Times have changed! The clothing options for sporty, dinosaur-obsessed or tech-minded girls abound nowadays.
Launched in the United Kingdom in 2015, Climbing Trees is a company started by mother-daughter duo Cheryl and Brooke Rickman. Cheryl and Brooke were shopping for a dinosaur T-shirt in the girls' section of a kids' clothing store, and couldn't find any! Indeed, it's true — in most kids' clothing stores, the girls' section is an overwhelming menagerie of pinks and purples, flowers, princesses and ponies. The boys' side is all blues and greens, robots, spaceships and dinosaurs. But people like the Rickmans challenged that sort of gender stereotyping by taking matters into their own hands.
Climbing Trees clothes feature dinosaurs, monsters and robots. Because Cheryl and her daughter love to climb trees, they donate 50 percent of all revenue to The Woodland Trust, a foundation dedicated to preserving trees. Says Rickman on the company's website, "We all know that children have varying tastes. Some girls don't like princesses or pink at all. Some love those things. Some love pink and sparkles but also love climbing trees, getting muddy and playing football; dressing up as a princess one day and a knight the next. We wanted to reclaim motifs that have been reserved for boys and give girls the chance to wear them too, without always having to buy them from the boys' department."
And they're not the only one kicking the princess culture to the curb.
Texas mom Sharon Choksi launched the Girls Will Be clothing line back in 2013 to create clothes for girls who would rather wear a T-shirt with an airplane on the front than a flower. Their shorts are pretty unique too. Called their "perfect play" shorts, they are not super tight or super short, instead having a loose enough fit for playtime but not oversized like many of the shorts made for boys.
Frustrated Seattle moms Jennifer Muhm and Malorie Catchpole couldn't find astronaut Halloween costumes and train-themed underwear for their girls, respectively. Instead of resigning themselves to picking something "girlier" they created BuddingSTEM, a line of clothes for girls whose interests include space and transportation. From their website: "Let's validate our girls' interests in these subjects from an early age, and celebrate their opportunity to grow up and make a difference in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields where women are underrepresented today."
Prefer girly clothes, like dresses and skirts, but want to skip the frilly additions? Princess Awesome, another company started by moms, carries dresses that feature planes and trains, and even the pi symbol. Another company launched by Jo Hadley, mom to a toddler boy whose favorite color at the time was pink, is Handsome in Pink. It features tees with slogans like, "Forget Princess, call me President."
Though the companies offer similar products, Handsome in Pink founder Hadley told the Huffington Post, "We do not see each other as competition but rather as inspiration to keep moving the gender empowerment movement forward for boys and girls."