Unbrand my child!

I’ve never been particularly interested in clothing covered in branding. Not for myself and not for the boy. He’s had a couple of GAP hoodies with branding across the front, but other than that I don’t really go in for turning my child into a walking billboard. But what irks me more than branding, are children’s clothes covered in TV or film characters. It’s brand stretching at it’s most cynical.

Your kid likes this TV show? Why not advertise for us by having him walk around plastered in the stuff? Come on, we give you hours of fun for free, you owe us! Well no actually, we don’t. And producers realised long ago that the hours of ‘free’ fun could be paid for by ads. Maybe that’s why character clothing is on the increase. Traditional advertising revenues are falling with the advent of streamed TV and Internet. Whatever. Doesn’t mean I have to be part of it.

I would just like to make it clear that this is a totally personal preference. I don’t judge anyone for the clothes they choose to put their kids in. The fact you’ve got them up and dressed is a win from me! I just dislike character based clothes on my own child. And that’s fine. I’m happy to just avoid it. But that’s getting harder and harder to do. Even previously classic bastion of good quality children’s clothes, Marks and Spencer, have covered their recent children’s collections with TV and Movie collaborations.

I was looking for a plain, thin, summer hoodie for Oscar last weekend. The boy has one lovely one from Next, but I was looking for some variety. I was shocked at how little I could find that wasn’t covered in either branding or characters. And it saddened me. I mean I know the high street in Guildford isn’t the very pinnacle of choice when it comes to shopping, but it’s big enough, surely, not to have to devote any and all children’s clothing retail space to the big character names?

In the end do you know where I found a lovely, simple and well cut summer hoodie without any branding or character tie ins? Primark. I defied my own number one shopping rule and went in Primark, on a Saturday afternoon. And I found exactly what I was looking for. It almost pained me to realise my favourite brands had let me down and here was Primarni doing me a solid. I even ended up buying him the cutest pair of denim shorts and some socks too. Well, in for a penny in for a pound. Well 12 as it happens and I left pleased with my purchases. Happy ending.

Or rather, it’s really not. The hoodie has washed really badly. First wash and the fabric is incredibly bobbled. I’m gutted, but not really that shocked. It’s the reason I’ve avoided the chain in the past. You get what you pay for. And had I been looking for cheap I’m not sure I’d be as bothered. But I wasn’t, I was looking for plain, unbranded, uncovered in characters. That’s all. Is this what it comes down to?

High street chains please take note. Not all parents want to dress their children in ads for the latest blockbuster. At least while they still have a say in their children’s clothing. Who knows? If Oscar ever starts giving a hoot what he wears, I may just be eating my words!



Life with Baby Kicks


  1. My son has a few Batman, George Pig and Postman Pat tops, but usually bought by other people. I can’t say I’m a big fan of brands either but he loves them. I do love Marks and NExt for kids clothes though. So cute. #mummymonday

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Ahh the well meaning family purchase. I know what you mean. Fortunately Oscar has no interest in what he wears at all, meaning I get to decide. For now. I love Next too!

  2. I’m a Primark shopper (skint) and I always buy a size too big as I know it’s going to shrink a little.
    I wish my boys didn’t have a thing for character clicking, buy a large number of their tops are Sonic, Lego or Minions.

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Shrinking? Now I never thought of that. Good plan. Why is it children are so easily swayed by character clothing? hahaha I think its just to annoy us!

  3. ‘Tis annoying but eldest son has almost given up on it. He still wears Lego branded things but that’s more geeky than cartoonish so that’s okay right? 😉

  4. ‘The hoodie has washed really badly.’ Oh, that’s annoying. But thoroughly unsurprising. There’s a reason why things are cheap, and when it comes to clothes chances are it’s the quality of the fabric that suffers.

  5. Love this, when Oliver grew out of his 18-24 vests I still wanted 2-3 popper vests because it was winter. The only ones I could find in Tesco were Mickey mouse ones. He’d never even heard of Mickey at this point. Although I do like the fact that he likes the tv show based on liking the character rather than vice versa.

    We did get a few unbranded things from Tesco though, and h&m, but I mostly shop for Oliver’s things online, which means a bigger choice. A shame for the high street, I suppose if the demand is there they just stock what they’re more likely to sell.

  6. I hate branded clothes. My daughter didn’t have many and now chooses her own but doesn’t often asked for branded stuff. My son LOVES Spider-Man so I have caved and let him have a few things with that on, but I generally refuse to buy branded stuff too! #effitfriday

  7. Yes yes yes! It’s become so hard to buy tasteful clothing that doesn’t cost a fortune and isn’t covered in headache-inducing character-plugging and such. I always make a beeline for Primani when I visit the UK tbh and we’ve been lucky on the whole with quality. Good post! #effitfriday

    • mrssavageangel says:

      I know other people who live away from the UK who do the same thing. I’ve only ever bought a couple of things so I know it’s not necessarily representative. But you’re so right about the headache inducing characters.

  8. My boy adores his superheroes and therefore is often a walking ad for the Mrvel franchise; but more that that, he loves having Superman on his t-shirt so I see no issue with it. But I’d never do it head to toe, nor would he wear it every day. Besides, he’ll grow out of it. I’m with you on Primarni though; never washes well. Have you tried Boden for the basics? #effitfriday

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Ahhh I’m glad you’ve found something he’s happy to wear – I’m all for making life easy for ourselves. I’m just glad O pays no mind whatsoever to what he wears. Yet! I have bought a few pieces from Boden. Some of it’s gorgeous, but I get most of our basics from Next. Partly because it’s easy!

  9. I steer clear of branded/character clothing too. I’m not a big fan of all the advertising, but I also just don’t like how it usually looks. Although I did buy an ADORABLE pair of baby dungarees embroidered with Minnie Mouse from a charity shop when Pumpkin was tiny. Unfortunately, my MIL seems to think the kid needs a wardrobe full of movie characters – but, free clothes is free clothes so I’ll bite my tongue and put those on Pumpkin when we aren’t planning on going anywhere. 🙂

    • mrssavageangel says:

      What is it about MiLs and well meaning family members? Loads of people have commented this is the case for them too! My MiL has super taste, but anything character covered has come from my step mother in law. I think either you like it or you don’t and some people do and some people don’t. Simple. If only the high street was representative of this.

  10. Great post – you’re totally right, you and your child are basically advertising these shows, and the real kicker is you’re paying them for doing it!
    From the High Street’s point of view though, they stock them because they sell well. Money talks and while people are buying them, they are going to keep selling them 🙂

    • mrssavageangel says:

      I’m not sure it is totally driven by demand though. My guess is that stores can charge a premium for character clothes, meaning larger profit margins. So stores stock more of them, to earn more money. Always comes down to profit at the end of the day. But yeah, if they couldn’t shift them they’d have to reconsider I guess.

  11. Oh we’ve reached the stage where the toddler demands branded clothes! It’s infuriating as I have to hide them or run past in shops #effitfriday

  12. Nige Higgins says:

    Totally get what you are saying but we live in a branded world like it or not great post 🙂

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Thanks Nige. I’m not naive, I know that we live in a society which places high importance on brand. It doesn’t mean I have to join in. My call is for choice. I would never suggest anyone happy to wear character or branded clothes should stop.

  13. Yes! Yes! Yes! Having three boys I certainly have this issue. I try to buy unbranded gender neutralise clothes but it does normally mean shopping online, the same if I don’t want everything in blue. I try to shop at small UK business, I have found a few through Instagram, but then the cost goes up and buying for three isn’t cheap. Great piece though x

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Do you know Cherie I think boys are targeted more than girls. Or at least mothers seem to have more boys wearing character clothing. Maybe its a choice thing? The lack of choice in boys high street clothing is evident in every shop!

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