If you’ve ever heard Southern women talking about children’s clothing and you’re not from Here, you may have heard foreign-sounding terms, like Bishop (a style of little girl’s dress that flows like a clergy cassock), smocking (a type of decorative stitching/embroidery that fancies up children’s clothing) bubble suit (not like the Michelin Tire Man), or Jon Jon.
Jon Jons (or John Johns, depending on who’s spelling it) are outfits for little boys that are kind of like overalls but are made of one cotton print fabric. They are usually shorts, but can also be made with long legs for cold weather. Sometimes there is smocking on the chest/bib area, and other times you will see an applique or no embellishment of any kind. They can be fancy for special occasions/holidays/church or very simple, to be worn while the little boy is outside playing. Southern Moms like them because they’re comfortable for the little boy, versatile, and look more “polished” than a t-shirt and shorts for a playdate. You’ll see them worn with and without shirts under the outfit.
Now that you know WHAT they are, you’re probably wondering where on Earth the name “Jon Jon” came from. Remember little John F. Kennedy, Jr. and the little playsuits he is shown wearing in pictures from his presidential term? He was often called “John-John”, and his nickname became synonymous with the iconic outfit. Some moms let their boys wear these until Kelly’s Kids and other companies stop making the size they require, but I stopped putting them on my boys around age 4.
Here is a picture of my two sons (from 2009!) wearing Jon-Jons I made for them at Easter time.
Do/Did your little boy ever wear Jon Jons? Are you a man that survived wearing Jon Jons for a lengthy period of time? Tell us all about it over at the Herd Management Facebook Page!