Childrens Underwear Lets Kids be Kids
In todays fashion savvy society, it is not surprising to see childrens fashions have been increasingly becoming a major niche in the fashion industry. Fashion conscious parents seek to have their children also follow suit and follow the trends. As a direct link, childrens underwear has come a long way over recent generations to meet the needs of children and to let them be just that - children in all their active, sensitive and novel ways.
Historically, childrens underwear reflected the views for children that rarely included play as a major aspect of their lives. Clothing was stiff, tailored, uncomfortable and meant for appearances. The idea that children should be "seen and not heard" was echoed in their clothes. During the early 20th Century, girls and boys underwear was manufactured from wool and cotton (probably starched). Although todays underwear also is primarily cotton, the early cotton underwear did not have nearly the softness and comfort level that todays does. All-in-one union suits, slips, petticoats, cotton drawers, chambray bloomers and draw-string drawers, often with lace trim at the legs, made for considerably uncomfortable underwear for children.
In the 80 plus years since then, the advances in comfort development in mens and womens underwear fortunately transferred to childrens underwear also. Underwear now washes more easily, is more attractive, lightweight, and durable, and less prone to induce irritation. For active children and their parents these are significant benefits. Designers today can create more subtle changes in the style of the underwear now that the hardiness and comfort features have been addressed.
Major current labels for childrens underwear include Hanes (made visible by Basketball legend Michael Jordan), Jockey, and Fruit of the Loom. Boys underwear under these labels generally includes briefs and boxer briefs. Colors and patterns are often conservative solids, camouflage, novelty prints or character underwear with movie and cartoon images such as Batman and Scooby Doo. Jockeys website claims their underwear has "fun prints for your little man". Girls underwear styles include hipsters, briefs, low-rise briefs and bikinis. Colors and patterns cover pastel solids, stripes and juvenile prints, in addition to the character underwear of Dora the Explorer and Disney Princesses. Fruit of the Loom claims their girls can now have "Underwear thats fun to wear". All these styles are age appropriate, relatively conservative and thankfully not pushing children to grow up ahead of their time in the same way that some outer wear fashion seems to do. However, they are not particularly creative in their designs and colors and consequently leave the market wide open for something novel to enter this narrow niche in underwear design.
Alenver Inc, a new competitor in the underwear market for mens and womens underwear saw this opening and just launched their kids collection as part of the 2009 MAGIC Marketplace International Fashion Trade event. The originally mens only fashion event (Mens Apparel Guild in California) had its root in 1933 and has since expanded to include more areas of fashion including womens, apparel sourcing, and green fashion. Childrens wear was launched in 1997 as MAGICkids with the purchase of the Childrens Trade Expo.
Alenvers kids collection of boxer briefs echoes the mens and womens collections with bright strong colors (red, black, white and grey for kids) and their signature wide elastic waist bands with one word messages that are reversed for the wearer to see in the mirror. While the mens and womens messages are age appropriate with YENOM, TCEPSER, and RAEF ON, the childrens message is also age appropriate with LIL GOON (LIL GANGSTER) - referring to the little rascals that children are. Alenvers fun take on childrens underwear with a message is reflected in a recent photo shoot featuring a half dozen Alenver-clad Lilliputian children pulling on the anchoring ropes of the giant Gulliver. If ever there were an example of childrens underwear with playful children in mind - then this would be it. Additionally, the cut of the material: 5% elastane for shape retention and fit with 95% pure cotton from the worlds best Peruvian cotton for comfort is a design and manufacture feature from the mens and womens collections that has carried over into the childrens collections and meets their active childlike needs perfectly.
For children, the developing fashion industry must remember that being a kid is all about fun and not only fostering fashion. In a world where adults rue the fact that their children are growing up too quickly, losing their innocent ignorance and not experiencing the power of play, it is an encouraging thing to see a designer with this in mind and seemingly effortlessly combining fun and fashion in their latest collection for children.
Click here to read the rest of Childrens Underwear. If you enjoyed this article, you also might like our other stories about >Underwear.