According to the latest studies, kids can identify genders by the time they are two and form their own gender identities by the time they are three.
And despite this, we continue to inundate kids from the time they are newborns with clothing, images, and language that are very clearly gendered. From the time they’re born, kids are being told what is “female” and what is “male” and that it is not ok to cross those lines.
But what about kids who fall somewhere in between? Kids who feel gender fluid or gender non-conforming? What are we signaling to those kids?
When we don’t allow kids to fully express themselves, we are telling them to hide who they really are. We’ve given clear roadmaps about how to “be a girl” and how to “be a boy” but we’ve neglected everyone else.
Not to mention that not everyone who identifies as a girl likes girly, pink things and not every boy wants to play with trucks.
But now, fashion is finally getting a clue. A hoard of gender-neutral kids clothing brands have come on the scene and are showing parents they can allow their kids to just be kids. What started out as a niche industry has grown to include big brands like Abercrombie & Fitch and Target.
Below are some of the coolest brands that are making gender-neutral clothing accessible to all.
1. Gardner And The Gang
Gardner and the Gang is easily one of my favorite kids’ brands — I mean, do they make clothes in my size?
They love to use fun, bright color and don’t shy aware from pink and blue — they just make sure that kids of all genders are comfortable wearing them.
The best part? Actress Jaime King partnered with them to make her own clothing line and the results were amazing.
2. Free to Be Kids
Free to Be Kids is the perfect brand for anyone who loves taking their kiddies to protests and rallies. They’ve got all the adorable political tees you could want, plus some great tiny feminist merch. They also have a ton of shirts where the proceeds go to charity.
3. Jessy & Jack
While still small, Jessy & Jack has a super cute collection of clothes for both babies and kids, most of which feature animals. They’re also some of the softest, coziest clothes on the market, with all of their clothes made out of 100% natural cotton. They also donate a portion of their sales to local women’s and children’s shelters.
4. Mini Rodini
Mini Rodini is pretty much the most Instagramable kids clothing brand ever. So if you want your mini-me to be a fashionista (or fashionisto), then you’ve come to the right place.
They’re also all about sustainability and fair pay. Starting in 2014, they started implementing paying a living wage over a minimum wage to all their workers and manufacturers. They’ve been rolling out the “Living Wage Project” country by country and plan to pay all of their workers a living wage by 2021.
5. Jean and June
Jean and June offers a small but adorable collection of onesies and tees. Most of the clothes are in white, black, and gray, so they’re perfect for any baby.
6. Whistle & Flute
Whistle & Flute is probably one of the most whimsical brands on this list (um, hello avocado tee!). Not only do they have kids and baby clothes, but they also have adult sizes so you can totally twin with the kiddo.
7. Quirkie Kids
Quirkie Kids was started by a mom who couldn’t find clothing that matched her son’s interest. The brand offers adorable tees for kids and onesies for babies.
There’s even a whole section of tees that feature positive, gender-breaking messages like “Pick Flowers Not Fights” for boys and “A Little Dirt Never Hurt” for girls.
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel and when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her obsessing over her tuxedo cat Tom or hoarding drugstore lipsticks.