Practical Boys' Clothes, Pretty Girls' Clothes


Moms around the world bemoan the lack of functional clothing available for her young daughter. According to both the author’s experience and expert studies, the use of embellishments and flimsy fabrics in girls’ represents how “boys’ clothes are largely designed to be practical, while girls’ are designed to be pretty.” The dilemma goes both ways, as Clemence also struggles to find t-shirts that fit her son’s passion for rainbows and unicorns. In a time when gender stereotypes coming increasingly under fire, Clemence’s piece is a reminder of how much work there is left to do—for all ages.



For further reading:

Gendered clothing standards are present in more places than the kids department—see how in this article which dissects the criticism of Serena Williams’ French Open catsuit in context of the history of the tennis dress.


Discussion Question:

Think about the clothes that you wore at a young age. Did you feel confined to gendered styles, or were you able to wear pieces that spoke to you?



Action Item:

One of the most prominent issues on the topic of gendered clothing is the school dress code—and a number of young women are taking a stand. Find a local petition against sexist dress codes and put your name on it!




Read more on NY Times |  Image: Sara Clemence