Every time another group of parents throw their arms up in despair at the kind of clothing on offer for young girls at the big discount department and chain stores, it’s tempting to think these outlets have totally misread their market.

Let's face it ... it could be worse. Picture: Noel Kessel

Target is the latest in the firing line, after a concerned mother put a comment on the retailer’s Facebook page on the weekend pleading with them to provide more age-appropriate girls clothing. Almost immediately her comment had attracted tens of thousands of “likes”. Take that Target!

Where are the Facebook campaigns for “shorter shorts for six-year-olds”, ha? Well, they don’t exist, and if they did they’d be a bigger story than this one.

But somewhere in this discussion about the sexualisation of girls and the lack of influences and clothing that allow them to be, well, girls, is the reality of supply and demand.

You think Target doesn’t do its research?

For every mother who clicks “like” on Facebook because she’s tired of trying to balance style, affordability and durability in her daughter’s wardrobe, there’s many many more either happy with the products on offer, or at least resigned to the fact the clothes are cheap and tend not to fall apart after three washes.

There’s also a reason cheap clothes can look a little cheap. Some dyes cost more than others, so the colours you see in discount clothing outlets range from garish to black.

The blues and greens are harder, the pinks more musky and you’re unlikely to find an organic cotton t-shirt in a lovely faded olive green like the one your bought yourself for $40 at Witchery.

And while many mothers won’t let their daughters near black until they’re at least teenagers, it’s cheap. The retailers can use off-cuts from last season’s adult’s range to whip up a few tight-fitting tops, glue on a few plastic sequins and viola! Your seven-year-old looks like a very short 17-year-old.

It’s also a volume game. If you cut an inch and a half off the length of the girls’ shorts, when you’re moving thousands of pairs in a season, that inch and a half adds up.

Add to that the fact that no two mothers have exactly the same taste - one woman’s “slutty” is another woman’s “sassy” - and you have a complicated equation.

Then throw in the fact your Year 2 angel knows all the words to the latest Nikki Minaj song and wants to look like her too, and you’ve got a perfect storm.

Target is carefully meeting a need. Target spokeswoman Lynn Semjaniv told The Punch:

Target’s childrenswear team incorporates an in-house design function who identify the latest fashion trends from around the world. We use contemporary trend forecasting to identify the latest clothing styles, fits and colours for our range. We also take into consideration the success of ranges from previous seasons that have worked well.

Over the past nine months, we have introduced customer feedback into product development and invite customers in various ways to touch, feel and share their suggestions on our products before they are approved for sale in our stores. It is important to us that customers have a wide variety of choice when it comes to selecting products that they feel are appropriate for them and their children.

All I can say is, thank god I got a boy. He’s spent this whole winter in two $8 fleecy tops from a DDS (discount department store). It’s hard to argue with $8, which is exactly the point.

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84 comments

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    • Colin says:

      11:52am | 14/08/12

      K-Mart and other cheap outlets cater to their customers. And their customers are bogans. End of story.

    • Troy Flynn says:

      02:10pm | 14/08/12

      Wait till Walmart opens. Have you seen the internet photos of some of their “choice” customers.

    • Ifyousayso says:

      03:01pm | 14/08/12

      Despite being an ex-student now looking for work, well into my 20s and plus sized, i actually present myself well every day and i also own clothes from Kmart. My wardrobe certainly does not consist of high riding shorts, fake ugg boots and fluoro leggings. But thank you for giving me the bogan label for being a Kmart customer.

    • Colin says:

      03:01pm | 14/08/12

      @Troy Flynn 02:10pm | 14/08/12

      Yikes! Cletis, Brandine, Joylene…

    • Colin says:

      03:34pm | 14/08/12

      @Ifyousayso 03:01pm | 14/08/12
      “But thank you for giving me the bogan label for being a Kmart customer…”

      Well, if the (Kmart) cap fits…

    • Mickey M of South Park says:

      06:43pm | 14/08/12

      Yea Colins better than you, he goes to Target (pronounced tarshey)

    • Katrina says:

      09:37pm | 14/08/12

      You don’t have children do you!

    • M says:

      11:53am | 14/08/12

      What the jaysus is going on in the attached picture? I thought the 80’s were a long and distant memory?

    • amy says:

      12:32pm | 14/08/12

      is that Nicki Minaj?....

      well if it is then thats your explanation

    • M says:

      12:44pm | 14/08/12

      I don’t know what/who a nikki minaj is.

    • Cornflakes Girl says:

      04:02pm | 14/08/12

      I only recently learned that Minaj isn’t a colloquialism for female genitalia.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      04:25pm | 14/08/12

      Well if the iTunes music store is anything to go by, Nikki Minaj, whoever the shit that is, is a rap/ hip hop artist. To add to the confusion, the iTunes store is absolutely nothing to go by.

    • Stickman says:

      11:55am | 14/08/12

      Good call.  Whilst I despise the trashy clothes on offer for young girls, we also simply do not buy them for our almost 4 year old.  She routinely comments on something in shops, be it clothes or junk food, whatever, and my usual reply is “Yes but we don’t need it” and I keep walking.  Our girl’s wardrobe is a mixture of shorts, shirt, tracksuit pants and tops, and fairy dresses.  No hotpants, trainer bras or g-strings while our money is used to clothe her.
      Supply and demand is exactly right.  If nobody bought this rubbish, it would be dropped like any other product line.  If you don’t like the brand new retail options, check out your local Salvos or Good Sammy’s store.  Recycle, help the environment, save money and find what you’re looking for.  Easy.

    • Lee says:

      01:01pm | 15/08/12

      The trouble is once you get out of Size 6 and have to go into the size 7 - 14 clothes. My daughter was wearing size 7 by the age of 5 as she is very tall. The size 7 to 14 range can have customers from 5 year old to teenagers. Obviously these are two even three very different demographics.Target should extend thir size 2 to 6 range up to a size 14 as they have some really nice clothes that my daughter who is now 8 would love to wear. As far as i’m concerned until you can fit into adult size clothes you should not dress like an adult

    • James1 says:

      11:58am | 14/08/12

      I’ve taken to buying a lot of clothes at St Vinnies and the like for my daughter.  It is very difficult to find durable, modest clothes for girls over the age of 5.  I find that Vinnies often has clothes that are far more modest, and mostly they are durable by definition, being second hand.

      That said, we still buy a lot of new clothes.  It just takes much longer to find them, and usually costs a lot more, unless you are happy to go with the $8 tracksuit, which may be okay for boys and girls from poor families, but a lot of girls just won’t go near them once they become conscious that there is a wider world out there and that large parts of it judge people based on how they dress.

    • Bec says:

      12:32pm | 14/08/12

      This seems to be a topic that is just not worth the argument. So you’ve become outrageously outraged and formed an angry protest group - why? If you don’t want to dress your daughter in clothes from target, go online, google “girl’s clothing” and have one of the millions of options delivered to your door. Nobody is forcing you to dress your six year old like Nicki Minaj.

    • david says:

      12:34pm | 14/08/12

      we sew pretty much everything but jeans. that way you can make exactly what you want.

    • Slothy says:

      01:54pm | 14/08/12

      This is a good point. My mum sewed or knitted a lot of my clothes growing up, and I’ve picked up both hobbies in my 20s. I’m still fairly inexperienced, but I can’t get over how blown away people get over even the simplest ‘two seams and a zipper’ skirt. I wore a pretty basic dress I made to work as an experiment, and people went nuts asking me where I found it.

      Once you develop your skills, you can get clothing that is perfectly tailored to your preferences and body type *cough* ridiculous broad shoulders *cough* for far less than you’d pay anywhere but Big W. Keep an eye on European and US pattern books, and your kid will even be on the cutting edge of fashion, with hemlines you choose.

    • Ally says:

      02:42pm | 14/08/12

      Agreed, Slothy. I knit a lot of cardigans and jumpers for my niece that can be worn with jeans/dresses and plain tshirts. These days you can get a lot of really cool patterns, both in books and from places like Ravelry, and places like the Bendigo Woollen Mills have affordable and quality wool.

      Starting out can be a bit daunting for some people, but you can always go somewhere like the CWA and see if one of their members would be prepared to knit to order.

    • Helen says:

      03:27pm | 14/08/12

      And if you cant do it yourself, go find the craft markets where its nothing but kiddie clothes.

    • Kenny says:

      12:42pm | 14/08/12

      It’s pretty said nowadays how young girls are allowed to wear such skimpy and trashy clothing. Me being a father I don’t agree with this type of clothing and I feel the mothers have a lot to say for allowing their daughters to wear such clothing. Many mothers have gone soft on their daughters and they will suffer later.

    • Bev says:

      01:38pm | 14/08/12

      Troll alert!
      Please do not fall for this post. “Kenny” is clearly hoping for hysterical replies along the lines of “why is it the Mothers responsibility to ensure their daughters are dressed appropriately”. etc.

    • CJ says:

      02:00pm | 14/08/12

      Thats all we need, another bloke who leaves it all to the women to sort out. C’mon fella step up, be a Father that stands for something, someone your daughter and wife can respect. The last time I looked my kids were doing what I said, not left to chance.

    • Craig says:

      03:18pm | 14/08/12

      Personally I blame it on the carbon tax.

      That is just as relevant as Kenny’s comment

    • MarkS says:

      03:41pm | 14/08/12

      Carbon tax will raise prices. The less fabric the clothing has the less it costs to make. So skimpy clothing is the fault of the carbon tax.

      For my next trick I will prove that 1+1 sometimes equals 3 or more.

    • victoria says:

      12:43pm | 14/08/12

      We are sick of being told how to dress by the music and entertainment industry of the day.  And just look at where it takes young women in ten years. Lining the pockets of Paris H and Kim you know who.
      Teaching young people to think about how they dress and why they dress the way they do gives them an awareness about themselves.They are more than just the clothes they wear.

    • AdamC says:

      12:56pm | 14/08/12

      I can’t say I have seen any skanily-dressed ten year olds around recently. Maybe I am not looking hard enough. Or maybe this is another one of this ridiculous, exagerrated moral panic about child ‘sexualisation’.

      Teenage girls, on the other hand, dress sluttier and sluttier each generation. (Except for that mid-nineties grunge interlude, when they just dressed terribly.) I wonder how tart-tacular our girls can go!

    • Lee says:

      01:44pm | 15/08/12

      Thats part of the problem the trampy clothes at Target are size 7 to 14 so the teenagers buy the clothes making it profitable but younger kids who are to large for size 6 are lumped in the same category. Personally if you want to dress like an adult you can wait until you fit into adult sizes

    • Logic Ain't Free says:

      03:45pm | 15/08/12

      “Personally if you want to dress like an adult you can wait until you fit into adult sizes”

      Second time you’ve said that. And that right there is your issue - the child DOES fit adult sizes.

      There are some awfully small women out there (My sister in law is size 4 or something) should they not have the option of feeling sexy/attractive or dressing appropriately for their own age (my SIL is 26) simply because they have a small frame and your daughter could conceivably wear the same clothes?

      You should probably avoid the underwear section, there’ll be some sexy lingerie in your daughters size too…..

    • Mahhrat says:

      12:58pm | 14/08/12

      The article is good but it supposes that Target is only just catering to an existing demand, and isn’t part of the massive corporate push to create markets that it can then exploit.

      I submit for you consideration the “Tweenie” - that delicate age between 8 and 12.  It only became a word in the last decade or so, and it’s that age that is being hyper-sexualised before their time.

      See, there’s been a very big push to make young children (7 and up) fashion conscious.  They do this because parents then buy things to keep their little darlings happy.

      Of course, it’s now at the point where you can buy fishnet pants for toddlers (seriously, I saw a size 1 fishnet stocking in KMart last year). 

      How is a parent to fight all the signals constantly coming at their children?  You can’t; they’re not always in your control.

      Parents should always retain primary responsibility for their children, but expecting each parent - with the wonderful diversity of socioeconomic and education statuses in our country - to accurately navigate every ‘controversial’ buying decision?

      It can’t be done.

    • M says:

      01:27pm | 14/08/12

      Trash will be trash.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      04:37pm | 14/08/12

      Oh no you di’ent.

    • victoria says:

      01:05pm | 14/08/12

      Excuse me Kenny, you have more impact on your daughter than your partner. It’s the male in a family that affirms a daughter. Time to step up and say NO.

    • Sad Sad Reality says:

      01:06pm | 14/08/12

      Women support the pop industry. The pop industry gives women what they want. Which is apparently the ability to appear as an eternally youthful futuristic prostitute. This trait is then passed down to their daughters.

    • I, Claudia says:

      02:04pm | 14/08/12

      So, is it hereditary or socially ingrained? Make up your mind.

    • sami says:

      03:36pm | 14/08/12

      Your massive generalisation offends me. I don’t know who this Minaj sheila is as I actively avoid pop ‘music’. My skirt is knee length and I am listening to Soundgarden as we speak. You can cram your stereotypes right where the sun doesn’t shine.

    • M says:

      03:57pm | 14/08/12

      You don’t have a right to not be offended. Stereotypes exist for a reason. There will always be exceptions to the rule.

    • Sad Sad Reality says:

      04:11pm | 14/08/12

      @I, Claudia. The vapidity, narcissism and credulity are genetic. Their expression, culturally reliant.

      @sami. My comment was directed at the majority. You know, those people who live outside your head. Have a look around. The overwhelming majority of women read trashy mags, watch trashy shows, dress in trashy outfits and listen to trashy pop music on trashy radio stations populated by trashy celebrities. Target is just playing the odds.

    • M says:

      04:38pm | 14/08/12

      Why are women so quick to be offended at generalisations? Miloinacup & Slothy are the exact same.

    • CatM says:

      01:10pm | 14/08/12

      Not really impressed with article - shallow understanding. Has it occurred that the poor buy the cheap - yes I know you can go to vinnies but for many people the last of their pride and self respect is bound up with being able to at least buy new clothes for thier kids.  That might sound odd given that the clothes for young girls aren’t thrilling with self respect - but why should the poor be more rational than the middle classes? I know a person (middle class) who bought a leather jacket for a 5 year old!! go figure.

    • Rose says:

      06:53pm | 14/08/12

      A lot of second hand shops aren’t that much cheaper than the discount stores

    • Talon says:

      10:33am | 15/08/12

      People shop at second hand stores for more then just cheap clothing.  Quality and not design is the driving factor as well as a reasonable price.

      Some parents should still remember the days when clothes were handed down from siblings and friends for 3 - 10 years of hard wear.  I am laughing on the inside (barely contained) that commenters on this sight have identified and freely name the stores that sell short lived disposable clothing.

      I have seen the opening of trendy (cough) stores selling week / thin fabric with brittle and weak threaded disposable clothes for premium prices.  What moron in Australias diverse and warm climate buys soft plastic coated thin cotton jeans for $129.

      Nothing is going to change if you do not say something.  Find their feedback websights and tell them what you think.  K-mart has woken up and is selling a wider range of MANS-wear in the menswear department but womens clothes a sneaking back in.  I will still not shop there however.

      Personally, I do not see why any parent would buys clothes for their young boys and girls that cater to a perverts wet dream (often those of the designer themselves).

    • Libby says:

      01:12pm | 14/08/12

      There are plenty of options available for the tweens that don’t involve an $8 tracksuit at one end or expensive designer garments at the other. Shop around at other discount stores, op shops or even hand-me-downs from a more conservative older child. If your young daughter wants to dress like a slut then maybe she needs to be told she won’t be and that goes for makeup as well. Parents need to start acting like parents and guide their children as opposed to capitulating to their continuous wants. Having travelled quite a bit, and shopped a lot, I have to say in discount stores in places like Singapore and KL you just don’t see the “prostitot” clothing which is becoming all to frequently stocked here. Wake up parents, don’t buy it, don’t let your girls buy it. Thankfully I have three boys and hopefully they won’t ever bring home a Lil Kim clone!!

    • I, Claudia says:

      02:06pm | 14/08/12

      It’s a bit disturbing that you’d refer to someone under the age of ten as a “slut,” or as capitilating to a media obsession with sexualisation (which is perpetuated by adults, BTW). I hope you’re not a parent!

    • Libby says:

      03:27pm | 14/08/12

      I, Claudia, I don’t think I referred to anybody under the age of ten ‘as a slut’  I believe what I said was ” If your young daughter wants to dress like a slut” so perhaps before you cast criticism upon myself or my parenting skills then maybe you should read the text in it’s context. Yes, I am a parent as the text also says. Try reading it.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      01:26pm | 14/08/12

      There are a large number of feminist groups around that state females shouldn’t need to think about what they are wearing as it shouldn’t be a problem no matter what is worn. Doesn’t this fear of sexualisation of children just highlight the fact that everyone should be considering what they wear and its appropriateness?

      Either clothes are designed to control the level of sex appeal presented by any person OR clothes are designed to be clothes that are worn with no effect on sex appeal at all.

      To be honest I don’t tend to see what anyone is wearing, clothes is clothes, the only person I add sex appeal to what they are wearing is my wife, but then it doesn’t matter what she wears, she rocks it.

    • miloinacup says:

      01:27pm | 14/08/12

      Kids today are more fashionable than I am at 24.

      I will say though, the ‘knicker shorts’ that seem to be all the rage these days are way too risque for my tastes. A girl at stereosonic bent over whilst wearing one and I swear I copped an eyefull of her insides.

    • Libby says:

      02:12pm | 14/08/12

      In WA, those awful skimpy denim shorts with the pockets hanging out the bottom were all the rage last summer. Young girls of various shapes and sizes squeezed themsleves into those babies. I sw some of the bigger girls wearing them in Maccas and whilst I applauded their positive body image I couldn’t help but think ‘Honey, you need a bit more fabric and a bit less Maccas”

    • CJ says:

      01:29pm | 14/08/12

      Well somewhere along the way society has dropped the moral ball. Nowhere in the last century have we seen more changes in values. We have gone from a reasonably conservative society to one where everyone confused about what is exceptable. I’m a jeans and t-shirt guy and even that was considered rebellious in James Deans day. Atleast he wasn’t wearing them so low his arse was hanging out of them and the girls didn’t wear their underwear on the outside of their outfits. Call me old fashioned but I don’t think I’m alone.

    • Jack says:

      02:54pm | 14/08/12

      Jeans and a tshirt?! Why weren’t you wearing your brown double breaster, button down french cuff twill, prince of wales knotted tie and loafers? Why are you dressing like a jiggolo?!

      Gee, fashion changes. Go figure. The only people who think things were better ‘back in my day’ are boomers with their rose colored glasses.

    • middleground says:

      01:31pm | 14/08/12

      I simply don’t buy it. What annoys me is the belittling tone of this article. Yet again a fellow mum passing judgement on other mums. The point of the facebook post to target was not about the quality of dyes, we all know the price tag reflects things like that. How nice for you Tory that you don’t have to deal with the pressures put on young girls & their mums.

    • Tory Maguire

      Tory Maguire says:

      02:44pm | 14/08/12

      What are you talking about? Where am I passing judgement on other Mums?

    • Libby says:

      03:35pm | 14/08/12

      Ha Ha Tory, I’ll join you. I dared to use the word ‘slut’ and the bright spark who commented on my post got their sequinned g-string in a twist and said they hoped I wasn’t a parent. Perhaps it was the chief garment buyer for Target?

    • Christine says:

      01:32pm | 14/08/12

      Soultion for those who whinge about whinging kids and having to say NO = DON"T take your kids clothes shopping! My daughter is six. I know six year olds who chose their OWN clothes at the shops…seriously come on! There is no way I would take my daughter clothes shopping, I’m going to leave that for as loooooooooooong as is possible! 

      This reminds of the time I saw a family in Target during the big toy sale. A four yr old girl was being asked by the mum, “Is this what you want for Christimas”, pointing to a dolls house. The daughter was umming and ahhhing…“Well you said you wanted it when you saw it in the catalogue at home, is this what you want? or do you want this or do you what that?” This was in July and the mother was asking her child to make a decision for Christmas which is months and months away….  Such a healthy way to create consumers - some parents have NO sense.

    • Sarah says:

      01:34pm | 14/08/12

      My nearly three year old has an older brother, hence she wears an aweful lot of blue and green hand me downs. I also buy her trousers etc from the boys section of most DDS because they a. fit better, b. aren’t hot pink and c. aren’t leggings. I team these with nice cardigans, t-shirts and long sleeved tops from Target etc. It’s not hard to dress a gild modestly and no, she doesn’t look like a boy!

    • Lee says:

      01:54pm | 15/08/12

      Easy at three she is stilll in the little kids section. They have some great stuff in that range. Come back once she is size 7 and you go up into the older girls range and see if it is so easy to findd suitable clothing

    • Jen says:

      01:50pm | 14/08/12

      I’m going to have to be the voice of dissent here. I grew up in the 70’s and I have pictures of myself - and my peers - in cut off shorts far shorter than that. It’s what we did. We put on shorts and went and played in the mud.  No one took the time to state we looked like hookers, because it never *occured* to anyone back then to consider little girls in that light.

      I say this as the mother of two children, one of them a 7 year old girl. She likes wearing leopard skin print… because she can pretend she’s a cat. When she puts on my high heels and makeup she’s a ballerina, not a corner walker.  My point here is that if you look at an innocent child dressed in short shorts and call them slutty/trampy/hookerish.. doesn’t this mean that YOU are the one with the problem?

      Society needs to realise that paedophiles make up such a small percentage of our communities. Not nearly enough to tell our children that the way they dress is sexual, and therefore sexualise them.

    • I, Claudia says:

      02:08pm | 14/08/12

      This is the only rational comment I’ve read today. Well done!

    • barry says:

      02:35pm | 14/08/12

      go to thailand and see what the bar girls wear..

    • Jack says:

      02:59pm | 14/08/12

      Hey, oldies need the newspapers to stir up moral panic about *something*. And since rap music is old news now, it’s too early for muslims to ‘ban christmas’  and Denis Ferguson hasn’t been on the Tele front page, its HYPERSECKSHULIZATION OF THE CHILDRENS that we are all scared of.

      And bears. Always bears.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      04:40pm | 14/08/12

      @Jen, reflects my sentiments exactly. Other than the small percentage of paedophiles, the only people sexualising their children are in fact the parents claiming sexualisation of children based on the clothing available.

      I will admit that there are appropriate forms of clothing for different ages, however this is mostly based on function and utility rather than whether it sexualises the person or not.

    • neo says:

      01:55pm | 14/08/12

      I want to throw my shoe at Nicki Minaj. What a douche.

    • Not a shameful parent says:

      02:00pm | 14/08/12

      How would the parents feel if I began taking pictures of their `tartilly` dressed kids? Rightly outraged and probably violent I`d say. Whilst I am not the sort to actually do it I may just start pretending to do so, to get the point across. Even a legal 16YO should not be encouraging second looks but parents have started to lose control by then and it`s these tweenies and younger when we should be encouraging modest dressing. This can reduce the desire to follow the so called `entertainers` wanting the quick SlutBuck.

    • Jack says:

      03:11pm | 14/08/12

      You are going to harass, upset and intimidate young girls in public to make them conform to your ideas of how they should dress?

      Gee, you sound like a winner.

    • Sickemrex says:

      02:07pm | 14/08/12

      It was hard to get jeans for a 2 year old this winter at Target, KMart and BigW. Apparently the current demand is low cut and tight around the legs? Super-practical for the not quite toilet trained!

    • Sam says:

      02:16pm | 14/08/12

      Add this to the other 500 reasons I am glad I dont have kids….

    • Eliana Truscott says:

      02:22pm | 14/08/12

      With boys (I have three of them) it is a different issue - just about everything promotes violence and aggression.  Does every piece of boy’s clothing have to include a skull?  If it’s not that it’s a skater, biker or surfie theme.  A lot of it seems imported (like all the baseball wear, not really a major sport in Oz).  I don’t know who they are polling about clothing for the 2-7 year group.  My boys would be voting for trains, cars, ships, planes, fire engines, police, and heavy machinery.  Nice job retailers, you make little boys look like bikies or layabouts, and little girls like hookers.

    • Tory Maguire

      Tory Maguire says:

      02:45pm | 14/08/12

      I’d noticed that too Eliana. What’s with all the skulls?

    • M says:

      03:04pm | 14/08/12

      Haha, skulls promote violence? Please.

    • barry says:

      08:32pm | 14/08/12

      as long people keep buying this crap, they will keep selling it.

    • Tigger says:

      02:29pm | 14/08/12

      Well then, you’d better Pound the Alarm!

    • Lee says:

      05:30pm | 14/08/12

      They Beez in Trap, right Tigs?

      Haha!

      Say what you will about Onika Maraj, at least she’s entertaining to follow on twitter!

    • Dominic Beirne says:

      03:16pm | 14/08/12

      Tors, great piece.  Retailers, of all sizes, are reacting to the market.  Have they helped shape it? Yes.  Are they solely responsible? No.  DDS is the primary channel for licensed product sales - think Bratz, Barbie, Bob the Builder etc - and it is these products that make up the volume elements of the retail sales.  Tors your assessment on the numbers was right, unfortunately.  The main issued to be addressed though is that of product safety not age/style suitability.

      The products sourced from international supply chains can have any and every chemical under the sun used in their manufacture.  For example in children’s footwear in this country we know that phtholates are present.  These chemicals are carcinogenic, leach through the skin and, I understand, they continuously build up in the body.  The higher the chemical residue the cheaper the product is to make, formaldehyde anyone to soften blankets?

      It is time we started paying closer attention to the supply chains and chemical residues in products on the shelf here.  Lets see some regulation, similar to the EU, to eliminate dangerous chemicals in our textiles, clothing and footwear.  Then when we have that lets worry about age appropriate wear.

    • Lee says:

      01:58pm | 15/08/12

      Bratz are so last year its Monster High now - Gothic tarts

    • Sam says:

      04:36pm | 14/08/12

      “Nikki Minaj song and wants to look like her too”

      Why the heck would ANYONE want to look like her? I saw her on a video hits show the other morning in a bikini and bought up my breakfast. I can understand why some people are into big arses and try to make it cool by calling them bootylicious, but she was just putrid all over.

    • scumbag says:

      04:47pm | 14/08/12

      Yeah well, I do get a fair bit of kids clothing. It’s mostly cotton. But it’s in bags. From Vinnies. Very handy for Mum when she’s greasing the 39 Vauxhall. Course, while I’m there, I usually look round in the men’s suits display salon.  I’m the proud owner now of a double breasted pin stripe number, turned up cuffs, (no threpenny bits, I checked) complete with rope belt left by the previous owner who, I was informed at the desk, had shit himself and died in the suit at the alter, just before saying ‘I do’, but the suit was laundered anyway he said.  And a nice white/grey shirt with wide collar, and a matching tie, a Scottish one with a lassie and an embroided tartan skirt which you could lift up, to show her knickers. Also got a nice pair of sandshoes to complete the ensemble. Not a suitable pair of socks in the tray though. Well, who needs socks anyways. Picked up some cotton WWII Army surplus underpants at the disposals store too. The lot came to $26.50, all up, plus bus fares. Bloke can’t complain eh? Anyways, just sayin’,

    • Cath says:

      06:28pm | 14/08/12

      I am so glad you got there before my husband did.

    • Gary says:

      04:56pm | 14/08/12

      Wow the discussion vered of course.
      I find it ridiculous that people are getting labelled bogans because they shop in reasonably priced stores. 
      Guess what , if you buy all “designer” clothes you are getting robbed blind by people who tell you what is fashionable.  Your so called bogans are smarter than you and you are biggoted for generalising about people.

      Target tend to follow the fashions rather than creat them.

    • Super D says:

      05:18pm | 14/08/12

      This is one, and perhaps the only, problem that the widespread adoption of burqas could resolve….

    • barry says:

      08:37pm | 14/08/12

      Target and its “Crazy Crackwhore” clothes for kids. dress girls like pole dancers and boys like meth dealers so they can be like the role models they have. Example Paris Hilton and Ben Cousins.

    • NESLIHAN KUROSAWA says:

      08:56pm | 14/08/12

      Hi Tory,

      The way how we all choose to dress up as a society says a lot about our culture, up bringing and socio economic backgrounds, right? Lets all face it also that K -MART tends to target a lot of families for affordable every day clothing, school wear and some much more!  Then “would there be any questions regarding the popularity and affordability of the wide range of labels available especially for families on a tight budget” including mostly others who have also become dedicated and loyal customers, over time?

      However for the very young children dressing in a this sexual way, seems to send all the wrong signals.  Because I truly wonder where our society is heading when it comes to norms?  And when do we say that these kids just happen to be far too young for these outfits? Of course ultimately parents have the ultimate say and the power in the way their children are dressed.  But with all the popular music videos and the marketing strategies of certain establishments, dictating and tending to put a certain kind of pressure on parents’ purse strings and how their money is spent, eventually.

      I would like to state that this could be the actual power of advertising at work, in most products we purchase in our every day lives.  Which happens to be fine!  I am also certain that we have all become accustomed to “sex sells” strategy., almost with everything we consume these days.  However, I just wanted to ask if we can easily say the same thing for our very young and impressionable children?  Kind regards to your editors.

    • barry says:

      12:19am | 15/08/12

      How we dress says a lot about our future as well, do you want babies in crack whore/crackhead style nappies because your child might miss the fashion boat?

    • Carolyn says:

      05:42pm | 15/08/12

      I am a mother of a 9 year old girl.  I shop at K-Mart, Big W, Target etc because my little girl is growing like a weed and by the end of the season, she has outgrown her clothes.  It is difficult to buy shorts that don’t look like undies.  My little girl is modest and doesn’t want to flaunt her backside at the age of 9.  My husband and I encourage modesty and dressing like a little girl.  It is age appropriate.  She is not 17 years old and should be allowed to dress appropriately and we as parents, should have the choice in how we dress her.  More variety should be available for our children.  There are some parents that like hot pants so they buy them for their child.  What about giving us parents an option for a longer legged short?  Let’s be radical and have shorts that comes to mid thigh.  All we ask for is options and a decent variety that terms to all tastes and budgets.

    • garry says:

      09:58pm | 16/08/12

      who would dress up their child like gary glitter or elvis 30 or 40 years ago? now its considered normal to dress your daughter like Fergie from Black Eyed Peas, when she is kindie…..

 

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