Updated – April 14, 2015: Over two years after writing this story, Fruit of the Loom no longer has the license to manufacture the DC Comics Girls’ Briefs/Underwear. There is a new assortment at retail now that is made by HandCraft Manufacturing, available at Amazon.
Changing perception and “norms” has been a big deal in the realm of Dad Bloggers lately, and it certainly appears that people and brands are listening. Just four months after Tom Burns posted an article over at 8BitDad discussing “Gender Disparity in Kids’ Character Undies” (he shopped the Boys aisle at Target for his daughter) Fruit of the Loom has released a 7-Pack of DC Comics Girls’ Briefs. Based around BATGIRL SUPERGIRL, and WONDER WOMAN, ours just arrived here at Rock Father HQ yesterday.
While I don’t think that Tom’s article was the actual reason for the arrival of the DC Undies (it takes a little more than four months for product design, licensing, sourcing, etc), it was instrumental in helping start a bigger conversation – one that grew when the article was re-posted last month over at The Good Men Project, and later on the Huffington Post.
A pair of follow-up articles (here and here) continued, with different players in the supply chain chiming in. Sadly, Target declined Tom’s request for a statement (I love Target – but they have a rocky history in dealing with bloggers, which I thought was changing), but other retailers seem to be getting on-board with the idea of expanding their girls’ sections beyond the typical assortment, and word is that Walmart has picked up the new DC Comics line.
The great news is that SALES speak, and the DC Comics Briefs are selling out on Fruit of the Loom’s website repeatedly (actually sold out again as of this writing). I was lucky enough to catch a fresh batch that they posted over the weekend, and I ordered a pack for my 3-year-old daughter, Addie. They arrived here at Rock Father HQ yesterday, and they’re fantastic. Right out of the bag, Addie wanted to put them on – she loves BATGIRL specifically, having been her last Halloween – but I spoiled the fun by insisting that we wash them first. Oddly enough, my habit of having nothing go exactly as planned continued, as there’s actually something wrong with the undies (albeit minor). There should be seven unique styles of briefs, but our pack included only six – with the Supergirl print doubled-up. Missing in our assortment was the plain blue pair emblazoned with the classic Superman “S” (a bummer, since Supes is my favorite). After contacting FOL through Facebook, they pointed me in the direction of some possible assistance (I really wasn’t expecting a replacement – but wanted to let them know about the mistake), so I’m awaiting a response to that email. I’m not sure if this is a widespread problem, or if our package was just a fluke.
Either way, the fact that Fruit of the Loom is actually making superhero-themed undies for girls again is exciting – a throwback to the days when Underoos for boys and girls reigned supreme! Now, if we could only get retailers on-board with the fact that a lot of their “gender-neutral” t-shirts for kids and toddlers are only stocked in the “boys” section, that would be fantastic.