When it comes to kids fashion, parents try their best to balance between trends and sensibility. After all, half of the fun of getting dressed is allowing kids to express themselves. Sometimes, the fashion industry can be pretty sneaky and produce clothing which misses the mark, or deliberately promotes some double entendre.
There’s nothing like the struggle of explaining to a young child why an article of clothing is worthy of negative attention. This is especially trying, when a kid just wants to wear what they saw in an advert to be popular. The fashion industry may get to enjoy being risque to reap in the money, but it is kids who get left confused or possibly put at risk for the downsides of humanity.
Face it, rampant sexualization of children, and pandering to popular adult humor is just plain inappropriate for kid’s fashion. It seems that kids get to be the scapegoat for pushing the envelope, with cheeky messages printed on everything from t-shirts to underwear. Maybe fashion designers and big box stores selling kids clothes thought, “No one is going to give this concept a second thought if a kid is wearing it. It is harmless, fun and endearing.” Thus, kid fashion fails are born.
14 The Insta Model
There are some parents, and kids, who might not see anything wrong with this picture or what the little girl is wearing. Although this cutie pie is fully covered, for the most part, this outfit (and her pose) looks like something we can find on our Instagram newsfeed. There's no doubt any woman, from a teenager to an adult, would wear this outfit.
What happened to the days when kids wore colored cotton t-shirts with their favorite Disney characters printed on the front. Instead, the girl is wearing a pink off-the-shoulder top that looks like it was bought at a chic downtown boutique. And let's not forget those rip jeans. They are not only ripped from top to bottom, but was it really necessary to dress her legs in a pair fish net stocking? Maybe it was cold outside...
13 The Baby Bikini
Kids are so cute when they are going to the beach. While most parents would think to have their toddler don a ruffled summer hat and a one-piece, or even venture out in a diaper and tank, some designers thought bikinis were perfect for little kids.
The bikini was sensationalized during World War 2, and was made popular as fashioned by young buxom models. Bikinis have been marketed as an adult bathing costume, so putting one on a young child can really risk sending some harmful messages. Sharks and undertows are not the only predators at a beach.
Many designers have enjoyed creating a buzz around their fashion line with controversy. Primark got this when they released some bikinis for babies and toddlers. The line really upset parents, as a bikini can not even cover a diaper!
12 Little Madonna
Madonna become a highly recognized style and music icon, beloved by many. However, just because Madonna can get away with something, doesn’t mean slapping a similar look on a toddler can fly. There is no way that someone could not stare for hours, at those mesmerizing cone-shaped tops. They just scream “Look at the ___ on her!”
With the sheer amount of fantastic and sensational looks that Madonna pulled off, choosing to put a youngster in this outfit becomes more creepy than cute. Unfortunately, there are underlying subconscious ideas transmitted by the clothing we wear, and the energy it exudes. Toddlers sporting some extremely conical, gold metallic, bra tops can’t say anything but “Like a virgin.” Like is emphasized, and so is age inappropriate fashion.
11 The Overexposed Mermaid
There’s nothing like the annual Mermaid Parade in NYC’s Coney Island. The parade is all about celebrating the sea, mermaids, and fanciful imaginative costumes. People of all ages turn up for this thing, and the trains and streets are packed. Anyway, mermaids have captured the hearts and imagination of kids and adults of all ages. Despite creative liberties and interpretations, some people feel they need to be literal with their depictions of those ephemeral maidens of the sea.
Here’s looking at you, kid! I know being topless is legal in some places in the world, but everyone isn’t ready to not sexualize certain lady bits unfortunately. If the Starbucks mermaid can cover up a bit more tastefully with her hair, why not have some shells, or seaweed for modesty sake.
10 The Night Walker
It’s never to early to get a kid ready for a career, right? If it wasn’t enough that a toy company developed a pole dancing doll, complete with faux cash in the garter, one mom decided Halloween was the best time to introduce baby to exotic dancing.
Yes, there are different types of work that people engage in to pay the bills. However, dressing an impressionable young child in tawdry adult clothing, not only exposes them to early sexualization, but sets the bar for things kind of low.
Considering that the internet doesn’t let people easily forget fashion a major fashion faux pas, one may wonder about this child’s future occupation. Who knows? Pole dancing might enjoy a high art future. Until then, too young, is too young.
9 The Naughty Pandas
This shirt was, thankfully, a hoax, but considering how far some fashion labels will go for attention and profit, it set the internet on fire. The offending article of clothing, promoted for young kids, featured pandas in various positions copulating. Bunnies are out, and pandas are in. There is nothing inherently wrong with animals having sex, as that is how life continues. However, it is weird and irresponsible for images of cute happy panda bears getting busy to be all over a shirt worn by a little girl or boy.
After enough outcry from around the web sounded off, some investigations uncovered that this naughty panda shirt was fraudulent. Thankfully, since this shirt was a hoax, maybe other clothing companies for kids won’t get any other tawdry ideas. But we doubt it.
lifesavers for many parents, and come in many sizes and colors.
8 Straight Out Of A Horror Film
Silence of the Lambs was one of those films, which became a classic thriller, with its introduction of Hannibal Lecter to the world. No matter how much a toddler bites, comparing their growing pains to cannibalism is more than harsh. Kids have their challenges as they learn how to behave, and what’s appropriate or not. Dressing a child up as a brilliant, but insanely psychopathic serial killer sends some chilling messages.
If a kid is having issues biting people, there are better ways to get a kid to act differently. Making light of cannibalism, serial killers, and psychological terror is not age appropriate for a toddler. Maybe the parent is giving out a cry for help, and the costume is just a cover?
7 The Inappropriate Fist Pump
One company went a little too far, crossing the line with a t-shirt prominently featuring a gesture on a shirt. The problem? The words paired with the shirt insinuated an unconventional sex act, using the hand. Not only did this item present some confusion for kids and parents, it really showed how brazen some children’s clothing lines can be.
The only action with a fist that a child should be aware of, is punching during a sport, or throwing up a fist in celebration. Sneaking in some sexual innuendo on a child’s shirt was really disturbing, and even grossed some parents out. Once the offensive shirt made its rounds around the web, enough rallying outcry followed that the t-shirt was pulled from shelves. Good riddance!
6 Just like Her Doll
We can only hope this photo was taken on Halloween, since the girl seems to be dressed up just like the doll sitting next to her - and the resemblance is quite uncanny (minus the green gloves). The girl is standing on the couch wearing a pair of pink joggers that tie at the waist, a black strapless crop top, and brown sandals, along with a pink bandana and maybe even a blonde wig.
Now, maybe this outfit was a Halloween costume, or her parents playing dress-up, and having some innocent fun, but it's hard not to cringe when a toddler looks like she's a teenager ready to hit up the nearest house party.
5 The Kim Kardashian Catastrophe
Kim Kardashian, the well-known celebrity reality TV star, decided to produce a luxurious children’s clothing line. Some things are just inappropriate for kids, no matter how you package it.
Not only did Kim K release a velour bikini for young girls of preschool age, but even more offensive, was a leopard print slip dress. There is no way that anything designed like lingerie, or with the name lingerie in it, can be deemed kid appropriate. Just the sight of this tart-like outfit would make any child predator salivate - NOT what we want from our children's clothing.
It can be difficult to discern what is appropriate for a child when someone is used to the adult world of high-fashion looks and has lots of money at their disposable. A bad look, is simply just that.
4 Never Too Young For High Heels
Yes, someone brilliant thought it wasn’t enough to provide heels for women, which contribute to varicose veins, spinal cord issues, and feed into ideas of beauty and sex appeal. Babies need high heels too. Guess the fashion industry just wants to start them young. Unbelievably, little babies and toddlers could be seen by fashion conscious parents donning a pair of high heels just for baby.
No, the shoes were not styled like stilettos, but the message it sends is off-putting. Certain items are simply for adults. Especially for a tiny growing body, wearing shoes that could hamper healthy and natural development of the body is disturbing. Since children love to emulate the adults in their life, a permissive parent who found these shoes cute or humorous may have helped do more harm than good.
3 Don't Forget To Wrap It Up
Even if Halloween rolls around, and a family is on a budget, some costumes make you do a double-take. Having a kid dress up as a condom may say, “Our family cares about safer sex.” However, more people might be apt to not only raise an eyebrow, but see this more as, “If only I just wrapped it up folks. Oops.”
2 The Escaped Convict
Prison shows seem to be all the rage lately, from Prison Break to the more recent sensation Orange is the New Black. When it comes to kids, there’s nothing like emulating their heroes, even if they are convicted felons, right? Yeah, there is a bit of dark humor, comparing spending nine months in a mother’s womb to prison. However, getting kids used to the idea of being incarcerated as something lighthearted or humorous is a bit twisted.
Does the punishment fit the crime? Who is more guilty with this fashion offense? Is it the baby at the center of it all sporting an orange jumpsuit, or the mom for keeping the baby ‘locked up’ until their delivery? I mean... ‘parole.’ Now, I’m even getting confused.
1 Another Inappropriate Disney Moment
It can be really tough to crack down on counterfeit clothing, especially clothing with beloved and recognizable characters. In places where clothing manufacturing is prominent, it isn’t difficult for manufacturers to churn out counterfeit gear. Affordability and sticking it to major labels may be to blame.
Either way, someone decided to produce some clothing for young kids, featuring Mickey Mouse and other familiar Disney characters. The problem? Other than being unofficial Disney wear, Mickey and other characters were posed giving the finger, alongside rude and offensive language. Thanks to these shirts, it looked like a famous character might need a date with a soap bar.
Apologies made their rounds, and the shirts became even more popular because of the taboo of combining kids, cute characters, and curse words.
Halloween Taken Too Far
The Biker Kid
Sources: Babble, The Sun, eBaum’s World, Café Mom