Friday, December 12, 2008
I gladly participate in feminine friday again this week and am taking my cue from the Barefoot mama. Her wonderful entry goes in search for the missing cute little girl dresses of yesterday. Now I am giving the subject a twist though. In my childhood, dresses were out. One of my biggest laments of being a child in Belgium in the late seventies and into the eighties is the lack of beautiful dresses. I was a girly girl. I loved dresses and would have kept them nice and clean too! For my confirmation, I ended up with a white pantsuit combination because it was impossible to find a nice white dress for the occasion. I am glad that as an adult I can find all the nice dresses and skirts that I have missed all these years.
Now that I am mother of a cute, wonderful 14 month old boy, my biggest frustration is the absence of cute, wonderful clothes for him! Where are the little sailor outfits? The tiny suits? The pants with white shirts and little ties. I am all too aware that dressing up has long gone out of the window for anything but weddings and funerals -and even there you can find yourself out of luck- I want to dress my little boy nicely. After all 'gentlemen' are one half of 'ladies and gentlemen'.
I can understand that in any given children's store, 70 percent or more of the clothes are intended for girls. After all, who does not fall in love with the cute little cardigans or sweet little dresses that the fashion industry allows those under the age of six. (After that age, mothers of girls run into a whole new set of problems.) But from the age of one, it seems boys are supposed to fall into one of the following three categories: basketball players, camo-wearing soldiers, or foul mouthed rappers.
Even if the slogan or picture is not offensive, the colours are loud and the style is ultra casual. Only now, around Christmas, you can find some cute little suits and shirts. Simply finding a real shirt with buttons is a challenge throughout the rest of the year.
Of course I am not sending my son dressed in a 3 piece suit to play in the sandpit, just as mothers of girls know that there is a time for a bit of lace trim, and a time for T shirts and knits. But when we go to church on sunday, or on a visit to grandma, I want him to look dressed up. After all, I am raising the next generation of gentlemen. If I want girls in 20 years to find men who know how to wear something else aside from track suits and jeans, I need to teach him now, or the idea of wearing a tie will be foreign and ackward to him at age 16.
Real men, know how to dress. And it is up to us mothers, to teach them.