Chinese mums spend more on clothes than toys

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Nee Hao spoke to a few mothers who enjoy splashing their cash to buy their children expensive clothes, which far exceed the amount they spend on toys as well as clothes and other things for themselves. But why spend so much on clothes that within a few years or even a few months they will no longer fit into?

Josie, who we first interviewed in our previous article about bilingual Chinese babies, says that she doesn’t know why but she loves dressing up her 11-month-old daughter Kira in nice new clothes. “I think that even though the babies obviously have no idea about the clothes they are wearing, that’s no reason why they can’t look nice, especially if we’re taking her out for the day or to a party,” says Josie.

“Before having Kira I was really into shopping and buying lovely designer clothes for myself, but now I don’t feel a need to always buy them for me and so many clothes for babies catch my eye these days that’s hard to resist getting some. I think it’s instinctual for many mothers because when we have children nearly everything we go shopping for is for them anyway,” she adds. Josie does buy clothes for Kira from a number of high street shops but says Ted Baker and Burberry do some great kids clothes too and those are her favourites when it comes to shopping for her daughter. Josie also says that in the future she will most probably resell most of the clothes that are still in great condition on eBay or give others to charity.

Yan, the mother of two – a 2-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, says she also likes to spend disposable income on her children, adding that her daughter has already got a taste of the designer clothes labels she buys and sometimes like to go along with her and help pick things out. “Like most girls her age she really likes to play dress up and already has a say in some of the clothes she gets,” Yan says. However, she doesn’t want to seem like she spoils her, adding that she’ll only buy a few new clothes every couple of months or so and save up for the next spree.

“Me and my husband work hard for our money and we make sure that although we buy our children nice things, we do still try and teach them that the money doesn’t just grow on trees. Having said that, I came from a poor family in China and did not always have an easy life growing up there and when I first moved to England and I always said I wouldn’t want my children to have the same childhood where we would hardly ever get new clothes or anything else for months at a time.”

June, who is a first-time mother, says she enjoys buying designer clothes for her 2-year-old son and like Josie, says she no longer feels the need to buy things for herself so spends it on him instead. “I like the way a lot of celebrities dress their babies up and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with showing them off because it’s not like they put them in really ugly clothes – it’s their choice,” she tells us. “And I would only buy the best and nicest looking clothes for my son too.”

She is a fan of how Kate Middleton dresses up her son Prince George in smart and classical fashions and she also likes the styles of David and Victoria Beckham’s kids. “Hollywood stars also have great taste when it comes to making their children look their best. As they should,” she adds, “I think if you’ve got the money then why not do it?” But June also says that other money that isn’t spent on clothes for her son does now go into a savings account for when he is much older.

Xinxin, a mother to a 6-month old daughter and 4-year-old son says that as well as designer clothes, she thinks buying top brand accessories for her children are important too. “State of the art buggies that may cost a lot are worth every penny for the things they can do,” she tells Nee Hao. “The same goes for toys. You want things that will last as long as possible and so are good quality, especially things that are educational and they can get the most of out,” she adds, saying that she has recently purchased a real mini keyboard for her son and the expensive, top quality rocking horse she has had since he was just a year old is still played with and yet still like new.

Xinxin is also into recycling clothes and toys saying that when her daughter is old enough she can ride the rocking horse and play with her son’s keyboard and if she ever has another son and daughter then clothes they have worn can be handed down. “I do like to follow trends and seasons but nice clothes are nice clothes,” she says, “even if my son wore a certain top two years ago, there’s no realistically justifiable reason why his younger brother can’t wear it again in another two years, even if I do still buy new clothes for him then as well.”

What about you? Are you a parent who likes to buy designer clothes and other things for your children or do you believe there is no need and think it spoils them? Or if you have children in the future what would you do when it comes to shopping for them and you had the money? Let us know!

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