NO MORE STEREOTYPES!
While we’re not dissing pink and blue, there are some pretty cool unisex options out there…
The market for children’s toys, clothes and homeware can be pretty segmented into obvious ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ choices, with pretty glittery pink ‘feminine’ options on one side and tough, active ‘typically male’ selections (usually involving construction, vehicles, heroes or fighting) on the other. And while we’re not joining the current hot-topic gender debate just yet (more of that later in Tales From The Nest), we do enjoy items that offer up less pigeonholing and more opportunities for free play without barriers.
This is why we love Rocket & Rose for their Boys Like Ponies Too sweater and other gender-busting outfits, and Tootsa for gorgeous clothing that can be worn by both boys and girls. And we like homeware in monochrome and bright, bold, non-prescriptive colours and characters, and toys that don’t scream ‘Hey! You can’t play with me! You’re the wrong sex!’, but instead just scream ‘Yay! Play with me!’
Toys that don’t scream ‘Hey! You can’t play with me! You’re the wrong sex!’, but instead just scream ‘Yay! Play with me!’
Not that we would ever stop our daughters picking a pink princess doll because it’s such a cliché, far from it, we just don’t think they should be directed a particular way. When it comes to choosing for our children (or even them choosing for themselves), the emphasis should be not on whether it’s the correct fit for their gender, but instead on discovery, freedom of choice and the chance for kids to just be kids. The fact that items with more pass-downability also make more financial sense is a bonus, too…
STYLE BIRD: That’s right, a skirt with dinosaurs on it. Because sometimes it’s a Barbie day, and other times it’s a T-Rex day, OK?
HOME BIRD: Yep, we want this for ourselves, too. Surely snuggling down with old Foxy has to make bedtime more tempting, right? We can but dream…
BUSY BIRD: Because both boys and girls love a play kitchen. And we like our gender stereotype busting to move into the role play zone, too.
STYLE BIRD: Dogs, foxes and flamingoes on bikes. In unisex rainbow colours. On super-soft cotton. In the sale. What’s not to love?
HOME BIRD: If a harlequin-wearing bunny playing a ukulele can’t make them eat their peas, nothing will. Also comes in a makes-the-perfect-gift box for extra win.
We've already detailed our joy over the new-season bounty in Into Autumn for the girls. Soft knits, cosy hues of mustard and plums, snuggly accessories - we're all in. Conker season is traditionally a time of Good Clothes and wrapping up stylishly (you've seen The September Issue, right? It's the same for kids in our eyes). And there are some fantastic new lines for the boys, too.
Forget seasons of mist, it's all about the season of musts this autumn, as in what we must have for their wardrobes. And yes we do love collecting conkers and kicking through crispy leaves and smelling bonfires in the air on the walk home from school, but we also love all the fab new-season collections. Bring on the soft knits, cosy tights and the warm russets, mustards and plums of autumn...
If you've been watching Stranger Things on Netflix (and if you haven't, seriously, where have you been? Cancel everything and binge-watch the first season now - since its release this summer Netflix has already commissioned a second series, airing in 2017) you'll know that the dorkiest coolest kids in town at the moment are Mike, Lucas, Dustin and Will. Their Goonies meets E.T. meets Stephen King sci-fi adventures have fuelled an '80s nostalgia trip thanks to the show's near-perfect recreation of the era, and our sartorial eye has been on the detail for their retro apparel.
The new term is well under way, and we're just about getting our heads around which day is PE day, when the after-school clubs are, homework, lunchboxes, shoe-polishing and knotting a tie once again. But as smart and lovely as they look in their uniforms, it's always nice for them to have some comfies to throw on when they get home and can concentrate only on stuffing their faces and zoning out in front of Octonauts.