Thursday, August 4, 2011

Little Women

Ally has pretty much made the transition.  Ashley did a while back.  They've moved from the "little girls" section in the stores to the "girls".

No longer in the safe confines of the sizes 4-6x, they are now at the mercy of the 7-14 designers.  We all are.

Oh, how I wish I could shrink them back down and wedge their bodies into those little clothes again.

I have so many issues with tween girl clothing that this post might be a little disjointed.  For that, I will apologize in advance.  I feel perhaps a little more passionately about his subject than I should because I worked in retail, at one of the children's clothing stores.  You know the one....the one that rhymes with Timboree.

For most of their lives leading up to this point, the girls have had nice clothes.  That matched and coordinated.  That were demure and tasteful, but cute and playful too.  That looked like they belonged on children.  Ashley may probably still like to shop where I worked since she is my matchy matchy girl, but I don't have the discount anymore or the drive to shop the sales and coupons there to afford it.  Plus, the designers at that store fail to realize that if they want to keep older kids interested in their products, they have to stop putting babyish stuff on everything.

For years, the girls lived in little twirly dresses and matching leggings, little skorts and tops that matched, they even had enough of the same outfit that they could match each other when they wanted.  It was good while it lasted.

So maybe I feel a little more uncomfortable at the change than most parents do.

I don't know.

My biggest peeve obviously with the tween clothing is the maturity of it.  The plunging necklines and the teeny little booty shorts.  The super tight t-shirts and practically transparent fabrics.  Ally is 6, not 16, even if she might like to make the clock run faster.  She should be able to dress like she is 6, but that is getting harder and harder to make happen.

To find shorts with longer inseams, capris that aren't super low rise, shirts that have reasonable necklines, you actually have to look.  They are more the exception than the rule.  And it's out of control.  I know that I am not the only parent struggling with finding appropriate clothing for my girls, I know that I am not the only one frustrated.

Another of my peeves is the lack of quality.  Even in the pricey mall stores, the clothes fall apart often after a few washings.  Or they wrinkle miserably or shrink an entire size.  The hems fall out, the embroidery starts to come out.  The sequins never last.  It doesn't seem to make any difference whether you buy from the big box discount store or the mall, the quality is abysmal.

I wish that the designers could come up with cute prints for the shirts that don't involve obnoxious sayings.  Why does every t-shirt have to have some snarky attitude phrase on it?  Or some ridiculous texting acronym? Or some proclamation about how school, siblings or parents don't understand?  I'm to the point anymore where I tend to forbid just about anything with writing on it...but finding cute t-shirts without it is hard.

I wish that the designers wouldn't grab onto every trend to the exclusion of everything else.  Last year was the year of the skinny jean and jegging.  Which is fine if you have the kind of body to pull it off.  One of my girls does, the other doesn't.  And I'll be damned if I am giving that child body image issues in elementary school.   Finding anything else was hard last year.  This year, it looks like regular straight and boot cut jeans might be back too, thank goodness.  Unless all the other moms out there bought them up already...

I wish that they could make dresses that look like they belong on the body of a child.  That don't have padding in the top to create the illusion of boobs that a 7 year old wouldn't have anyway.  That have modest straps and reasonable necklines.  It seems like there is nothing between the frilly twirly dresses of early childhood and the scandalous sex appeal of teenage clothing.   There should be a good 6-8 years in between, and there should be age appropriate dresses to go with that phase.

I wish that they could make the blingy clothes that girls are magnetically drawn to without making them so cheaply that my dryer is constantly covered in a layer of glitter.  Glitter, glitter, everywhere.  My entire house is fabulous.

Don't even get me started on swimsuits.

As frustrating as it is anymore to shop for the girls, it's almost more frustrating that there are so many parents out there who will buy the stuff for their children.  If we would all stop doing it, say no, refuse the inappropriateness of it, eventually the designers would stop making these clothes.

Eventually they would get the message that we want better for our daughters.

That we aren't in a hurry to make them grow up any faster than they already are.

Again, I urge you to vote with your wallets.

Just don't buy up all the jeans...we haven't been shopping yet.  ;)


  1. I agree! It's hard to find age appropriate clothing for young girls. And yes, the fashion designs are too mature in many instances for tween clothing. We end up layering with tank tops to raise the necklines. My 11yr old hates low rise jeans and skinny leg jeans and that's just fine with me!

  2. Amen. Sometimes I could weep, it gets so hard to find something decent for a little girl to wear. Lands End has held the line somewhat, with their basic jersey dresses in pretty patterns. But try finding a comfortable pretty T-shirt that isn't cut too narrow and slinky - it's impossible!

  3. I love this. Even though Trin is only 2.5 and petite, I'm already dreading the time when she'll move into "big kid" sizes. Because walking through department stores and seeing the styles they're marketing toward 6-14-year-old girls makes me vomit in my mouth a little. Shudder.


Some of My Most Popular Posts