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AIBU to buy my son a dress for his 3rd Birthday

(413 Posts)
thebadwife Wed 19-Mar-14 12:14:24

Just that really, I have always tried to dress my son in the most practical clothes for the activities of the day. The colour has never been important, which when was younger led to him being assumed to be a girl as often as he was a boy. Sometimes he wore leggings but mostly standard trousers, t-shirts and jumpers nothing particularly exciting, experimental or political.

However I have just had a daughter and my friends and family have been very generous and given us some lovely clothes for her which have included a few dresses. My son has always commented positively when I wear dresses, but has been really jealous of these tiny dresses and has asked several times if he can wear them. I told him they were too small but I would buy him a dress for his birthday in May. I have mentioned it to a few people and they have looked at me like I am crazy.


specialmagiclady Wed 19-Mar-14 12:17:08

Nope. You go ahead. It's a really small thing you can do to make him really happy! Why close doors for him At such a young age. It is not going to result in a transvestite adult - and even if it did so what?

TheKnightsThatSayNee Wed 19-Mar-14 12:18:04

Kids dress up. My dd has a monster outfit, she knows she isnt a monster she doesnt want to be a monster but its fun to play with being different people/things etc. If he wants a dress get him one but if it was me id make sure he knows that all dress up clothes are just for in the house because other kids can be cruel. (obviously don�t make it just about the dress you don�t want to give the little guy a complex).

CreepyLittleBat Wed 19-Mar-14 12:19:11

I wouldn't. It looks like you're making a statement about how liberal you are. Could you not compromise and let him have a pretty nightie? That's what I did when my dss asked for a dress, and he was perfectly happy.

squoosh Wed 19-Mar-14 12:20:13

Certainly buy him one if he really wants one for dress up time, don't buy him one if you just want to boost your gender neutral parenting credentials.

Raxacoricofallapatorius Wed 19-Mar-14 12:21:48

My 2.6 yo DS is to be a page boy next month and is incandescent with rage that he isn't allowed a pretty dress like his sister. I suggested a kilt as a compromise but the bride said no. Fair enough. DS always chooses clothes from the girls section. He is happy. Various family members disapprove but I don't give a tiny damn tbh.

Burren Wed 19-Mar-14 12:22:01

My almost two year old son has a classy Peppa Pig dress he personally pulled out of a bin in a charity shop and refused to let go of. He would wear it daily if he could, and I certainly don't confine him to the house in case the other toddler start whispering, for God's sake.

Your son is highly unlikely to grow up to be Grayson Perry. (If he does, please tell him to go easy on the eyeshadow.)

LittleMissGerardButlersMinion Wed 19-Mar-14 12:23:10

If he wants one, buy him one!

My DS2 loves pink, when we used to go in Woolworths he would try and get the prettiest frilliest dresses of the hangers grin

Squirrelsmum Wed 19-Mar-14 12:27:36

My DS loved my satin pjs when he was little, I had to buy him his own because he would wear them draped around his neck like a boa everywhere he went.
Ooh I bet he would be pretty excited if he got to choose his own. :D

Flopsy28 Wed 19-Mar-14 12:30:19

I'm a reception class teacher and many boys like to dress up in our role play area in the Princess/nurse/witch dresses and it's perfectly fine. It's their way of experimenting. I've always thought it unfair that little girls can wear jeans and t shirts bit little boys can't do the reverse. Buy him one, let him wear it... It's probably a phase but if not, he's showing the world who he is.

flipchart Wed 19-Mar-14 12:30:51

I agree with Creepylittlebat

Personally no, I wouldn't.

Afritutu Wed 19-Mar-14 12:36:15

Look in charity shops for a fancy dress style dress, like a princess one, or supermarkets sell cheap ones. Lots of boys like to wear these. I have girls and we had a friends 4 year old over who spent the entire visit dressing up in the princess outfits and plastic high heel shoes my girls play with. It's harmless fun.

MmeMorrible Wed 19-Mar-14 12:38:45

I'd get him a dressing up dress in his favourite princess style. My DS always loved these (older DD had several) & made a bee-line for dressing up corner at nursery every day to ensure he got a princess frock. I think the only arguments he ever got into at that age was with an equally determined girl over would wear the Snow White dress!

He's 6 now and hasn't worn one for quite a while but I still have to keep his favourite dress sleeping beauty dress in my wardrobe. It was DDs & came from Disneyland so is rather lovely. Occasionally he wants to see it and stroke it but not keen to wear it anymore.

thebadwife Wed 19-Mar-14 12:40:19

Ok, so the concensus is that it's fine to buy him one as long as I'm not trying to score liberal parenting points.

Burren - I saw Grayson Perry in a restaurant once and didn't notice his eye shadow, as I was too busy admiring the full length silk puffer jacket with what looked like Our lady of Lourdes in appliques on the back. Twas awesome.

BigRedBall Wed 19-Mar-14 12:43:08

I wouldn't go and and especially buy my DS a dress for his birthday. That's giving the whole thing a level of importance and personally I don't think it's that big a deal.

My 2 year old DS is always pulling on his big sister's dress up clothes and shoes. Yesterday he was sporting a pretty pink hair clip all day.

Why not just get him a second hand play dress or an accessory set with tiaras and things.

CockD0dger Wed 19-Mar-14 12:43:38


zoemaguire Wed 19-Mar-14 12:44:36

My 3yo ds loves dresses. He wanted a princess one for Xmas but my parents got him a pirate outfit instead hmm. If he grows up to be the next Grayson perry I will be stoked! Does that mean I'm parading my liberal parenting principles? Naughty me...

MolotovCocktail Wed 19-Mar-14 12:45:45

I think it is a little unusual; maybe I'm too conditioned by social convention.

It is a bit similar to when my dd1 became jealous when I breastfed dd2. She wanted to take milk from my boob (she was 3 at the time) and I just kindly had to say 'no, darling, booby milk is for tiny babies' but I did allow her to sit right next to us and drink some (cows) milk from a bottle, to help ease her jealousy and allow her to feel involved.

By that logic, if he were my son, I would buy him a nightie or something to sleep in. There is nothing wrong with transvestism and indeed, him wearing a dress at this age isn't linked to his sexual identity. I would, however, be concerned about how others might perceive him - and me - if I allowed my little boy to wear a dress out and about.

MatryoshkaDoll Wed 19-Mar-14 12:46:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MolotovCocktail Wed 19-Mar-14 12:46:49

I also agree with squoosh wrt wearing a dress for dress-up play.

MatryoshkaDoll Wed 19-Mar-14 12:48:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nahmate Wed 19-Mar-14 12:56:47

Yanbu - I would buy one if that what he would like for his birthday

I have a lovely picture of ds (5) and his classmates all decided to dress be princess's for the day!

Nahmate Wed 19-Mar-14 12:57:39

*dress as,

chunkythighs Wed 19-Mar-14 13:15:39

My son loves all things pink a princessy. He was given a free choice in the toy shop on his 4 the birthday and choose his 'pretty dress'. Doesn't dress up in it too much these days. He is aware that some children may be mean so he keeps it at home.

I'm not liberal, but can't see a decent arguement not to allow him dress up as a favourite character. He also has a penguin outfit, I've yet to catch him necking raw fish or hitching a ride to the South Pole. smile

I wonder if the same folks that would refuse this insist that their daughters play with all things pink?

LadyMacbethWasMisunderstood Wed 19-Mar-14 13:37:34


But him a dress.

Personally I could not take DS (2.8) out wearing a dress. I would feel embarrassed. But I acknowledge that is my issue. He has 2 older sisters (aged 12 and 9) whom he worships and therefore likes quite a lot of what some might think of as 'girly' things (DD1 is very feminine, DD2 less so but they both like ballet so have tutus, ballet shoes etc).

DS has 2 favourite 'characters' right now - Thomas the Tank and Peppa Pig (not George who cries too much). As I was clearing out for the charity shop he saw an old nightie belonging to DD2 with Peppa Pig on it. It wasn't very worn as she wasnt much into pink. He loves it and wears it to bed as often as he can.

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