Kid’s Fashion

This has less to do with pop culture parenting and is more of a rant than anything. But we need to do it.

Yes, we need to talk about kid’s clothing.
Now I’ve never been the most fashionable person, whenever I get inspired bouts of trying to be fashionable I’m often disappointed, ending in a sad lethargy and general nihilism about the fashion game. But kid’s clothing is quite awful in ways that even I can sense and am surprised by.
Kid’s clothes are far more focused on overalls, brightly colored plaids, and animals than they have any right to be. I get it, kids are kitsch; we show them dumb movies, sing them dumb songs, talk to them in goo goo gah gah’d speech, so of course their clothes have to be a little stupid, it’s part of their routine. That’s why we’re here though, we’re trying to teach our kids how to have good taste, (and also lead them into a generally holistic well-being–or something like that anyway…). I’m a kid’s kitsch combatant, so I have to say something here.
It’s okay to buy clothing without an animal on it.
It’s okay to buy a collared shirt that doesn’t have a truck on the pocket.
I love my son and I hope our bond is strong, which is why I don’t need to buy him a onesie that says “Daddy’s special boy” or “my Dad rocks”. Thanks son, but I know you’re still dependent on me for survival, so I don’t need to beg for your affection just quite yet.
Now there is room for humor and I’ll let you have agency in determining the kind of wit or pop culture references you want to force your child to wear. I would say generally to avoid these, because they still lean toward the cheesy side of things, but ultimately that’s up to you. For instance, my son has the name of a famous philosopher, so we took him home from the hospital wearing a shirt with said philosopher’s face on it and a quote underneath. I think that’s funny, but I could be wrong (The Good Place seems to agree with me though, so…). Tread lightly here, does the world really need another kid wearing a Star Wars or Marvel onesie? It’s Target chic at this point.
Instead, pick your most specific references, after all the hope is that one day your kid will be into a really specific thing and have to be like: do you listen to podcasts? Well they’re kind of like radio shows, but you download them on your phone. This one is an indie comedy one that I saw them record live in person and bought their shirt. The goal is an uber-specific reference that takes five minutes to explain to someone who lost interest as soon as you began trying.
When it comes to traditional every day clothing, the simpler the better. I always think that putting them in something similar to what you would wear is probably good judgment in taste, but I suppose having matching outfits with your kids is a whole different debate in kitschiness; we can discuss this another time.
Generally I think I would pick tones of tan, dark stripes, and avoid bright colors; let everyone know your kid’s the artsy, moody type.
When it comes to fancier clothing, people love to see kid’s wearing things that make them look very grown up and I’m down for this. Bring on the bow ties and the slacks and the blazers (I’m only a parent to a boy, so I have no advice for girl’s fancy clothing, but if you want to put your girl into a suit Princess Cyd style, then I have no problem with that). These are fantastic on children. Dapper kids are great.
Obviously though you should only buy what you can afford, I’m not advocating for a slew of $40 onesies from that boutique because at the rate your child is growing there’s no way you can keep up with that budget. Stay simple and stay selective. Your kid should wear cool clothes, but more importantly, your kid should not wear uncool clothes. That’s what we want. A grey onesie beats out the strange animal-kid puns that exist on 65% of all children’s clothing.
Join the movement: #againstkidskitsch
What’s the worst piece of kid’s clothing you’ve seen? What are your go-tos? Do you hate me? Let me know in the comments.

Weekly Thoughts 13

I am writing this right now from a McDonald’s.

Yes, I recently moved which put me in a position of having no internet and while McDonald’s is certainly not known for its Wi-Fi game, it beats the monotony of a daily appearance at Starbucks. I want to talk more about this internet-less experience, but you will have to wait next week for that– today, a complaint.

Last Wednesday I called in order to have my internet transferred, they told me that on Saturday between four and five they would come to do it. By 5:15 on Saturday we hadn’t heard anything so we called again, made sure they had our numbers right and soon after that they came and tried to install it.

Unfortunately this didn’t work because some sort of cable wasn’t working and they told us that they would have to come back some time on Monday.

Monday came around and we didn’t hear anything from them. The next day we called again and they said that they had come and fixed it and called us but nobody answered. Turns out that they called an old phone number, which we had just made sure they wouldn’t use the previous Saturday. They told us somebody would call us within an hour to try to schedule a time. No call ever came.

The next day we called again to see what was happening, this time they told us we could only schedule an appointment for the following Tuesday–6 days later and 13 days after our original call to them.

This enraged me a little bit, I’m not gonna lie. It feels like pretty poor customer service and mishandling people who rely on a service quite a bit and are willing to pay (probably too much) to have it. Right now we are not paying anything, just waiting to give away our money.

This service provider is named Time Warner Cable by the way–I wanted to make sure you knew that. Obviously this story is not the most exciting, I’m sure some readers will love graveling against a big corporation, because they are fun to gravel against, but ultimately this is an experiment of sorts.

Time Warner provides support in two main ways: through their call-in system (which we’ve been using) and an online chat. There isn’t really any way to email them complaints and for timid phone talkers like myself I will never sound enraged enough on a telephone to make any real change happen. The chat is difficult to use, especially to explain this problem using only an iPhone.

The other day though, I noticed something very interesting. Frustrated at a lack of internet and general enthusiasm to fix my problem on Time Warner’s behalf, I sent out a sarcastic tweet. Within minutes a Time Warner Help account tweeted back at me, asking me about my problem and what they can do. I never responded, because my phone does not really work well in sending replies, only in sending out Tweets. But I had gotten someone’s attention.

So perhaps detailing out my problems and the ways in which Time Warner Cable has failed on the internet, using social media, and blogs is the best way to make change happen. These brands are working very hard to keep their images clean. Like how advertising has crept slyly into our feeds maybe we too have the power to affect corporations by what we say about them online. After all they pay good money to be featured however slightly on our screens, this shows that these platforms have a perceived sense of power and influence at least to marketing types. Maybe the criticism given to the slacktivist is a little unwarranted after all.

So Time Warner Cable, if you’re out there, I don’t want to trash your brand, I really don’t, but let’s see what happens.

And you, my internet readers and users of the web, this medium is the future. It is the place where everything happens and where everybody is fighting for their corner; their place to commodify. In its ridiculousness this gives you power, so use the internet how you will.