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Why are girls and boys clothes cut differently when their bodies are exactly the same?

(20 Posts)
TheFeministsWife Fri 12-Aug-11 20:39:37


This only struck me earlier when I was wondering why my dd2's shorts from her pyjamas were so tiny and dd1's weren't. I bought them both a couple of sets of summer pyjamas at the same time from Primark (I know, but my budget doesn't stretch far). I bought dd1 boys pyjamas as they had Spiderman and Star Wars (doesn't bother either of them whether they're girls or boys PJs) but they didn't have them in dd2's size. So I bought her Winnie the Poo and Zingzilla PJs from the girl's section.

Now the shorts on the Spiderman and Star Wars PJs are knee length and according to dd1 very comfy. The shorts on the Winnie the Poo and Zingzilla PJs are mid thigh length and seem to get smaller every time they're washed. (Although that's a quality issue really). They've got to the point were dd2 can't really wear them anymore as they're like bloody hot pants now were as the boys PJs dd1 wears although they've shrunk a little are still just above knee length.

So why are girls PJs made with tiny shorts and boys PJs made with knee length shorts? Do girls somehow have to show off more leg than boys? hmm Kids bodies are no different (apart from genitals of course) so why are their clothes cut differently. I've noticed the girls jeans are like the hipster ones you can buy for women. Little girls don't have hips (well waist hip curviness anyway)!

Pissed me right off it did.

SweetGrapes Fri 12-Aug-11 21:57:53

I know! I often get dd clothes from the boys section as they are just so much more 'normal' and comfy. Even underwear - the boys ones are nice thick cotton ones and the girls ones are all flimsy lacy stuff.

MillyR Fri 12-Aug-11 22:16:20

Yes, it is a problem. DS is too thin for boys' clothes so he always has to wear a belt. DD is not thin enough for girls' clothes and so everything looks tight on her. They are both a healthy BMI and have normal weights on the centile chart.

wicketkeeper Fri 12-Aug-11 22:18:22

And I thought I was the only one!!

- in summer girls can wear frocks that basically hang from the shoulders, but boys are stuck with shorts and T-shirts, with hot and restrictive waist bands.
- boys' winter shoes are much stronger, more practical and warmer than girls' winter shoes.
- boys' underpants are thicker than girls' knickers

I could go on.

SweetGrapes Fri 12-Aug-11 22:27:07

Shoes!! Yes, I had forgotten about the shoes! Dd kicks through any girls shoe in about 10 minuts flat. Only boys ones last for her. And she likes them having a bit of sparkle on them - but they don't last - so I have to get her plain boys ones.

PrettyCandles Fri 12-Aug-11 23:41:24

Oh yes, it is annoying.

I have often bought ds1 trousers from the girl selection, as he is incredibly slender, and there would be room for two of him in boy trousers.

And school shoes for dd - don't get me started! We walk to school, this is England, it rains. Can I get closed school shoes for her? hmm

A wide-brimmed hat for a boy? My boys wear the smallest size of adult women's hats.

I don't know why. It's illogical. (But then so is a Back To School rail in Early July.)

rushofbloodtothefeet Fri 12-Aug-11 23:44:16

Drives me BONKERS! Most of DDs clothes come from the boys dept, partly because they fit better and mostly because she doesn't do pink shit.

(my dream business idea is to start a unisex kids clothing company for kids 0 to 10)

Valpollicella Fri 12-Aug-11 23:49:26

PrettyCandles...I thought that was just DS....He wears an old denim one of mine from Accessorise as he has either a large head or they just make boy hats so tiny that there's no point in them wearing them

Dexifehatz Sat 13-Aug-11 00:43:16

Boys pjama[[sp?!] shorts tend to rile up when lads are in bed and after having to extract my poor ds's ball from a wedge of material when he wore his sisters short shorts,he now will only wear long johns or nowt!

snowmama Sat 13-Aug-11 07:03:53

Yep, I thought I was going nuts....agreed on pants, top shapes, trouser shapes, stupid shoes for girls....

Particularly bad are how girls clothes often come up too small, even if your child is completely average in size.

Guildenstern Sat 13-Aug-11 07:07:31

Totally agree with this.

For summer wear, my son is in sensible baggy knee-length shorts and elbow-length t-shirts.

The equivalent clothes from the girls section are tiny hotpants-shorts and sleeveless/cap-sleeve tops, all cut to be very form-fitting. She's two.

Drives me mad.

StealthPolarBear Sat 13-Aug-11 07:42:48

yes I've noticed this - boot cut jeans for 2yos
DS's T shirts are just normal T shirts whereas DD's (cheap, plain) T shirts are gathered at the neck and have fussy bits on the sleeves
I am happy for DD to look girly, she has lots of dresses, most are for playing in, one or two are "for best" but if she wears troussers and a T shirt I don't see any need for her to look particularly girly.

Don't get me started on nightwear. She has recently moved on from sleep suits, DS did it about the same age and I bought him loads of nice pyjamas. I went to buy DD the same but in the girls' section it was all floaty, chiffony disney princess dresses (to be worn as nighties). There were plenty of pyjamas for teenage girls though. That was obviously a bad time as I have since bought her some lovely nighties which are like huge t shirts and a few more pairs of pyjamas, but I am not sending my daughter to bed dressed in a frilly, fussy princess outfit angry

buzzsore Sat 13-Aug-11 18:20:35

Yes, it's crap. Was looking for a hoodie type top for dd - all the girls' ones were thin and totally impractical for actually keeping warm or doing activities. Boys ones were thicker, lined and functional.

Miggsie Sat 13-Aug-11 18:29:49

I was in John Lewis trying to buy shorts for DD, she's really thin and the girls shorts were too wide in the waist and in addition were cut so tight the flimsy material would have disappeared up her bum crack. I was looking so despairing the shop assistant came over to help. We ended up in the boys section, boy's shorts are nice and baggy with pockets and they are long too so that they protect from the sun and I could buy ones with draw strings on the waist so they fitted. I said to the woman "I always seem to end up buying boys clothes for DD as she is so sporty" and the woman said "oh yes, a lot of mum's tell me that" and I nearly screamed "well why don't you carry a decent line of activity wear for girls then???!!!!"

DD has to have boy's trousers unless I make them as she has a tiny waist for her leg length, she really has a boyish figure, and she also hates pink. I did say to the shop assistant that it really isn't a lot of fun having a daughter who hates pink. I found Fruit of the Loom make nice basic t-shirts in a unisex design in all the primary colours at £2 each. I bought 8!!!!!!

Miggsie Sat 13-Aug-11 18:30:52

Oh and hipster skinny jeans...ha ha bloody ha. DD takes one step and they fall down.

DontCallMePeanut Sat 13-Aug-11 19:04:08

Oooh, the hats thing peed me off no end this summer. Bought DS a lovely floppy hat from Debenhams, iin size 3-6yrs. He wasn't with me at the time. Anyway, got to Cyprus and found out the damn thing was too small for his 3 year old head... hmm

So glad I don't have a DD to dress. From what you guys are saying, I'm not sure I'd cope... grin

PippiLongBottom Sat 13-Aug-11 19:21:39

This hadn't even crossed my mind until reading this thread but is another example of the difference in boys and girls clothes and what that represents in society.

My dc are also tiny. DD is 9.5 and wears between age 5 and 7 and DS1 drowned in a pair of 3-4 skinny drainpipe jeans today- he is nearly 5.

Primark suits us well for this reason.

swallowedAfly Sun 14-Aug-11 21:02:51

Message withdrawn

OOAOML Mon 15-Aug-11 09:41:35

I totally agree on the quality issue - when DD moved out of popper vests we bought girls vests and then very quickly bought boys vests, as they actually kept their shape after washing. And it p's me off that girls are supposed to like a progression of Peppa/Barbie/Hannah Montana. Took me ages to find plain tshirts for DD this summer, ended up in the boys section of Gap.

Ephiny Mon 15-Aug-11 10:26:28

I find this bizarre as well. I remember seeing a thread on here where someone was asking if she'd be unreasonable to buy girls school trousers for her little boy (starting Reception I think so only 4/5). Everyone said no way, they'd be cut completely wrong and look ridiculous. I didn't say anything, assuming they knew best as I have no experience, but did wonder if girls and boys are really so differently shaped at that age that there'd be such a dramatic difference in how things fit.

Very annoying to see girls clothes less warm/practical/hard-wearing and lacking pockets etc - just the same as for adult women!

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