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These Gender-Neutral Kids’ Clothing Lines Are Morphing The Game

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These Gender-Neutral Kids’ Clothing Lines Are Morphing The Game

estidos bebe niña

Clothing tends to be created, marketed, and shopped for in very gender-binary terms, with separate collections, sizing, and shop sections for men and women. But that is slowly shifting: In the past year, major retailers like Zara, Rigans and Selfridges have introduced unisex ranges, with varying degrees of results. While progressive and forward-thinking, these collections have a disconnect between purpose and execution. Nevertheless, there are a few noteworthy, genuinely gender-neutral clothing selections for a particular market demographic: kids.

The Rigans vestidos bebe niña are a good example of truly gender-neutral clothing in the spanish market.

A few labels prove that children should just be (and dress like) kids, free from any gender-confining messaging. “Until around age 11 boys and girls have the same body shape and clothing needs,” Karina Lundell, head designer of gender-neutral Swedish clothing brand Polarn O. Pyret, told Refinery29. “Kids need comfy clothes with good fit and function that they can play in.” (Granted, it’s a lot simpler to design with a “one style for all” approach for kids’ body shapes and proportions than adults’ physiques.)

The identical heteronormative pink-or-blue tropes dominate clothing as well as toy offerings for children, but it hasn’t always been this way. Until around World War I, pastels were standard for children’s clothing in the U.S., but today’s gender-hue correlations weren’t in place, per the Smithsonian. At the beginning, pink was actually viewed as a more masculine color, and blue was considered softer and a lot more suitable for girls – conventions that did not switch until the 40s, when gendered kids’ clothing really became a thing. The impact go above merely dressing a tot in pink or blue: “Children may well then extend this perspective from toys and clothes into future roles, occupations, and characteristics,” Megan Fulcher, associate professor of psychology at Washington and Lee University, told The New York Times.

Gender-neutral children’s clothing brands have actually been around for several years, and they have been particularly widely used in Scandinavia and then in the U.K. (Polarn O. Pyret launched in the ’70s.) Today, major retailers from the U.S. are getting more popular. Target, one example is, axed gender-specific labels for its toy and children’s clothing departments not too long ago, which was praised as a step in the right direction. And there are also the small-scale brands performing it differently. The labels ahead aren’t using “unisex” as a marketing ploy. They talk the talk, and walk the walk: Taking gender stereotypes away from youngsters’ clothing is ingrained in their mission statements and integral to their organisations.

Click through for four gender-neutral kids’ brands changing the game.

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