50 Shades of Navy: Buying clothes for little boys


This is a tale of Navy, grey, green and black. This is the rather unappetising palette of colours available in every “boy” section of every shop. Unless you shop Little Bird by Joules, which is lovely for the most part, but on the pricey side – these are your options. Yes, boy clothes have all the excitement of watching golf at the laundrette.

I decided I had had enough when I was looking for holiday clothes for my two sons. Every shop I went into had the same shark print t-shirt , the same dinosaur shorts. I looked wistfully at the “girls” section. Neon brights, bundles of taffeta and lace, appliquΓ©s, subdued colours, soft colours, patterns, a selection of shoes that look like they belong in a patisserie window … I compared it to the Nevada desert of the boys section that sported a pair of blue jelly sandals and plain black slip ons. Girls can look like a toilet roll holder if they choose to, or they can sling on dungarees and a t-shirt.

Shopping for boys is a “that’ll do” mission. There’s no luxuriating over which grey “cool dude” t-shirt he will look best in. They are all the same, just give me the cheapest. What’s the presumption all boys are “cool” anyway?

I would much prefer a “Hot headed little s**t” t-shirt, far more realistic …

While I’m on the subject I also have to bypass the “handsome like my Daddy” section, which cuts my clothes selection by a further 25%.

Might I suggest “Bitchy like my Mummy”is also much better.

Then there’s the Spider-Man shit, which is made of some strange material that fades in the wash and ends up making Spider-Man look like he’s been in an accident.

I’ve concluded that boy clothes are like a uniform, whereas girls clothes allow for far more choice and creative freedom. I did an internal happy dance when I spotted a sequin skull on a boy’s t-shirt in Primark, and raked the rails for more gems, however I think it was a token gesture- I was met with grey, navy and a splash of ‘vibrant’ khaki.

Boy sequins Β£4 , Primark

It’s not just for me (although shopping for kid’s clothes is a guilty pleasure of mine) my son actually gravitates toward for “fun” pieces. I think he’s gained my shopping addiction by osmosis (whoops). He’s basically a magpie, he loves bright colours and interesting patterns.

Unless you want to put them in a “creepy uncle on holiday” Hawaiian shirt, there isn’t much else out there for little boys. Brands need to take a leaf out of Little Bird’s book and show boys they can be fabulous too!


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