Saturday, April 3, 2010

In which I am Judgemental and Ranty

I apologize in advance if this offends anyone reading this blog. You know I love ya all as much as one could possibly love people she mostly knows via blogs on the Internet. Suffice to say - A LOT. But I went shopping this weekend and seriously almost threw a tantrum in the aisles. I refrained, but now you guys are getting it.

Backstory: Remember this cutie?

I've been buying pretty much all of Bug's clothes since she was a baby. She has a million cousins and gets tons of hand-me-downs, so her parents rarely need to buy her clothes. But I, being the fabulous auntie that I am, have always loved buying her new clothes. When she was a baby I shopped for whatever was cute. As she's gotten older I call her mom before I shop and ask what she might need. Perhaps the hand me down stash was short on jeans or lacking in cute summer dresses - ya know? I just like my shopping to be purposeful - it helps me rationalize the heaping amounts of money I spend on her. Bug is used to always seeing me with new clothes in hand - and I have no problem with maintaining that expectation! It was so easy to shop for her when these were my options:

But now all of a sudden she's made the jump from "toddler" to "girls" clothes. I tried to go shopping this weekend and literally left the store without buying a THING - which has never happened in the history of Bug's life.

The problem? Apparently, "girls" clothes at my favorite store (coughtargeycough) are for girls ages 5 - 12/13 years old. There is no distinction between what is appropriate for a kindergartner or a middle schooler! And in my personal opinion - THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE! But in their minds, the only thing that needs to change is the size.

Now, I am not a prude - but I do believe that kids grow up too fast these days. I am also not one of those "there are pedophiles everywhere!!" people - but I don't think we don't need to give anyone more reason to look at a little girl and think of her in a sexualized way.

So, here is just a few of the options that I looked at this weekend - at first glance they may not look so bad, but let me tell you why I had a problem with them:

Top row: See that first green dress (and the blue one just like in the middle?) - it seems pretty basic at first. I don't even have a problem with strappy summer dresses - five year olds get hot too, riht? But here is my issue - see the cris crossed bodice? I look at that and see a place where cleavage would be if you put it on a 14 year old. I think 5 year olds are at the perfect age to be taught about modesty and privacy. How am I going to teach Bug that certain parts of her body are private if she's wearing a dress that could easily gap open and show "the parts covered by your bathing suit"?

The pink and gray dresses are less bothersome in the modesty department - but instead look like something just shy of what I wore to my Jr High "Spring Fling" dance. The sparkly shrug and the diagonal cut skirt are too "kiddie club wear" for me. Maybe okay for a 12 or 13 year old - but not so much for a preschooler.

Bottom row: I almost bought the first dress, but I there was just something about it that I didn't like. It wasn't until I was looking at it online today that I realized what it was - the darts/gathering at the bust. Again - my 5 year old goddaughter doesn't HAVE a bust! And I don't want her wearing anything that hints at one either. On a pre-adolescent it would be modest and cute - not so much for a kid off to kindergarten in the fall. The next dress had the same issue.

And then came the black/floral number - the one with the sparkly belt. I almost could have convinced myself that the sequins were fun and not trashy - except then I noticed that it has a KEYHOLE cut out of the back! Seriously? I don't want to encourage my elementary schooler to be trying to find innovative ways to show some skin! And my biggest problem with the last one was that there was a nearly identical dress in the women's department - halter and all. I'm thirty - she's five. We don't need to be wearing the same dress.

So, I'm sorry if any of your children have any of the above mentioned items. I do not mean to offend. I know I can't keep her a baby forever, but right now I feel like she is being encouraged to jump from "toddler" to "teenager" - there are about 10 years in between for a reason!

Don't even get me started on how everything that wasn't a dress had a D*sney Princess or Hannah Montana on it. UGH.


  1. You are right on how hard it is to shop for girls and get something stylish and modest. I went through this getting my daughters Easter dress. I think it was way easier to dress my 3 boys than Lissa. She did wind up with a longer dress in 2 layers of georgette, sleeveless with a pink somewhat sparkly (but not overly so) shrug over it. My daughter adores wearing dresses so it is a good thing my wife can sew!

  2. I totally agree. It has been the hardest thing trying to find clothes for J that don't look like she should be standing on a street corner. After size 6x it's all downhill.