Monday, 10 October 2011

A Label boy??

Last week my four year old was given the exciting opportunity to be in the Audience for the filming of an episode of the new Cbeebies show 'Justin's House' staring Justin Fletcher of Mr Tumble fame!

In school they had been talking about it for a few weeks and Ben was rather excited! About a week before the 'trip' we received a rather thick bundle of forms to read and sign, they were full of disclaimers and permissions in case Ben was caught on camera and filmed in the audience. So after reading and signing on the dotted lines (no less than SIX times!) I got to thinking about what Ben would wear. The form stated that it was non-uniform, BUT also that no clothes with brand names or labels were to be worn.

I'm not into 'designer labels' either on myself or my children, I go for qood qualityy, hardwearing clothing and most of Ben (and Elizabeth's) clothes are purchased in the NEXT or M&S sales or from the supermarket, that's if they're not bought pre-loved or passed of from friends. So I didn't think choosing a smart outfit of non labelled or branded clothes for the day would be a problem...

That was until I noticed something else on the form (It was so long I may have just skimmed it the first time!) as well as not being permitted to wear anything with brand names or logos, because of the BBCs strict ban on advertising, characters were not allowed on clothing either, not even those shown on Cbeebies itself! So now it was getting trickier, quite a lot of Ben's 'smart' clothes did have characters on them, it's quite common for high street shops and Supermarkets to do low price licensed ranges of kid's clothes featuring an array of Ben's favourite characters such as Mickey Mouse, Lightening McQueen, Postman Pat or Ben10 and we would often treat him to something like this.

So while I was routing through Ben's Chest of Drawers in search of a suitable outfit I made quite a discovery. Ben owned a lot more 'labels' than I had realised! Pulling out tops I had always thought were plain and nameless I found hoodies from GAP, fleeces embroidered with Regatta, cardigans emblazoned with NEXT EST 1983, and even a Junior J (jasper conran) Rugby shirt! So maybe we had more labels in our house than I had realised...

I soon found that when I put aside the labelled, branded and licensed clothing most of what remained were Ben's 'scruffs', clothes he'd paint in, or play in the sandpit in the garden, certainly not what I would allow him to be possibly be seen on TV in! This really got me thinking about the clothes we owned and routing through my 10 month old daughter's drawers I also discovered handful of designer labels here. Many of these had been gifts and any that had been bought by myself had been done so at a heavily reduced price in the sales or pre-loved but it still made me think, does a 10 month old really need Jasper Conran vests or A Ralph Lauren coat? It's not like she cares, as long as it keeps her warm and dry she's a happy little girl! Even Ben at four doesn't know what the names covering so many of his clothes mean or represent, but how long until he does? When will it start to matter to him whether the label says Tesco or Timberland? Primark or Paul Smith?

In the end I managed to find a top, cardi and pair of Jeans that I though looked smart enough for Ben's possible 15 seconds of fame, funnily enough the whole outfit had cost under £10 from Asda!

This is a rather tired Ben after we picked him up, showing us the 'robot dancing' he had seen on Justin's house!

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