Friday, July 14, 2006


Gender Neutral Kimonos?

Anyone have any advice/feelings about whether the kimono is appropriate for both genders? I knit one in cream with purple ribbon for an sex-to-be-revealed baby and the mom-to-be clearly indicated that her husband would not put a boy in it. I know the ribbons are, well, ribbon-y, and I offered to change them to blue it turned out she was having a boy. Truthfully though, we have a boy and would have put him in this as a baby. . . am I off my rocker?) Here's a pic, and there is more info on my blog. (

Thanks, folks!

I can't believe she told you that.
I made one for a boy with buttons instead of ribbons.
I would happily put a new born baby boy in this kimono. It must be the father who is off his rocker!
I agree. Seems a little wierd to me . . .

How disappointing to put the effort into making a gift yourself to have it be less than fully appreciated.

Did she say whether it was the ribbon or the kimono itself that was the issue? Because it isn't as if kimonos themselves have some gender attached to them, but the ribbon seems harmless. And as you say, the ribbon could be exchanged.
That is ridonkculous! Put blue ribbons on it, and you're good to go - boy or girl! But that's me.
I think the kimono is fine for both boys and was probably the purple bows that freaked her out. Tinky-Winky wears purple, and many grown men seem to find him threatening.

Swap them for blue or green if it makes them happy, or buttons (loop closures could be added after the fact).
I'd put my daughter or son in it... kimonos are very practical for either gender. Boo to your friend! :( It's a lovely kimono, by the way.
Add buttons if you like to make it more boyish.
Around here, purple is good for boys too as lots of people are TCU fans and nuts about purple.
dd had a friend who had a baby boy and she was tickled to get some purple booties.
I've seen this attitude in men before. My cousin's husband has made comments about his boys can't be dressed in this color or that. Some dads act as if the worst thing that can happen is for a boy to wear something the dad feels is girly. I find it a scary attitude for the men to have.
I see nothing wrong with a kimono for either sex! As everyone has said, add buttons, or change the ribbon color.

And I also agree that SOME men get way too caught up in what's girly or not!

You did a beautiful job and it was a lovely gift - no matter what her hubby thinks!
I think that was a rude response to such a nice handknit. How hard is it to put the baby in, take a quick picture and then save as a keepsake (or not) rather than tell the maker of the gift that you won't use it? Luckily, my DH could care less about "manly" colors. A Gift is a gift.
I have a baby boy, and I'd put him in the kimono, hands down. Japanese baby boys wear kimonos all the time, and they are no less boyish for it. You did a great job, and some people just don't show enough tact when it comes to speaking.
Thanks so much you guys -- I have recently moved to the midwest from Oregon, and I was afraid my "left-coast" sensibilities were clouding my judgement. I really appreciate everyone's input.
I happen to think boys look good in purple.
You could just add buttons instead of the ribbon.
I too think it is lovely for boys or girls, but some fathers are obsessed with some colors on boys. Another idea I did was to make I-cord ties the same color as the kimona. It "neutrals" it down a bit which seems to help in the boy or unknown issue.

What these dads will find out is no matter how the babies are dressed, a large percentage of people will still ask the sex or call them the wrong one.

I used to take my daughter out in pink with pink hair ribbons and bows and invariably some bozo would say, "How old is he?" LOL

BTW, our daughter was adopted and we were expecting a boy. We had already stocked the nursery. There was a change of plans and we ended up with a girl (from a different birthmom.) We were thrilled as it made no difference to us...however she wore a lot of blue sleepers and dinosaur socks around the house!
I made a blue kimono for our baby boy and my husband, who is very picky about what his sons wear, didn't even bat an eye.

Like Bliss said, it doesn't matter what they're wearing, people will call baby boys "she" and baby girls "he." I had my muddy little toddler in a dinosaur t-shirt and Spiderman shoes and people still described him as "an adorable little girl."
You are decidedly not off your rocker - well, if you are, it's not because of the kimono! ; )

I have little patience for the concept that certain colors are reserved for certain genders. I'll admit to considering the those crazy rules when knitting for others because after all that time and effort, I want my handknits to be used!

But more importantly, I want my love and labor to go to those who appreciate my handcrafted creations. This couple would not receive any handknits from me. They don't get it. Perhaps when the child is old enough to assert some control over his wardrobe I might - at that point the gift is for the child. Handknits for babies are for the baby and the parents.
I made two for my baby, due July 26, since we don't know the gender. One is Sugar & Cream Butter Cream (ombre) and the other Sugar & Cream Cool Breeze.

(Looking back, I could have just done the Cool Breeze because the blue/green/white/yellow is very gender-neutral. But it was great practice for me since I'm still a beginner.)

Anyway, my husband also flipped (a teeny bit, he's normally not a big gender-role guy) over the grosgrain ribbon. But I'm a new enough knitter I just told him I didn't know how to make a buttonhole, so if baby is a boy, too bad!

Now that I've read up on it, I wish I'd done a buttonhole on both of them instead. Seems pretty easy.

I can't imagine him saying it to someone who gave us one as a gift, though. shame.
Her husband wouldn't put a boy in that kimono? Since when do men like that dress their own kids anyway?

Ribbons on the baby kimono are adorable. I think I'd like to do one with buttons, since button shopping is more fun than ribbon shopping for me.
LOL Margot about me being off my rocker. What's sad is that this was for another knitter - I really thought she'd like it. When I acted surprised that she didn't think it was neutral enough, she said rather emphatically: "Well *your* husband wouldn't let a boy wear this!" To which I said, "Of course he would." (DH actually saw it and liked it -- never dreamed it was inappropriate.) Anyway. It is nothing but cotton-candy pink and navy-blue for her kids from now on.
" I happen to think boys look good in purple."

Like the L.A. Lakers, for instance.
I think that the father has some issues with his own sexuality.
I feel sorry for his wife.
Me? I always use non-traditional colours when I make baby gifts.
The baby doesn't give a rat's ass what colour it's wearing.
Why should anyone else?
; )
How absolutely, incredibly RUDE! My mother taught me many years ago that gracious thanks are given for ANy gift! Regardless of how ridiculous, inappropriate or ugly you might think it is. As for the kimono being "girly", that's crap. I did martial arts for decades and both boys and girls wore kimonos. wigh coloured belts to denote rank. If the woman doesn't like the riboons, then she can knit some I-cord herself and attach it. she could even have said something like "oh, I was worried about the lovely ribbon int he washer, so I made some I-cord". Or she could have just said "thank you and put it asiode" like a normal, gracious lady! Ooooh, that pisses me off.
I have made a blue cottontots kimono and find out the baby to be may be a girl. So I have knitted up a couple daisies, one for the kimono and one for the matching hat. I'm hoping the mom will not be offended and use the gifts. But if she doesn't, that's her loss.
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