As moms, we’ve all battled our kids on what they can and can’t wear. “No, you can’t wear your superman outfit to this wedding.” “Church isn’t the place for tiaras.” Children’s fashion sure has come a long way. When we have these ridiculous conversations, it’s sometimes fun to look back and see how far we’ve come.
Let’s do something crazy and go way, way back, before fashion was even a thing. Ancient Egypt obviously had very different cultural norms than we do now, and it was pretty common for kids and teens to go without clothing altogether. Yep, naked! Ancient Romans differed, as children under five wore clothing, but only bland, uniform tunics. Children received draped clothing as they aged, which was a rite of passage. That’s similar to how starting school is today.
Paintings from the Middle Ages suggest children dressed similarly to adults. Can you imagine your five-year-old wearing a smaller version of your work outfits? No way! As time went on, children wore common, gender-neutral clothing that rarely expressed personality. Older boys wore doublets and pants, and both boys and girls wore gowns, robes and tunics. Basically, a boy dressed the same way as a girl, and vice versa. That would never fly in modern times.
But fashion? That was a concept for the twentieth century. Jeanne Marie Lavin is known for the birth of children’s fashion. She designed hats and dresses for women, so she created trendy dresses for her daughter as well. That must have been one happy girl, being the first to wear a comfortable dress that allowed her to move freely. Lavin’s dresses rose in popularity and helped shape our modern style.
When kids’ clothing became tailored to boys and girls, children were given more and more styling choices. Now, we select our children’s clothing based on comfort practicality, and personality.
What does your child love to wear? Tell us in the comments!