Boys in tights

OMG, it's a boy!

OMG, it's a boy! (© me!)

At the beginning of my little monster’s first winter, he was about 6 months old and had just begun to crawl. So I went out to a store for children’s clothes, wanting to buy this indispensable item of winter clothing that is tights. Alas, no luck. I only found the pink, purple and white-with-flowers varieties for girls. Now, while I personally wouldn’t have minded seeing him in those I wanted to avoid him being called a little girl any more than necessary. It might also have had something to do with the fact that I like being in my husbands will.

So I tried another store. And another one. To no avail. Relating the story to my English Mom-in-law finally shed light on the matter: Island monkeys don’t do tights for little boys. Why? Because tights are for girls. Ah yes…

So I would like to make a case here for tights for boys. Maybe I can change one or two of your island monkey’s minds.

1. Tights are comfy.

I mean, have you seen how your little one struggles to get up onto that chair there in his (undoubtedly handsome) little pair of jeans? No such problems in tights. He can run around as if naked. Actually, I think, tights are the next best thing to letting them run around without clothes. Especially in winter! They are just perfect for horsing around at the nursery or playgroup.

Oh, I hear you argue that track suit bottoms (or whatever you might call them) are also quite comfortable. Well, they are, but have you looked at these usually grey, shapeless things lately? There is a time and a place for everything, and track suit bottoms should be worn in a gym or when going for a jog in cold weather. Otherwise the wearer just looks like a chav.

2. Tights are practical.

My little hero is potty training and unless his jeans have an elastic waist, he struggles with pulling them down and – after the deed – back up. Never happened with tights.

You advocates of track suit bottoms: See above.

3. Tights are cosy.

Why do you think your daughter likes wearing them?

4. Tights are essential for layering.

You know, the onion principle. When it becomes colder, you put on layers. You also put layers onto your little boy’s upper body. Vest first (if you’re sensible), then a longsleeve. When you take them outside (as well you should!) you add, depending on temperatures, a cardi, jumper, jacket or coat – or all of the above in case it gets really mean cold.

But what about their bottoms?! Nappy/undies, then trousers/jeans. And when you go outside? The same, even though it might be 20°C colder than inside? Ever thought about the fact that they only develop hairy legs a bit later in life?

I found that the easiest way to dress my little monster for a cold winter day outing is to simply put a pair of jeans over the tights, just like a coat over the top. Double layer, double warmth – result! Try that with track suit bottoms. Hah!

(By the way, more tips on how to dress appropriately in cold weather here. Brought to you by an expert in cold German winters – me.)

5. Tights put an end to losing/pulling off socks.

The little blighters just loooove taking their socks off. And in some socks the cuffs are just too loose, so they frequently lose them. Now, if you don’t mind your little one having cold feet, by all means, go ahead and let it be. Alternatively you could purchase some of these nifty sock ons for your baby boy. Or you can simply try tights like you would for your baby girl too.

6. Tights are cute!

This one comes with an exclamation point because it’s such an important factor. Granted, little boys look cute in pretty much anything you throw on them but tights are – in my not so humble opinion – a notch above everything else on the cuteness scale. I mean, these adorable nappy bottoms… Which isn’t to say that a toddler’s bum isn’t the most adorable body part without a nappy too! Especially in tights. So will you please shut up already, you insufferable track suit bottom lovers!

Also, to put those of you I couldn’t quite convince yet a little more at ease with the thought of boys in tights, here are a few points of clarification:

  • I never let the little monster go outside in just his tights. Neither would any other German mother. They are indoor clothes, think of them as slippers for legs. Or maybe not, as slippers stay indoors all the time. Tights can go outside but then they hide under ‘real’ trousers or jeans. Except maybe when you take the rubbish out and the little monster – as always – ignores your command to stay inside.
  • As I mentioned, I try to steer clear of colours that are too girly and so should you if you consider getting some for your little boy. But I do love bright colours, especially for kids. So the tights I buy (at the moment unfortunately only in Germany) often have red, orange or yellow in them (see pic above). So cute…
  • Tights really are only for boys of a younger age. I don’t expect you to wrestle down your teenage son in order to put tights on him. Plus, at that stage he might have developed some hairy legs anyway.
  • Wearing tights does not make your son look gay. He’s a little boy for crying out loud!
  • And no, WEARING TIGHTS DOES NOT MAKE YOUR SON BECOME GAY either! He will be gay or not, no matter what clothes you put on him as a youngster (and frankly, what difference does it make anyway?). I thought I better state the obvious again. To my knowledge, the percentage of gay men in the German population isn’t any higher than in the UK. If anything, we are less homophobic. Or maybe not. Scientific research yet to be conducted.
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Clothes make the man…

… so if the clothing shows a disturbed sense of reality, what does that say about the wearer?

OK, I get it, England has got the gulf stream, so it’s never cold. Right? Except when November arrives and with it some nasty autumn weather. Or would you call maximum day temperatures of 4°C, in conjunction with some chilling winds, warm? Me neither.

So what does the sensible soul do to stay cosy? That’s right, where I come from, we dress warmly.

Not so the island monkeys. Well, quite a few of them anyway.

I have seen this countless times now, but I still doubt the information my optic nerves conduct to my brain every time I see someone wearing shorts and/or a short-sleeved shirt in weather like this! After the chill running down my spine has reached my coccyx and then calmed down a bit that is. This can’t be healthy!

I could probably work up some understanding if it would be some cyclist working up a sweat pedalling around our little town and its quite steep hills. But no, just a “normal” guy walking down the street with a severe scantiness of fabric on his body and not even particularly hairy arms and legs. Or that chick on her way home from last night’s party in nothing more than a skimpy top and a rather wide belt. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

Do you know some Jedi mind trick to prevent yourself from feeling the frightfully freezing frostiness?

I can understand that you don’t want to expose your fair, freckled English skin to the fiery rays of summer sun. But please, don’t try to make up for it by getting into the nude as soon as summer is over.

But it would be only half bad if you wouldn’t try to train your children in your inappropriate dressing habits too! What did I see the other day? Kid in a buggy, and not only no blanket but also NO SOCKS despite temperatures well south of 15°C?! Is that really necessary?
Warmly dressed = happy (Image via Wikipedia)

Warmly dressed = happy (Image via Wikipedia)

Or this one here: Baby under 1 with no hair worth mentioning to keep the ears or even the scalp warm and of course no hat to protect him from an overcast, drizzly and wind-chilled 5°C impertinence of a day. I was going to call child protection services but my frozen fingers wouldn’t hit the right keys on my mobile! Seriously, that extra layer of blubber on your obese child is not an excuse for not putting adequate-for-the-weather clothes on him!

PS: I have little fights with my 2-year old all the time about literally everything. Except wearing a hat. Absolutely no objections there. He likes having warm ears!