The hottest new trend in baby gear isn’t something shiny, bright, or high-tech — it’s dressing your child like an extra in Oliver Twist with the wardrobe budget of an Instagram lifestyle influencer. On Etsy, searches for beige kids’ clothing has jumped 67% in the past year, according to The Guardian, and it only seems like the trend will continue through 2023.
The aesthetic has been deemed the “sad beige” trend, or when parents only dress their children in muted, neutral tones like beige, bone, ash, sand, unleavened bread dough, half-eaten and spit-out granola bar, and shades of that weird taupe stain on your kitchen floor. You know, the colors that are the most difficult to get stains out of, because parents don’t have to juggle enough as it is without scrubbing ketchup stains out of a Scandinavian wool khaki baby onesie.
While proponents of the trend tout it as gender-neutral and aesthetically-pleasing, it feels like the sad beige trend is sucking what little wonder and joy and giddiness still resides in 21st century childhood.
“The motivation of having an Instagrammable house and not letting kids explore and make a mess worries me,” neuropsychologist Amanda Gummer told the Wall Street Journal. “I don’t think many kids’ favorite color is beige.”
And the clothes can cost a small fortune, not including the multitude of stain removers a parent would need to add to their laundry arsenal.
Of course, the internet is having a field day with the new trend. Instagram accounts like Official Sad Beige show off beige-hued kids’ clothing from Etsy with a Werner Herzog-inspired narration describing the outfits and their outrageous costs.
“I call this one, ze $60 workman overall, which is funny, because any child who is wearing $60 overalls that they will likely outgrow in three days likely has a trust fund or a college fund or something,” a woman narrates in a German accent showing off a tan overall outfit on a toddler.
So if you want to dress your kids in all beige, that is your prerogative, but know that you will rightfully be dragged for keeping a dull and universally unachievable toddler wardrobe aesthetic instead of letting your kids express themselves wear whatever color they please.