Are you looking for baby clothes and wondering where to start? Are you torn between unisex designs or more gendered prints? And what does that even mean? In this article we take a look at 5 reasons why unisex baby clothes are on the rise. From saving you money through to the positive messaging and practical comfort they provide.
But first, what are unisex baby clothes? They’re clothes that are suitable for everyone, girls and boys alike. They can also be referred to as gender-neutral and/or stereotype-free. In contrast, gendered clothes are designed for one gender in particular. Think pink versus blue, unicorns versus trucks or frills and sparkles versus plain.
So, what are the benefits of unisex baby clothes? Sunny Wallis, mum of two, and founder of It’s Just a Phrase shares five reasons why unisex baby clothes can be good for you, your baby and the planet.
1. Unisex baby clothes remove stereotypes and close that gender gap
It’s 2023. We’re predicted to see the proliferation of green technologies, the growth of hyper-automation and the rise of adaptive artificial intelligence - and yet kids’ fashion remains unchanged. Girls’ clothes are still littered with unicorns, rainbows, cute pretty animals and pink, pink, pink! While boys’ clothes continue to stick with the classic tractors, planets, dinosaurs and robots. And what’s so wrong with this?
Well, these predetermined trends tell our children (from birth) that girls are kind, loving, day-dreaming and gentle. And that boys are industrious, practical and smart. None of these characteristics are bad, but why can’t all children be day-dreaming and gentle? Or practical and industrious? Or a combination of all four? These gendered styles and patterns pigeon hole our babies (and children) into boxes, which can be limiting.
By selecting unisex baby clothes you can avoid these restrictive messages, and help your child’s unique personality shine through!
2. The benefit of colour
Newborn colour perception remains limited to shades of black and white - but from about 4 months old they can start to see in a full range of glorious colour. And according to a famous study by Boyatzis & Varghese (Children’s emotional associations with colour) these colours can have a physical impact on babies. As light enters the hypothalamus, it makes changes to their heart rate and respiratory rate, all of which can alter a baby's level of attention, stress and emotional state.
Each colour will produce a different wavelength of energy and will affect each child differently. Colours such as yellow and pink provide feelings of happiness, love and calmness. Whilst colours like brown and dark greens can spark feelings of sadness, loneliness and isolation. Therefore, wrapping baby boys in swampy colours might have more of an impact on their mood and behaviour than we had ever realised.
Unisex clothes allow all children to enjoy all colours - and the fantastic array of benefits they each offer.
3. Greater practicality and movement with unisex baby clothes
Sometimes the level of detail on our children’s clothes can actually cause discomfort. Denim dungarees are too tight, floaty tutus get in the way, baby headbands are disorientating, newborn dresses are cold and babygrow neck frills chafe the skin. Giving more focus to comfort can give our babies the best chance of adapting and learning to the environment around them.
We believe that newborn clothes should be practical - for the parents too! Legs should be free to kick, material should move with the body, and patterns should inspire and illuminate whatever your gender.
Unisex clothes often focus on these practicality benefits, allowing greater comfort for your baby.
4. More sharing, less spending with unisex baby clothes
Keeping newborn clothes gender neutral is a fantastic way to ensure they can be shared between siblings, friends and family. There’s no waiting for a gender reveal, or waiting until the baby is born. You can bag up those clothes that have been sitting in your loft for two years and dish them out easy peasy! And if you’re planning on having another child, you can save yourself hundreds of pounds by re-using the same clothes again. From my experience baby clothes are either completely stained or still look brand new. So for those items that escaped the blended carrot weaning session, they can go straight in your baby bag for future use.
5. Save your baby’s planet: unisex clothes are better for the environment
Having a baby is such a magical thing… But as you know, it’s also surrounded by an enormous industry selling millions of products to excited new parents, pulling on heartstrings and taking advantage of our concerns and anxieties. According to the Geneva Environment Network fast fashion contributes to 10% of global carbon emissions, drying up water sources and polluting our rivers and streams. What’s more, 85% of all textiles end up in landfill every year (UNECE 2018). So, the more we can share, donate and resell our children’s clothes, the better. By avoiding the trap of having to buy gendered EVERYTHING, you can help reverse some of these scary stats. Instead, shop local, shop responsibly sourced, shop high quality and shop easily re-sellable clothing… Hint Hint - that’s us ;)
And if these five reasons aren’t enough to convince you to move towards unisex baby clothes, then check out our adorable gender neutral rompers… that should just about do it!