Remember when you were a kid, and clothing had an entirely different meaning? It wasn't about style, or comfort, or practicality, but about having fun! Luckily, I had one of those mothers who was entirely willing to let me wear a cape for days on end, cover my sweaters with giant rhinestones, or go swimming in my dress because I loved it too much to take off. (Hey, I have never claimed to be classy!)
Even with my....eclectic sense of style as a girl, one thing really bugged me. I could never find clothes for my favorite superheros unless we shopped in the boys department. I may have loved climbing trees and playing capture the flag, but I have always been a girly girl, and I was pretty upset that I couldn't find a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle dress.
Seriously - where the heck was that when I was seven? You'll be pleased to know that I do now own a TMNT minidress, and have found more skirts and dresses for the wishlist/sewing machine, but it's over twenty years too late, and it's just not the same!
Luckily for any of you readers who have kids now, things have started to change, and superhero-print kids clothes are everywhere! About time, too!
Superheros, comic books, this entire subgenre used to be aimed entirely at children. It's ridiculous to me that it's taken until now, when there are as many (or more) adult fans as young fans, to start seeing superhero clothes across the board.
Of course, there is still the issue that superhero/geeky clothes for girls make up a fraction of the market, while boys can find just about any superhero tee they could imagine. Still - at least there are ranges for girls, and the more we buy them, the more they will make!
Here are some of my favorite spots to buy clothes (and accessories) for the littlest hero in your life.
I'm not sure that I will ever be able to write a shopping article without mentioning ThinkGeek! It's honestly just an amazing site, and as well as having great sales, discounts and new products all the time, it is one of the few sites that doesn't make the majority of it's "girls" line pink.
Think Geek also does backpacks, lunchboxes, baby clothes and more! That is, if you can keep your shopping just to the kids stuff...
SuperHeroStuff.com has a wider range of kid's clothing than ThinkGeek does, and has, and as well as t-shirts has hoodies, pjs, long-sleeved shirts and caped shirts! You can also search by superhero or franchise, which is awesome.
Unfortunately, they definitely fall pray to the girlifying of the female superheroes. While there is nothing to stop you wearing any of the t-shirts (they are just kids shirts, after all. The cut is basically the same.) there are a lot of female superheroes on pink shirts, glittery shirts and even with the words "Girl Power" over the top of the image.
Then again, if I was still a kid, I might really love that!
Two great sites, both iBubbi and Etsy bring together different sellers under one virtual roof, so that you can find amazing custom and hand-made items.
iBubbi is specifically for "handmade and boutique kids gear", but they have a relatively small range of items. I'm including it partially for the phenomenal toddler's dress pictured above, which is not only adorable, but it's in the kind of colors we usually see boy's clothes in! Ahhh, progress! I'm also including it for these ridiculously cute superhero ties - hugely practical, of course, because toddlers have so many formal events to attend these days!
Etsy has a much bigger range, and the best thing about it is that a majority of the sellers make custom items, so that you can let your imagination go wild! It's also home to a great range of capes, tutus and other items for the kid who thinks that plain old jeans, t-shirts or skirts are too boring.
The main issue with these sites, however, is that because they are made up of lots of individual sellers, there can be problems with the quality and reliability of individuals. Make sure that you are checking ratings and comments on sellers - probably before you let the intended recipient see the pages you are looking at!
A final great use for Etsy is to make your own! Have a dress or shirt or pillow - or anything! - that needs some improvement? You can buy iron-on transfers to apply to whatever you like, so that you aren't limited to the colors or styles that are available elsewhere. Redbubble and CafePress are two other sites that allow you to choose designs to print onto a range of clothing, including bibs! Awwww...
Geek-a-bye-baby is a site for babies and toddlers, including nursery items, clothes and accessories. Even more fantastic for those of you with new mini-humans; they have accessories for parents, like diaper bags, nursing covers and jewelry.
Last but not least, lets not forget those stores (both online and on the street) where you can pick up official branded kids clothing for Marvel. The Marvel website has a store with a small kids range (although it has one woeful item described as "for girls". Shame on you, Marvel!), and Marvel has branded ranges with the Disney store, for obvious reasons. Again, the Disney/Marvel range is pretty light on the girls range, but there are some there!
Of course, with the way that Marvel is going, we will be seeing more official ranges across clothing stores soon! Because of the popularity of superhero movies, you can find kids clothing in a lot of stores, Wal-Mart, Target, even Forever 21 has a range!
Now it's easy to be a fan, and wear your fandom on your sleeve! I just wish that it had been so easy when I was growing up - time to make up for it now with all the amazing adult geeky styles and by treating any little monsters belonging to friends and family to all the superheroine gear their hearts could desire!
What are your favorite brands and sites for superhero clothes for kids? Comment below!