Article Updated: 1/29/2021
Some children’s clothing brands are selling kids' outfits that basically look like miniature adult clothes, and people are not sure what they think about it. Is it just cute to have trendy, chic little humans walking around, or is it a symptom of our hypersexualized culture?
For example, Fashion Nova’s little girl collection is stylish, yes (I mean, these kids are levels of style above me), but is it age-appropriate?
The Trendy Toddlers is another website that offers adult style clothes for babies, toddlers, and kids up to 5.
Crop tops, tube tops, off-the-shoulder tops. Short dresses. Leather pants. Would you want your young daughter walking around in an outfit like one of these?
But clothing companies like Fashion Nova are only half the issue. Parents are the ones who are purchasing these outfits, putting them on their children, and styling them like miniature adult models.
It’s one thing to buy cute clothes for your kids (Aren’t they all cute already simply because they’re little?), but it’s another thing to “age up” your child by dressing them in something you as an adult would wear, especially if you aren’t going to match with them.
Clothes not only express our personality, but they also tell the people around us what kind of person, and how old, we are. And it’s been this way for centuries — remember how young ladies would start wearing longer skirts and put their hair in an up-do when they became of marrying age? Those were appearance-based social cues to tell society around them that they were now available to be courted.
Today’s less-structured modern society has looser and more general cues — often based on the amount of skin women show — to indicate age and, well, to put it bluntly, sexual availability. Children don’t show skin in provocative places (bellies, shoulders, thighs, décolleté), and grown-up women do. Dressing little girls in clothes that send “grown-up” signals could cause problems, not only in maturing the children too soon but also with the less virtuous people around them.
In today’s society, let’s be conscious about supporting age-appropriate behaviors — let our kids be kids and spend your money elsewhere.