An Interesting Observation

My three month old son is the 95th percentile for height. I’m not surprised by his length, though many people I meet out in public seem to be. I’m over 6 feet tall and my husband is nearly 5’11”.

He fit into newborn clothes for two weeks, size three month for about 30 days, size six months for 30 to 45 days after that and now he’s wearing size nine months.

Every two to three days I snap pictures of him wearing his adorable little clothes. (As a first time mom I don’t want to miss a moment.) Friends and family blessed us with a lot of really adorable outfits before and after he was born, so I haven’t had to purchase much for him up until this point.

As he outgrows his clothes I’ve turned to hand-me-downs and the thrift store in search of cute little outfits that will fit. This week I went to a thrift store a little farther away from our home. It’s three times the size of the one I typically visit. Since I wasn’t exactly sure where to find baby clothes I wandered around a bit. Eventually I made my way to the infant and toddler section. There I found an entire wall of outfits for little girls.

I was astounded by the amount of pink and purple clothing lining that wall. The girls clothes ran three-quarters of the length of the building. There were hundreds of tiny dresses and skirts hanging from the rods.

In comparison the little boys section of the store took up less than a quarter of that same wall and contained at most a hundred articles of clothing. Some of the outfits were blue, but unlike the girls section, which was mostly purple and pink, the boys section was filled with clothes of many different colors. Granted a lot of those colors were rather drab. Lots of green, gray and brown, but at least there was a bit of variety.

Based on the amount of girls clothing in that store it certainly seems that parents are purchasing girls clothing in abundance. To say the least they seem to be purchasing much more clothing for girls than boys.

Of course, there may be other reasons for the difference. Perhaps a lot of little girls live near this particular thrift store. Perhaps little boys are harder on their clothes and thus fewer articles of boys clothing are donated to charity. (Although it would be hard to believe that infant boys can be that much harder on their clothing than infant girls.) I can’t say for certain.

As I looked at the difference between the racks of clothes I definitely stepped back and asked myself if I would buy more clothes for a daughter than I would for a son. Since I don’t have a daughter the question is completely hypothetical, but it does make me wonder if mothers plant the seed of style and fashion in their little girl’s minds right from birth.

Why was the rack of girls clothing so large and do all of those little pink and purple outfits have an early impact on the lives and spending habits of girls?

4 thoughts on “An Interesting Observation”

  1. I think for women, we tend to go towards the girly side. When I walk around a store, I find myself looking at the tiny girl dresses and outfits, not the boys. I can spend hours just looking at the cute shoes, stockings and skirts for little girls. I never just wander to the boys section. But I bet when I do decide to have a litte one, God will give me a boy to make up for all that time I spent in the little girls sections lol.

    I think since women predominately buy clothes for their children, and gifts for other children, we get to almost fantasize more. If you look, I'm sure you will find the princess dresses, the tu-tus etc for little girls. All the sparkly things and all that jazz. With boys it's jeans and sports shirts almost. Most women don't see 'fun' in that. at least with little girls, we can dress them up and get really creative.

    Just my opinion though šŸ™‚ How about some pics of your son? I'd love to see some! Or you can private email me if you'd prefer. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE pics of little babies…and it always makes me go to DH and say 'I want one!' šŸ™‚

  2. As a mother of boys but as an aunt of many nieces, I will say that many more people give gifts of clothing to girls. My sisters (all of whom have girls) report receiving tons of clothing–new and hand-me-down–from others. As a result, little girls have more clothes than they can wear, so a ton of stuff (much of it unworn or barely worn) ends up at thrift and consignment stores.

  3. @spaghetti0625 – Perhaps it is the sparkle and fantasy of girl's clothes that women are drawn to. An interesting thought. As for my son.. I've actually been dying to post a photo of him. I'm torn because I know if I do people will be able to trace this blog to me, but he's so adorable I'm not sure how much longer I can resist!

    @Clare – I agree that girls receive more clothing than boys do. I see the difference with my own niece and nephew.

  4. I owned a children's consignment shop for nearly 5 years. Girls items outnumbered boys about 4 to 1. Up to size 12m, girls items were mainly pink. Purple ran a close second, and the yellow, red, and blues were much more rare. Boys items were blue. Brown and a brown/navy (thanks to Carter's) combo were big, and grey, yellow/gold, green or red followed.

    My cousin worked with me at the store and had a daughter during the time we were open. She's a smart gal – she kept tags on every gift she got. She made no bones about taking back anything that was off-season for her daughter. She got gift cards in return – lots and lots of Target gift cards, with which she bought diapers and wipes for months.

    The items that she kept were practical items. Sleepers, one-piece outfits, hats, coats. Everything else that she needed she got used. Garage sales, mom sales, etc. I would say she probably hasn't spent more than a few hundred dollars on her daughter's wardrobe, and Emily is now nearly 4. She resells the items in mom sales when Em outgrowns them and pretty much recoups her investment. She also started buying only white socks, blanket sleepers that were either boy or girl, plain jeans, etc. Her second child is a boy and he has all the hand-me-down socks and sleepers he needs.

    I don't have kids (yet…) but I sure learned a lot from my smart cousin. I have some items tucked away in hopes I do meet Mr. Right, but I know I won't spend a ton of money on stuff my baby won't really need. People certainly tend to go overboard on baby stuff!


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