This Makes Me Puke

From the Wall Street Journal: “Do These Jeans Make My Diaper Look Big?: As Skinny Jeans Shrink to Baby Size, Parents Pay Up, Retailers Cheer, Everyone Else Worries What’s Next”

Seriously, puke:

Ava Lane, a smiley two-year-old who lives in Deland, Fla., has four pairs of skinny jeans. She received the first pair as a gift, says mom Christina Lane, who thought they looked so cute she bought more.

“Babies and toddlers have big bellies, and skinny jeans are not for people with big bellies,” says Ms. Lane, a 29-year-old museum marketing director. “But they still work.” […]

Wow.  Just fucking wow.

Most recently, Ms. Lane bought two pairs of skinny jeans from Gap Inc., the country’s largest apparel retailer, which sells skinny jeans in sizes as small as zero to three months. The company says skinny styles now make up 40% of its jeans offering for infant and toddler girls and 70% for girls at the kids division.

It’s the second part of that sentence, the 70% in the girls division, that truly makes me sad.

Skinny jeans—slim through the thighs and knees, and even slimmer through the calves and ankles—are popping up in pint sizes at mall stores including American Eagle Outfitter Inc.’s 77Kids and Little77 divisions as well as J. Crew Group Inc.’s Crewcuts. Several denim players, including True Religion Apparel Inc. and Levi’s from Levi Strauss & Co., also make skinny jeans for kids. […]

When applied to children, the “skinny” label sounds a tad odd. As comedian Stephen Colbert said during his Comedy Central show “The Colbert Report”: “Thank you, the babyGap. I say, ‘You are never too young to worry about the size of your fat'” bottom. […]

The retailer features skinny jeans on its mannequins, which caught the eye of Sarah Coffey, a 32-year-old school counselor from Minneapolis. Ms. Coffey recently bought her 2-year-old daughter, Sebryna, her first pair of skinny jeans at babyGap. Before she committed to the purchase, she hauled Sebryna into a dressing room to check the fit.

“She’s not skinny, so I wouldn’t have necessarily thought to buy skinny jeans but I was inspired by the display,” says Ms. Coffey. It featured a mannequin clad in gray skinny jeans, a striped tunic, plum-colored cardigan and silver ballet flats. Ms. Coffey bought the entire outfit. She does not wear skinny jeans herself. […]

Children’s clothing fills an important spot in the life cycle of some trends: After reaching young women, fads often swing downward to tots, and then back up to their parents. That’s because many moms are more willing to be fashion-forward with their young children than with themselves, Ms. DeMartini says.

The children’s department is “a safe place for the mom to start the trend on her child,” says Ms. DeMartini. “She can vicariously live through that child.” Ms. DeMartini dressed her kids—ages 2, 8 and 10—in skinny jeans long before she tried them. She says that eventually, her own wider-leg jeans started to look “weird,” prompting her to experiment with skinnier styles.

I’m sorry.  But that is fucked up.  Fucked up.  Should adult women be living vicariously through the bodies and the clothes of their children?

And while many moms won’t wear unflattering “mom jeans,” they also won’t squeeze themselves, or their children, into skinny jeans. “I have pretty normal-sized kids,” says Nora Leibowitz, of Portland, who does not wear the style. “That means they’re not skinny in any way.” Ms. Leibowitz, a senior policy analyst for the state specializing in federal health reform, says comfort is her main goal in dressing her 5-year-old daughter and 1-year-old twins.

Gap isn’t letting up. In recent weeks, jeggings, a hybrid of jeans and legging, hit GapKids stores. In the pipeline: Jeggings for babies.

AHHHHHHH!  Head, meet Desk.


One thought on “This Makes Me Puke

  1. Great post! In addition to being all kinds of sexualizing and wrong, marketing skinny jeans to babies and toddlers is just plain dumb. Way to make potty-training yet more difficult, babyGap!

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