Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Dressing the part 

Escape from ducky-bunny hell.


As teens, the punk and goth crowds defined themselves in part through fashion. So it was just a matter of time till someone created punk and goth fashions for the infant.

Chicago native Hillary Wentling was in the vanguard. Automatically, he came out a little rager, she says of her baby. He's this cool little kid, and the dorky baby clothes out there just didn't seem to suit him. So, with the help of her tattoo artist friends, Wentling designed punk-style T-shirts in baby sizes. Today she hawks the clothes on her website,

One popular baby shirt reads, "If you pinch my cheeks, I'll kick your ass." Another boasts that "my mom's tattoos are better than your mom's tattoos." Yet another proclaims, "To hell with cookies and milk. Give me titties and beer."

The goth crowd recoils at pastels, and for this reason, baby clothes shopping can be excruciating. "It's ducky-bunny hell," says Darlene Niles, the heavily tattooed metalhead who operates the Atlanta-based Lucky Lil' Devil. Hers was one of the first labels to turn out sable baby-wear, complemented by skull-and-crossbones and bat prints.

For the punk parent, Lucky Lil' Devil offers Sex Pistols and Ramones T-shirts. "Born to suck titties" is a hot seller, as is the T-shirt that says simply, "Boo-f***ing-hoo."

Not all see the humor in profane baby clothes, and both Lucky Lil' Devil and Dookie have their critics. Wentling posts the angry reactions on her website. "I think it's a disgrace that you would put such an awful outfit on your gift from God," rages one writer. Another charges that parents who shop at Dookie are "setting up their children to be ignorant and tasteless as well."

But those voices are drowned out by the happy ravings of adult punks. "Makes me want to get knocked up," writes one woman. Says another, "These clothes kick five different kinds of ass."


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Thomas Francis

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Cavaliers vs. Utah Jazz @ Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

    • Sun., Dec. 5
  • Monsters vs. Grand Rapids Griffins @ Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

    • Mon., Dec. 6 and Mon., Dec. 27
  • Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls @ Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

    • Wed., Dec. 8

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation