primary colors, you will have a wardrobe staple that they will love wearing until they outgrow it.
Is there any shoe that says “kid” better than a sneaker? Yes, we wear them as adults, but we don’t put the kind of mileage on them that kids do. We walk, stroll, or play organized sports in our sneakers. They play hard in theirs! Sneakers are another area of kids’ fashion that tends to get color-coded by gender. Ignore the labels and buy a cute pair of kids’ sneakers that fit your kid and look cute.
With just a bit of looking, you’ll be able to find a great pair of gender neutral sneakers to go with the rest of their gender neutral outfits. Go pick out some cute gender neutral outfits for your kid!