Back to school is in full swing, and we have been inundated with ads and circulars from stores hoping to cash in on the bonanza. I guess they must be trying even harder this year than usual because, just like in every other area, so many people are cutting back on their spending. Perhaps this is why we received a "Crewcuts" catalog from the J. Crew Company.
Now don't get me wrong, I have owned items from J. Crew, and I even step into their store from time to time. Mostly their clothes are too expensive for me, but I admit that they are well made. I might splurge on a coat or a sweater, especially if they are on sale, because I know the item will last for several years. However, the same cannot be said for kids’ clothes.
This crewcuts catalog is entirely for kids, and it is both hilarious and ridiculous. For obvious reasons, kids cannot wear the same clothes for years on end (unless, of course, you have a serious hand-me-down economy working at your house). Therefore, spending huge amounts of money on their clothes is a foolish waste.
Not only that, but the fashions in this catalog are so stuffy, and the materials so easily damaged that kids would be prevented from running and playing as they should. Who wants to stomp through mud puddles in their $148 Italian leather shoes? How about climbing a tree in your $98 silk skirt? I'm sure some kids do manage to sneak out and play in these clothes, but then they have to endure the shrieking from Mom about dry-cleaning bills when they go home.
But the worst, the very worst, part about this catalog is not the silly fabrics or even the extreme prices. The worst part is the "mini-me" quality to the fashions. Kids do not belong in cashmere cardigan sweaters with silk shantung shells underneath. They do not need wool blazers, or silk ties, or HERRINGBONE DRIVING CAPS! They are not going to cocktail parties or boardroom meetings! They are KIDS for goodness sake!
Pardon me if I've become a bit shrill. I think all my years teaching in the upper crust may be getting to me. Besides, I don't actually have any kids, so I shouldn't judge. Perhaps if I ever do, I will suddenly feel an overwhelming urge to buy them cashmere sweaters, white wool peacoats, and Italian suede boots. Yeah, and pigs wearing $165 silk dresses might suddenly learn to fly.