Human tights

Here’s a new thing: tights for boys! (Of course, it’s not actually a new thing, but never mind.) There are things I really love about this: tights are really useful for babies (whatever’s in their nappy) as they’re warm and can’t be kicked off like a pair of socks; I know plenty of mums who admit half-guiltily that they dress their boy baby in tights when it’s cold, and if this stops them feeling guilty about dressing their baby in something warm and convenient then that’s great. Also, the designs of the tights are gorgeous (and not particularly pink or blue!): I actually rather wish they did the pacman ghosts design in my size.

So what’s the problem? Well, call me picky, but I don’t see why they have to be limited to boys:

“At Slugs and Snails we’re all about vibrant colours and individuality. Our tights are as bold and bright as your little boy is. They will give him freedom to bend and move, keep his legs snugly warm, and mean no more hunting for missing socks for you!”

See, my little girl is “bold and bright” too, or at least I’m hoping she’ll grow up to be both; and she’s as much of an individual as an 8-month-old baby can be (that is, slightly more individual than one commercially-available pattern selected from the four available on the site can be). She needs freedom to bend and move, she needs keeping warm, and she can kick a pair of socks off faster than you can say “Jack Robinson” (or “Jill Robinson”). I’m delighted that tights can be marketed at boys as well, but why does it have to be instead?

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4 thoughts on “Human tights

  1. Hello, thanks for the mention on your blog! My name is Kathleen and I am the founder of Slugs & Snails and mummy to Noah. Firstly, there is no reason why our tights have to be just for boys, in fact we have a lot of parents who chose them for their little girls. That said however, we have made this company because we feel girls have a much wider choice of clothes and of course tights. Whereas our designs aim to be unisex, the girls market does not do this and so we want parents to know these ARE for boys first and foremost because this is a product not widely available to them. To do that successfully we have to focus on the boys market. Believe it or not our designs are also not in the least bit commercially available my husband and I have painstakingly designed our tights quite literally pixel by pixel we don’t use stock images every pair is hand drawn and totally our work every detail is checked and fiddled with until we get what we envisaged, which takes hours if not weeks to perfect.

    As a parent myself I have to make the decision of what I feel my son should wear and for much of his life thus far I have ignored the gender politics and shopped based on what we both like, colours he is drawn to and clothes which are fun. We have to hope that the rising number of parents who are fighting the gender police will also follow suit and buy our tights for their child, whether they have a boy or a girl.

    • Thanks for replying and I’m sorry for criticising! I do think they’re lovely tights (and by “commercially available” I only meant that you’re selling them — they’re not “unique” in the sense of one-off — but it sounded like a cheap shot & I apologise!) and personally I’d be very happy to buy them for girls or boys. I do see why you’re marketing them like that, though I still think it’s sad that we have to say “NOT FOR GIRLS, HONEST, THESE CLOTHES WILL NOT MAKE YOUR LITTLE ROUGH-AND-TUMBLE HERO EFFEMINATE” before people feel they can buy anything for boys. (I guess it’s one of the very few ways in which girls have it easier — it’s far more generally accepted these days for girls to wear trousers etc than for boys to wear dresses or tights.)

      I hope to be able to explain to my daughter when she’s old enough that if clothes say “for girls” or “for boys” that’s really just a suggestion, like the way cereal might say “for breakfast” but nobody will come round and tell you off if you eat it for dessert or even lunch. 🙂

      • Hello, thank you for your reply, very nice and your apology was not needed, but welcome all the same. I am so with you on this one, I would love just to sell funky tights but sadly so many parents need reassurance that our tights are suitable for boys. All you have to do is Google boys tights and you will find so many blogs and forums with mums asking “can I put my boy in tights?” Like seriously, we don’t ask if our girls can wear trousers or hammer a pretend nail but our sons are not allowed to play with or dress in anything that doesn’t shout ‘I am a boy’! My long term plan with Slugs & Snails is to produce clothes that are completely unisex and can be worn by siblings and passed down and around the houses regardless of what gender the child who wears them is. We did a radio piece a few weeks ago, there is one response in particular which the broadcaster left up for all to hear (the shorter version doesn’t have the full show and the lovely positive comments we received). It might help explain some of the attitudes we have to deal with:-

        http://2fm.rte.ie/blogs/tubridy/2011/12/-on-todays-show.html

        For now though, we are behind you all the way, love your blog and glad we sparked a bit of a debate!

  2. When my eldest was born, 7y7m ago or thereabouts, our friends with little boys absolutely refused to put them in tights.

    I have a suggestion though – why not have FOR BOYS and FOR GIRLS as options on the website, with the same content under each heading? Girls don’t have a wide choice of clothing; girls’ clothing is usually lighter, less sturdy, less roomy, and in a smaller range of colours than boys – even hats, scarves and underwear, which you’d think were pretty utilitarian.

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