Friday, October 2, 2009

Characters on clothes...

So, I have a problem with CHARACTER SHIRTS (I wrote about this a while ago- but I mostly only buy characters on PJs).

So, this is the Spiderman shirt issue. I'm picky about the ones I'll let him wear. I like the more vintage looking shirts. There's just a difference between this one & this one...


Do you guys know what I mean or am I insane? I'm insane! I knew it!

23 comments:

brooke said...

I DO NOT buy character shirts for my kids (but we are branching out and looking for a batman one for Spencer) Going vintage is definitely a major step up. I'm so anti- character shirts because my little brother would wear only those for about 12 years. He was getting too big find any his size. I couldn't stand it, so we're into polos and button ups for Spencer.
Maybe I'm insane too, but that's ok with me!!

Shauna said...

i think youre safe so long as you keep him in the vintage ones. the junkfood brand ones are so cute! they are like 30 bucks though at baby gap which just seems outrageous for a kid to me...make one. Maybe its time that you invested in that yudu screen printing machine at michaels (mainly i just want someone to buy it and tell me that its worth buying cause i really want it)

Olivia Carter said...

Brook- Yes, I worry Rob could end up that way. I know it's normal for kids to be really "into" stuff but whoa, this kids crazy!

Shauna- Oh heck, I want one of those too! Eww... tell me if you get any reviews so I know if it's worth it!

stephanie said...

Totally agree on the no-character on clothing. The vintage variety is passable.

I had a nightmare last night - I had a baby and my diaper bag had Winnie the Pooh on it.

Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...

Oh yes, I remember that now that you mention it. Hmmm I see the dilemma with the shirt now. (Oh hey I better say it here before I forget to email you AGAIN. I was at the dollar store the other day and they had spider man posters. Let me know if you want details. I wasn't sure.)
I never really had a problem with the whole character shirts but I think when they're a bit older it could be time to stop allowing it. I'm thinking 'older' as in before they leave elem school.

Katie said...

I have mixed feelings about this...I hate characters shirts too. I don't buy them for my kids. At the same time, where is the line between dressing them to please yourself, and dressing them in way that pleases them? We are the parents, so we get to choose how they dress because obviously we know what is appropriate and inappropriate or practical and not practical...but sometimes it really is just about vanity, isn't it? Of course it is! Not that that makes us horrible people- we want our kids to look classy, but are we maybe a little afraid of being embarrassed and people thinking we have no taste if we really let them wear the bright red Cars sweatshirt *with* their name embroidered on it (gifted by a mother-in-law), that they love?

Basically no, I think you are awesome for finding a compromise by looking at shirts like the first one. You are finding something that works for the both of you.

Olivia Carter said...

Steph- I so hear you on the Winnie the Pooh bag. The diaper bag is 100% mine! I didn't even give Scott a say. It's like a purse. If I'm not putting pooh on my everyday purse it's NOT going on my diaper bag.

Debbie- you have a point, that it's almost NOW that they should wear them. And yes please, tell me which dollar store- I'll go check it out!

Katie- see, this is another reason you blog and comment b/c you have such great insights!

I totally agree with your assessment of our own vanity. That we dress our kids to make us look good. I think at a certain point kids are going to pick what they want. They really want a Hannah Montana shirt so I'm going to let them wear it, you know? I just need to find a compromise b/c if you got a good look at the spiderman shirt he's wearing you'd be like, "yeah, that suckers gotta go!" HA!

James said...

Ok, maybe I'm clueless on what the big deal is, and why the classic version is somehow less of a problem.

Kids go through phases of liking things. They will even become "experts" on their chosen subject. So long as it it isn't anything inappropriate (that's where the parental involvement is required), why discourage the interest, imagination, and curiosity.

Boys like to feel brave and strong and competent. Perhaps the clothes make the man, and Spiderman helps him face an otherwise scary world?

Kids could do far worse than Spiderman and Cars. One is a hero who made the decision to use his powers to help people. He is a very moral character, a positive example. The other learned humility to go with his talent. Nothing wrong there. A lot better than other "heroes" that are out now.

So long as boundaries are set as to when and where the shirts are worn (playground and home, ok; church, no) then why the fuss?

Or am I missing the point entirely? Is it a guy thing?

M said...

I hafta say, I agree with James on this one. I don't see the big deal in letting them wear character shirts, esp if you make sure the images aren't inappropriate and that they're not worn in inappropriate settings (e.g. church or school program, etc).

Sure, the vintage-looking ones are cuter, but most kids aren't that discriminating. They want to emulate their favorite characters and it makes them feel cool to have those images on their clothes.

It's really not that different from adults (and kids too) who wear shirts with school or sports team logos. You don't have to wear them, and it's not like you're going to let them wear something that's dirty or ratty, so I don't really see the harm in it. They can still look tidy and well-dressed, even with Spiderman emblazoned on their little boy chests.

Lindsay Jane said...

Be strong. Stick with vintage. The Marvel-style shirts are ugly. Vintage shirts say "I have an opinion and my mom is trying to let me express it."

Olivia Carter said...

James- I 100% agree with kids wanting to be strong and if I'm going to pick a character for him to be into a SUPERHERO would be my pick.

Marni- you make a good point. I guess it's my own vanity and my own taste. Rob is just as happy being naked as he is wearing clothes. He could careless (if it has Spiderman on it) which shirt he wears.

Linds- Yeah, I think the vintage ones are my compromise of my style & Berto's self expression.

OH I LIKE THIS DISCUSSION STUFF! THANKS GUYS!

Christie said...

I "get" the no licensed characters thing, but, as you can see, I married someone who feels quite differently. His whole family is very into that kind of thing. So I've had to compromise on that one and realize it's really not that big of a deal.

Esther Noelle said...

Wow quite the discussion! :) I think you're just fine to choose WHICH kind of spiderman shirts he wears! You are such a nice mommy - searching the earth for a spiderman shirt because it will make him happy. Good job!

Olivia Carter said...

Christie- I totally hear you & I think back during the character PJs convo you mentioned that compromise. As far as compromises go- that's a good one! :)

Es- Searching the EARTH is right. Right now I can't even find an ugly one at WalMart or anything (they are mostly 4T & up sizes!)

Ashley said...

Meh. My kid wear whatever they are given or whatever is on sale at Walmart or Target. LOL. Katie would probably be appalled that up until a couple of months ago Blaise was still wearing a onesie occasionally. If they made onesies in 4T he'd totally be wearing them everyday. She tends to dress her boys a lot classier than I do. I've had a couple of objections with shirts Rae was given from my MIL. One said "If you think I'm spoiled you should see my mom!" (umm, hello, totally insulting" and she got one that said "I'm the boss, no questions, no arguments, we're just going to do things my way". Shirts like that really bother me. She wore them as pjs.

Katie said...

LOL Ashley! I am SOOOO appalled! I think I am vainer in general than you Ashley, and I say that without sarcasm. However, I have to say that I am way less picky than a lot of moms I know about how I dress my kids. One time I heard a lady saying that she would never dress her baby in something that had any stains on it, and I thought, "What, does your baby wear each outfit only once?" I think if I had a girl I would care more than I do though ;) Boys are just grubby and stinky anyway! TOTALLY KIDDING.

I wanted to add something about character clothes. I think one of the reasons why moms are opposed to them that no one has brought up is this - a lot of times they make them cheaply and don't worry about making them attractive because they know that kids will want them JUST because of the character on them. It's a little exploitative. They know kids will want anything with their favorite hero just SLAPPED on there, with no effort towards good design or style, or even quality materials.

I agree about with Ashley about the shirts that say things - that drives me crazy. Putting words into kids mouths - usually words that aren't even appropriate for a little kid. I saw a shirt for a boy that said, "Mom, lock your daughters up." I think that is pretty gross. And I hate how almost every baby onsies out there has something stupid printed on it like, "My toys" or "Best Friends." ?!?!?!

Olivia Carter said...

Ashley- Oh gosh, those word shirts are AWFUL. The "spoiled mom" shirt?!? UGH! Seriously insulting. How can Blaise even fit in a onesie? I'm jealous- Rob's clothes would last a lot longer!

Katie- That is SUCH a good point. They are cheaply made and hideous b/c if I walk through Target all Rob sees in Spiderman & wants it.

Clothes with NO STAINS? HA! That' what my mom said about me. "I never let you wear anything with stains!" anytime Syd or Rob have stains on their clothes. I just remember she has frontal lob damage & she had one child after she had worked 10 years. If that were my life I could afford to be more picky.

SO said...

I do not really care for character shirts either but that doesn't mean I haven't bought them. I like the brown one MUCH better than the black one.

Christie said...

LOL I wonder what your mom thought about us and our always stained hand me downs!
Amelia is still wearing onesies, but she's not the same size as her 3 year old sister!

Olivia Carter said...

SO- yes, the brown is MUCH better. To be honest I'm starting to get desperate & would buy an ugly one but I can't even find that right now!

Christie- HA! My mom... I love her but she was a tad high maintenance.

That's amazing that she still fits in onesies. My kids are too long- skinny enough but too long!

Audra said...

Totally dislike Character shirts. I think because #1 I just done like them and #2 Katies reason of they are cheaply made. The only ones my kids have my mom buys for them and they all seem to shrink in the first wash, and boys + mid-drifts = Ain't gonna happen. Especially since my kids have freakishly long waists.

I do have the saying on my kids shirts because they were between $1 and $1.99 once at Old Navy when they put all the already clearenced clothes 50% off. So I have the "My daddy loves me" and "Princess" and "Waiting for my prince charming" type shirts. But they are cute and they keep the designs slight where they do not stand out at you!

My kids basically wear jeans and shirts that match jeans. My girls love Hannah Montana so they have a few of those shirts and my boys have some skater logo shirts but that is about as fat as I go!

GReat blog post. But yes, if I saw the brown one I would definately go with that. That one would not bug me in the least. The other one would though.

Oh, and my kids are not allowed to get character back=packs because chances are next year they would want a different character and they are cheap. Same thing with shoes. They are dissapointed, but their shoes last a long time :)

monica said...

i am afraid no one is going to be able to buy any of my kids clothes because i am going to be soooo picky.

Cindy said...

I can't believe all the comments left on this one. BUt I'm totally with you! I hate characters on clothing as well. I doesn't matter what it is. I agree that there is TOTALLY a difference between the two shirts. For some reason the black one looks a little mmm (white trash...) The only character clothing Jack owns are pj's and ones I haven't purchased (other than a superman shirt like the one Es has for Robby... saw it on Linds blog). Just don't like them. Too babyish, I like Jack to look like he has some style you know!!