There’s never been a better time to be a Star Wars fan.
I’ve said this so much recently that it almost feels like a played-out mantra, but as with most things involving my ridiculous devotion to the saga, I’m too enamored to care. As Force Friday came and went, fans showed off the new additions to their collections — figurines, drones, that adorable Sphero BB8 — but something else happened that day, too.
Brands like HerUniverse, We Love Fine, and ThinkGeek revealed new clothing lines for men and women, but the stand-out piece to me was this single stormtrooper dress (which you can find at Kohl’s, the Disney Store, and other retailers) that was made for kids who love the white-armored soldiers of the Empire.
To describe how I felt, here’s a nod to Star Wars: Aftermath, Chuck Wendig’s excellent new novel that explores the state of the Galaxy after the fall of the Empire above Endor. Please excuse my totally-not-NYT-bestseller-worthy (!!!) interpretation:
Then: I learn how to sew at age 11, fed up with the poor choices in clothing and the weird, boxy way boys’ clothes fit on my rapidly changing, possibly freakish body. I learn how to take in shirts, fix sleeves, and properly cut for tank tops when no store will sell so much as a shirt with Princess Leia’s face on it for girls. I pick stormtrooper tees off of the shelf, and then I head home, setting up my sewing machine. It’s a learned skill, sure — but it’s frustrating. In a galaxy where the princess arguably saves the day more often than most of her comrades, I can’t even get a basic girls’ tee with Vader’s helmet on it. Girls don’t like Star Wars, my classmates tell me when I walk in the next morning with my shoddily tailored tees.
Now: An adorable little girl attends her first day of school wearing Kohls’ latest additions to their Star Wars line — a stormtrooper-print skirt with white tulle, and a gorgeous, quilted, white “zip-up top” with Stormtroopers printed on the back panels, which she wears as a jacket ala Coco Chanel. I’ve been fawning over this dress for a little while, throwing in quips about how great it is, how happy I am that it exists, but I think it’s right then that it hits me: this is real, and the door is open.
— HiddlestonedEducator (@HiddlesEducates) September 9, 2015
It’s cute, it is incredibly stylish, but for the most part, there are four pieces in this new line specifically for little girls. Still, the very idea that something like this could exist would have blown my mind as a kid. The idea that people actively made Star Wars clothes with me in mind would have been exhilarating. It would have meant the world to me, and might have even edged me out of the library corner enough to peek over a copy of Han Solo at Star’s End and, perhaps, socialize with other kids who liked Star Wars. At the very least, those boys would be proven wrong.
What I’m trying to say is that this means a lot to me, and I hope that this isn’t the last we’ll see of Star Wars clothes with young girls in mind. I am thrilled beyond reason for the gorgeous designs that I get to pick as a woman, where choices have become historically wide thanks to independent creators and the brands I’ve already mentioned (though they’re still slowly growing in retail stores), but I hope that every little girl who loves Star Wars can soon find a shirt with their favorite character on it that fits, that’s made for them, and that tells them that they are just as welcome in this family as anyone else.
Keep up the good work, Lucasfilm. You’re doing a bang-up job of making me proud to be a fan.