Fashion on the Fly

by Eva St. Clair

September 12, 2018


“What a terrific airplane shirt! Do you want to fly a plane and be a pilot?”

My four-year-old was running around the terminal, arms outstretched, making zooming noises and watching the planes land and take off when a passerby spoke up. I had heard this conversation dozens of times before - after four children and many trips to Grandma’s, the discussions adults have with kids while waiting to catch a plane are fairly predictable. 

But this conversation was different.

“Yes! I’ll wear a hat and fly my plane everywhere!”

“Where would you like to go?”

“To Grandma’s! And Mom and Dad and all the brothers will ride along in my plane!”

The words were pretty much the same as always, but this adult was speaking to a girl - my daughter - not of one of my three sons.

My boys have always worn clothes that reflected their interests. Dinosaur hoodies, monster truck shirts, pants embroidered with tiny trains. People talk with them about stomping like a dinosaur, how fun it would be to drive a monster truck, and the sounds engines make (I always love hearing grown ups sing out “Choo-ooo! Choo choo!”). The boys would stomp and vroom and “tooooooot!” right along, glorying in the encouragement of their favorite topic du jour.

My daughter is a feminine little person - she likes pink, bows, sparkles, fancy shoes, twirly skirts, nail polish. But many of her pretty clothes are limited in expressing the other things she likes - in fact, all the same things her brothers like. When she’s wearing a twirly dress with butterflies on it, adults tell her, “You look so pretty today!” And that’s fine - it’s fun to dress up and experiment with different looks.  But does it have to be the only conversation she ever hears? What if she could wear the styles of clothing she liked that also featured topics she enjoyed?

When my friend Rebecca asked me that same question years ago, the two of us answered it by creating Princess Awesome.  The clothes we make reflect the wide range of girls’ interests. And what we suspected about adults talking about girls’ interests based on the clothes they’re wearing was true. When a girl wears a shirt with the scientific method on it, adults ask her about her interest in science.  They talk about dinosaurs when she’s wearing a dinosaur dress. One little girl even explained to her dad how multiplication works based on the number patterns in her math flowers dress.

All these little conversations add up. It’s subtle but it reinforces to children what adults really value. If girls hear nothing but comments on their appearance, eventually they will internalize that what adults really value in girls is how they look - no matter how often they also hear “You can be anything you want to be.”

I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t like airplanes. Yet women comprise fewer than 10% of pilots, aviation mechanics, and flight engineers. Why is it that so many girls lose their interest in aviation?  At Princess Awesome, we’re dedicated to making sure girls know that aviation and other STEM fields are just as much for them as they are for boys.

We’re honored to join forces with JetBlue Foundation that shares our commitment to fostering girl’s interest and confidence in STEM fields. The JetBlue Foundation provides financial support to students, especially girls, in pursuing a STEM education to work in aviation. This month, we are releasing a special blue edition of our Airplanes Collection in honor of the JetBlue Foundation.  

Little girls already have all the confidence they need to fly, repair, and direct airplanes. What they need from us is our unwavering confidence in them and their abilities. I can still hear her, right before we stepped on the plane -

“Mama, when I’m big I will fly my plane all around the world!”

Yes, my sweet.  You will fly with your own wings. We’ll just be the air beneath you.

Fashion on the Fly




Eva St. Clair

Eva St. Clair is a co-founder of Princess Awesome and the company's Chief Creative Officer. She and her husband are raising four kids outside of Washington, DC.


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100 Responses

Karen
Karen

September 26, 2018

Clothing can make a difference in the conversation adults have with children. I have noticed that if a child is wearing clothing that reflects their interests, they are often asked asked about the subject, which allows the child to get to talk about the their favorite topic.

 Ali E
Ali E

September 25, 2018

I love seeing clothes for girls with designs other than the traditional ones. It allows my daughters to express themselves.

Kimberly H.
Kimberly H.

September 25, 2018

I believe that children should feel free to express themselves, and the things they love. One of the ways they can do that is through their clothing.

Elena C Nescio
Elena C Nescio

September 25, 2018

Girls need to be able to express a full range of interests and clothing often is their way of sharing with the world what they love! It’s a reflection of their most precious toys, their biggest passions. Let’s feed it!!

Mallory
Mallory

September 25, 2018

Yes I believe clothing does change how adults talk to children. Kids need to be free to express themselves and being able to do so through clothing is amazing.

Mallory
Mallory

September 25, 2018

What an awesome giveaway. Thank you

Jenn
Jenn

September 25, 2018

My daughter loves science; she always tells people about her microscope and her visits to the science museum.

Sara Renee
Sara Renee

September 25, 2018

Fashion is a gateway for conversations in many cultures including general equality. My daughter loves planes and trains and gets looked at funny for wearing her brother’s clothes.

Bobbie F.
Bobbie F.

September 25, 2018

Cute clothes!

Christina Haymaker
Christina Haymaker

September 24, 2018

Princess Awesome is exactly like its name – awesome! I have a 22 year old and a 21 month (both girls) and I love the opportunity to start encouraging my little one so young by showing her that science, math, engineering, etc are “fun and fashionable”.

Katie Blackmar Walker
Katie Blackmar Walker

September 24, 2018

As a girl obsessed with physical and space, I felt the cultural bias against girls in STEM, even with parents who encouraged me to pursue my dreams. It’s like it’s just in the air…an unconscious message got through to me that I wasn’t naturally going to be as good at math and science as the boys. Of course that’s ridiculous! I hope my daughter (who already loves planes) can grow up without having to overcome this feeling! P.S. I grew up to be an aerospace engineer, and it’s a pretty awesome job for a girl!

Rebekah
Rebekah

September 24, 2018

I’m thankful that my kids have lots of people in their lives that have interesting conversations with them no matter what they’re wearing, but clothes are often what people talk to my daughter about first—much more than my son. So I’m always thrilled when she has interesting clothes that make the conversations more enriching for both her and the adults (especially since she has never been interested in small talk).

Denise Low
Denise Low

September 24, 2018

I think that it is true that it’s a conversation starter.

Mary S.
Mary S.

September 24, 2018

I’m so excited to have come across this. My 5 year old daughter loves all of these dresses- I can’t wait to see how much of a conversation starter they are.

Gina
Gina

September 24, 2018

I love how the conversation shifts from how girls look to what they enjoy.

Vasilisa
Vasilisa

September 24, 2018

We love the idea! Good luck to you and your brand :)

Rosalie
Rosalie

September 24, 2018

We live near the airport and my 18mo daughter loves waving and saying “HIIIIII” to every plane she sees or hears.

Aimee
Aimee

September 24, 2018

I love how with meaningful prints, the questions she is asked turn towards her interests and not just her looks. (PS- is there another way to submit photos? The ones I want to submit are not recent social media posts and the upload button doesn’t seem to want to cooperate now. Thanks!)

Victoria Ellis
Victoria Ellis

September 24, 2018

I love this line! My daughter is definitely a girly girl and loves science, superheroes, and other typical “boy” stuff. It’s so nice to find clothing that incorporates both!

Teresa
Teresa

September 24, 2018

No, clothes don’t change the conversation i have with kids.

Tashell
Tashell

September 24, 2018

Yep! When my daughter wears science themed shirts adults talk to her about science 🔬

cweller
cweller

September 23, 2018

Clothes are great conversation starters and can make or break your day!

Catherine
Catherine

September 23, 2018

Clothing inspires the opening lines of conversations. “You went to the Grand Canyon?” and there goes the conversation about a love of hiking, the outdoors or traveling. But all too often it is, your hair is pretty or what a pretty dress. Girls should be able to show off their loves of whatever without having to give up the “girly” and resort the boys department. And should also be able to find their interest in non-“girly” ways but still get the dresses, skirts and leggings they love.

Bethanny
Bethanny

September 23, 2018

Adults often don’t know how to talk to kids. More meaningful prints mean more meaningful conversations!

Staci Hoops
Staci Hoops

September 23, 2018

I totally agree that clothing starts a conversation, and we need more diversity. Thank you for your efforts and options!

Allison
Allison

September 23, 2018

My daughter would love this! She is fiercely independent and ready to take on the world!

Daisy Dyrdahl-Roberts
Daisy Dyrdahl-Roberts

September 23, 2018

What a great contest! My 4 y/o loves her Princess Awesome outfits and they definitely have an effect on the conversations people have with her. When she wore her airplane outfit on our last flight every pilot and flight attendant who saw her gave her a flight wing pin—we came home with six 😂

Beth Fletcher
Beth Fletcher

September 23, 2018

I definitely feel clothing changes the conversation. Seeing an girl wear a dinosaur shirt tells them they like dinosaurs and gives them something they can talk about with them. Clothes can help be the starting point of a conversation.

Erika
Erika

September 23, 2018

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=300154273782474&set=a.300154260449142&type=3

Erika Jackman
Erika Jackman

September 23, 2018

I just love that businesses like this exist today. I am an airline pilot and there are so few women in my field of work. I truly believe it’s because most girls just aren’t encouraged to love things like rockets and airplanes. It’s definitely not because they can’t be anything they want to be! I have 3 daughters and they absolutely live airplanes! You can find us at the museum of flight on most rainy days. And soon you will see my daughters rocking these awesome airplane dresses!!!

Kelly M
Kelly M

September 23, 2018

Love that the larger sizes allows middle schoolers to wear clothes that display their interests.

Elizabeth Sterner
Elizabeth Sterner

September 23, 2018

Clothing definitely changes the conversations adults have with children. Right now my daughter insists on wearing a tutu every single day. She gets so many comments on her tutus. She says tutus are her style. She is so proud when she gets positive comments on her style.

Lisa Stelter
Lisa Stelter

September 22, 2018

I definitely think it changes conversations adults have with children based on what they are wearing.

Marea Lemas
Marea Lemas

September 22, 2018

I definitely think that clothing can spark a conversation among people and I love the conversations sparked by your clothing line!

Sarah C
Sarah C

September 22, 2018

I think the clothes kids wear definitely influence conversations and questions adults ask them, but they are also important for conversations with other kids. My daughter recently started school and didn’t know anyone. Day 2 at the bus stop, a boy in her class asked “where’s your fire truck dress?” (Which she wore on the first day.). To which she replied “I have robots today. Want to see how twirly it is?” He said yes, and they’ve been fast friends ever since.

Ciara
Ciara

September 22, 2018

Clothing definitely changes the conversation between children and adults! Clothing, more specifically what’s on it, can spark comments such as “Oh you’re so pretty!” or “Wow, do you really like math?” both of which have been directed at my daughter. Clothes are an opportunity to change the narrative of how girls (and boys) see themselves and I am all in for that revolution!

MichelleM
MichelleM

September 22, 2018

I have 3 daughters and, yes, I definitely notice the conversations adults have with my girls change if my girls are wearing clothes with science or travel or animal themes verses rainbows and flowers.

Jodie L
Jodie L

September 22, 2018

I love these outfits. When my daughter wears science or dinosaur shirts people definitely talk to her differently and about those subjects then when she wears other clothing.

Amanda
Amanda

September 22, 2018

My daughter is six and has been wearing science shirts for two years because she wants to be a scientist (or, in her words, “A traveling scientist because I want to see the world.” Clothes absolutely change the conversation. When she was looking at a Cub Scouts’ demonstration on rockets, wearing one of her scientist shirts, the leader asked me if she would like to join.

Shelley Clem
Shelley Clem

September 22, 2018

My daughter often gets comments when she is wearing her dinosaur shirts or her NASA shirt. It’s amazing how many random stranger want to know her career aspirations at age 7, vs. when she’s wearing a shirt with other logos, like flowers or smiley faces.

Emily Fields
Emily Fields

September 22, 2018

YES. I’m amazed by the different conversations my daughters are invited into when they wear shirts with vehicles or bugs vs. cutesy little puppies wearing pearls and tutus. I’ve got some really girly girls, but they love loads of “non-girly” things.

Tracy M
Tracy M

September 22, 2018

My girl constantly amazes me, she remembers everything as and devours all kinds of books. She went to her first STEM camp this year, Camp Invention, and still talks about it. These outfits are right up her alley!

Shera
Shera

September 21, 2018

My girls are lucky to have flown several times at such a young age. Now my youngest tells me she wants to fly to Outer Space!.

Katie
Katie

September 21, 2018

My son and daughter are nearly the same size in clothing and I watch them trade pants, shirts and socks on a regular basis. My son often wonders why my daughters jeggings do not have pockets while my daughter raves about the pockets in his jeans. Clothes are just clothes to them, some clothing just has a little more functionality to it!

Brianna
Brianna

September 21, 2018

We try so hard to encourage all of our daughter’s interests. She watched UP! for the first time this week and can’t decide if she wants to be an adventurer or a dog, so we’ve done both this week. And her request is a trip to the air and space museum for her birthday!

Chere
Chere

September 21, 2018

I work with the FAA and love this collection.

Kristina Murphy
Kristina Murphy

September 21, 2018

I love the idea of mixing fun and fashion with unique interests!

Any Delap
Any Delap

September 21, 2018

We have always loved princess awesome dresses! Both of our girls love all things science, especially the dinosaurs, rockets, ocean themes. Thank you for making awesome products for rebel girls! ❤️

Erica
Erica

September 21, 2018

I know well meaning people just try to connect with kids by saying, what a beautiful smile or pretty dress- but I’d love to have them remark, do you like airplanes? Or would you want to be a pilot when you grow up? Love the new line!

Wendy O.
Wendy O.

September 21, 2018

I definitely think clothes can make a difference in conversations. My daughter used to have a t-shirt from GoldieBlox that said “More than just a princess”, and if people asked her what GoldieBlox were, she would launch into the fun things she’s invented.

Edelyn Joyce LeDoux
Edelyn Joyce LeDoux

September 21, 2018

Clothes can be a topic because most girl clothing is filled with unicorns, rainbows, and flowers. I would love aviation clothing for girls, preferably pink! Lol

Kristin C.
Kristin C.

September 21, 2018

Such an amazing giveaway! It’s so important to support and encourage our girls interests in STEM! My daughter loves math and science, so amazing to hear her have conversations with adults about these topics.

jangalbreath
jangalbreath

September 21, 2018

My granddaughter loves your clothes! She is 4 and very opinionated about what she wears. Her most-frequently requested items to wear are her rocket dress and her dinosaur dress. Thank you for making great clothes!

Catherine Harper
Catherine Harper

September 21, 2018

I’m so excited to see size 12! I thought my middle schooler was out of luck. Thank you!

Jen
Jen

September 21, 2018

I am just learning about your website and clothing. FINALLY! As the mom of an 8 year old, I wish I would have found you sooner. My biggest struggle is holes in her knees. They make reinforced pants for boys, but not girls. She is in a Montessori classroom and they do not have desks, work on the floor most of the day. I go through dozens of pants each year. Frustrating!

Amanda Chapman
Amanda Chapman

September 21, 2018

I love when my girls are wearing science-themed or feminist-themed clothing. The comments become about how awesome girl power is!

Neidy Hess
Neidy Hess

September 21, 2018

I’ve loved hearing your story!! It’s amazing to me how this hadn’t existed before but you sure make it easy for a little girl to love her hobbies fiercely! I think it definitely has changed the way I talk to my daughter when she wears something that isn’t just pretty but extremely interesting.

MaryEllen
MaryEllen

September 21, 2018

I’m so glad to see more variety in girls clothes! Butterflies and flowers are all well and good, as long as they include the garden dirt too!

Diane Sabatini
Diane Sabatini

September 21, 2018

I do notice super bright colors spark interesting conversations.

Kate Collins
Kate Collins

September 21, 2018

Being able to find clothes for my girls that match their interests is quite hard. But you guys make it so easy!

Kat Benson
Kat Benson

September 21, 2018

Can’t wait for her birthday to get the princess awesome outfits on her wishlist!

Nicole H
Nicole H

September 21, 2018

Clothes are a great conversation starter. They can help you gauge children’s likes, dislikes, and interests. They can steer the conversation away from “cute” and onto more important things.

Bau210
Bau210

September 21, 2018

It absolutely is a conversation starter.

Courtney Mickiewicz
Courtney Mickiewicz

September 21, 2018

Clothes can change the topic of conversation. Thanks for addressing this

Jody
Jody

September 20, 2018

Yes I think it changes the conversation but also things have come a long way. There’s so much more choice now thanks to companies like yours!

Sara H
Sara H

September 20, 2018

I love when my daughter is asked about the cool things on her clothes, thanks to Princess Awesome!

Tricia
Tricia

September 20, 2018

Clothing definitely changes the conversation. My space loving daughter gets asked all the time about her rocket dress. I think adults start asking much more meaningful questions when they recognize her interests.

Nicki H
Nicki H

September 20, 2018

Pockets!!!!

My daughter begs for pretty dresses with pockets. She loves everything pink, glittery, and girly, but she also like legos, dinosaurs, and Magic School Bus. Now she can have both.

Lisa Prouse
Lisa Prouse

September 20, 2018

My daughter loves her dinosaur dress! Your outfits are adorable and I love that she can still be girlie but wear Dino’s, trucks, planes etc. Thank you!!

Sarah Walther
Sarah Walther

September 20, 2018

I’m a mom and a professional pilot. My little girl has always seen me go to work and comments “mama work airplane?” She loves to twirl; I don’t think she can get dizzy. A dress that puts together twirls and airplanes is key for her. It’s so hard to find clothes that encourage her to be who she wants to be instead of others’ perceptions of how she should be.

Tabitha
Tabitha

September 20, 2018

I just realized that you have baby sizes, I always thought I had to wait to purchase until my daughter is 2T. Very exciting. My 10 month old loves her airplane toys.

Amy Elizabeth Loker
Amy Elizabeth Loker

September 20, 2018

Thank you for doing this! I’m a pilot wife with all girls and the lack of aviation clothing for girls is a shame. My husband and I have been putting our girls in boys clothing so they can wear planes like daddy. Our older two girls started flying with daddy when they were around 2 and both love planes. Our middle daughter even has an aviation themed name!

Ashley
Ashley

September 20, 2018

Love this! My daughter loves airplanes and her clothes often kick off conversation. When she was an infant it was often “oh, what a cute little boy” 🤭

Amy Queen Davis
Amy Queen Davis

September 20, 2018

Amazing!

Meghan
Meghan

September 20, 2018

I can’t wait to get my daughter some of these darling prints. We were just looking at them together and she wants them all!

J Young
J Young

September 20, 2018

I definitely see this – the twirlier the dress the more the comments center around what a pretty little girl she is. Often a science theme on the dress changes the conversation at least a little – they may still start out with “aren’t you pretty” but then they notice the design and ask aquestion or make a comment about space or science. The full change will require society to undergo some major changes, but this is how we start that shift, I think.

Laura M
Laura M

September 20, 2018

My daughter is so excited you’re going to make a blue version of this line! That’s her favorite color.

Kristi
Kristi

September 20, 2018

My daughter loves that the dresses twirl and have pockets, and I love all the fun stem designs and great quality! She’s been on a few flights and loves watching planes fly over head, so I’m excited for this new line to debut, especially with such a great partnership! Keep up with the amazing work!

Marcy Short
Marcy Short

September 20, 2018

Took my daughter to the park when she was about 18mo old.
She had a “boys” skull and crossbones hoodie on with black pants and shoes.

Comments heard while wearing the jacket:
“Look at him go!” (while scaling the levels to the slide)
“You’re ok tough guy.” (after a fall)
“Don’t play too rough with him, boys.” (to a group of rowdy kids on the same play structure)

Comments heard after taking the jacket off to reveal a pink “girls” shirt:
“Oh my, she’s so brave, I can believe she’s up there all alone, that’s scary, I hope she’s ok.” (before going down slide)
“Oh poor baby! It’s ok sweetie. Do you need a break?” (after she bonked her head on something)
“Kids! Get away from the baby you might hurt her or scare her!” (to a group of kids playing in the vicinity)

We have a long ways to go!

Rochelle
Rochelle

September 20, 2018

This line is so needed! We should be able to reinforce that girls can enjoy their brainpower by what they wear!

Abby
Abby

September 19, 2018

This is an awesome partnership and fantastic mission! So excited that y’all exist for this house with two little women!

Amy
Amy

September 19, 2018

This is awesome! I had never heard of princess awesome until I saw this blog post/giveaway. I love the idea of clothes for my two girly daughters that also reflect things they love like building and science!

Dee M
Dee M

September 19, 2018

Kid Clothes and adults! Grrrr, she’s always cute with dresses but no mention when she wears pants or a T-shirt. These clothes though, take away from the “you look cute” and goes right for “what a cool dress” and then leads to talking about interest versus looks!

Michelle Lee
Michelle Lee

September 19, 2018

My daughter loves it when people talk to her about airplanes.

Krock
Krock

September 19, 2018

My daughter loves playing dress up whether as a princess or as a scary monster.

BrittAtwood
BrittAtwood

September 19, 2018

This would be such a rewarding experience for our daughter!! EEK!! She always jumps for joy even just seeing a plane in the sky each day. She, since her first flight, has always been intrigued by planes, flying and being high in the sky!

Mary Clements
Mary Clements

September 19, 2018

My younger brother is a pilot and my girls are now obsessed with planes and flying!!!

B.C.
B.C.

September 19, 2018

As a mom and a pilot, I LOVE everything about this! I want to wear a dress with airplanes on it too!!

Lejla
Lejla

September 19, 2018

This is amazing. We love to travel. Our daughter (3) has been on 65 flights and to 10 countries. Her favorite things are flying and black hole documentaries. I love that you make pants with pockets!

Nicki A
Nicki A

September 19, 2018

My Little Lady is obsessed with airplanes! Whenever she sees one in the sky, which is often since we live 15 minutes from the airport, she loudly points it out to everyone, often even interrupting herself. She asks multiple times a week about when we will ride on an airplane, has talked about dreams she has where she’s flying different places with different family members, often pretends she “has to hurry for her airplane,” and has even planned a “moms & daughters time” when she says all her grandmas, aunts &girl cousins are going with us on an airplane to “go shopping and get our hair & nails done, then do all the other special stuff.” Winning this giveaway would literally make her dreams come true!

Jenny W
Jenny W

September 18, 2018

I love this. We live just minutes from ORD and since she was a baby she has always lived to watch the airplanes take off and land over our house. She and her Dad talk about all the different kinds and will take a ride out along the airport when something special is parked. She loved seeing AF1!

Chelsea R
Chelsea R

September 18, 2018

Yes. What they are wearing invites certain conversations. I love her dinosaur outfits , science related outfits etc. people stop and think when they see that. It’s promoting stem not just for the kids but for adults too.

Kimberley W
Kimberley W

September 18, 2018

My daughter loves the shark print and has had a number of the dresses but we recently expanded her Princess Awesome options to include one of the great t-shirts. Every time she wears her clothes, she is proud to talk about whatever the subject reflected on her clothing whether it’s sharks or atomic shells, or square roots. She’s a “Girl on a Mission” and I adore that these clothes validate and amplify her voice and “science loving attitude”.

Erika
Erika

September 18, 2018

I ama pilot so my 3 daughters have so many airplane inspired outfits! We love going to the museum of flight and traveling in them! All my girls love aviation!

Amy Hills
Amy Hills

September 18, 2018

I absolutely think clothing creates conversation! I have two young girls. There is a big difference between “Do you like space?” or “Do you like to fly in the plane?” than, “How pretty you lock!” As a female pilot myself, it is a hard industry even in 2018 to be a part of. The conversations are different and the treatment is different. If clothing can begin to change the conversation when they are young, their generation will have a much better environment in typically gendered roles.

Manda
Manda

September 18, 2018

What a wonderful project! The air and space museum has always been a favorite of mine and I can’t wait to share it with my daughter someday.

Kara Woodley
Kara Woodley

September 18, 2018

Yes it does! My girls love clothes! They love it even more when people ask my daughters about the Dinos, robots, airplanes on their dresses. My girls want to be pilot ballerina scientists!

Eileen Murphy
Eileen Murphy

September 18, 2018

Clothing absolutely changes the conversations!

Jennifer L.
Jennifer L.

September 18, 2018

Clothes like this are so important! Girls are strong and need to know that there are unlimited options. This aviation line is amazing for a little Amelia I know. ♥️

CJ Gardner
CJ Gardner

September 18, 2018

My 4 year old daughter tells everybody that she wants to be a “teacher for astronauts, and a construction worker, and a dance teacher for little kids, and a doctor for people and a doctor for animals”… all while wearing a princess Elsa dress.

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