Hero Skirt - Breaking the Bias in Kids Clothing
By Elizabeth Brunner
At StereoType, we strongly believe that self-expression is an essential part of a child's growth and development. Clothing tells a story as well as helps us express to the world how we feel on the inside. Which is why we always felt like ‘gender-neutral’ clothing — the muted, blues, grays and yellow — didn’t necessarily speak to kids who wanted their clothing to be bright and expressive. Sure, gender-neutral basics have their place in the closet, but where were the clothes boys and girls could grab when they wanted to be the biggest, brightest, version of themselves? Clothing that was more expansive than the princess dresses and superhero masks commonly found in the dress-up box.
This is the reason why StereoType designed the Hero Skirt and Cape. Like my twins, it’s twice the fun and the possibilities for play and imagination are endless. This piece was imagined, designed, printed and sewn in San Francisco, something we are very proud of. The idea came about as I watched my girl/boy twins playing and changing characters right before my eyes. One minute they are pretending to be a superhero and the next a fairytale princess. Created for playtime, the Hero Skirt and Cape is also the perfect addition to bring along for everyday adventures.
But more than that, we are breaking a bias that no longer belongs in childhood expression and experiences. The notion that skirts are only for girls and heroes only for boys is antiquated and limits a childs imagination and growth. The Hero Skirt and Cape invites kids to express themselves however they like, period. Boys can be princesses and girls can be superheroes. They can be both – sometimes at the same time. We removed the stereotypical gender labels but not the sparkles, the twirls and the magic that comes with wearing the clothes that reflect how kids feel on the inside.
We often talk about kids playing pretend. But what if it’s not so much playing pretend as an outward expression and manifestation of what they feel on the inside? A state of being in the present moment. What if kids weren’t just playing superheroes, but actually channeling the superhero or princess within that demands an outward expression?
Bottom line: For kids, playing is serious business. And that’s why we created the Cape and Skirt combo that is ready to go from the dress-up box to the real world, to handle serious imagination and can be passed down to siblings or friends.
For us, it was also important to create a playtime item that can grow with kids, and doesn’t get “too short” or “too small” and that is multi-functional. As toddlers grow into the little kid years and little kids evolve into big kids, the Hero Skirt evolves right along side them. At StereoType, we know that playtime doesn’t have an expiration date, (nor should it) and it’s important to have clothes that grow and elevate as dreams and identities do too.
But the one thing that stays the same: All kids have the power to be heroes and princesses, plus anything inbetween. Just as it should be.