Millions of British parents embarrass their children on a daily basis – due to their lack of fashion sense, it has emerged socks with sandals, eccentric hats, and wearing leggings on the school run are all big no-no’s for the nation’s kids. Children also cannot bear to be seen with mum or dad if they are in glaringly bright clothing, tops which are too tight or Crocs. Shorts, giant foam clogs and oversized shirts or sweaters are also considered major fashion faux pas. Almost half of parents would happily be dressed by their children in a bid to improve their look.
Overall more than four in 10 children are embarrassed by their parents’ lack of fashion sense, while one in four mums and dads said their child’s opinion on their clothing was important to them. The findings emerged in a study of 2,000 parents with kids aged 16 and under for Oxfam’s Dressed By The Kids campaign, a national fundraising event happening on 16 June.
The study shows a third of parents would like their youngsters to go shopping with them to give hints and tips and three in 10 admitted they have ‘questionable taste’ in clothing. 30% of children have been known to comment negatively on a parent’s attire, and a fifth of mums and dads have even gone as far as changing an outfit following a particularly critical remark. More than half of those polled admitted their children are ‘far more fashionable’ than they are. But parents don’t just embarrass kids in the fashion stakes, as the research indicates there are a number of other ways they have the last laugh.
A quarter of parents say their children are mortified if they are told off in public while 19% of kids hate having food wiped off their face. Being fussed around, being called a nickname in front of friends and having their hair ruffled also make children feel self-conscious. While others can’t stand their parents telling stories about when they were a baby, or when mum and dad whoop and cheer at school plays, the mistakes with fashion are considered some of the worst ways to embarrass children – particularly if parents choose to go out in fancy dress, or shoes they can’t walk in. One in 10 children have been so embarrassed by their parent’s choice of outfit they’ve refused to be accompanied on the school pick-up, and the same percentage have apologised to their friends about what mum or dad were wearing.
Shaun Ryder, who was recently spotted on the streets of Manchester in flamboyant dress chosen by his daughters as part of Oxfam’s Dressed By The Kids campaign, said: “The kids had a great laugh getting me dressed up in whatever they wanted – from a flowery dress, a fox onesie and flippers, to melon shorts and a tutu.
“They wanted to stitch their dad up! Funny thing is, when we got outside they went crimson in the face walking around with me limping along in high heels, so Dad got the last laugh!
“Getting Dressed By The Kids is a great thing to do with the kids, we’ve giggled all day. So come on Britain, get seriously silly and get yourself signed up for Oxfam!”