Startup Series: Wittlebee A Clothing Club for Well Dressed Kids

02.13.12

wittlebee logo sean percival

Wittlebee is the second startup to come out of Science and it’s another good one. Every parent knows that the first half dozen years will have you shopping for clothes endlessly. Some mothers enjoy this. Some fathers enjoy this… I like to call them the other 1%.

You see I loved buying my daughter clothing, before she was born, with gift cards… but once the baby is on the scene buying a carton of milk is as much of a shopping adventure as anyone needs. By the time my son came around I was like, “Mooooommmmmm…. please buy the kids clothes because shopping makes me cry.” And she did. Bless her and bless the Cabazon outlets.

Don’t get me wrong, buying a party dress or a little suit is fun, but buying a stack of onesies, leggings or long sleeved shirts… not so fun.

Enter Wittlebee. They will send you a box of essentials every month. Every. Single. Month.

wittlebee

Ooh, and guess what? It’s really high quality stuff. If you look on their facebook page you’ll see posts from their customers like this one.

i’m loving Wittlebee! Anyone with kids from new to 5yrs HAS to check i out!! 8 articles of clothing for $39/month.(your first box is $19.99) One onsie costs $16 so its totally worth it!! USA made Brands like Cotton Seed & American Apparel. Also Baby Gap & Gymboree…Only the best brands!!! Plus if you have multiple kids you can mix and match sizes in your boxes….Im super excited about this idea!!

I’ve heard about Wittlebee for a while now because Sean Percival is the founder and he’s a friend of ours. What sort of cinches the deal is that Sean’s wife Laurie is known around Los Angeles for her impeccable taste. I knew all along that with Laurie as the woman behind the scenes those boxes would be top notch.

Wittlebee is truly personalized, when you sign up for a subscription they ask a ton of questions.

Boy or girl?
Age?
What size do they currently wear?
What colors do you like?
What style items do you need the most?
What’s a shopping trip like?
What’s your child’s style?
What’s your child’s personality?

The first box may take a while, up to two weeks and then they arrive monthly thereafter.

A Wittlebee subscription is a fabulous gift, particularly since new parents are often showered with gifts the first months and then scramble to find time, energy and money to buy new clothes after the newborn stage is over.

There’s a robust community over at the Wittlebee Facebook Page, and if you’re looking to try it out here’s a coupon that will give you 50% off your first order.

[UPDATE: The coupon code is now worth $10 off the first month]

In Defense of Skanky Little Girls

09.12.11

Today my daughter was leered at while at the park. Jane is twelve and like many twelve year old girls her proportions are as perfect as they ever will be. Like her friends Jane has reached an adult height but unlike an adult they are thin, slight even, and they have faces of children. There is no mistaking my twelve year old daughter, nor anyone else’s for that matter, for an adult.

I concede that it is entirely possible that my twelve year old could be mistaken for a fourteen year old. Believe it or not this is relevant information.

Many months ago I was walking on the beach at twilight with Jane and one of her friends. Two men were standing by the water, both were my age and as we neared them they tapped on their wrists as to indicate that we were late for a meeting. It was a playful flirtation and I had the opportunity to save them from total mortification as we got closer and they realized that two of the women were, in fact, children. These two men had the good sense to turn beet red and one almost cried. They immediately left while stammering something about sorry sorry thought you were someone else.

Although upsetting this was basically normal. Adult men saw silhouettes, acted in a flirtatious but mostly harmless manner and almost died from humiliation when they saw that the silhouettes were children. I talked to the girls about how boys will flirt with them and what an appropriate way to behave is. We talked about how powerful it is to be a woman and why you should be kind whenever possible but always firm. We also talked about how to be horribly rude when kind didn’t work so well.

Today, and a few other times, I’ve noticed men older than thirty checking my daughter out. They are lecherous and crude. It’s unlikely that they are attracted to these girls and more likely that they’re asserting their dominance. I mean, perhaps on the surface they are attracted, but I remember walking in New York City in the 80’s. Construction workers would whistle and catcall. These weren’t whistles meant to get my attention, these whistles and cat calls were meant to demean me, to make me feel afraid and inferior for being a girl. They wanted to make me feel terrible for having the gall to be a pretty girl.

I’ve never really written with my discomfort around the recent attention paid to Jane and her friends because I didn’t want to deal with being called an angry feminist. Since the best defense is so often a good offense I didn’t want to have to defend my daughter, her friends and her peers. Today though was just too much for me. My kid needs to be able to go to the park without a middle aged slob ogling her bare knees.

I posted on Google Plus the following:  The first time a 40 year old man leered at my 12 year old daughter I became rabid feminist.

Friends of mine posted commiserations as they have teenage daughters, and one young man posted the following: How was your daughter dressed? When someone asked why it matters he followed up with:  I think it does. I see little girls all the time dressed as skanks, and a guys reflex is to check her out

There is something very different happening when a teenage boy “checks out” a teenage girl. Sure, it’ll make us all squirm but it’s appropriate and a somewhat equal relationship. The boys will ogle and the girls will destroy them with words more cutting than a razor’s edge. Everyone will be angst ridden, and then they’ll have three scoops of ice cream, stay skinny and get over it.

The problem is when the relationships are unequal. An adult to child relationship is always unequal. One is a predator and the other is prey. There is no time when this is not the case, and every civilized nation has laws to protect children from adult predators.

There is danger in allowing our sons and daughters to believe that provocative dress always leads to a provocative action. Men wear cycling shorts around town. I assure you I’m not checking for penis size however there are entire sections of my beloved Reddit devoted to crotch shots of girls playing volleyball. Please don’t tell me that this is because men are visual. This is because men bond nicely while humiliating strangers, this is about power and we all know that power can be sexy.

Teenage girls know or are about to find out that their bodies are incredibly powerful. They don’t need to touch anyone or speak a word to get boys to do things for them. A smile, a glance, a nod or a shorter skirt will have boys scurrying to do their bidding. At some point most girls will roll their skirts up a little shorter and unbutton their blouse a little lower. Their mothers will scream a little, their fathers will stutter an uncomfortable talk about how they were “once a young man”. Everyone will retreat and there won’t be an issue for a little while. Until there is, because kids don’t listen to their parents and this is normal.

What will happen, what undoubtedly happens, is that a little girl is sexually assaulted. It happens. I don’t want it to, but in real life a huge number of young women are the victims sexual assault, some worse than others. The societal horror that I can control as a woman and as a blogger with a big loud voice is the answer to the inevitable question “What was she wearing”.

I don’t care if your four year old is dressed for Toddlers and Tiaras, no one has the right to leer at her (okay the judges make that confusing but work with me here). I do not care if your eight year old is wearing wildly inappropriate clothing, adult men do not have the right to ogle her. I do not care if your 13 year old looks “grown up” and might be mistaken for the ripe old age of 16. She is a child and should not be touched. “Skanky little girls” (and how I detest all that implies) deserve defending with the same vigor as a nun or an asexual old woman.

Our daughters need to hear over and over again that they are worth protecting. They don’t need to wear a burka to walk the streets comfortably and when they’re treated poorly and someone says, “What was she wearing?” our daughters need to be strong enough to look that person in the eye and say, “It doesn’t matter and it never will.”

My Son isn’t Allowed to Wear a Dress

01.12.11

I know, I’m supposed to be all delighted with the “My Son is Gay” blogger. I’m supposed to think that she’s a heroine for letting her son dress as Daphne for Halloween.

Okay fine, it was Halloween. I’d probably let Alexander dress as a girl for Halloween, but my family would think I’m a complete and utter asshole if I posted my son’s picture and then told the world he was gay. Why? Because that’s an asshole move at any age.

Mom blogging can be Moms talking to Moms, or Moms talking to the world. It doesn’t have to be Moms Telling Stories That Will Haunt Their Children. Oh, unless you drove a tank down the 405 instead of going to class in your freshman year of college. That will humiliate everyone, and it is a story that clearly needs to be told.

My son, who has no gender identity issues, may not wear a dress outside this house. He may not wear a pink frilly top, or tap dancing shoes. My son, because he is being raised by conservative freakazoids, will only wear clothing purchased in the boy’s department. Yes, I recognize that I’m narrow minded. I am okay with that.

If your son or daughter has gender identity issues this video is not about you. I’m really sorry, but I can only address the 99% of the world that smacks me in the face. It’s a blog, not an encyclopedia. I’m a Mom Blogger, not a politician, you don’t have to love me, and I don’t have to campaign for your issues.

So what say ye? Would you let your son wear a dress to school?