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Why are boys clothes boring?

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Boys clothes blah

Most of the time, I ignore it pretty well, but around school picture day it gets me. Boys clothes have become so boring. While it's not as bad as the appropriateness issue I deal with for Sunshine's clothes, it's still there, and I can't help but think there must be some better choices out there somewhere. I'm talking about the utter predictability of boys clothes in color and style.

Drab Boys Clothes
When Woody brought home the packet for school picture day, I sighed. The boring boys clothes issue smacked me in the face again. But I went out like I do every year, eternally optimistic, searching for something bright and fun for his school pictures. After several hours at the local mall and numerous stores, I found one polo in a relatively vivid color. Relatively, I said. It would have to do. I was tired.

It wasn't always this bad

When the boys were small - well, tiny - there was plenty out there that was appropriate, colorful and cute. I had very little experience with boy babies prior to having one, and that includes shopping for them. I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed picking things out for them. But as the boys grew, the choices became more and more cookie cutter dreary. I had these bright, smiley children, and the only clothes I could find for them were in drab shades of hunter green, navy blue, burgundy and brown. Not even yellow (mustard or otherwise), and very few brights. The clothes definitely did not fit their personality.

It's only gotten worse as the boys have gotten older. Although it makes shopping for them simple - between the jeans, polo shirts and tshirts, there's not much worry about matching - it's so uninteresting. What's worse, since these drab clothes are all that's out there, and they want to fit in, the boys won't even wear the brighter, more interesting color combinations when I do find them (and even though they generally look better in them).

What to do?

I've sought out foreign brands and small manufacturers, which seem to better on this front, but am almost always put off by their expense. I've taken to trying to pick two really nice shirts from these brands (when I can find them), and having the boys wear them whenever they need to look nice. But day-to-day, it's still the drab, color-less combinations.

I can't be the only mom put off by the state of boys clothes, can I? And it's not like men's clothes are as boring, comparatively. They aren't! My husband wears some great colors and interesting prints; there is variation in his wardrobe.

So, boys clothing manufacturers, What gives? Yes, I'm still buying the clothes, even though I hate them. I guess that it part of the problem - manufacturers aren't getting a strong enough message from consumers because the clothes still sell. My boys still need clothes, and I plain don't have the time to make them myself.

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