Well done John Lewis! Clothes for boys and girls

September 5, 2017

There has been a lot of backlash lately about the decision made by John Lewis to get rid of their boys and girls section of clothing.

The decision means that all children’s clothes will simply come under the same label of ‘Boys and Girls’.

Now, in today’s society it’s impossible to please everyone. You’re always going to get people who disagree with this just as much as you’ll get people who agree with this decision.

It’s the people who take things to the extreme that annoy me most.

The people who come out and say that their child identifies as a monkey or a lion so they want a clothes line just for them. Seriously?!

For me the issue stems down to marketing. If these fashion brands and supermarkets had a broader mind and just made clothes sensibly then this wouldn’t even be an issue.

What I mean is when you walk into a shop and see aisles of ‘girls’ clothes which is pretty much a sea of pink, sparkly and glittery outfits.

Then when you walk down the ‘boys’ aisle it’s all blue, dinosaurs and footballs.

Of course lots of little girls like wearing pink and lots of boys like wearing blue. However lots of girls also like to wear blue and dress up as dinosaurs, just as lots of boys like to dress up as princesses and have their nails painted like mummy.

Children don’t see this huge gender divide and that’s because there shouldn’t be one to start with. A girl isn’t born thinking that she must only like pink and play with dolls, just as boys aren’t born thinking they’re not allowed to play with dolls because they have to play football.

It’s something that adults, companies, shops and their marketing teams have created.

I have twin girls who are five years old. As regular blog readers know, one loves to wears dresses whereas the other prefers your typical ‘boys’ clothes.

When we go clothes shopping we always end up in the boys section when it comes to buying our one girls clothes because she simply doesn’t like dresses or pink.

This is where I get irritated, and I totally understand that if you have a girly girl or a stereotypical boy, then you just won’t get it, but having to shop in the boys section because that’s the only place that sells a blue t-shirt, is not just annoying, it’s also sending out the wrong message to our children.

Personally I’d love to see more companies follow in John Lewis’s footsteps or simply have a better range of clothes available for girls and boys in those sections.

I’m talking blue tops with dinosaurs on in the girls section and pink tops with flowers on in the boys section for boys who like to wear pink.

I know you can’t please everyone, but I think this is a pretty good place to start.

Well done John Lewis!


  • Jo – Pickle and Poppet

    September 5, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    It is such a hard one as like you say you can’t please everyone and the stores are only conforming to what society have come to expect. I hadn’t ever noticed it with clothes, when Reuben was born we I just loved the selection of clothes and colours. It was only when Jessica was born that I noticed that everything was baby pink. I am not a pink person, nor am I a ‘floaty’ dress person so I found clothes shopping a bit of a bore to begin with. It was only as she got older I enjoyed it – and now she lives in dungarees pretty much.

    I don’t think they need to do away with boys and girls section but they need to make a wider selection of choice, away from pink for girls and blue for boys #TriumphantTales

  • Lucy At Home

    September 7, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    I think it’s good that shops are thinking about these issues but I think labelling all clothes “girls and boys” is going a bit far. There will always be children who break the mould but girls and boys ARE different – we are definitely different anatomically and genetically, but we are often different emotionally and mentally too. I don’t think equality should mean becoming the same – it should mean valuing the different things that everyone has to offer. Thank you for a thought-provoking post that has got my mind pondering these issues 🙂 #triumphanttales

  • Dad

    September 8, 2017 at 4:05 am

    I think a “kids t-shirts” isle would do the job. #ThatFridayLinky

  • Heather Keet

    September 8, 2017 at 5:41 am

    I think they should just mix it all in! Parents who have multiple kids will LOVE it because they can just get into the store and shop and not need to wander to different sections. #ThatFridayLinky

  • Katie Davies

    September 8, 2017 at 7:27 am

    I think people are way to sensitive over the “label” if you want to dress them in boys or girls just do it it’s not harming anyone. My boy loves his sisters dress up and my girl loves her brothers dress up quite often he is the princess and she’s the knight 😂
    I agree with boys and girls sections and really don’t see why a genderless aisle is needed
    I think the companies who make and sell these clothes need to broaden the styles and range of clothes that they create for both genders

  • Ellen

    September 8, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Not sure how I would cope if my kids were young again. This is so hard. We bought our son a doll to play with when he was younger and he still has it as we wanted to try and break down those barriers that it’s girls/women who are responsible for childcare etc. Time will tell if it worked!


    E x http://www.parentingteens.uk

  • Maria | passion fruit, paws and peonies

    September 8, 2017 at 11:50 am

    This has always been an issue. I think it is moving in the right direction since my two were young. Another thing I found was there has always been less choice for boys, especially between 13-16, than girls. It became so difficult to find clothes for my son during that time #ThatFridayLinky

  • David @ DadvWorld

    September 8, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    I like the idea of having just a kids section. Rather than gender related sections. It’s a tough one though isn’t it, I’ve seen the argument that do we then do that for adults? Can a man go into the office in a skirt? I mean for me, sure why not I couldn’t care less, I just have zero idea where or if there are any lines needed at some point.

    Gender stereotyping in children though is all made up and something needs to happen, John Lewis are doing that something.

    Great post 🙂

  • Mama Grace

    September 8, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    I love this and love that you can now decide. Maybe more clothes will be designed because of their practicality for kids and cool prints. I love that we can choose rather than being told. Though I think we will always be guided. #ThatFridayLinky

  • Jo – Pickle and Poppet

    September 8, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    Popping back for #ThatFridayLinky

  • Ali – We Made This Life

    September 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    I think this is a good move by John Lewis, I think clothes should just be grouped according to what they are – dresses, tops, trousers etc. Although saying that, my eldest likes wearing ‘boys’ clothes and we’ve never been bothered about looking in both sections for her.

  • Sadie | Be Your Own Example

    September 9, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    What I don’t understand is that you can get neutral clothing for adults (I’m thinking blazers, shirts and blue/grey/black items for women, and pink shirts/t-shirts for men), so why do they find it so hard to do that for kids clothing?

  • Musings of a tired mummy…zzz…

    September 9, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    I think having a range that has a range of colours but doesn’t assign them to gender is a good idea. My kids are very much boy and girl stereotypes when it comes to everything but I appreciate that others are not #thatfridaylinky

  • Jade – Raw Childhood

    September 9, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    I like the idea and I think it’s a great concept. I don’t know how many times I have had to buy leggings for my boys from the ‘girls’ section! #thatfridaylinky

  • five little doves

    September 10, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    I’m not sure how I feel about this, I think to be honest I just feel that it’s all gone a bit too far. If your boy likes to wear pink fine, if your daughter likes to wear blue, great. But I don’t see the need for all of this labelling and “boys and girls” wear. I’ve never found it a problem, my girls love to wear blue and I have some gorgeous outfits (girls wear) for them in those colours. #thatfridaylinky

  • Lisa Pomerantz

    September 10, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Down with all divisiveness. Kids Clothes. Adults clothes. Seems pretty easy and solves for all! Love this! #ThatFridayLinky xoxo

  • Helen Gandy

    September 10, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    I honestly am so fed up of the gender thing, it’s just crazy. I feel that perhaps a step too far from John Lewis but get what they are trying to achieve. I have no issues with boys sections or girls sections, I’ve never had any issues if I don’t like the clothes sold I simply don’t buy them. It’s such a divisive subject! Thanks for hosting #ThatFridayLinky

  • Chloe

    September 10, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Hi, to be fair I’m not really fussed by this and think that it coud be a clever marketing ploy by JL that has worked well #thatfridaylinky

  • jeremy@thirstydaddy

    September 11, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    This has been a rant of mine for a while also. I think this is a good start, but like you say, I’d be happier if they just added some better variety to “girls” clothes. There is an apparent market there for things other than ponies and rainbows. #thatfridaylinky

  • Mrs Mummy Harris

    September 11, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    I didn’t really have opinion until this weekend when I went to Mothercare to look for Peppa Pig goodies. *eye roll* The girls stuff was pink and all Peppa, but the boys only had George and was navy blue.
    Ben loves Peppa and I think he would prefer that rather than George clothes!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow!

    1. Mrs Mummy Harris

      September 12, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      Popping back from #Thatfridaylinky =]

  • Susie/So Happy In Town

    September 13, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    I think this has all gone a bit far. I’m totally for girls wanting to dress in pink and frills or girls wanting to dress in football strips. Same goes for boys. But really it’s the child’s choice that matters, it’s whatever makes them happy. And as long as the shops aren’t just making it confusing now and there will be a jumble of clothes all mixed together because you can’t avoid the fact that some clothes are more worn by boys and some are more worn by girls generally. #ThatFridayLinky

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