The pros and cons of buying your kids designer clothes

By Faeza
30 September 2016


Move! had a discussion where Family Life Centre counsellors gave different opinions when it comes to buying your child brand-name clothes.

According to Wilma Calvert, Cathleen Jones and Jabu Thwala, there are both negative and positive factors that parents should consider when they are buying brand names for their children.

Wilma says, “When you buy brand names for your child, you put them at a risk of becoming victims of crime because a person can target your child for wearing the latest

brand-name item.”

Some children who might be less fortunate than your child might also start bullying your child because they do not have the same clothes as them. “Your children are at a risk of

being hurt by their peers for their sneakers, tracksuits and caps, especially when they refuse to let friends wear them,” says Cathleen.

Another risk that one should consider is that the child could lose the clothes.

“Most children have a habit of talking off their shoes or jackets when they are playing and when it's time to go home, they forgot about them. As a parent, you should

also consider that after a while the clothes might not fit as children grow out of them very quickly,” adds Wilma.

However, there is also the positive side when buying these clothes for your child.

“Brand names are often quality clothes that last longer and can be passed on. There is also the option of selling them if they are still in a good condition or donating them

to the needy,” expresses Jabu.


According to Jabu, it all depends on the child’s age to notice the difference between brand names and no-name brands.

“For children to take note of brand names, it all depends on the child’s age and what is happening around them at that moment,” she says.

“For example, if you are used to buying your child a Ben 10 or Spider Man T-shirt that costs you a fortune and then you suddenly start buying them T-shirts with just random

cartoons, they will notice.” She adds that particularly, teenagers would notice the

difference between brand names and no-name clothing.

Wilma and Cathleen agree that parents could be buying brand names for their children because, “It reflects on them as the parents. Through buying brand names for the child, the parents are seen as being wealthy.

The other reason why parents buy brand names is because they may feel guilty

because they don't spend quality time with their children.”


Parents need to make their children understand that clothes do not determine who they are. Wilma says, “Values are very important in this regard because clothes do not make the person.

If you do not teach your child this from an early age, the child might brand names ‘describe’ who he or she is. This could lead them to feel superior to others because of what

they wear, especially when they are not taught proper values.”

Jabu explains that introducing your children to brand name clothing can create problems for you in the long run. Some kids might expect name brand clothing any time they want them even when their parents can no longer afford them.

“If parents can no longer afford to buy labels, the child may become demanding or self-conscious. There is also the risk that as they grow older, they might start stealing to

maintain this standard of dress.

However, it's not entirely bad for you to buy brand names for your child for special occasions or as special treats,” says Jabu.