A New Hope? Next is Selling Star Wars Clothes… For Girls

Last week local blogger and author Polly Walker alerted me to the fact that Next was selling some new Star Wars clothes. What made these different was one important detail – they were created specifically for girls.

While overall I remain uneasy about the way boys & girls clothing is defined and divided, this addition is immensely positive and demonstrates for all what I’ve always known – Star Wars is for girls too.

As a geek dad, I’ve bought my daughter all sorts of sci-fi tops since she was born. When they’re babies what they wear is frequently for parental amusement. A baby has no idea why their father might like to dress them as a Star Trek red shirt.

While these geeky baby clothes tend to not be labelled by gender, as she got older I ended up browsing the ‘boys’ section, as there was never any in the ‘girls’ one. While it didn’t bother me at first, I begun to realise that this was how geek culture becomes defined as a boys interest from an early age.

Because of this, I was nervous about letting my daughter choose her own clothes when she turned 3, as I thought that would be the end of it. I needn’t have worried.

But getting hold of different styles is an issue. Making or buying custom made clothing is one solution. My daughter was lucky enough to be the recipient of a Star Wars skirt, made for her by Francesca of Sewing Circus.

I connected with Francesca online, and the internet has helped a great deal by bringing together the large and growing geek culture fangirl community. The fact it exists at all is a testament to members individuality, and determination to not be defined by strict parameters of what it means to be a girl or woman.

While the likes of the innovative Her Universe label is taking full advantage of this gap in the market, the mainstream assumption remains – that geeky stuff involving space and superheroes is for boys only.

This often means female characters being omitted altogether in licensed merchandise, as happens with The Avengers, Big Hero 6, Guardians of the Galaxy, and – yes – Star Wars. This tells boys and girls that there is no place for women in these environments.

There is a close link between a childhood interest in geek culture and science in general. The reasons for lack of women in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Manufacturing) are many, but the perception of science and science fiction as ‘boy’ interests is suspected of being a major contributing factor.

Do Girls Really Like Star Wars?

All I want for my daughter – and all girls – is choice. If your daughter loves pink and princesses, then she is well served by the market. But my Star Wars loving little girl and her fellow fangirls usually have to rely on what’s in the boy’s aisle, and many will feel uncomfortable about this as they grow older. I’ve already had older girls and boys ask me with disbelief whether my daughter really does love Star Wars when they see her running around the playground in her Star Wars gear. Well, she absolutely does.

The new Star Wars movie is only a few months away, with a film a year to follow after that. There are additional comic books, novels, and cartoons. The merchandise tsunami has already begun. The new saga is about to be embraced by a brand new generation of fans, including my daughter. When I was a kid, one of the biggest Star Wars fans I knew was a girl who lived around the corner. Somehow, in the ensuing decades, it became redefined as a boys only brand.

A high street retailer like Next selling Star Wars clothes for girls – even ones with pink and sparkles – gives me a new hope that such an attitude will be a thing of the past for Star Wars fangirls in the future.

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What do you think? Is Star Wars for boys only? Do you know any girls who love it too? Please share your opinion below, or on Facebook.

11 thoughts on “A New Hope? Next is Selling Star Wars Clothes… For Girls”

  1. That’s great news! And Star Wars is for everyone! I’ve grown up a fierce Star Wars fangirl since I was a little girl and I still think that labelling Star Wars a brand for boys is a very wrong idea.

  2. So glad you posted this. I’m a dad of a 7 year old girl and am so glad someone has done this. One of my daughter’s favourite movies is CARS. Why aren’t Disney/Pixar marketing it to girls as well instead of shoving Frozen down their necks. I guess they can’t complain since it’s made them 50 billion dollars.

  3. This is great. I’ve dressed my daughter from the boys’ section as much as from the girls’ section since she was a baby. Now she’s a little older she seems to just like to wear cool clothes regardless of who they’re meant for. She spent today dressed as Sully from Monsters Inc!
    Thanks for linking up with the weekend blog hop!

      1. Definitely it’s for girls! Back when the original movie came out in 1977, my mom took my sister and me to the movie with a bunch of other kids (boys and girls alike) and moms in our neighborhood. Once it appeared on HBO, we watched it numerous times and absolutely loved it, reciting lines and replaying scenes! My BF who lived around the corner had 2 younger brothers who owned many of the toys. We played with them just as much, and it was good because all of us played with the figures and play sets. I really think SW can be universally loved by anyone who enjoys a good story with a lot of excitement. I have both a boy and girl — my daughter is very girly when it comes to clothes but would definitely be interested in these because while she likes movies like this she also loves picking cute clothes and enjoys being a traditional girl.

        Although I’m not a total sci-fi person (my husband really is), I love the series and own a shirt from when they had an exhibit at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, in the US. I used to wear it all the time but put it away because I wanted to save it. I didn’t mind wearing the shirt but would have loved it even more if it was more feminine. I’m not ashamed to be a lady who loves Star Wars!

  4. The more I see my daughter grow, the more I realise our notions of what’s for boys or girls are ridiculous. She loves her dolls, tea parties, and baby toys. She also loves Star Wars, LEGO, and climbing things. Thanks for reading 🙂

  5. I am a girl (well a bit older) and I was sat down to watch the trilogy from an age that would make a lot of strict mums tut about screen-viewing! My favourite was always Darth Vader with Princess Leia just behind. My hubby couldn’t believe his luck that he met someone who also knew the dialogue to his favourite films because I was considered weird my whole childhood and teens for being a female fan.
    And guess what, our two year old loves it so much she recognises the words and images with a big shout of ‘DAR WARRS!’ We never forced her but we found that she will happily sit through the whole thing and get involved with it though she moans if the prequels go on, she’s firmly an original trilogy girl.
    I’ve bought her clothes from the boys and girls section from a newborn, she has Star Wars, Jake and the Neverland pirate etc clothes, she also has princess dresses, it makes perfect sense for her to put a KISS tshirt over the top of a glitter tutu.
    We don’t gender-block in the toy aisles either, she has pirate ships and tea sets- I’d rather her grow up feeling we encouraged her to like whatever interested her than making her feel weird for liking stuff that PR departments label ‘boy’.
    I love Disney but I hate the strict gender divide and ‘princessing’ everything attitude. I hope they bring out a decent doll otherwise I’m going to be ooak modding.

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