When I was pregnant with my first child, we found out she was a girl at our 20-week scan and I got straight to shopping. I was excited about the baby-girl clothing and filled her little drawers with my fair-share of frilly things but I also was mindful about choosing clothing that didn't overtly fall into traditional gender stereotypes—pink for girls and blue for boys.
I wanted clothing I could hand down to a second baby regardless of gender. And why shouldn't my daughter be exposed to trucks, footballs and bright primary colours instead of just a sea of pink? Balance was important to me.
By the time my second arrived—another girl—I was downright determined to avoid the frilly-pink clothing all together. I'd become frustrated by then at how relentlessly bombarded kids are by hyper-gendered images and messaging and how acutely it affects them. I remember clearly the day my daughter came home from dance class and announced quite angrily that "boys can NOT take ballet." My stomach dropped and it made me want to do more to promote gender-neutrality and equality for my family.
It's still not easy to find gender-neutral clothing for kids, but there are some fantastic brands and shops making an effort to turn the tables on gender cliches with their kids' lines by doing away completely with separate shopping sections for boys and girls.
Here are three of my favourite gender-neutral kids brands, all made and available in Canada:
This all-Canadian independent retailer was founded by a mom who wanted good quality, organic cotton clothing in neutral colours for her own kids. When she couldn't find what she was looking for, she decided to make her own. Now with two brick and mortar shops in Toronto and an online store that ships world-wide, Mini Mioche has done away with girl/boy sections and sells items in a variety of lovely colours for any kid ages 0-3 months through 8-years-old.
Jill and Jack Kids
With a tag line that reads, Dream Beyond Pink and Blue, Canadian mom Jenn Neilson was frustrated by the lack of choice and concerned that retailers were reinforcing the harmful and outdated message that there is only one way to be a boy and one way to be a girl. She took matters into her own hands and Jill and Jack Kids was born. Filled with bright primary colours and stereotype-busting messages the clothes are made in Canada and available in sizes 2 - 8.
Ollie Jones Clothing
Another Canadian-made clothing line for kids, Ollie Jones Clothing specializes is gender-neutral leggings and bodysuits for infants and toddlers. With a focus on hip, fun and comfortable clothes their online store has no girl/boy sections, however they do have a selection of dresses and bloomers—perfect in my eyes for any kid who so chooses to put them on!
Is it important for you to have balance when it comes to dressing your kids? Where do you shop for gender neutral clothing?
(Main image source: #ClothesWithoutLimits)