Posted by: DD | January 18, 2007

no. 364 – Clothes Make the Man(ic)

It was just a few days after my miscarriage in November that John Sto.ssel did a report on designer kids clothes. I remember wanting to reach through the TV to bitch-slap the fucking whore woman who said "She’s my little princess doll … We’re dressing her so that when we take her out, adults look at her and say, ‘Wow.’"

I’m saying "wow" alright. Her little "doll" will probably be anorexic by 7 years of age, and suffering from image issues for the rest of her life. Here’s hoping the baby girl ends up full-blown Goth by age 12.

The shop owner even went so far to imply that by not spending hundreds of dollars for a pair of jeans, that the parents don’t value the child. Really? Dressing my kid up in ridiculously overpriced clothing shows him I love him? Boy, is he going to be pissed at me when he realizes that I think he’s only worth about $19.99 because I prefer to buy clothes at Tarjay for him.

I’ll admit, I would like him to have nice clothes but obviously Nice is relative. I will spend more on my clothes, per piece, for myself than I do him. On the other hand, in the past five years I’ve spent ridiculously much more on his wardrobe than mine. The per piece issue is easy to explain. I’m no longer growing. I don’t have to worry about putting on a pair of pants and sigh in dismay if they now resemble highwaters when a week ago they were dragging in the mud. Of course, that doesn’t rule out the problem I occasionally have with just washed/dried pants that feel unusually snug the first time out. Surely it cannot be related to my stress and the perpetual need to assuage it with chocolate, can it?

I also realized that I will start "valuing" X much less next school year as he will be required to wear a uniform. I’m sure his fellow schoolmates’ parents will be happy about that. Yesterday, I sent him to school wearing this shirt (click for details). When he came home, he was not wearing the shirt, but just the long-sleeved undershirt. I never really thought much of it until Mr. DD pulled it out of his backpack. On second thought, maybe it’s not what they would consider appropriate attire for a Catholic school. Again, my sense of "values" truly must suck.

It’s better than this shirt, I think, even if this one cost twice as much, effectively doubling my son’s value.

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Responses

  1. The other day I heard the mommy of a girl say she shops at babyg@p because it’s affordable. Really? Yes, I have shopped there, and yes, I have bought The Boy some clothes there. But a toddler sized boy’s shirt that costs $16.50 is not cheap. Or maybe I am. Cheap I mean.

    I justify that $16.50 shirt with five others that only cost $4.00 on clearance at Old N@vy to put away for next year.

    The Boy is picky about clothes. I have paid too much for things he will wear but the idea of dressing a child up so other adults will say wow is ridiculous. I can think of a lot of things to say to those parents and wow isn’t be one of them.

    Tell me – did the school ask X to remove the shirt? Because I would have a problem with that. If I deem it appropriate take it up with me.

  2. We don’t have any details as to why the shirt was off. We asked X if his teacher asked him to take it off. He said that she had him take it off before going into the gym to play. I asked if he was getting hot and he said yes. I won’t assume that they had him take it off b/c of the graphics, but we realize it’s probably not what they want to see their preschoolers wearing.

    Not much unlike the green day t-shirt he has that has a grenade on it.

  3. You bad mother you. Your values, they’re so… human!

    I think it’s almost certain that that kid they were talking about on TV is going to be a goth — or the worst, most spoiled little princess in the world. In fact, the latter scenario is both more horrible and more likely. Hee hee!

  4. Mag would wear a burlap sack.
    Don’t get me wrong, she LOVES to dress up “all pretty n’ stuff” (her words, not mine) but to her, clothes are just those annoying things that I make her put on every day. She does have a few favorites; the fairy t-shirt, her sparkly church outfit and what we like to call the “stripey outfit” a white t-shirt with multi-colored stripes, a denim skort & striped leggings with the hot-pink cowgirl boots.

  5. Wow, things really rock in the MidWest. We’re so boring in comparison – all the conservative Liberals around here.

    I recently bought a “I do all my own stunts” stick figure shirt for my son and felt quite decadent with that! Of course, it was from Target.

    Just wait for my post on J’s new jacket daddy bought him. I will truly be embarrassed to be seen…

  6. That guy is obviously a horrible sales person if that’s the attitude he has. Spending over $100 on a pair of kids jeans is just certifiably stupid. Even if you have the money.

  7. Ah yes, the dressing of one’s spawn…

    My kids have VERY different taste in clothing. My daughter would prefer to dress all in black ripped clothes while my son is frequently called a prep for his rigid Aeropostale fetish. For the most part, I don’t say much about their attire so long as the vitals are covered and nothing is offensive. With my daughter we had to establish the rule that only one piece of black clothing per day is allowed because with her “goth” style came an attitude and her grades dropped. At times I wish my son would lighten up and be more casual like his sister however the one time he wore a pink t-shirt to school that said “This is your girlfriends shirt” *I* was called by the principal to bring him something more appropriate to wear. Go figure. There is something to be said for uniforms.

  8. I can, personally, vouch for Ms. DD’s impeccable taste in clothes. Afterall, Nico was dressed in 100% X hand-me-downs this morning.

    DD, you have excellent taste (and so does X!)

  9. I am cheap, cheap, cheap. It’s just been within the past year or two that I’ve started having to actually spend our own money on boy clothes, thanks to the largesse of my big sis and my nephew who’s only six months older than our oldest boy. Hand-me-downs rock! I personally like Sears and their Toughskin jeans. They will replace them if they get worn out before they get outgrown. I once went through THREE sets of replacements when Bubba was between growth spurts. They hated to see me comin’.
    I don’t think the t-shirt was THAT bad. I wouldn’t have bought it for my kids, but that’s becuase I’m just freaked out by skulls. Which is why I can’t watch Maria Shriver.

  10. What? You don’t regard X’s dress as a personal statement about your status in society and are hell-bent that you be seen as better than anyone else?

    What a bad, bad, bad mom you are! Obviously, you don’t love X enough because you KNOW that love is directly expressed by the amount of money we spend on our kids.

    I’m sorry about the values that these folks are imposing on their children and hope, eventually, that the kids will steer them straight.

  11. Little boy has a t-shirt that says, “My dad’s tattoos are cooler than your dad’s tattoos”.

    I let him wear it to church.

    The pastor loved it and pointed it out from the pulpit.

    Perspective, man.

  12. Too funny!
    I agree it’s about perspective.
    I guess I’m a cheap ass too. I spent $2.00 on shirts from Walmart. Oh my poor son!!! LOL

  13. When G was tiny, I would spend the outrageous sum of $30 on ‘special’ picture outfits, every three months… outfits which he generally wore once. I am now older and wiser and have learned this: that $2 shirt looks the same as the $20 one when they’re covered in mud. I’m guessing the $40 shirt would look the same, but I have none of those with which to experiment.

    The older and rougher he gets, the cheaper I get with his clothes.

  14. I love his rockin’ t-shirt… and I love the atheist one as well.

    My mom always bought us discount stuff — and we always looked great until we messed it up by… um… being KIDS.

  15. Oh, people are just so uptight! I’ll bet he looks adorable in that little rebel shirt.

  16. $100 for jeans for a rapidly growing child? In his dreams!

    Poor MF. 90% of his clothing is second hand. Dirt cheap. He gets new shoes, socks, hats and swimwear.

  17. I buy P designer clothes–pretty much any ones that I can find at consignment sales, when they sell for $2-3 apiece (or sometimes less). We don’t have any hand-me-downs because we don’t have any boys in our family who are older than he is, so I buy him hand-me-downs. At his age, the consignment clothes are practically brand-new because kids grow out of them before they can wear them out. I can’t even imagine who paid the $20 for one of those shirts originally. Sure, they’re cute. But my boy spills everything (like his parents), plays in dirt and mud-puddles, and likes to roll around with the dogs. There’s no way I’m spending that much on a pair of pants that will get ruined in one day, and won’t fit him the next week. If we value our kids by how much we spend on their clothes, P’s going to be very disappointed with J and I.

  18. My teen daughter won’t wear anything that doesn’t come from the Salvation Army store. She gave her X-mas Gift cards to me. I’m not complaining…

  19. I’m a horrible mommy then, who only thinks her son is worth the price of a cheap T that he is going to spill stuff on in five minutes anyway…because God knows I learned my lesson when he spilled some kind of punch on his ‘name brand T’ that an aunt gave him, only to wash the thing and have the stain look brighter than it did when it was fresh! And that was with spraying SHOUT on it…
    yup, cheap-o (price-wise) clothes over here, all the time! I hit the sales at Old Navy like a woman on crack because this boy grows every five seconds…

  20. Oh good grief!!! Kent wears stuff worse then that, and some of the kids I have seen at the Preschool here dress like crap.

    I loved it when Kent went to a school where tehy had uniforms… LOL I got his pants at TarJay in the womans section!! Never told him that, he might have gone to school Naked!!

    I prefer uniforms though, I know that a lot of parents don’t, but I think that they get to express them selves either way!! Trust me some of the Young Ladies (and I use that term very loosely) look like little tramps, and they are in freaking middle school!!

  21. I don’t get the designer clothes on children thing either. The only reason I’ll splurge on a pair of pants for my toddler is not to get a brand name on his butt, but to get an adjustable waistband so that he’s got a pair of pants on his butt!

  22. Sometimes the media is just insane- who are these people/freaks they feature. Kids will be and need to be kids.

    Around the holiday season, MAtt Lauer had a guest that was talking about christmas expense. I remember being awestruck when the guest said it was not atypical to spend about $300 on christmas wrapping paper and accessories. EXCUSE ME – how much money for something that kids are going to rip off and through on the ground. I feel the same about clothing for them.

  23. I buy Hailey’s clothes at target so obviously I’m not even a good enough mother to comment.

    Poor unloved Hailey.

  24. I am a horrible mother because there have been times when my son wore inappropriate shirts that didn’t comply with the dress code to school. The reason it’s so horrible the shirts he wore were mine. Including one from the Alaskan Bush Company. Luckily, he just turned them inside out or wore a sweatshirt over them. This happened when he was in middle school. Now that he’s a senior in high school he’s more careful to read what’s on the shirt before wearing it to school

  25. Oh we are sisters by another mother…not to pimp my blog or anything, but I just wrote a post about this same thing. Has anyone read Ch.ild magazine? Really, a $600 coat? It’s enough to make you say “wow”, alright – as in “Wow, I can’t believe you would be stupid enough to spend money on something the kid’ll outgrow in 4 months.”

    Tarjay rocks (and I’m buying that t-shirt for my 4-year old).

  26. I would spend more money on their clothes if I had more children. But having twins girl/boy means that they wear it three times (they have uniforms during the week in most English schools) and then I goes to charity.

    The day will come that my daughter insists on designer gear by which time I give her away. Any takers? She does washing up as well. So far however, anything goes as long as it’s girlie. Son wears anything that enables him to get on with life – child to my heart.

  27. Love the shirt!!!

    I am still stuck on the $400 raincoat from the article, call me cheap but I wouldn’t pay that much for a raincoat for myself. Heck I don’t even think I own a raincoat!

  28. Right on. I feel this way about clothes for kids as well as gear, toys etc. Our culture has become so rampantly materialistic and consumer driven that now the only thing left is to get us to buy our kids “only the best”. Give me a fucking break.


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