New T-Shirt Line Offers Girl Clothes ‘Without the Girly’

Now you can buy the favorite girl in your life a t-shirt – without having to resort to something pink, purple, or sparkly.

Girls Will Be out of Austin, Texas, launched in July with a line of t-shirts for girls in vibrant greens, blues and reds. The shirts feature robots, sharks, baseballs, rockets, dogs and other designs typically considered to be for boys.

t-shirts for girls from Girls Will Be
Credit: Girls Will Be

The goal? To let girls be whatever they want to be.

That sentiment is exactly how the name of the company came about. Girls finish the sentence however they want: Girls will be engineers, girls will be astronauts, and so on.

Even the cut of these t-shirts are different. Yes, they’re a “girl” fit, meaning they’re a little slimmer and shorter than most boy shirts – but you won’t see any plunging necklines, narrow waists, or stupid cap sleeves that ride up into your armpits.

I also like that none of the shirt slogans from Girls Will Be get into girl versus boy dynamics. Too many “girl power” efforts these days play off a sentiment of girls being better than boys, and that’s just no good. Teaching a girl that the way to feeling positive about herself is to feel superior is damaging to everyone.

I’ll tell you a secret

The secret is this: I’m glad I grew up in the 1970s. Back then, you could always find clothes made for girls that weren’t pink or purple.

And thank goodness for that! As a tomboy, I would have hated sparkly princess butterfly crap. My day-to-day uniform was a pair of comfortable jeans and a t-shirt. I remember wearing bright yellow, brown, blue, white … but never pink.

This could have been me, from the long red braids all the way down to the sneakers.

Redhead tomboy girl holding Lego in vintage ad
Credit: The Lego Group

Now, as the mother of a 3-month-old daughter, I’m hyper-aware of the limited choices girls have when they go clothes shopping at any mainstream retailer. Heck, it’s even hard finding baby clothes that aren’t gendered to the nines with pink pink frilly pink.

I’d like my daughter to know she’s not confined to a certain set of colors, or a certain profession, or a certain social role. I hope my girl will be whatever she wants to be.

So kudos to Girls Will Be founders Sharon Burns Choski, Laura Burns, and David Michael Burns. I’m looking forward to seeing more great designs from this company in the months and years ahead.

P.S. You won’t want to miss the Girls Will Be blog, which tracks down and reviews other clothing lines with gender-neutral or “girl without the girly” offerings. It’s a fantastic resource.

2 thoughts on “New T-Shirt Line Offers Girl Clothes ‘Without the Girly’

  1. Steve says:

    I’m surprised. My “babies” have by now grown up a bit (4 of them, ages 23 to 17), but I well remember when they were small, we had no problems in finding non-girly clothes for the girls. My wife, a 100% tomboy and I love her forever, would not have the frills, nor would I. (Side remark: we lived in Italy at the time)

    1. Qparent Qparent says:

      It’s not like it used to be, that’s for sure. Thirty years ago, it wasn’t that hard to find neutral clothes. And it sounds like even 20 years ago, for your kids, it wasn’t too bad. But these days, walk into any store and you’ll see the girl’s section full of pink, purple, flowers and frills — and very little else. Then you’ve got the boy’s side which is all cars, dinosaurs and flames. The dichotomy is stunning.

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