As a response to the Gap Kids clothing line designed by Ellen Degeneres, The National Post ran a wonderful opinion piece, by Audra Williams, asking, “Why does gender neutral clothing always mean ‘boy’ clothes for girls?” Yes, why is this?
With Target’s recent decision to eliminate gender separation of toys, we are, thankfully, finally entering an age where we want our kids to be who they are and not give into old societal binary norms that dictate what it means to be feminine and masculine.
When are we going to make a real effort to also break down these distinctions when it comes to clothing?
First, Williams asks, “Why does ‘gender neutral’ have to mean ‘without any traditionally feminine signifiers?’ Because girl clothes are for girls. Boy clothes are for everyone.”
Williams went on to state:
If gender neutral clothes are only made for and marketed to the parents of little girls, it is less a sign of gender equality and more an indication of the misogyny that is so ambient in our culture. There is such a devaluing of anything traditionally feminine that we’d rather chuck it out triumphantly than ever demean our boys with it.
Williams also states, “So let’s see if someone can make some clothes for boys who like flowers, pastels, cute animals, or sparkly things, too.”
They do exist. However, because no one bothers to create advertising campaigns surrounding these clothes, for fear of having to address all of the “Why do you want to turn our sons gay?” comments, they aren’t visible.
To help with your quest to find gender-neutral clothes for boys, men, and non-binary people, with flowers, pastels, cute animals, and sparkly things, here are a few options:
Boys and Non-Binary Children
Design By Humans creates a number of t-shirts designed for boys but appear to be designed for girls or are labeled as unisex. Pictured above are: Design by Humans floral pattern boy’s youth graphic t-shirt and Design by Humans kitten cat romantic floral pink nebula boy’s youth graphic t-shirt. Both are available in multiple colors.
Ed Hardy is an amazing tattoo artist who also has a clothing line. When I stumbled across his boys’ clothing options, I fell in love. Pictured above are: Ed Hardy boys butterfly v-neck t-shirt, Ed Hardy Jupiter sneakers, and Ed Hardy kids’ lowrise sneaker.
Like Design by Humans, Inktastic also designs a number of gender-neutral shirts for boys. Pictured above are: Inktastic big boys’ garden lover floral youth t-shirt and Inktastic big boys’ musical notes floral youth t-shirt. Both are available in multiple colors.
On the left is the La Vera Kids boy’s Montego floral shirt, which I chose for a number of reasons. While it is designed with boys in mind, it does look like something you’d expect to see in the girls’ clothing aisle. It is also available with a pastel blue background.
Who doesn’t love pastels, Mickey Mouse, and flowers?
On the right, the Neff boys x Disney floral Mickey t-shirt appears to be only available through Zumiez. Neff has a number of floral-patterned t-shirts in both young child sizes and teenage/adult sizes. Not all of them are “feminine,” instead being modern takes on the Hawaiian shirt, but, if you do enough digging, you’ll find more non-Hawaiian shirt option.
Teens, Adults, and Non-Binary People
I had a really difficult time narrowing down shirts designed by SSLR. So many of them reminded me of dresses that were popular in the 1990s. On the left is the SSLR men’s casual floral printed short sleeve t-shirt; in the middle is the SSLR floral button-down long sleeve shirt; and on the right is the SSLR men’s summer casual floral short sleeve shirt.
Like SSLR, Give Me Five also has a number of shirts reminiscent of floral dresses. Pictured on the left is the Give Me Five men’s casual slim fit floral button-down summer shirt, available in two colors. Pictured on the right is the Give Me Five men’s stylish floral patterned slim fit button-front shirt, available in multiple colors.
Finding floral shirts that are button-down is pretty easy. Finding cute and/or floral in a t-shirt is a little more difficult.
On the left is the A-Lab couch cat white t-shirt. It satisfies both floral and cute animal categories. In the middle is the Insight men’s floral muscle tank top. Finally, on the right is the amazing Original Penguin men’s printed floral mesh t-shirt, perfect for working out.
I can’t end this section without pointing out the Elwood supernova sublimated skinny jogger pants which resemble the numerous galaxy tights available for women.
Now, this list isn’t extensive, but it is a small start. If you’re interested in finding more option, search Amazon, using the term “floral” in both the boys’ and men’s clothing department.
I do have to say, while looking for “feminine” clothes for boys and non-binary children, it was rather disheartening. There are by far way more options for teens, men, and non-binary adults than there are for children. Hopefully, as more people declare their wishes for more gender-neutral clothing options with flowers, pastels, cute animals, and sparkly things, more will be created and properly advertised.