Got Milk! Most of us know this as the advertising slogan for the kind of milk that comes from cows, so when I saw the message on a fellow mom’s T-shirt when Pumpkin was in the NICU, I laughed in delight. (And also in some envy since she was producing more than enough milk for both of her twins!) Since then, I’ve seen irreverent “mommy T-shirts” turn into a trend, which I’ve written about for Sunday’s paper.
Not to get too philosophical about fashion, but I think the rise of the mommy cool meme as expressed in the T-shirts says a lot about today’s generation of moms. That view was confirmed when I talked with Kristin Bennett, who is senior director of research and trends at the Intelligence Group. She explained that Gen Y and Gen X moms like myself are making an “extreme commitment” to parenting. These moms are relishing their roles and are happy to tell the world about it by wearing a T-shirt that advertises they are moms. And the T-shirts let them do it in a hip, ironic way that reminds people that they still have a strong sense of self-identity, too.
Kristin’s views were echoed by Liz Gumbinner, co-founder and editor of Cool Mom Picks. Liz, a mom of two who was raised in Larchmont and whose folks live in Cortlandt Manor, explained to me that parenthood isn’t just a phase of life anymore, it’s a culture. “And with any culture comes marketing,” she said.
Here’s where the T-shirts come in. A really nice part of the trend is that I haven’t seen big companies hopping on it Ã¢â‚¬â€ yet. Most of the T-shirt makers I’ve encountered are moms, some looking for a way to run a home-based business so they can be there for the kids. A good place to start your surfing is RoleMommy.com, which is run by Beth Feldman of New Rochelle. Her soft and fitted shirts are bedecked with glitter and rhinestones and feature sayings like “I don’t do cupcakes” and “I need a playdate.”
Another local T-shirt designer is Joy Rose of Hastings, a rocker who plays with the band Housewives on Prozac. She’s created shirts that say Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mom is not my real nameÃ¢â‚¬? and “Women do not have an expiration date.” I also had a great time talking with Eileen Schneidman, a Wilton, Conn., stay-at-home mom of three and co-founder of Planet Mom T-shirts. (That’s Eileen at right.) The site has a wide array of embroidered T’s with funny sayings like “Whine? No. Wine? Yes.”
If you are more the crunchy-granola type mom, check out PeaceLoveMom, where you can pick up shirts with feel-good messages like “Happy mom” and “Lucky mom.” If you like a light touch is more your thing, Jestations has maternity shirts that boast “Dropping folic acid” and “Made with fresh eggs.” If you want to get political, Georgie Tees has a “Make babies, not war” T-shirt.
A popular site with celebrities, according to Danielle Friedland, publisher of the Celebrity Baby Blog, is Little Showoffs. Shoppers there include Gwyneth Paltrow (“Yoga mama”), Marcia Cross (“Mommy of Twins”) and Melissa Rivers (“Hottie mommy”). Another hot site with celeb moms is Logan & Blue, which makes custom embroidered shirts. Tori Spelling has a “Body after Liam” T-shirt that she wore on “Entertainment Tonight.” Another celeb favorite is the “Loving my Buddha belly” shirt from Preggers n’ Proud worn by actress Kate Hudson.
You also might like Mothers In Love with Fashion. (You can be forgiven if this brings to mind the racier translation of that acronym.) My favorite there was the “Daytime swinger” T-shirt with the image of a swing set. I also liked the “Supply” and “Demand” set for mom and baby from Milkdudz.
If you have a favorite place to buy “mommy T-shirts,” let us all know. And if you have one that you like, send me a picture of you wearing it and I’ll post it on the blog. Also, what do you think of this trend? And would you wear any of the shirts?
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