Thursday, December 22, 2005

What's the deal with the clothes?

Several bloggers I know have mentioned children's clothing lately. Phantom Scribbler recently ranted (in a good way, though) that young boy's clothing is sadly devoid of bright colors. Her son, LG, is a big fan of bright colors, and bemoans the fact that all of the jewel-toned clothing are destined for young girls. A great many of her commenters agreed with her, and her son's feeling.

I mentioned my end of that same sort of complaint. Now that Offspring is out of the "child" stage, and into the "tween" stage, there are very few clothing choices for her that I like. There is the propensity for dressing young girls up like slutty models. There are very few places I can purchase clothing (especially on a budget) that won't make my way-too-young daughter look like a drunken sorority sister on the make.

The shirts are cut very small, accentuating breasts (or what could become breasts) and showing off a slice of midriff. Never mind that I don't want my daughter to wear shirts like this to begin with, they also aren't allowed at school. So, why should I spend hard-earned money on clothing she can wear only on weekends?

The pants are just as bad. If they aren't riding so low as to provide us with (to bastardize a phrase from Phantom's comments) "an elevated risk of buttcrack", they are so skin-tight that normal children can't breathe or eat while wearing them. Granted, my child is no string bean, and she could deal with some extra exercise, but she's not all that hefty. She shouldn't have to worry that she can't wear a certain type of pants because she's "too fat." She told me the last time we went shopping that she didn't like half of the choices available because she didn't want to run the risk of being teased due to how she looked in them.

And the retro clothes! Ugh. Bellbottoms were designed in one of the seven circles of hell, I'm sure. (Probably by the same dastardly little imps that design Plus Size Women's clothing, but that's another rant...) The "peasant" look only looked good on waif-like hippie girls then, and it's still true today. My daughter fell in love with a purple peasant outfit, and like a dutiful mother, I bought it for her. It's too thin to wear to school, and she hates the shirt because of all the smocking and gathering. It's not a flattering look for her, but I love her, so I bought it. I tried to tell her when she asked for it that it wasn't going to get worn a lot, but to no avail.

I don't like the Courtney Love/junkie look. I don't like the unwashed hair and clothes that look like they've been slept in (and barfed on) for a few days running. I don't want a miniature model. I don't want clothes that are aimed at making my daughter look as if she is a hooker in training. I don't care for the idea that a randy seventeen year old boy can't tell from behind that my child is only ten because the only clothes that are available to her make her look much older than her years.

I want some clothes that my daughter can wear that are age-appropriate. She's almost ten. I don't want her to look fifteen, or fifteen-trying-to-look-eighteen. I want clothes that she can wear to PE class, and get dirty. I don't care if they're brand name or not, as long as they're good quality. I want clothes that will wash fifty-seven times without falling apart or unravelling. I want clothes that don't shrink into toddler sizes the first time you wash them. I want clothes that make my little girl look like what she is -- a happy tween with better things to worry about.


purple_kangaroo said...

Hear, hear! We end up buying most of our clothes at garage sales and consignment shops, partly for more variety than stores currently offer.

Songbird said...

KLee, we've done really well at Old Navy, shopping after things go on sale. We seem to be able to find things that are "in" enough, but avoid the sluttier end of the spectrum. I also like LL Bean--the waists on those pants are at the waist. Check out the sale page on the website.
Luckily, The Princess has relatively modest tastes and we can work together to find things that look nice on her without looking too old-fashioned, whatever that means from one minute to the next.
I feel your pain, sister!

Phantom Scribbler said...

I hear you. Some of the things my oldest niece wears makes me fear the day that my daughter grows out of her baby clothes...

ccw said...

KLee, I could rant about this for days on end. Shopping for Kid L is an absolute nightmare. I always want to scream, "she's 10-year old girl, not a f*cking hooker". I refrain, but some of the clothes simply floor me.

Like your daughter, Kid L is neither fat or thin. She has a belly this makes pants a nightmare. She is starting puberty this is now making shirts a nightmare.

I find that Old Navy works really well for pants. The adjustable waist is a lifesaver. I also get a lot at Talbots kids because it is hard to beat their quality, it tends to be trendy without the hoochie-ness and they have great sales.

liz said...

I'm gonna ditto LL Bean. You can't beat them for actual wearability and durability. Also, their stuff doesn't go out of style, 'cause it's never really IN style. It's Preppy Chic.