Thursday, 17 March 2011

A kids clothing rant.

I’ve never been a fashion-lead sort of a person. Designer labels don’t mean much to me. Personally, I couldn’t give a toss if your new shirt cost £100, good for you, well done, good luck with it, I hope it wins you favour with a lady friend.
This isn’t a rant against people that dress their babies up in designer gear either, perhaps it should be, I don’t know. All I know is my 1 year old son (who isn’t quite walking yet) couldn’t care less if he’s wearing £2.99 plimsolls or £29.99 designer trainers. Dressing your baby in designer gear doesn’t impress me, it makes me think you’re doing it for your own benefit and are just showing off. And no, it’s not sour grapes because I can’t afford to do it, I just really don’t see the point. Forget that ‘adorable’ Ralph Lauren Polo dress, buy something from Peacocks and put the money you’ve just saved in their piggy bank.

Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the value of decent clothing, especially when it comes to something as important for toddlers as shoes. As soon as Miss D started walking we took her to Clarks, got her feet measured and spent a not-inconsiderable amount on her first pair of proper, sturdy, well made shoes which she promptly grew out of (cue another trip to Clarks…) and when Little Dude is ready we’ll approach things in exactly the same way.

So we’ve established I don’t ‘do’ designer labels, and yes, I like a bargain, however, there are times when it’s nice to treat them to something a bit different and dare I say extravagant. A case in point being Miss D’s birthday. Mrs D took her to see Disney’s ‘Tangled’ which she adored, and on her next trip to the Disney Store she was treated to her very own glittery Rapunzel dress. Lovely! Or so we thought…

Giving in to the frequent (almost daily) request of ‘Daddy, can I dress up like Rapunzel?’ has meant that the dress has had lot of use and to be fair, a lot of enjoyment from Miss D. BUT… (and to steal a line from Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson) ‘And it’s a big, round, full-bodied but..’ The ‘glittery organza flourishes’ on the dress shed EVERYWHERE! It’s like Miss D leaves a little trail of purple glitter wherever she goes (and especially where she sits). Yes darling, of course you can dress up like Rapunzel, but daddy is going to have to follow you around with the vacuum cleaner.

It’s not just this item of clothing where the ‘build quality’ has been a bit shoddy. The print on Miss D’s official Disney Store ‘Little Mermaid’ t-shirt has cracked and faded after only a few washes (I’ve got band t-shirts that are 15 years old and in much better condition) her smart new sequined t-shirt from Next loses sequins all over the place and as a result I’m scared to put it in the washing machine, and there are a few other items of ‘premium brand’ clothing that have ended up in the bin for one reason or another.

The old saying goes ‘You get what you pay for’. Yes, I agree, you should. So if I’m spending two or three times my usual amount on a dress or a t-shirt or whatever, I expect that to be reflected in the quality and longevity of the item. I have to admit I’m not really seeing it. Ah well, back to Primark…