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Children’s clothing in the PAW

This is written from the point view of clothing the young child but a lot of it applies to older children and adults.

Lets take some time to face a few facts about the need for clothing in the PAW. The purposes of clothing are to protect the wearer from their environment, to protect the wearer’s modesty, the modesty of others around him or her and clothing is worn for reasons of vanity.

Children’s clothing is made from the adult’s point of view and not that of the child’s. If the clothing were made from the child’s point of view then the pictures on the front of the clothing would be upside-down.

Children’s clothing is made for the convenience of the child’s caregiver and not for convenience of the child. If the clothing was meant to be convenient for the child then clothing for little boys would have fifty pockets, pants for a two year olds would not have a crotch, would fall off at the push of a button and dresses would not have buttons down the back.

Children’s clothing is not made with the comfort of the child in mind it is made with the cost of production in mind. If the comfort of the child was of foremost importance to the manufactures the smocks on little girl’s dresses would be lined and not have a raw surged edge to rub against her skin. If the manufactures were not concerned about cost of production then children’s clothing would not have flat seams they would me made using flat filled seams {AKA Lapped seam} so that there are no raw edges it aggravate the child and the clothing would last longer. The fuzzy side of sleepers would be on the inside and not on the outside just because it just looks so cute.

Babies and young children are not dressed to protect their modesty. They are dressed to protect the sensitivity of the adults around them. By the time a child develops a since of modesty they are old enough the dress themselves. Chasing after a two year old in ninety-degree heat just to put under pants on him/her is a waste of yours and the child’s energies.

The amount of clothing that a child can wear in a day’s time can be considerable. A child gets up in the morning dressed in pajamas, puts on their school clothing, comes home dresses in play cloths, dresses in fancy clothes to eat out, comes home puts on fresh play clothing and then dress in clean pajamas after their bath. This is nearly 6 complete changes of clothing and that amounts to around for -
Boys
2 pajamas 3 pairs of underpants 3 pairs of socks 3 t-shirts 1 dress shirt 3 pairs of pants
Girls
2 night gowns 3 pairs of panties, 3 changes of hose, tights, or socks or combinations thereof them, 3 slips 3 dresses
If you have two children this is at least one load on laundry if everything was washed together. Granted this does not represent every child, in every family every day of the week but it is likely to happen at least one in every child’s life. In the Paw washing will likely have to be done by hand, in a large kettle, with water heated over a fire outside, with water pumped by hand or carried from a stream and using home made soap. A child’s skin is wash and wear, it takes less time and resources to scrub a child’s body then it does a change of clothing. A gallon of warm water and a sliver of soap is more then enough to give a child a good topping and tailing.

Children are hard on clothing they wear out and out grow clothing very quickly. In the PAW clothing will for the most part have to be hand made from hand made fabric. I a parent do not have the skill or the material necessary to make the clothing then the clothing will have to bought or traded for. The cotton to make clothing will have to be picked by hand and the sheep will have to be sheared by hand. The raw materials will have to be spun by hand into thread and that thread will have to woven by hand into cloth. If that is not enough the finished cloth has to be cut and sewed in to clothing by someone.

Am I saying that children should always be nude in the PAW no I am not but the amount of clothing that a child wears in the postSHTF world does not need to of the same standard that is expectable in today’s world. Will it be necessary to keep a child fully clothed at all times when you’re nearest neighbor is miles away? If you are walking down the road to a trading post do you think anyone will care if your babe in arms is not dressed? Will a loincloth provide sufficient coverage for a six year old?

New social rules will apply to life in the PAW and I think that one will see more skin then we do today.
 

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I understand where you're coming from, having two kids of my own. There are a lot of second hand stores, hand me downs from relatives, and neighbors bartering in my area, and it works just fine. Based on availability alone, it would probably take at least a generation, maybe more, to change social values and expectations. The resurgence of localized and cottage industry would throw another variable into the mix, along with health concerns, community standards, etc.

In the event of a paradigm shift event, I think that the role of kids in the daily life of the family unit will change, and their reasons for dressing along with them. If they are so fortunate as to be able to play and go to school (operating under the neo-feudalism model here) kids won't need protective clothing. Probably be more like a modified version of the daycare fashion shows we have today - y'know, impress your peer group. Fantasize as we will, I think that there will also be not-so-practical people remaining in the PAW world, and many of them will be motivated by escapism and nostalgia. Allowing for predictable human nature, those borderline mannequins may even become opinion leaders. Take the zoot suit for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoot_suit (specifically, please see "Characteristics", second paragraph)

If they're in the fields, like many of our parent's parents were, I'd expect that there would be more practical considerations, like durability, utility, ease of repair, etc. Utilikilts, maybe? ;) Going commando is OK for a while, but you have to put on overalls to go into town, or to work in the brier patch, and must wear shoes around farm animals and machinery to keep your toes attached. Situational, like you said.
 

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Makes sense to me.
Children (as said) are really hard on clothing...and in the situation you are discribing, so are us adults.

You might check the Archives. Seems we had a real good discussion of this awhile back.
 
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