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Shops still selling padded bras and heels for Under 12s

ADULT-like bras and high heels for children that could be deemed to breach new guidlelines are still on sale in Dublin stores.

The voluntary guidelines, which aim to "ensure the provision of practical, age appropriate clothes for under 12s" were launched this week.

The Herald visited various stores around the shopping centre and found a number of items that may not be deemed as 'appropriate' for pre-teens.


Marks & Spencer, one of the 10 retailers which has signed up for the code, stocks a bra designed for children that could be deemed as too adult-like.

The bra, slightly more padded than the others that it supplies, may be in breach of one of the guidelines which states, "great care should be shown when it comes to the design of children's underwear, to differentiate it from adult lingerie".

Retail Ireland director Stephen Lynam added that bras for under 12s should be designed for "comfort and modesty -- not enhancement".

However, a spokesperson for Marks & Spencer claims the bra is completely acceptable.

"The bra to which you are referring to is intended to provide modesty, for instance underneath a school shirt. We are totally committed to ensuring our clothing offered is age appropriate.

"We have signed up to the Retail Ireland Childrenswear Guidelines."

Another store that stocks certain items which may be seen as inappropriate for young kids is Monsoon.

However, the store is not a signatory to the guidelines. The shop sells high-heeled shoes for young kids and, despite the heel being small, the code still states that footwear should be designed for every day use and to "provide a stable, supporting shoe with a heel pitch (angle of foot) of generally not more than 2.5cm".

A Monsoon spokesperson claims that this footwear is for the intention of "dressing-up occasions only".

River Island, another store not currently signed up, is selling a pair of hotpant-like shorts that may be seen as in breach of the guideline, "the choice of fabrics and cut in childrenswear should provide for modesty".

River Island were unable to comment on the issue.

Currently, 10 retailers have signed up; Arnotts, Brown Thomas, Clerys, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer, Next, Penneys, Tesco and TX Maxx.