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Fashion on the Fly

by Eva St. Clair September 12, 2018 3 min read 367 Comments

“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 alsofeatured 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

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.


67 Responses

Rachel C
Rachel C

September 13, 2018

I am an aerospace engineer at NASA and I have a 9 month old daughter. I despise that most clothing with rockets on them are marketed as “for boys” and absolutely LOVE what your company is doing. Your last sentence in this post made me tear up a bit, “Yes, my sweet. You will fly with your own wings. We’ll just be the air beneath you.”

Ginger Casas
Ginger Casas

September 13, 2018

Yes! I love hearing “cool” and"awesome" in reaction to my daughters clothes rather than “sweet” or “pretty”! And then people talk to get about bugs and fire trucks, not dolls!

Betsy
Betsy

September 13, 2018

Love these! I work in the aviation industry & would love my daughter to get to show off our family’s love of airplanes.

Amanda Mitchell
Amanda Mitchell

September 13, 2018

I think clothing definitely affects how random people interact with my daughter. She loves loves dresses, the frillyer the better! People always call her princess and say how pretty she is. But when she wears hey favorite dinosaur shirt fewer people comment on her appearance.

Sequoia Munoz
Sequoia Munoz

September 13, 2018

When the conversation turns from always being ‘you’re such a pretty little girl’ to suddenly being deeper about actual interests it has a powerful effect on kids. My daughter gets to talk about what her dad does (digging all day) because when she wears her construction dress they ask her if she loves dirt and digging and things like that. It’s amazing!

Ashley Griffin
Ashley Griffin

September 13, 2018

We love Princess Awesome so much!! Ever since my daughter met a female pilot of a B-25 she has been in love with aviation! Her Princess Awesome airplane dress brings up even more opportunities for her to share her interest in flying with others!

Stephanie Davis
Stephanie Davis

September 13, 2018

I love all your patterns. They are perfect Christmas and birthday gifts for my 2-year old daughter as we (especially my husband) try really hard to minimize the toys. She is just starting to get into the pockets :)

Jonathan Fox
Jonathan Fox

September 13, 2018

For really little-little ones, clothing is a great way for them to start exploring new things…dinosaurs, superheroes, airplanes, whatever is on her clothes becomes an instant topic to discuss with my daughter!

Raelee
Raelee

September 13, 2018

My daughter loves her bug dress and her science shirt! She loves when people ask her about science or bugs when she’s wearing them!

Ashley Chassereau Parks
Ashley Chassereau Parks

September 13, 2018

I have noticed many people will ask my kids about their interests when they see their clothes. We get the most comments when they are wearing their “big sister” shirts or something to do with an activity they like (like soccer or dance). Its a good conversation starter.

Katie
Katie

September 13, 2018

My 3-year-old loves her Princess Awesome dresses, and I love that people ask her about math when she wears her Pi dress!

JaciZ
JaciZ

September 13, 2018

My daughter is always asked about her “She-Rex” dino twirly dress everytime she wears it! She is asked “do you like dinosaurs?” and she always answers…“who doesn’t like dinosaurs, except for the littler dinos that get eaten of course”.

Amanda C
Amanda C

September 13, 2018

Clothing can absolutely change how our girls are addressed, from the “what a pretty princess” to “what do you want to be,” and “what do you like best about X.”
Those conversations make them active participants instead of the objects.

Allison B.
Allison B.

September 13, 2018

This is great!

Denise Marie Wilson
Denise Marie Wilson

September 13, 2018

We can’t find a dress that compares! Amazing quality and so “twirly!.”

Stacey Rudser
Stacey Rudser

September 13, 2018

Clothing constantly impacts the way children are perceived. My daughter loves airplanes and dinosaurs and princesses, but once was asked if the airplane shirt she was wearing was her brothers! My son loves to have painted nails and so many people get upset about it. It is bizarre and baffling.

Michelle J
Michelle J

September 13, 2018

We LOVE Princess Awesome! We learned about it from a friend and immediately bought a dress for our daughter. We have gotten several dresses for her and bought several for our nieces for Christmas. We wanted to share the AWESOMENESS! Our favorite is the airplane dress since both her dad and grandpa are pilots. Keep on creating amazing products for amazing girls!

Emily
Emily

September 13, 2018

My daughter loves her Princess Awesome dresses because they always get lots of compliments and conversation, and they have pockets. She especially likes the Pi dress because she can tell people what she knows about Pi and they’re always impressed.

Shelby
Shelby

September 13, 2018

Super excited to have found a company that is proud to support girls in what they love!

Alaine Small
Alaine Small

September 13, 2018

I love this! My daughter has the rockets dress and the pi outfit, and it definitely changes the conversation. Why shouldn’t girls have clothes with airplanes and dinosaurs?!

Randolph R Fette
Randolph R Fette

September 13, 2018

My wife and I love the dinosaur outfits and these are too cute as well

Jen
Jen

September 13, 2018

My 3 year old will only wear twirly or long (to the floor) skirts/dresses, but she does love airplanes, dinosaurs, cars, trains and volcanoes, in addition to princesses. I want to keep those worlds open to her and all girls as long as possible, so they can decide by themselves whether they want to pursue careers in aerospace, science, engineering, or fashion rather than being directed towards or away from fields based on their gender. Love the Princess Awesome fabrics and will continue to shop sales to make them more affordable to us.

Erin M
Erin M

September 13, 2018

These clothes are so cute, and my daughter DOES love air travel!

Fettbot
Fettbot

September 13, 2018

My daughter adores pointing out airplanes in the sky!

Jen Kramer
Jen Kramer

September 13, 2018

My 6 year old has a favorite shirt – it’s a plain white shirt, with the NASA logo on it. I asked her why she loved it so much, and she said “Because I want to be an astronaut!” It’s clothes like that, and the Princess Awesome line that allow her to express her interests. She still loves princesses, but knows that you can be anything, and do anything you want to – gender isn’t an issue. That makes this Mommy happy!

cheryl wong
cheryl wong

September 13, 2018

most definitely, my daughter loves dressing up in clothes she picks out

Heather Kubert
Heather Kubert

September 13, 2018

I love that when she wears princess awesome dresses, people start asking her about her interests, rather than just commenting on how pretty/cute she is.

Brittany P
Brittany P

September 13, 2018

This is such a cool collection and a great opportunity!

Z
Z

September 13, 2018

Love your clothes and all of the initiatives you support!

Cori McBride Aguilar
Cori McBride Aguilar

September 13, 2018

My daughter got her first dress as part of the Kickstarter campaign and was a size 4. We have gotten every dress as they can out. She is now 10 years old and has outgrown many of her 4,6,&8, so i rebought all of them in the last year in 10&12.

The smaller ones still look great and held up and have been passed to younger cousins. The new ones look great and the biggest daily dilemma is which dress and long sleeve or short sleeve.

Love these and adding shirts, leggings and shirts have even added more versatility.

Natalie Schommer-Pries
Natalie Schommer-Pries

September 13, 2018

Both of my girls love your cloths, so excited for the next line! As a STEM family your close always spark great conversations.

Eric M
Eric M

September 13, 2018

We love DC and would love to visit again!

Amy Berube
Amy Berube

September 13, 2018

Just a Thank You from a Mom who was super cool after finding a Dinosaur dress, with pockets, that twirls! My girl loved it and plans on wearing her Dinosaur Dress along with her Dinosaur necklace for school pictures.

Hannah Occena
Hannah Occena

September 13, 2018

I fly frequently for my job as a classical musician, and my four-year-old daughter sometimes gets to travel with me. Ever since she got the Princess Awesome airplane dress, she will wear nothing else when we fly! Several flight attendants have commented on it, and one pilot asked her if she was going to fly planes when she grew up. Her reply was, “Yes, after I am done being a ballerina!”
Thank you for making a dress that my future ballerina/pilot loves!

Marianna
Marianna

September 13, 2018

My 3 year old daughter’s first flight was at 12 days old going home after her birth and since then, she’s flown at least 4 times a year all over the country and is a pro at the security line. Her first favorite toy was a rocket ship before she quickly got enamored with trains. Her daddy works in construction and she loves visiting his project sites and seeing the diggers and cranes. She has just now started to love dragons and fantasy. So, needless to say, when I found this line of clothes, I was thrilled. We love that she can express her love of all these different things from head to toe. And, every time she wears a piece, it prompts lots of conversations about all her adventures.
I also work in the engineering and construction industry and your new construction dress is my go to new daughter gift for my coworkers.

Michele F
Michele F

September 13, 2018

I love that my daughter has more variety to choose from when she gets dressed in the morning. I wish that you had more women’s clothing so that we could match. I would love a pair of the leggings in my size.

Carri
Carri

September 13, 2018

Yes I do because it goes from how cute is pink your favorite color to which Dina sue is your favorite and we all know that conversation goes on forever.

Sarah SB
Sarah SB

September 13, 2018

We get so many compliments on our Princess Awesome clothes!

Jill Robbins
Jill Robbins

September 13, 2018

My daughter loves to express herself in Princess Awesome dresses, leggings and headbands! She wore her Pi dress and necklace to the first day of school so that the teacher might notice her interest in math. Plus the dresses are comfy and the pockets are a big plus!

Brittney Schrick
Brittney Schrick

September 13, 2018

I definitely think clothing changes conversations with kids. If a child is wearing a shirt that defies stereotypes (or plays into them) it sets that stage for how people talk to them. My daughter’s rocket dress gets positive comments every time she wears it, and people ask her why she likes rockets or what she wants to be when she grows up instead of just commenting on how “pretty” she looks (even though she does). Love Princess Awesome! I got a “digger” dress for my 4-year-old’s birthday coming up, and I can’t wait for her to have it!

Lis
Lis

September 13, 2018

I love this! My 4 year old is a princess loving, unicorn obsessed, twirly dress wearing girl! But she also loves rockets and airplanes and all things space related! She wants to be an aerospace engineer just like her daddy when she grows up.

Tiffany Pincombe
Tiffany Pincombe

September 13, 2018

My daughter loves your dresses! She recently grew out of her dinosaur dress, the original play dress and we’re trying to decide on her new one now. She loves the pockets to keep everything and she loves being able to wear stuff she likes and twirl!

Julie
Julie

September 13, 2018

I just love what you guys are doing here. Thank you x

Nicole H
Nicole H

September 13, 2018

I like that the Princess Awesome prints are just subtle enough that although my daughter still gets the “that’s a pretty dress” comments, she’s able to follow them up with “yeah, but did you see it’s really beetles on here?” Or, “I know, can you find the sneaky hidden ninjas?!” We get a number of double-takes and then the conversation morphs and continues into something very different than when it started. :)

Sarah
Sarah

September 13, 2018

Thank you for creating comfortable, functional clothing for girls that support their interest in science and adventure! ❤️

Angela P
Angela P

September 13, 2018

I love your dresses. My daughter has 4 so far! And another mom already claimed them as future hand me downs!

Kristin Ray
Kristin Ray

September 13, 2018

I can’t wait to see the blue airplanes! Princess Awesome always makes it so hard to pick what to get next.

Stephanie
Stephanie

September 13, 2018

We LOVE your clothes. Our 5 yo has now outgrown her hidden ninjas dress and we are saving our pennies for more. She loves space, and wants to be a doctor when she grows up, but she is also very picky about wanting her clothes to be “beautiful.” It’s so exciting to see feminine colors and styles reflecting her interests. I would love to see patterns in the future geared towards hiking/camping/wilderness as well, to help start more conversations with girls from a young age so they grow up knowing they also belong in the outdoors!

Rebecca Koering
Rebecca Koering

September 13, 2018

I love this! I have two sons as well as my daughter, and I want them to be fully appreciated for the amazing small humans they are! An experience like this would be one my little girl and I would never forget… and she LOVES blue, so the new outfit would be just perfect for her!

suzi
suzi

September 13, 2018

We always get complements/comments on our Princess Awesome dresses. One time we were at the botanical gardens taking a class and my daughter had on one of her PA dresses and one of the moms was all “I love Princess Awesome, we have so many of them — and they have pockets.”

Kelly Walker
Kelly Walker

September 13, 2018

Princess Awesome is more than awesome. It allows girls to be girly AND interested in more than just hearts, flowers and butterflies. Amazing clothing, thank you!

lisa
lisa

September 13, 2018

YES!!! I have a dino loverl, a math nerd, and a shark girl. We regularly shop in the boys department. They LOVE the fact that Princess Awesome “gets” who they are and knows that boys aren’t the only ones that can love sharks, math, and dinosaurs :D

Melissa Quiroz
Melissa Quiroz

September 13, 2018

YES! What a girl wears definitely impacts the conversation. My 3 year old LOVES blue, and used to wear (boys) superhero tshirts. She would ALWAYS get questions/comments about the Superheros on her shirts. Now that my daughter has entered the phase of “I’ll only wear dresses,” I wish someone would make dresses with Spiderman or Buzz & Woody!! My girls loves Princesses, too — but not everything she wears has to be pink & flowery!!!

Jolene
Jolene

September 13, 2018

My daughter is sort of at an evolving point in her style. She is having different color preferences, different cuts, different everything from the bright and glittery stuff she always liked. We’ve struggled to find things that she likes and that fit her well. I’ve actually avoided showing her the princess awesome stuff because I’m afraid she would want it all!

Kelli Burnham
Kelli Burnham

September 13, 2018

I’m so excited for my daughter’s dragon shirt to arrive!

Katie E.
Katie E.

September 13, 2018

Anytime one of my daughters wears their diggers or dinosaur dresses, it’s always sure to catch the attention of people especially other moms! They love seeing that little girls have clothes options that aren’t just rainbows, kittens, and flowers! My girls are helping break through the gender stereotypes thanks to your clothing!

Johnna Joseph
Johnna Joseph

September 13, 2018

What an awesome opportunity! Thanks so much for the conversations you’re starting, for kids and for adults!

Jan Kaminsky
Jan Kaminsky

September 13, 2018

My daughter LOVES her Princess Awesome scientific method outfit! She is so proud to share the scientific method with everyone every time she wears it!

Celeste Hawkins
Celeste Hawkins

September 13, 2018

My daughter chose her dinosaur dress for picture day at school today. That, to me, says everything. Thanks, Princess Awesome!

TAG
TAG

September 13, 2018

Love your clothes for girls that are into more than princesses and unicorns

Leslie
Leslie

September 13, 2018

What a great pattern! Love all of the designs and something more than flowers!

NIki Smith
NIki Smith

September 13, 2018

Such practical clothing for my strong girl!

Melissa Ayers
Melissa Ayers

September 13, 2018

My daughter loves being able to express her love of math and science through her clothes. Her Princess Awesome clothes are her favorites because they are comfortable and show the world what she loves. This is the 3rd year her first day of school clothing choice has been Princess Awesome.

Katiegmorrow
Katiegmorrow

September 13, 2018

My daughter is asked why she likes instead of being told “how cute dependingnkn what she’s wearing.

Jamie Moore
Jamie Moore

September 13, 2018

Omg this would be a dream come true for my little girl!!! I love that your clothing lets girls express anything they want (without looking in the “boy” section)!!!

jebbydo
jebbydo

September 13, 2018

Absolutely – my littler one loved her construction equipment dress, and people always ask about it.

Sarah O'Connell
Sarah O'Connell

September 13, 2018

I love that your clothes help my daughters express their authentic selves!

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