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

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

estidos bebe niña

Clothing is often designed, promoted, and shopped for in very gender-binary terms, with separate collections, sizing, and shop sections for men and women. But that’s slowly shifting: In the past season, major retailers like Zara, Rigans and Selfridges have introduced unisex ranges, with varying degrees of achievements. While progressive and forward-thinking, these collections generally have a disconnect between purpose and execution. On the other hand, there are several noteworthy, sincerely gender-neutral clothes selections for a particular market demographic: kids.

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

A number of labels prove that kids only need to be (and dress like) kids, free of any gender-confining messaging. “Until around age 11 boys and girls share 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” means for kids’ body shapes and proportions than adults’ physiques.)

Exactly the same heteronormative pink-or-blue tropes dominate clothing as well as toy offerings for kids, 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. First, pink was actually viewed as a more masculine color, and blue was considered softer and much more good for girls – conventions that didn’t switch until the 40s, when gendered kids’ clothing really became a thing. The consequences transcend merely dressing a tot in pink or blue: “Children may 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 been around for years, and they have been particularly widely used in Scandinavia also in the U.K. (Polarn O. Pyret launched in the ’70s.) More recently, major retailers within the U.S. are catching on. Target, for instance, axed gender-specific labels for its toy and children’s clothing departments just last year, which was praised as a step in the right direction. Next you have 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 beyond youngsters’ clothing is ingrained in their mission statements and integral to their firms.

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