• Thu, Jul 31 - 11:26 am ET

Mom’s Awesome Viral Letter Forces Lands’ End To Make Some Science Tees For Girls

Lands’ End already makes my favorite comfy mom shoes, but now this forward thinking company has given me another reason to love them.Lands’ End is now making science themed T-shirts for girls, thanks a Facebook letter from an unhappy customer.New Jersey mom Lisa Ryder and her nine year old daughter were excited to find NASA, sharks and dinosaurs on the T-shirts in the boys’ pages of the back to school Lands’ End catalog, but were quickly disappointed to realize these awesome science shirts weren’t available in girls’ sizes.

Ryder posted a letter to the Lands’ End Facebook page, explaining their feelings on the lack of options for girls’ clothing:

We immediately flipped forward in your catalog to find the equivalent shirts in girls’ sizes. But when we got to the available t-shirt designs for girls on page 56, instead of science-themed art, we were treated to sparkly tees with rhinestones, non-realistic looking stars, and a design featuring a dog dressed like a princess and wearing a tutu.

My daughter was very confused. Lots of her friends that are girls love science, too. Why were there no cool science shirts for girls?

Ryder’s post received a ton of comments from fellow customers who shared her feelings, and yesterday Lands’ End announced their new science themed shirts for girls, including a sneak peak of this solar system long sleeved T that looks so soft and comfortable and I wish I could get it for myself.

o-SCIENCE-TEE-570

Can we please start a slow clap for how awesome this is? I have two sons and two nieces all around the same age and every time I step into a clothing section, it’s very easy to spot the girls’ section- it’s the side you turn away from to guard your eyes. I’m not judging anyone for dressing their daughter in head to toe pink sparkles if that’s what you or she wants to do- I myself was a bit of a girly girl growing up, but it’s nice to see a company acknowledge that not all girls want to dress like that- at least not all of the time.

I find it particularly odd that there is this gender divide in children’s clothing, but not so much in adults. I have purchased toddler T shirts for boys with sharks, bugs, even complicated math equations on the front, but I’ve yet to see the equivalent for little girls. And yet, at some point between size 5T and the Woman’s section, this divide breaks down. Ladies rock shirts from their favorite sports team, sci-fi movie or Game of Thrones gear and clothing companies actively market these items to women. I was at Star Wars Days in Walt Disney World this past May and there were fantastic adult dresses stylized to look like R2D2 and Luke Skywalker selling like hotcakes. Too bad they didn’t make them for little girls as well.

Lands’ End is definitely moving in the right direction by offering girls clothing options which depict things other than stereotypical girl interests. Let’s hope that more companies start to follow their example, but until then, has anyone seen my sunglasses? I have to walk by Justice.

(photo:Facebook)

You can reach this post's author, Megan Zander, on twitter.
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  • Bethany Ramos

    It always makes me happy when companies actually listen to customers, especially with a positive story like this. And also… YAY FOR MEGAN YAYAYAY! Great post. :)

    • Megan

      Thanks! I really do want that shirt. Long sleeve Ts are my jam.

  • Melissa

    Love this!! My husband is an engineer and really wants to encourage our daughters to love math and science like he does. Another company that makes non-girly t-shirts is Girls Will Be. Their stuff is awesome!

    • InINDY

      As a engineer who knew she wanted to be an engineer from the time she could put her Lego blocks together, I think your husband is awesome! My parents fully supported my art and science love (maybe a little less so when I started taking apart appliances to see how they work) and this year I graduated with my masters in mechanicals engineering (the diploma arrive this week!)
      I will always be grateful for their support.

    • inINDY

      Meh, that was supposed to read “math and science love”

    • Melissa

      Congrats on your masters! My husband will not only not care if our daughters take apart appliances to see how they work, he will be the one handing them the screwdrivers :-)

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    Cute! I’d wear that shirt. It’s got a lovely feminine cut to it with an awesome design.

    • Megan

      Right? And their stuff is so high quality- it really lasts.

  • Valerie

    Claire would love shirts like this!!! She’s nerdy like momma. :) Awesome post, Meg!!! <3

  • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

    Oh my god. Shut up and take all of my money.

  • Airbones

    Finally!

  • https://twitter.com/perfctlyflawd1 JenH1986

    I need some of these babies to grow up really quick so Aunt Jen can hook them up.

    • Rachel Sea

      Why wait? You can get your Christmas shopping done waaaay in advance.

    • https://twitter.com/perfctlyflawd1 JenH1986

      Like 5 years? is that too soon?

    • Rachel Sea

      T-shirts don’t expire. I often have a small stash of stuff waiting for kids to grow into them. Then I get to thank past me for saving present me from having to shop.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ilikeswears Dusty

    I love this. I’m not above buying boys clothes for my baby girl, but I try to avoid it because she’s still totally bald AND has a boy’s name and I’m sick of people telling me my son is so cute. Even the effing doctors office forgets she’s a girl. Now I just suck it up and buy pink crap for her to wear in public.

  • emilyg25

    I don’t understand why clothes for children are divided along boy/girl lines anyway. It’s not like with men or women where they have different body shapes.

    • lili

      It’s not like with men or women where they have different body shapes.”
      But don’t you understand that these children will grow into men and women?

    • Kyle Zander

      With girls entering puberty at age 9, there certainly are differences in body shapes of boys and girls who these products are for. Beyond that, boys and girls tend to wear different cuts of clothing (similar to what we put their parents in). Finally, shockingly, young boys and girls prefer to shop in areas of the store dedicated to them. Thus walls in girls’ clothing stores are coated in pink paint.

    • Jem

      I will agree with you about the different cuts of clothing, but also I will say it’s not necessary. It just “is”. However this statement

      “Finally, shockingly, young boys and girls prefer to shop in areas of the store dedicated to them. Thus walls in girls’ clothing stores are coated in pink paint.”

      makes me think you didn’t even read the article. It’s such a black and white statement. The whole point is that while some girls really like pink, not ALL do. Also, some boys like pink. My son loves Hello Kitty and Frozen and always wants shirts from the girls side in addition to his Thomas the tank engine and cars shirts. Why do we have to feel like we are violating some imaginary line just to get him a Frozen shirt?

    • guest

      I think this is Megan’s husband? I assume he read the article.

    • Jem

      I thought so too when I read the name, but to read this article and then to summarize that girls and boys WANT to only shop in areas designated to them is totally missing the point.

    • guest

      Yeah I see what you’re saying. Maybe it’s like they want to shop in their own area but still be able to buy “unconventional” clothes from their own side?

    • Megan

      He is my husband and obviously I can’t speak for him,but we’ve talked about this stuff, so what I think he was trying to say( and did a crappy job of it) that kids like to feel like they fit and belong and that these things, cartoon tees and Frozen gear- IMO bc that movie is awesome and everyone loves it- should be made available in both sections so a child doesn’t have to feel like they are being taboo by liking what they like. At least, that better be what he means, otherwise tonight we will have words.

    • Rachel Sea

      I don’t think so. For the most part, younger kids do want to gender-conform, and many won’t wear something they perceive as being made for the opposite gender even if they like it very much. Parenting can only overcome that to a point when most of society, including their peers are keen on maintaining a divide. If a pink or lavender Frozen shirt were in the boy’s section in a male cut it would make it that much more a “boy’s shirt.”

      Anyway, creating boy cuts and girl cuts which each have less gender normative coloring and art on them, within the more socially accepted framework of pink section and blue section, only creates more diversity of choices.

    • Jem

      See I still don’t really agree. I don’t think kids naturally want to gender conform because gender rules are basically just made up. I think without any outside influence, a child will pick what they want to pick. But you are right, at a certain age they will see other boys wearing boy clothes and other girls wearing girl clothes and not want to stand out. But I don’t think that is the natural default state.

    • Rachel Sea

      I don’t mean to sound like I think it’s inherent, not at all. It’s that most kids have been enculturated to have opinions about gender conformity by the time they are 4-6 years old. By that age most kids are getting some say in how they dress, and may go to lengths not to wear something they don’t like.

    • irarelypostonanything

      I don’t think they want to conform to gender norms to copy adults, or so in one section because it’s “theirs”. I think the way things are marketed in the store even a young child knows they’re being judged and corralled like animals. When you’re 3 feet tall, the aisle between boys and girls sections seems way wider. The stores are actively dividing children. It’s an insidious example of correlation and causation.

    • Rachel Sea

      It’s not just stores though, it’s our whole culture, kids police each other’s gender conformity. It would be nice if they didn’t but this is a tiny baby-steps kind of social change. First pink shirts on both sides of the aisle, then no aisle.

    • Kyle Zander

      The presence of sections of stores dedicated to boys and girls speaks little to the choice to only market certain franchises to boys and others to girls, which I agree is inappropriate. My point is that stores have separate sections for boys and girls which necessitates lines like the one discussed in the article. The post I was responding to suggested there was no need for clothing for boys and clothing for girls, which I think is absurd.

      For example, if your son loves Hello Kitty, he should not be forced to shop in the girls’ section of the store to find what he likes.

    • guest

      Agree 100%. They should have that option in their own “section”. If a boy wants a hello kitty shirt, his only option shouldn’t be one that’s designed along a girl’s cut. The choices should be there for both boys and girls, in their own departments (since that’s just the way it is) and with cuts meant for a boy or girl. Because let’s face it, a boy may wear a hello kitty shirt after a certain age, but he’s definitely not going to do it if his only option is a blouse. Most kids do want to conform, and there’s just no way around it-yet. We can always hope our kids grow more tolerant as each generation grows, but it’s still going to take a lot of work.

    • regular woman

      I have a drawer full of T-shirts. Some of them are fitted “women’s” T-shirts. But most of them are just your standard unisex T-shirt. There’s absolutely no reason why women and girls can’t wear regular T-shirts. Especially at age 9, for goodness’ sake. Yeah, a precocious nine-year-old may be *entering* puberty, but most nine-year-old girls are not a significantly different shape from nine-year-old boys.

    • regular woman

      The change I would’ve made would be to put the T-shirt section in the middle, between the girls’ section and the boys’ section: all T-shirts for all kids.

  • wispy

    This is so awesome. My 4 yo likes girly stuff but she loves science and animal stuff even more. She wanted a Diego birthday party and her favorite shows are Wild Kratts and Dinosaur Train. She also says “Hypothesis!” instead of “Hi” lol. I think these shirts would be right up her alley ;)

  • AP

    Call me weird, but I’d just buy my hypothetical daughter whatever clothes I liked, regardless of if they were in the boy or girl section. Most kids clothes are gender neutral anyway.

    • waffre

      I dunno, I kind of like the idea of having some science-themed shirts that AREN’T gender neutral, just as an option. It sends the message that you don’t have to be a tomboy to like science. I really think the poofy shoulders and subtle lace neckline on this shirt are cute.

  • K.

    This is awesome!

    And it’s ESPECIALLY awesome because it’s not just math-science-math-science, it’s also a bunch of cultural phenomena that are mathy-sciency. Even though I myself am not a gamer or part of that community, my girlfriends who are inform me that gaming is HEAVILY male-biased. So some encouragement to the next generation is very much needed.

  • Veris

    That shirt is cute. I want it

  • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

    This is really awesome! I don’t shop at LE but I might see if there is something I can find to buy there just to support them.

  • Jen

    Kind of off topic: My son keeps wanting things that are “girly.” Pink, princesses, etc. I always told myself I’d let my kids do whatever they want when it comes to this, but now that it’s really happening, I’m afraid. I got picked on when I was younger, and I so don’t want that to happen to my kids. Kids can be so mean. I also don’t want to tell him he can’t have the designs he wants because they’re “for girls.” I don’t know what to do, please don’t snarkify me! I’m trying!

    • guest

      Bite the bullet and just do it. Eventually you won’t really notice if it is a “girly” shirt or whatever your thoughts were previously on it.

    • footnotegirl

      Let him wear what he wants, but talk to him beforehand and let him know that some people, WHO ARE WRONG, might say mean things to him because of it, but that you will stand behind him. There’s nothing wrong with preparing your child and giving them all the information they need to make decisions.

  • Music Mamma

    That shirt is super cute! My daughter’s favorite shirt has a picture of Pippi Longstocking holding up a horse.

  • Lauren Victoria

    I do think that these clothes are cute and I have absolutely no problem with kids wearing clothes intended for the opposite sex. I have a girlfriend who has a daughter that very rarely wears pink and she buys very neutral clothing or sometimes even clothes from the boy section. But I genuinely love dressing my daughter in girly stuff. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that either. She literally doesn’t leave the house without a headband. She’s only an infant now so once she’s older she’ll have a say in what she wears, until then I get to pick. Clothes are a form of self expression and she’ll be free to wear whatever she wants. As long as her teeth are brushed and hair is combed I really don’t care. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope she stayed on the girly side because I think the stuff is adorable. Maybe because of some gender stereotype that has been shoved down my throat over the past 30 years. Oh well.

  • Kathryn Mackenzie

    As a kid I was always happier to get my brother’s hand me downs rather than my sister’s stuff. She was a pink loving girly girl, I wanted dinosaurs and trucks.
    Years later we were both annoyed that we still had to head to the boy section when her daughter wanted dinosaurs and robots.
    Kids clothing doesn’t need to be gender-separated.

  • Cindy Ailey

    I really want to know what these comfy “mom shoes” look like, but the link isn’t working!

    Also, I’m excited for cute science shirts for my little princess :)

    • Megan

      I love them all, especially the sneakers that can double as water shoes, but these are what I wear when I want to look semi put together but I still need to be able to chase after toddlers.

    • Cindy Ailey

      I like em! I’m totally in the market for some new mom shoes.

  • kay

    While I don’t love their price points I adore some of the shirts that Peek makes:
    http://peekkids.com/pioneer-tee is a good example. Now if they would just stop charging thirty-freaking-four dollars for a child’s shirt my daughter would own a zillion things from them.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Why are these shirts even gendered in the first place?!

  • Aurora

    Here’s an idea – how about we stop making things FOR GIRLS and FOR BOYS, and just make stuff for kids? That way, girls can pick out all the starwars and science t-shirts they want while boys can happily don all the pink and princessy clothes that they want with no shame or bullying or drama added to the mix? :3

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