If there is one issue which is guaranteed to provoke controversy and debate among parents it is what clothing is suitable for children. Children have never had so much choice when it comes to clothing, and although the clothes may be worn by the kids, they will be bought by their parents. Parents are split on whether children should be dressed as children, or whether it’s perfectly acceptable for children to wear the same as mum or dad.
The issue with appropriateness for children’s clothing often stems from the fact that some of the largest retailers on the market such as Next, Asda or M&S have ranges of clothing for children which go from 3 to 15 years. Obviously not all tops designed for a 15 year old will be appropriate for a 3 year old, and vice versa. Major clothing retailers have to tread a thin line between economies of scale when producing in large quantities, and making garments which appeal to both parents and children.
Boys and Dads
Some brands which have had a great success in the menswear market have seized the opportunity to kit out the sons of their loyal customers too. A good example of this is Scotch Shrunk, which is the kids division of the Scotch & Soda brand popular with adults. The Scotch Shrunk designs are translated into smaller versions of the adult clothes and the brand has enjoyed considerable success with their children’s range.
Boys clothing is not so much on an issue with boys as it is with girls. Parents seem to be fighting a constant battle with their daughters over what clothes are appropriate and what ones are not. Parents also have very different ideas about what they think is reasonable; one mother may see no issue with her 5 year old wearing high heels and a t-shirt with a “future footballer’s wife” slogan, the next mother may refuse to buy slogan t-shirts altogether and insist her daughter wears traditional pinafores only. When stores get it wrong and sell clothing with overtly sexual images or slogans on it, newspapers are quick to rush to condemnation which means far more control has to be exercised over the buying process and quality control before the items hit the stores.
The other main criticism of children’s clothing is that it is very difficult to find unusual and innovative design. Girls’ clothing in the major high street stores is predominantly pink or purple, and mothers of older boys struggle to get t-shirts or trousers in colours other than brown, sludge green or blue. Parents who want their kids to stand out from the crowd are forced to hunt out more individual pieces for their children to wear and although the internet makes this process easier, it can still take more time than picking up some trousers and tops with the weekly supermarket shop. Niche retailers who sell individual styles are also often towards the more expensive end of the market.
I Dream Elephants offer a great range of Scotch Shrunk kids clothing which mimics adult clothing