Orange Parenting: Dressing Your Orange Daughter

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Remember the Nike Platinum Elite uniforms from earlier this year? There was much discussion on this board and around town about whether people would buy them. And by "people," we meant whether "men and boys" would buy them. Scrolling through the comments for the link above, I'm not sure I saw any clearly female screennames. Why would that be?

Now the obvious answer is to say that the uniforms are made for the men's team, but look at the models in the Baylor and UConn uniforms. I dream that my daughters can look like that someday, competing with the most elite players and looking great in a team uniform. But for most women and girls, a basketball uniform would just look silly and fit like a clown suit. The same is true about most Syracuse-themed gear.

I'm a little jealous of Orange Parents who have little boys. The Syracuse-themed stores seem to be stocked full of adorable little jerseys, T-shirts, and onesies for every sport of the year. Those boys wearing them to the Dome look like they really have a goal to play for the Orange one day. The girls' selections have often left a bit to be desired.

Now, you may ask, "Why don't you just dress your little girls in those boys' clothes?" Hold on, I'll get to that in a moment.

First, I have to tell a pet peeve of mine that is true even for women: Making a men's shirt pink and calling it a women's shirt. Pink has nothing to do with orange. (Syracuse changed from pink to orange, but that doesn't mean they're related.) If you're going to a game, you should be wearing orange, right? So why should I buy a pink Syracuse shirt? They start this marketing strategy early. You can get this one at mannysonline.com and many other online sports apparel stores.

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Admittedly, when my mother bought us a pink baby sweatsuit, we did dress Maggie in it for her very first trip to the Dome. But we insisted it was peach, our own little platinum-vs-grey joke.

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With that picture I can explain why I don't buy the boys' clothes. Looking at infant Maggie, there is no way to tell that she's a girl. Not that it matters, and I've never been offended by well-meaning strangers making mistakes, but it's easier on everyone if the gender is clear in public.

However, some of the online sports stores are taking my idea of gender distinctive clothing farther than I would like. See this shirt:

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I actually think the shirt has been cut to accentuate the bust and the waist. You might picture a girlfriend or college student enjoying a summer day in that tank top, right? Well, only if she wears size 2T or 4T (T for toddler). It's here at footballfanatics.com. I guess the 3Ts had some Syracuse Toddlers and Tiaras contest recently.

But I'm not here to be critical about everything. As you know, my girls wear their cheerleader dresses to the Dome for football, basketball, and lacrosse. I love seeing them in their orange (and blue) and they are excited to wear their uniforms, too. My only issue is that strangers tend to say, "Oh look! It's a future cheerleader." Totally understandable, but I want to leave all of the sports open for them to play. So I've found some sport-neutral outfits for girls, too.

This one is online at Manny's again, and Reese would have loved wearing it last year:

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I found some good options at Target this week, and I'm impressed with the strides we are taking away from the pink T-shirt option. The only way I would improve this one by making the design a bunch of Ottos down the side instead of hearts. (Don't you love that it says "Girls" on the sticker?)

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This one here could even pass for an Easter dress. Again, I'd have liked the blue dots to be Orange, but I'd let my girls wear this, maybe even for their weddings since it's white.

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My final item in this Orange fashion report is for both boys and girls (and possibly grown-ups). We all need a footed sleeper, and I could only find blue ones online (many sites). Where are the orange footed sleepers?

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Finally, a reminder that if you have a story about your Orange Parents and your experience growing up Orange that you'd like to share with the world (or everyone at TNIAAM), please email them to me at sharicuse at gmail dot com. I'd like to publish some of them this spring.

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