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Childrens Clothes Design and Promotion

The design and retailing of baby and toddler clothes represents a substantial part of the clothing industry. The British market is dominated by the multiple stores such as Marks & Spencer, F.W. Woolworth, C & A, Boots the Chemist, British Home Stores and Little-woods, and supplemented by specialist ones, particularly "baby world boutique" UK Ltd and Stephan, as well as department stores such as John Lewis and House of Fraser. The latter sell more up-market "baby clothes" by companies such as Heskia and Team-sport, and they compete as much with the numerous small specialist shops selling foreign "childrens clothes", particularly French and Italian, as with the multiples. Attention to design is increasingly important to retailers in order to differentiate products, particularly in terms of "kids clothes" significantly at the lower end of the Market.

Many of the shops produce brochures and catalogs promoting their baby and childrens ranges, and they also advertise and fund expensive features in women's and parent/mother to be magazines. This article examines the design and promotion of baby and toddler fashions (particularly for girls) in relation to representations of gender identity through a case study of recent company promotional catalogs and brochures, particularly those produced by the Boots and Chemist chain. As I will show, gender differentiation, along fairly conventional lines, is clearly discernible in both baby and toddler clothes. Not surprisingly this differentiation of children by means of gendered clothing both reflects and reinforces traditional gender representations and identities already dominant within our contemporary society.

For most of these "childrens clothes" manufactures and retailers, the visual images which are used to promote and sell their products are of increasingly critical importance in a highly competitive marketplace. Both the images and the specific designs communicate powerful ideas about 'ideal' lifestyles, appropriate consumer (and class) aspirations and gender identity. Although for many parents of a new born baby, there are greater priorities than deciding how to dress it, there is increasing pressure, especially on women, to dress small "kids clothes" is fashionable. All those months of anticipation and the actual period of pregnancy prepare prospective parents to consume. It is very difficult to resist the 'baby industry'. By the eighth month the mother, in particular, has generally given up on herself as an active consumer of clothes and has reduced most matters of personal dress down to one essential question is it comfortable? For her, it is a welcome diversion to shop for "baby clothes" and baby paraphernalia. For those able and prepared to spend, there is plenty of choice.

Baby Boy Suit Romper

Special Price: £25.95

However, for many parents looking for and buying "baby clothes" is more than a diversion. Aided and abetted by grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends it is part of the process of beginning to give an identity to the awaited baby, and trying to make sense of its likely needs in relation to one's own expectations, particularly in terms of the baby's sex. The most frequently asked questions, is still 'what do you want , a boy or a girl?' And, after the birth, 'is it a boy or a girl?' But it is about more than the baby's 'identity' - to some extent a reflection of that of the parents - indeed, the well-dressed baby or child is an attractive adult accessory, a cuddly status symbol.

At the forefront of people's minds is the sex of the baby and associated with this are their perceptions of the importance of communicating this in dress. In choosing baby and children clothes, people recognize the power of design (color, pattern, style and type of garment) to signify gender difference with a clarity not usually evident in their reading and understanding of other aspects of design. However, as with adult dress, it is not a question of gender alone. Although some may reject the ostentatious display of money evident in Italian baby equipment taste and style by buying from select shops which stock hand-made, 'ethnic' or 'heritages' goods. In provincial towns and cities in the North and the Midlands, taste and style are possibly more restricted because of fewer alternatives to the national chains, multiples and department stores. In these outlets design status is closely aligned with price: 'how much' competes with fashionable design knowledge as an important selection criterion.

Significantly, large and expensive items of baby equipment such as cots, buggies, prams, and changing tables are not strongly gendered. Cots and changing tables are usually white or natural wood colors, and buggies and prams are often grey or dark blue - neutral colors used for equipment which has to be selected before the baby's sex is known and which is often used for more than one baby. The gendering comes with the accessories which include cosy-toes buggy quilts, col linen (duvet and bumper covers), and of course, cot toys such as mobiles. Other highly desirable items for new babies are lavish suits and dresses which are often combined with hand-knits featuring complex stitches, ribbons and bows. The sheer impracticality of these white (gender-neutral), festooned, garments defies comprehension except in so far as their meaning is way beyond the mundane concepts of 'machine wash-ability'. 'The whiter than white wash' which Phil Goodall has described elsewhere takes on a new significance when thinking of the maintenance required for five or six possible outfits worn in one day by a new-born, vomit-prone baby. These ostentatious creations, masquerading as "baby clothes", are statements of love and represent a positive commitment to the baby's future in the commodity that is of necessity foremost in the minds of many parents, money. Above everything they are symbolic of the desire to give the baby a good start in life!

Baby Minnie & Baby Daisy T-Shirt

Special Price: £9.95

Like contemporary men's and women's, baby and toddler clothes convey implicit assumptions about gender, as Elizabeth Wilson has argued: 'Fashion is obsessed with gender, defines and redefines the gender boundary. But babies and children are even more vulnerable to the attitudes of others than are adults. Parents and relatives decide what the child will wear. Generally parents delight in dressing their offspring in the clothes which they have bought or have been given and, in the main, these are heavily gendered. Conflict across generations can occur when parents transgress gender boundaries; for example by dressing female babies and small children in dungarees instead of dresses. Significantly, it is less socially acceptable to dress boys in girls clothes than vice versa ; even the 'heritaged' little Lord Fauntleroy look is a feminized version of regular boys clothes. Nevertheless for some parents, undermining and defying the establishment of rigid gender identities through their children clothes take on special significance as they observe the explicit and implicit assumptions about gender identity represented in them. Making sure little girls wear tracksuits and trousers becomes just as important as making sure that they play with tools and building bricks as well as with dolls. This strategy is just one of those adopted by certain parents to try to counter the early 'negative' effects of gender stereotyping in relation to femininity.

The design and advertising of babies and "childrens clothes" undoubtedly reinforces the gendering of the identities for boys and girls. Just as design prescribes particular gender roles and attitudes for adults, so it does for infants: 'design practice and theory operates with specific notions of femininity, which formulates and organize women's time, skills, work, our in-habitation of space and our conceptions of self in relation to others. Although writing generally here, baby and "kids clothes" provide an excellent case with the innocuous seeming garments, as an attempt is made, through design and advertising, to identify, differentiate and fix gender identity at a stage when it is precarious and only partially established. Characteristically clothes for female babies and young girls contribute to the formulation of certain codes of behavior, types of play, and social interaction which reinforce dominant ideals of femininity. Girl toddlers in particular learn to look at themselves, to seek admiration from others for their appearance, and to display their clothes. This is partly because of parental influences, partly the desire for peer group approval, and partly pressure from the design and retailing industries which generate desirable 'female' images for girls aged two years, two ,months or even two days.

The most striking characteristics of the visual images of babies and toddler used to sell clothes in magazines and company brochures is the wholesale adaption of contentions of representation taken from adult clothes but representations of "baby clothes" are shaped by the same process. Like the models promoting adult products, the babies and toddlers are beautiful, healthy, and predominantly white. Although the current Mother-care and boots catalogs  include one or two black and Asian children, all the depictions of 'parents' are white. Parenthood is usually represented in these brochures by glamorous image of slim, youthful and stylish mothers who betray none of the usual signs of wear and tear resulting from caring who betray and children. Not surprisingly in this fantasy land of perfect families, all the mums look happy and fulfilled; there are few signs of women torn by the conflicts of work outside and inside the home combined with the relentless demands of childcare.

Beautiful Girls Occasion wear White & Gold Dress

Special Price: £25.95

In conclusion, the representation of gender difference in the design and promotion of babies and "children clothes" is clearly recognizable from the first month after birth. Both babies and toddlers fashions replicate the conventions found in adult clothes which signify gender difference. Not only are types of garments, such as dresses or trousers, used for this, but also color, pattern, decoration and very importantly, the styling and display of the garments on baby and child models. It is these fashionable images, at the core of advertising and promotional literature, showing parents how items of dress should be put together which are particularly powerful. They delineate and, arguably, inscribe particular visual ideals of femininity and masculinity which from this study appear wholly conventional. Little girls are dressed decoratively using traditional dress codes and they adopt passive poses reminiscent of fashion models in contemporary magazines, whereas little boys sport functional clothes which enable them to interact with the environment in an assertive and imposing manner.

For those of us who are mothers of daughters, and who have ourselves gained pleasure and enjoyment from wearing clothes and creating fashionable images which, whilst coded in various ways as 'feminine', are also questioning, subversive and/or empowering, it is disconcerting to observe these affirmations of gender differences which seek to position them as powerless, 'essentially' decorative and waif-like. Hopefully, we will have the skill and subtlety to pass on to them 'positive' as well as 'negative' aspects of femininity as represented in dress and also the possibility of their subversion.

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Kids Clothes Compromise

Kids Clothes Compromise, Family conflicts over Kids Clothing often start when youth enter their pre-teen years. Many times the conflict is not about Boys clothing. The real issue is often about independence and control. Learning to put the issue in perspective can help keep family conflicts over clothing to a minimum.


Flip chart and marker
Overhead projector and screen
Clothing for "Trading Places" activity
"What Would You Do?" instructions (A-5-a)
"Is the Battle Worth Fighting?" handout (A-5-b)
"Clothing Compromises" handout (A-5-c)
"Big Ideas About Parent-Teen Conflict"transparency (A-5-d)
"My Mom Tells Me..."transparency (A-5-e)

Core Concepts

Experimenting with fashion and clothing is a normal stage of youth development.
Peers are a significant influence on clothing choices for youth and adults.
Parenting styles influence the management of conflict with in families.


Learners will understand family clothing conflicts between youth and parents.
Learners will gain skills for keeping clothing conflicts to a minimum.

Facilitator's Script

It is rare when adolescents get through their teen years without a fashion face-off with their parents. It starts as youth approach their teens and begin to test their independence. At the same time, parents often have trouble admitting that their sons and daughters are growing up and are no longer Children Clothes.

Conflicts over clothing are often one of the first signs of independence. Most conflicts are between mothers and daughters. Sometimes mothers want to keep their daughters looking like little girls for as long as possible. On the other hand, most youth want to dress like their older friends. Add to the picture such things as price, quality and the unending desire for Baby Clothing, and a trip to the mall can quickly turn into a mall brawl.

For example, Jessie Simpson loves to see her daughter dressed like the sweet, whole some child she knows her to be. Her ideal out fit for her 11 year old daughter would be a pretty skirt, blouse and a cardigan sweater with matching tights and flat shoes.

Baby World Boutique is one of the UK most popular website for buying kids boys and girls, coats and occasion wear clothing at very affordable prices (
Like most preteen girls, her daughter is after a different look. She wants to wear form-fitting and body-baring outfits inspired by pop singers, or Baby Clothing so loose it is a wonder the items stay in place. Add to that picture her desire to wear platform shoes, makeup and perhaps various body piercing. What happens? The two images result in a family conflict. Often a power struggle will begin.

For youth, obsession with appearance is a sign of growing up. Youth begin to change from being a child to becoming independent in their early teens. During this time, youth are trying to figure out who they are. It is normal to try on different identities and personalities. They yearn to be independent and older. The choices made by youth in clothing help them show their independence. It also allows them to experiment with different personalities. No one can deny that youth make outlandish clothing selections at times. Resist the temptation to comment on their choices with words that can destroy self-esteem.

Instead of criticizing or insulting youth for their lack of taste, back off and give them room to experiment and try new things. Making their own clothing choices gives youth a sense of self, of power and of connection to others. All are essential experiences for growing up to be an independent adult. Parents often view the conflict as the result of excessive peer pressure by youth. In reality, all adults and youth choose clothing based on the groups to which they belong. We depend on clues from our friends about how to dress. While we all dress to fit in with our group, acceptance is even more important to youth.

Peer pressure about what is cool to wear climbs as youth approach the 8th to 9th grade but will decline after that. Clothing is one of the first ways they begin to establish an identity separate from their family. Things will get better as the teen gets older. Teen interest in style is often a way of saying they want others to like or accept them. The quest for being cool is often a quest for being liked.

Because clothing is easily seen, it often becomes a source of conflict. The real issue for many parents, how ever, is that they want their children to stay children. They are reluctant to admit their children are growing up. For parents, it is important to remember that clothing choices are not worth sacrificing a relationship with your children.

It is essential to learn how to compromise on clothing issues. As a parent, you do not have to like how youth dress as long as they do not cross established boundaries. There are any number of power struggles that emerge as youth grow into independent adults. Keep your right to say "no" for important issues. Realize that "giving in" on things that do not affect your child health or safety does not mean you are giving up your authority as a parent. It simply means your child is growing more independent.

While sometimes you need to define limits on what your children can wear, selecting clothing allows youth to gain skills in making decisions. Their style decisions in clothing may not reflect your tastes and preferences. Ask yourself what can be gained or lost if you insist that your teen dress your way. Constantly trying to dictate clothing choices to teens is a losing effort. Not only will you lose money and a relationship with your child, your child will not gain the needed skills in learning to make decisions for himself or herself.

Baby World Boutique is one of the UK most popular website for buying Baby, Toddler and Childrens Clothing online. We provide a fast, safe and reliable way for our customers to purchase Baby, Toddler and Childrens products online while sitting in the comfort of their own homes. Service is our utmost priority and we pride ourselves on that along with our unbeatable prices and price match guarantee.

So, whether you are a parent to a Baby, Toddler or Infant, you will always be welcomed at Baby World Boutique by our highly trained and knowledgeable staff. You can get online advice about all things relating to Babies. Toddlers and Infants from our highly trained staff.

Perspective As A Single Father or Mother

From your Perspective As A Single Father or Mother, it may appear to you that two-parent families have it easy in the raising of Childrens Clothes. Quite frankly, this is not even remotely true. Learning to parent effectively is always difficult, and intact two-parents families are challenged as both adults struggle to learn how to manage, adjust, and control the behavior of their Kids Clothes.

Want proof of this? Spend a weekend at a large department or discount stores scanning for well-behaved Kids Clothes. The results may shock you. You'll observe plenty of begging, screaming, tantrums, and fits. You'll see wild, unruly, and out-of-control Childrens Clothes everywhere you look. Many of these Kids Clothes will be from two-parent families.

Surprised? We'll go a step further. Some of the best parenting we see done today is happening in single-parent homes. Why? The answer is simple with only one parent on duty, it isn't possible to transfer "problem kids" to someone else's care and management. A father can't busy himself at work, trusting his wife to learn how to control their children. A mom can't allow havoc all day around the house, trusting that when her husband gets home he'll be able to make the Baby Clothes pay attention and mind their manners. There isn't and extra adult in a single parent home, there's no one else around to whom you can delegate your difficulties.

In two parent homes, each parent often wishes that the other partner would somehow be magically transformed into a tough disciplinarian, an effective leader, or a superb  household manager. The wife may see it as her husband's role, since after all he's the "head of the house." The husband may see it as his wife's chore, since after all "She's the mother around here." Two-parent households are often places where each parent loves to delegate the tough stuff to the other.

The result is that the difficult tasks of parenting may be avoided or postponed indefinitely. The fruit of such avoidance is children whose behavior is out of control, children who never learn proper respect for adults and authority. Two parent households, although they may sometimes seem ideal to you as you struggle to manage kids without a partner at your side, do not have an automatic inside track to better parenting. On the contrary, with only one parent in the house, guess who has to learn how to manage the Children Clothes effectively?

Clothes have very different meanings and values for adults and for young Clothes. Because of this, there may be clashes between children and parents over clothes. Parents, for example, often want the Childrens Clothes to improve the children's appearance. Some parents want their children to be neat and well-groomed all the time. They feel this shows that they are good parents. And others parents may want their Baby Clothes to be as much in fashion as their own.

None of these values are important to young children. Instead, they want their Baby Boy Clothes to be comfortable, serviceable, and enough like those of playmates to keep them from feeling different. At the same time, they want their Boys Clothes to be special enough to be admired.

In the past few years, many changes have taken place in the attitudes of our society toward Girl Clothes. For one thing, fashion is followed far less closely. There is much more room for individual taste. For another thing, casual children and adults, are now much more widely accepted.

The move toward more casual Boys Clothes has been most noticeable among young people. They will be the new parents of the coming years. So it may be expected that parents will care even less about fashion. They will be more interested in the practically of their Baby Clothes. This may result in fewer parent child arguments over Baby Girl Clothes.

Look at for new designs and good designs and good stuffed, easily affordable available at Baby World Boutique Ltd. Baby World Boutique is one of the UK’s most popular website for buying Baby, Toddler and Childrens Clothing online. We provide a fast, safe and reliable way for our customers to purchase Baby, Toddler and Childrens products online while sitting in the comfort of their own homes. Service is our utmost priority and we pride ourselves on that along with our unbeatable prices and price match guarantee. So, whether you are a parent to a Baby, Toddler or Infant, you will always be welcomed at Baby World Boutique by our highly trained and knowledgeable staff. You can get online advice about all things relating to Babies. Toddlers and Infants from our highly trained staff.

We stock variety of Baby, Toddler and Infants Clothing ranging from Baby Girls TuTu Rompers, Girl Dresses, Occasionwear to Boys Clothing Sets, Unisex Clothing , Footwear and awesome Accessories. We believe buying any Baby, Toddler and Childrens Clothing should be an enjoyable, exciting experience that’s why we promise to give you very personal, reliable and trustworthy advice and service. We have our head office in London and various shops around the UK and of course our popular website with all our products accessible at the click of a button.

We are one of the only companies around that you can find so much in one place whether it’s Baby Girls Clothing, Baby Boys Clothing, Girls Clothing, Boys Clothing, Baby Unisex Clothing, Childrens Unisex Clothing, Baby Occasionwear, Girls Occasionwear, Boys Occasionwear, Childrens Footwear, Childrens Accessories  you can be sure to find it here at Baby World Boutique.

Some Clothes Details are:-

1. Girls Pink Cardigan

Girls Pink Cardigan

Special Price: £14.95

Quick Overview

Highlights of this outfit include:
  • Gorgeous Pink Cardigan
  • Light Grey Rim Detail
  • Adorable Teddy Bear Logo
Product Details
Gorgeous Girls Pink Cardigan with Cute Teddy Bear Logo


2. Sleeveless Polka Dot Dress

Sleeveless Polka Dot Dress

Special Price: £12.95

Quick Overview

Highlights of this outfit include:
  • Pink & Brown Polka Dot Dress
  • Sleeveless
  • Ribbon Bow
Product Details
Beautiful girls polka dot dress, with ribbon bow on front 

3. Beautiful Girls Occasionwear White & Gold Dress

Beautiful Girls Occasionwear White & Gold Dress

Special Price: £25.95

Quick Overview

Highlights of this outfit include:
  • Stunning Gold & White Occasion Dress
  • Gold Gems Around Neckline
  • Gold Ribbon Bow With Gold & White Gems
  • Netted, Puffy Skirt
Product Details
Gorgeous white & gold occasionwear dress fit for a princess! Gold gems around the neckline, gold ribbon bow around the waist with gold and white gems, netted skirt. Absolutely Stunning Dress Perfect For Any Special Occasion! 

4. Kermit The Frog T-Shirt

Kermit The Frog T-Shirt

Special Price: £9.95

Quick Overview

Highlights of this outfit include:
  • Soft 100% Cotton
  • Cute Kermit The Frog Print
  • Short Sleeved
Product Details
Cute Kermit The Frog Short Sleeved T-Shir

5. Tutu Skirt Leggings Dark Grey

Tutu Skirt Leggings Dark Grey

Special Price: £12.95

Quick Overview

Highlights of this outfit include:
  • Soft 100% Cotton
  • Dark Grey Leggings
  • Attached Tutu Skirt
  • Perfect Everyday Wear For Your Little Princess
Product Details
Girls dark grey leggings with attached skirt. Perfect everyday casual wear for your little Princess! 
Interest in Clothing

To Baby Clothes are a bother. Boys Clothes get in the way when they want to move their bodies. Getting dressed or undressed is frustrating for babies. They often stiffen their bodies, cry, and kick during the process. The first interest children show in their clothes is in dressing ( Girl Dresses ) and undressing themselves. Before babyhood is over, all babies, if given a chance to pull off Kids Clothes, can strip themselves naked.

They can also put on some of their clothes, even though they may not be on the right parts of the body or in the right position on the body. This interest is not in clothes themselves. It is in the challenge of taking them off or putting them on. Only when children become aware that clothes can get them attention Boys Clothes. By the time children 3 or 4 years old, their Baby Clothes give them much pleasure and pride. The satisfaction children get from their clothes grows rapidly as their world goes beyond the home and family.

Boys Clothes can give pleasure and self-confidence. But too much stress on clothes is not healthy. Children should not be encouraged to place too much value on Baby Clothes their own or others. That may give them a materialistic outlook on life. Other values, such as friendliness, cooperation, and skills, are more important. Above all, parents should try to teach their children not to judge other children on the basis of their Baby Clothes. Few children have much say in what they wear. So it is not fair for other children to reject them because of their Baby Clothing.

Children can understand this idea if parents both explain and act on it themselves. At the same time, wise parents will be aware of their children's feelings. Parents will not choose Kids Clothes that may become the cause of jokes or may get too much attention.

In choosing Boys Clothes, too many parents are guided by what they like. They ignore what children like. Many adults, for example, like Baby Boy Clothes that are in fashion. The Girls Clothes may not even be becoming. Children feel they have something in common when their clothes are similar.
Baby World Boutique is one of the UK most popular website for buying kids boys and girls, coats and occasion wear clothing at very affordable prices.  
When buying Kids Clothes, there are a few things to keep in mind. It is good idea to allow for children growth. Baby Girl Clothes that fit when they are bought are often outgrown before they are worn out. A garment that is little too large when it is bought can be fixed to fit the child. Tucks can be put in the shoulders and at the waist. Hems can be taken up. Then, as the child grows, the tucks can be taken out and the hems let down.

In putting together wardrobes parents should talk to children about their likes and dislikes. Parents can choose several garments that are suitable. The children can pick out the one they like best and would like to have. The chance to make a decision gives children an important sense of satisfaction in their clothes. It also takes away the possibilities that they will rebel against wearing something because they do not like it.

The most important clothes in the child's wardrobe should be those for play and for sleep. Children spend so much time doing these things. However, everyone needs well Baby Clothes.

In a family where there are several children, it is likely that the young children will wear the outgrown clothes of older brothers or sisters. Even if the family has plenty of money, it would be a foolish waste to throw away or give away child's partly worn clothes. Some parts of a young child's wardrobe are usually outgrown before they are worn out. These are underwear, bathrobes, shoes, rubbers and boots, and dressy clothes. There may also be shorts, shirts, sun sits, overalls, and pajamas that are too good to throw away.

Shoes are the only part of a young child's wardrobe that should not be handed down. Shoes that fit one child may be too short or too long, too narrow or too wide for another. Even more important, shoes take on the shape of the wearer's feet. This makes them unsuitable and uncomfortable for someone else.

On the other hand, early childhood is none too soon to learn that it is important to be neat and clean at certain times. Among these times are meal times, bedtime, and times when children are with adults. Children can also be excepted to learn how to be neat and clean without needing adults to tell them when or how.

Care of Clothing
Young children get satisfaction and pride from taking some responsibility for the care of their clothing. Of course, young children cannot be expected to take on the full responsibility. They cannot, for example, mend a tear. But they can, as early childhood draws to a close, learn to sew on a missing button. They cannot and should not operate washing and drying machines. But they can collect their dirty Baby Clothes and put them in a laundry hamper. They can also learn to fold clothes that have beer washed and put them in neat piles in a dresser drawer.

How soon young children can take on responsibilities for the care of their clothing depends on how well coordinated they are. Hand and arm movements are most important. The task itself also play a part. Wiping dust off shoes after play, for example, is easier than polishing the shoes.

Like other skills, those needed for the care of clothing should be learned one at a time. Each should be well mastered before a new skill is learned.

About The Author

Baby World Boutique Ltd
First Floor
2 Woodberry Grove
North Finchley
United Kingdom
N12 0DR


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