How cool is your baby?

Victoria Beckham partly to blame for pressure to dress kids well, parents say.
Victoria Beckham partly to blame for pressure to dress kids well, parents say. 

At 12 months of age, the average child has 56 outfits – and their wardrobe is worth around AU$500, according to a British survey.

On average, each item of clothing is worn only around 12 times before it’s given to someone else or thrown away.

And one in eight children under the age of one has more than 100 items in their wardrobe.

The survey, conducted by department store Marks & Spencer, found that a third of the 1000 parents polled had spend more than AU$150 on baby clothes before the child was even born – but only a quarter of mums said they’d spent that much on maternity wear for themselves while pregnant.

Two thirds of the respondents said they blamed celebrities for parents spending more on kids’ clothes, saying that seeing photos of Suri Cruise and Harper Beckham dressed in designer gear puts pressure on them to dress their own children the same way.

Other parents worried their children would be judged at playgroups and on the street.

In a recent discussion on the Essential Baby forums, parents were divided on the idea of dressing their young children in designer clothes to be on-trend.

“I don’t want my son to be cool. I also don’t want him to be teased because of lots of odd things that can be easily managed,” user JRA wrote.

Others want to dress their children better than they themselves had been when they were young.


“I do like [my daughter] to have some nice clothes, because all I ever had … was hand-me-downs from my sister, who got them from other people as hand-me-downs,” forum user Ireckon wrote.

Conducted to raise awareness of a new initiative, in which parents can donate children’s clothes to Oxfam when buying at Marks & Spencer, the survey also revealed the more wasteful side to keeping babies and young children well dressed.

More than half of parents admitted to throwing away baby clothes because they didn’t like them, with a similar number throwing away outgrown items, instead of donating them to charity.

And 65 per cent of parents admitted to owning baby clothes they would “never dress their baby in”, as they didn’t like them or thought they were too unfashionable, with most of them bought as gifts.