Is gender-free kids’ clothing the way forward? –

Naomi Isted, a stylist and blogger, does not believe merging clothing √ā¬≠departments or ranges is the answer. “There should be clear boundaries between [boys’ and girls’] sections,” says the 38 year-old, who lives in Harlow, Essex, with her husband Haydn, a property developer, and their two children, eight-year-old Fleur and Rocco, two-and-a-half. “It is not practical for parents and can be confusing for children,” she explains.

However, Isted can see a place for additional unisex sections – whether online or in store – so that all children can feel represented. “My children are very different personalities and are both very much the stereotypical boy and girl. However, if either one wanted to experiment with clothes from the opposite sex I would 100 per cent encourage them to express themselves.

“There’s no reason why a girl can’t wear black/blue and grey colours – and there’s also no reason why boys can’t wear pink. My son has long blond hair which he sometimes wears in a ponytail or topknot and he is always called a girl – even though he is wearing typically boyish styles. So I don’t think there’s a need to over-analyse things.”

When Isted shops with her daughter, she says they head online for the most part. “It’s easier to sit down and look at clothes together without the distraction of going to shops. We can be very systematic.” Fleur already knows her own mind, Isted says: “When she needs something new like a winter coat, she’s clear on what she wants.”


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