If you’ve ever found yourself sitting on a park bench while your children are playing, you might have noticed what people are wearing…
While adults are mostly wearing shades of grey, black and navy blue, and the elderly are donning shades of brown, pastel and beige, children are dressed from top to toe in bright colours. Clashing patterns and garish prints are the norm for little ones, and it seems that the older we get, the less adventurous we become with our clothing.
But why does this happen? Is there a reason that children dress in bright colours? Well, there’s not a concrete scientific reason behind it, but there are a few things that point towards why it might be the case…
Firstly, children might wear bright colours as a way to demonstrate their individuality. In the same way express ourselves, children like to choose items of clothing that reflect how they see themselves and how they want others to see them. When adults choose to wear bright colours, we give the impression that we’re playful, fun or creative (especially to little children). That’s something children seek to imply too – bright colours are undeniably eye catching, and even quite young children might associate certain colours with positivity, intensity and other feelings.
Secondly, (and conversely), children may dress in bright colours in order to blend in and follow the crowd. While it’s true that choosing colour can demonstrate individuality and personality, a child is likely to want to wear colourful clothes if their peers are wearing colourful clothes too. No-one likes to be the odd one out, and ‘learning to fit in’ can be achieved via the clothing a child wears.
Moreover, children might choose to wear bright colours for the effect they have on their mood. Even from an early age, colours evoke particular emotions. So, happy children with plenty of energy and curiosity for life are likely to be drawn to coloured clothing that feel energising to look at or wear. Of course, this doesn’t mean that there’s something ‘wrong’ with a child if they choose to wear a simple black or grey t-shirt, but colour is certainly very satisfying on a sensory level.
Another reason kids dress in bright colours (and perhaps one of the biggest ones) is simply because manufacturers make children’s clothing in bright colours… not necessarily because it’s what children are demanding! Think about it: how many kid’s clothing brands can you think of that sell very plain or dark items? The overwhelming majority of children’s clothing brands design clothing with bright colours. However, this isn’t true for all brands. For example, these unisex waterproof jackets for kids come in bright colours and dark colours, giving kids the freedom to be as bold or subdued as they like.
Finally – and this is an important point to remember – it’s parents who are doing the buying. Children aren’t the ones who are paying for their own colourful clothing, so if you’re wondering why children are dressed in bright colours, it’s because (like much the manufacturers), it’s become a habit that the grown-ups are perpetuating. Why do you think children wear bright colours? Do you think your children would always reach for a bright t-shirt over a darker one?