Much has been written recently about the length of kids shorts and why it matters. Time and time again, it seems that many retailers make shorts for girls significantly shorter than the options available for boys. This image from Marks & Spencers is typical of the range available from many high street retailers.
The lovely Mitra Abrahams even took the trouble to go and measure short lengths in a selection of high street retailers. The results speak for themselves -
shorts aimed at girls were on average 50mm and shorts aimed at boys were 120mm (inside leg measurement). That’s a massive difference! You can read the full research report here.
The response from retailers has been weak. In a statement to Yahoo News a spokesperson for M&S said, "We know customers want choice and so we sell a wide range of lengths, fits and styles in kidswear.”
This is an illusion because there is no choice. Let Clothes Be Clothes campaign group stated, "Every single one of the shorts we looked at in their online 'Summer Shop' are short for girls, longer for boys. Why? Short shorts are not the problem, the fact they're exclusively seen as a 'girls option'."
Why does it matter? Up to about the age of seven years, when puberty hormones can start to kick in, children are the same average size regardless of gender. And children’s needs are the same - they need to be comfortable, the right temperature and have unrestricted movement to play and explore.
I know some people respond by saying, ‘what’s the problem, just buy clothes from both sections.’ And clearly that is an option for some parents. However, children learn from a young age what is aimed at ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ and will often be reluctant to wear things they feel are not aimed at them.
I’m not saying everything has to be unisex, but we have a choice here, either remove labels and just have ‘children’s clothing’ or keep the labels if you must, but offer more variety within your ranges.
Needless to say, our kids shorts are unisex, along with the rest of our product range! You can check them out here.