Monday, January 30, 2012

baby clothes

This weekend I went to a wonderful baby shower for my cousin and next weekend I have another baby shower for my best friend (I don't have the internal wiring to love showers, but I love these women so it helps a great deal).

This bookending of all things newborn has gotten me thinking a lot about them and I'm going to throw out a few posts on the subject this week.

warning: If you hate babies don't visit this site again until next monday...

I read this article titled, When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink and I thought it was really fascinating. How the blue and pink colors we so strongly adhere to weren't even ascribed until the 40s and how the very specific gender icons (trucks and princess) weren't added till the mid 80s. The author attributes a boom in gender specific clothing to our wealth. We can afford to have blue crib sheets for one child and pink curtains for the next. I also think its because we can find out the sex quite early and accurately, leaving proud aunties with the desire to go buy things.

I found the article to be surprising because I'm not aware of a time before the standard options were this...

and this...

or the unisex this...

(owls and monkeys seem to be the new turtles for this category)

and so its hard to remove myself from the fixed 'boy', 'girl', 'neutral' mentality.

I am making a blanket for a friend that plans on being surprised about the gender and I was torn on what colors to use. I laid out all the color options of yarn in front of Neil and begged his help in choosing. He said, 'I like gray and green.' I paused 'But Neil, is that 'neutral enough?" he shrugged, "I don't know, I just think it's a nice green." I realized how stupid I sounded. Why did I feel the need to incorporate an anemic pale yellow? Why was gender representation (or ambiguous lack thereof) more important than it looking good?

(In the end, I went with the nice gray and green)

I wouldn't call any of this a rant... more of a musing... about culture. Some pinks and blues are very fun and have a great place. I for one, can't wait to buy a little girl this Pitt Cheerleading outfit, and that's about as gender stereotyped as you can get.

However when I go to shop for shower gifts, I find I want to break away from the "I'm a diva" and "Lil Heartbreaker" clothes, so I usually go with the standard white onesie (is that sooo boring?).

Last year I made an effort to branch out and I was surprised to find that American Apparel and H&M  can have really great baby clothes! I also know a lot of people like etsy for the one of a kind blankets and screen print baby tees.

I got this unisex cardigan from American Apparel for a shower, and I wish it came in my size 

I'm curious, do you stick with the girl pink and the boy blue when you shop for baby shower gifts? Do you like the onsies with sayings or not? And have you found any places with unique clothing? 

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