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Toddler Talk: The Potty Training Edition

If nothing else, potty training is giving us plenty of laughs.
Small one learned something about the difference between mummies and daddies today:
Noticing the bulge in the front of Daddy’s boxers, apparently for the first time, she looked very concerned. After studying it carefully she asked sympathetically,
“Got poo Daddy?”
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The Results are in… The “Shopping Gene”


Last week I was inspired by a piece of retail research into gender and shopping to try a social experiment.

I admit it wasn’t hugely scientific but, out of curiosity, I tweeted various “last chance to buy” kids clothing sale bargains and tracked which ones got the most clicks to see whether parents really are more interested in clothes for their daughters than their sons.

And my results were…. erm… pretty inconclusive really.

  • Girls and boys links were clicked equally.
  • Unisex lines were most popular

I even tried to see whether people were more interested in boys sun suits, bearing in mind that boys are supposed to be encouraged into more outdoor and active pursuits, but again, no real difference.

So I’m not sure it’s true at all. Maybe there isn’t enough variety to tempt parents to the boys clothes. Maybe boys have more crossover in their wardrobes, whereas girls are expected to have “best dresses” as well as “practical” outfits.

Incidentally, the line that got most interest was this shark print t-shirt – it’s a boys fashion line, but it’s not blue or sludge coloured…. and it’s suitable for girls, but it’s not pink… Basically, it’s a bit different – perhaps all we really want for both boys and girls is a little bit of variety?

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The Shopping Gene: Nature or Nurture?

Baby girl dress, Debenhams

I was interested to read a report about the so-called “shopping gene” in women this morning. Debenhams commissioned the study after their sales figures showed that their baby girls clothing outsells clothes for baby boys by a colossal 20%.

Apparently, those of us with little girls encourage them to care more about clothes through dressing up play and shopping together, whereas boys are encouraged into more active pursuits.

So why is it I’m always drawn to the boys stuff?

Romper suit, Debenhams

Don’t get me wrong – I love simple, cute little dresses for the small one, but show me a cute boys romper, or a cool tractor print and my purse opens on autopilot before I’ve even figured out who it’s for.

The small one has plenty of unisex clothing – I don’t see why cars & diggers should be just for the boys – but I do know understand why so many girls wear pink constantly until the age of 3. However many times you tell yourself that you don’t care if people think your beautiful daughter is a boy, it still rankles that it isn’t immediately obvious to them that she’s not.

I don’t know whether I would have bought less clothes for a boy. Possibly. There is often less variety in colour and style to justify spending the money. I know that if I find something lovely and feminine that isn’t pink, I feel the need to buy it immediately…

I grew up with a fairly gender neutral approach to life from both sides of the family and I hope that I don’t ever push her towards “feminine” activities when her interest is elsewhere. At the moment she enjoys a mix of activity and creativity which is all her own, and she’s definitely an outdoorsy kind of a girl.

At least, when I stereotypically instill a love of fashion and retail into my daughter I can pretend I’m teaching her about my career as a buyer. That’s OK – right?I’m going to be conducting a social experiment of my own on this later, posting some kids clothing “last chance to buy” sale bargains on Twitter to see which generate most interest.

What do you think? Do we really want to buy more clothes for girls, or are retailers just not giving us boys clothes worth buying?