Monday, August 18, 2008


My sense of humor has been described as warped, dark, black, odd, highbrow and lowbrow. I am not sure which, if any of these things it is. But today I found it tested while out looking at baby gear. I kept coming upon row after row of children's and baby's t-shirts that just left me cold. Little cropped tops for my four year old that said, "Buy Me Stuff"," The Next Paris" and "Sexy Princess". They all made me screw up my face in the manner of tasting something nasty, and I don't need any more wrinkles, so they were all out. I didn't find them smart, I didn't find them funny, just plan sad. When it came to looking for T's for the baby, things got even worse. Leaving aside the abhorrent quality, the slogans clearly trying to be witty, missed the mark for me. I wasn't keen on "Hot stuff", "i pood" or "sex symbol in the making". It all seemed to be trying to hard to be cool and came across as cheap.

Perhaps that is what this new trend for labeling your baby is all about. Is it parents trying so hard to show you that they are still cool and have to use their children to announce it to the world? I'm really not sure. Because on one hand I hated the shirts I saw today so much, but these crackers I found on line, do tickle my funny bone and I probably would dress my girls in them.

"Cuter than Baby Jesus" from T-shirt Hell

Playing with Baby instructions by Wry Baby

So I have to ask myself, where do I draw the line? I know that some of the choices I find amusing would be just as offensive to others. Do I care? Well I don't really care if people don't get it, but I do care if people find it actively offensive. So chances are I would probably buy the Baby Jesus T-shirt, but just not dress Miss in it to head over the Nana's.

So given the potential minefield that choosing a simple T-shirt for a child can be, I think I might have chanced upon a solution. The Mother Daughter matching outfits! They are both scary and amusing all at the same time. I would wear these with all the irony in the world and have such a laugh doing it. I am entirely sure that not everyone would appreciate my sense of humor, and others would be moved to call childrens services at my clear lack of respect for a child's rights. But maybe, just maybe, this could be a whole new kind of cool. The kind of cool that only announces its presence to those in on the joke - and really, those are the people that I would most likely enjoy a giggle with.

Thank you to Kitchen Retro for this cracker of an image.


Skye said...

I dare you to whip up a matching set of outfits for all three of you to wear!

My little dude has just started picking out his own clothes in the morning, but before that I was often finding that I'd inadvertently dressed him in the same colours as I was wearing. People would notice, too, and ask if I'd done it on purpose!

Liv/e in Both Senses said...

I love the "Cuter than Baby Jesus" top. I wouldn't call it offensive, rather clever actually. I think we may share a similar sense of humour. "Hot Stuff" isn't funny, or clever, or anything, it's just silly.
I might have to buy one, for that day in the very distant future, that I myself have kids!! :)

I look forward to seeing the matching outfits.

esme and the lane way said...

Haha, matching oufits – judging by the look on tartan mummy's face, she feels pretty evil too!

danielledelamont said...

My mother used to dress us in matching outfits but without any irony whatsover - she thought it was cool or something ;) I remember the best a white and pink floral suit she had made for herself and a dress of the same fabric for me which I wore with a pearl necklace, lace socks and a bow in my mass of corkscrew curls.

W said...

Firstly I have to say that you have an amazing blog :D
secondly, (without any commercial bonuses for me :)) i suggest you look at Threadless for cool baby and mum T-shirt stuff :D It has worked for my friend and her baby :D

WendyB said...

I love the "instructions" pieces on Wry Baby -- I've gotten a lot of those for baby gifts.

miss cavendish said...

I love the baby instruction onesie too. And I agree that the other "princess in training" designs are inappropriate--especially since the children don't know what propaganda they're wearing!

Heather said...

hmm hmm hmm this is a very hot debate here in the states,I personally don't mind the t-shirts, but I DO NOT care for the sweatpant that have writing across the bum,ecspecially when 12-16 year olds wear them, I mean come on now, I wouldnt want my daughter wearing a pair of sweat pants that said "juicy" on them, or even the new undies that have come out with words like "open me" written right across the crotch, it really does have the ability to go too far, but some t-shirts for very little ones are pretty much harmless in my mind. As long as they are not vulgar.

Penny said...

oh god how disturbing!! talk about encouraging your child to be a brat!

Mrs Munster said...

Stuff for kids now days is just not acceptable. It send horrible shivers done my spine when I see girls age 8 in high heels, tight &short t-shirt and mini skirts. I just find it sad that kids are not allowed to be kids any more, not even when it comes to their clothes. I think it's the culture, clothing industry and just the way of the world to blame.

It's difficult where to draw the line, cause I would definitely dress my baby in cute t-shirts. Seen one, with a goth looking rib cage with a text "Mummy's lil' zombie". Well, that's just adorable. Especially for parents, who adore zombie- films...

Hammie said...

I agree! I happened upon bras for 6-8 year olds in Pennys. And a little bit of sick came up in my throat. yew.
But there is a solution before you cut up the curtains to make matching yodelling outfits; Go Continental. It is still fashionable to dress children as children in Spain, Italy and France. Heck, it is still fashionable to dress boys as girls until they are walking in Spain!
Look up EXIT a spanish brand or head over to your local ethnic neighborhood and look for a shop that sells prams, layettes and hopefully, beautifully made, smocked and embroidered babywear.
We only get to be kids once, why not look like a kid?
ps. I would go with Baby Jesus everytime!
pps. I often subliminally dress and accessorise my babies to match my outfit. So much so that Boo wears scarves, independently now.

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Skye: I often inadvertently do that too.

Live in both senses: Yep, that one has definitely made it on my shopping list.

Esme: You should read the piece that is linked under the image. It is quite the crack up.

DD: I have Shirley Temple visions dancing in my head.

W: Thank you. Actually I buy quite a few T-shirts from them for myself.

Wendy: I think I'll get a few of those for the Mr's benefit next time I am away.

Miss Cavendish: Most adults don't seem to notice what propaganda they are wearing either.

Heather: Yes it is a hot topic. I could have traveled that road with this piece, but I'm going to leave it for another time as I have quite strong opinions (whats new) on that one. And those undies you mention are just too loathsome for words. Ughhhh.

Penny: That's what I thought with the "buy me stuff" one.

Mrs Munster: Where did you find that top? I must have one of those!

Hammie: The continental idea is a great one for the days we want to be chic. I will totally be googling for images later today. I think I'm aiming at a different way to exhibit humor with the matching outfits as opposed to being chic. I do love all the ethnic baby gear but it is a pain in the arse to wash and clean. I actually try and make some things for the girls from vintage patterns which is fun. I like to choose unexpected fabrics for these though, and make them a little more durable.
I was so excited to find the Baby Jesus T, because that's what I used to tell people about baby after she was born!

Bucca said...

Matching outfits would be adorable! as long as it wasn't all the time.
I love that book 'playing with baby instructions'.

Shady said...

LOL those shirts!
I have pics of me and my Mom dressed in coordinating outfits when I was a kid- total hippy with matching embroidered bellbottoms that my Mom made herself heheh. Those are actually some of my fave pics!
And I echo the sentiment about Threadless tshirts, I seem to keep collecting them, they're awesome :D

Also I recently got my niece a shirt that says 'does this diaper make my butt look big' and my nephew one with a little chick on it that says 'chicks dig me' So corny! :P