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Do Real Men Wear Yellow?

A couple of nights ago, my wife tricked me into enlisted my help in going through the seemingly endless supply of infant clothing we had from our daughter in what was expected to be the first wave of organization in the now-uninhabited nursery. Our plan was simple: go through the first set of clothing and identify how much gender-neutral stuff we had for the baby we are expecting in October, who is supposedly a boy (although we have not received 100% confirmation of this fact yet).

As we opened each massive Rubbermaid bin, the flood of memories any normal person would anticipate hit us. We pulled out the sleeper she wore after her first bath, a surprisingly gender-neutral one based on the children’s book Guess How Much I Love You, that will almost certainly be worn by her younger brother. We found clothes my mother purchased that turned out to be too “boyish” for us to dress our daughter in. We pulled out articles of clothing we had forgotten but immediately recalled when she wore it and who had given it to us over three years ago once we saw it.

When we were finished, all the pink, light purple, flowers, hearts, and frilly collars were packed away in bins that will eventually bear the label “girl” and reside in the basement instead of the nursery closet. We were left with a little bit of blue (since it is my wife’s favourite colour, some people bought blue outfits for our daughter), some white and green, and a whole lot of yellow. I mean, I think we could dress this kid in yellow every day and every night for a couple of weeks (including mid-day changes for spit-up) and not need to do laundry.

My mind started to wander. We’ve got a lot of clothes for this baby already. Do we really need that much more? But, if we don’t get much more, then this kid will be in yellow most of the time, and if he’s in yellow, how many people are going to make the mistake of calling my son “her” when we’re out in public? Should we be considering a whole new, all blue, brown, and green wardrobe? Isn’t that impractical? I asked my wife for her thoughts, and she confirmed my suspicions: that we would likely get a few blue outfits, but that the predominant colour will be yellow for the first little while. As soon as we pass the six month barrier our gender neutral selection drops dramatically.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I am by no means saying that yellow is “wrong” for a boy. (My security blanket from when I was a young boy was yellow, for one thing.) I am just unsure how many people dress their boys in tons of yellow, and how many feel strongly that blues and greens and browns are more “appropriate” for baby boys.

What are your thoughts on the topic of clothing colours? How did you dress your infant sons? Did you use primarily blue, or were a lot of other colours included? Specifically looking at yellow, were the majority of yellow clothes you had from pre-natal gifts when people didn’t know the gender or older sisters, or were they choices you consciously made when purchasing clothing for your infant son? Is the notion of “blue is for boys” antiquated?


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