19 MAY 1923, Page 14


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIRS I am possessed by twin daughters, in their seventh year, and the problem of their clothing puzzles my poor male mind. Why are children's " things " so dear ? One would imagine they would be, generally, proportionately cheaper than the garments of their grown-up cousins and aunts ; but, in my experience, that is far from being the case. The perusal of many columns of drapers' advertisements in my daily paper, their expensive catalogues, and visits to many of

the London marble-lined emporiums, have convinced me that very often mothers must be able to clothe themselves cheaper than they can their children. If any lady wishes to con- tradict me, perhaps she will " price " (say) ribbed stockings of large and small makes. Lest I shock a Life Member, I will refrain from naming other sub-garments ; but a comparison here also tells the same tale. I am told that small garments cost more to make than the larger sizes : perhaps, though Big Ben cost more than a wrist watch.

Again, suppose that Nanny wants to make " Bestis " frocks. Do you think I can buy a white " shantung " with a little chintz pattern suitable for children ? Well, I might be lucky enough to do so, though hunts through acres of shop floor have generally been barren. Hats, gloves, shoes, all show the same dearness, and I know that many a poor mother suffers from this anomaly.

I am quite aware that there are special shops for children. I have tried them, but now avoid them. Beautiful things, but dear. Is there no chance of fairer prices ? Or must I wait till the limiting of other people's children (not mine, the dears !) throws cheaper stocks upon the market I—I am,