Panic! At the Clothing Store

When I found out I was going to have a boy, (and yes, I was one of those anal people who had to know in advance what gender of child I was having) my heart began beating a bit faster.   Mostly due to panic.

Panic, of course, because I was going to have a baby and during that first pregnancy, your mind just sort of boggles around the concept.  You try to grasp what is going to happen to your life, but most imaginings fall short.

And panic because I knew that there were just no good clothes out there for boys.  Well, perhaps there were a few, but I wasn’t sure my bank account was willing to give up quite so much for something that would be outgrown in four months, tops.

Before the parents and people with girls in their lives jump all over me, just stop and think for a second.  When you walk into a children’s clothing store, what do you see?  Are your eyes greeted with hangers upon hangers of rugby polos, or are there dresses and stretch pants and bubble skirts and any other variation of clothing the manufacturers can think of that pertain to feminine dressing?  This was also sagely noted by my esteemed co-blogger, raincoaster.

The bulk of the store always contains girls clothes, usually with the boys relegated to some dark corner in the back.  And depending on the retailer, with or without cobwebs.

It’s sort of like being invited to a party, but when you get there, everyone else is being served caviar and champagne.  You, on the other hand, are lucky to get some stale crackers and warm juice.

Why is this?

The women in these little boys’ lives are plenty willing to spring for nice clothes.  If only we could find them.

Oh sure, there are a few clothing lines that try to tweak those standard polos, graphic tees, and cargo pants.  But there aren’t nearly enough.

Part of my mission here at Teeny Manolo is to help shed light on clothing for boys that is made with style and quality, clothing that sets itself apart from the clones found in countless stores.  But, not too different.  Too different leads to being made fun of and not being invited to birthday parties. 

So, even if it takes me hours days weeks a while to discover clothes that meet the Glinda stamp of approval, I promise I will find them! Eventually!

12 Responses to “Panic! At the Clothing Store”

  1. Sarah S August 30, 2007 at 10:55 am #

    Try mini-Boden (www.bodenusa.com) and Hanna Anderson (www.hannaandersson.com).

  2. Awesome Mom August 30, 2007 at 11:31 am #

    You are my hero Glinda!! Being the mom of two boys has made the lack of good boy clothing so abundantly clear. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

  3. Glinda August 30, 2007 at 2:08 pm #

    Sarah- I’ve not heard of mini-Boden, thanks for the tip! Hanna does have some cute stuff, I agree.

    Awesome Mom- Seriously, it’s gonna take me a while.

  4. Cathy August 30, 2007 at 3:39 pm #

    I have 2 girls and a baby boy. I know it’s no consolation but girls will make you broke. I have no problem putting hand me downs on my boy, but my girls occasionally get brand new Oilily. Ok, maybe it’s because he’s #3 and the appeal of using my baby as a dress up doll has worn off.

    If you like fun prints, Zutano has cute stuff too.

  5. Que Sarah August 31, 2007 at 2:42 am #

    One thing I’m doing with my little nephews is to go to cafepress and design my own graphic t-shirts, onesies, and so on. That way, three year old Lincoln can have “Lincoln Logs” shirt, and baby Wesley gets a onesie that says “Go Wes, young man.”

    OK, I’m just a sucker for puns. The point is, they’re not high-fashion, they’re not particularly well made, but they’re inexpensive and unique. And fashion is all about self-expression, isn’t it?

  6. Ginger August 31, 2007 at 1:42 pm #

    I didn’t notice this so much with my son until my daughter was born. It is so much more fun to shop for her anyway because she is a girlie girl! Now, my son is 9 and he will not wear anything remotely cute or stylish or preppy. Most of their clothing budget goes to the girl. The boy is happy in sweats and T-shirts.

  7. Glinda August 31, 2007 at 8:02 pm #

    Que Sarah- I think that is a great idea! Your nephews sound like some very cutely dressed little men!

    Ginger- I guess as long as he’s happy!

  8. Eilish September 1, 2007 at 6:16 pm #

    As the mother of a two-year-old boy, I have to agree with Ginger that boys tend to be happy in jeans and tee-shirts (or in the case of my son, no shirt at all is preferable). As we are one of those families that does actually dress for family events, church and the like, I do struggle to find cute, durable and comfortable dress clothes for my son (when shirts are necessary!). Mostly, my nieces and friend’s girls are the beneficiaries of my teeny shopping largesse!

  9. Glinda September 2, 2007 at 12:33 am #

    Eilish- Yes, now if only school and such would just let them not wear shirts, then it would solve all our problems! ;) And yes, my son is ok with jeans and tees, but I’m not, so he gets to suffer. At least until he can really fight back.

  10. Lisa September 2, 2007 at 3:32 pm #

    I second the comment about Zutano, they have cute boy stuff, as well as unisex prints that would actually work on both boys and girls, instead of looking like you’ve dressed a girl in boys’ clothes.

  11. Kerry September 4, 2007 at 2:20 am #

    Try http://www.dpam.com . Their clothes are cute, fashionable and reasonable—I used them for years here in France, but have also used their online delivery in the States. Definitely worth a look!

  12. dgm September 5, 2007 at 8:43 am #

    I agree–it’s tougher to find cute boys clothes, especially because I’m not into ball-sports-themed apparel. However, Quiksilver and Billabong have some cute things, as does the Small Paul line (Paul Frank for little ‘uns).