Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dressing our young girls...

I'm having a very difficult time trying to clothe my 6 yr old without her looking like a tart... I'm almost longing for the days when clothes actually covered a person, and without clinging like a swimsuit. You know, like the early 1900's?

Seriously, I'm about this far from snapping and making her clothes for her... but lets be realistic, shall we? When my daughter decides 2 hours within receiving a new outfit that she doesn't like it anymore, at least I can return it. You can't take back that material you butchered all in the name of modesty. Nope. And you can't get back the 8 hours it took you to make that high collared, long sleeved dress and pinafore. Yeah that's right...if I had my way, I'd just wrap my kid with several layers of material and send her on her (probably not so) merry way. I could probably save myself a little time by shopping in the shower curtain department.

Yes, I kid. ;)

But seriously, how is a mother supposed to clothe her child these days? You might not have noticed but I have been a supporter of the Mom's For Modesty for awhile now. I recently read this blog post by one of my most favorite bloggers on the whole planet, which led me to this blog post by IzzyMom , I agreed with pretty much all what these blog posts had to say. The complaints that moms have are nothing new, we are tired and appalled that so many retailers and clothing designers make clothing for children that are more appropriate for teens, young adults and adults.

I can remember when Anna was just a baby 6 years ago feeling astounded and flabbergasted when i saw sexy half shirts and low cut bell bottoms for 6 month olds. Are you kidding me? Do infants really need club wear? But back then I had choices, and though at least a fourth of what was out there was considered "hoochie" (pardon the term) by me and many of my coworkers and friends, we could still find clothes to suit our tastes for our girls.

This year it has become increasingly harder for me to find just a few items that I find suitable for a 6 yr old, and when i do... let me tell you, I buy one in each color. All year long I have been doing my best to fight this new trend that all shirts should be extra long and virtually skin tight. Anna isn't fat, the kid isn't even chubby, but she's built Ford Tough if you know what I mean. This girl is solid and her back and torso are like her dad's, a little more on the broad side. How the heck am I supposed to get this kid in a tank top that doesn't even have any stretch or give? In order to find her tops that fit her (meaning she doesn't need a shoe horn to get into them, and aren't skin tight) I have to go up a size, which means that the collar of the shirt will probably come down too low to cover her properly, and the hem of the top will come down past her thighs. Which leads me to great frustration and agitation, not only one my own behalf but because my 6 yr old is whining and complaining that she likes the shirt and doesn't see anything wrong with the one that we wrestled onto her body. So and so has that top, and she saw celebrity A, B, and C wearing those kinds of shirts on the Disney Channel.

Don't even get me started on hip huggers that threaten to show a little butt cleavage, padded bras and chemises that come in sizes small enough for preschoolers. The world has gone mad, I tell you, and I refuse to let it take me along for the ride. My quest for age appropriate attire for my children will continue, and I refuse to settle for what is out there. If I have to shop online, by golly that's what I'm going to do, and what I have been doing for over a year now. If that means that I have to alter a few pieces here and there, including shortening tank top straps and shirt hems, that's what I'll do... like the 5 tank tops I have altered this week. If I have to dress my kids in modifies shower curtains, I'll do that too. ;)

I refuse to settle for the world's standards.

Who's with me?


Maggie said...

I find it hard to shop for my daughter and staying in the school rules. She's a pretty modest dresser. She hates showing her belly or back. I have to say her judgment is very good. However, we have an issue with the school rules. No shorts above the knees. Try finding a pair of shorts for a girl that isn't above the knee. IMPOSSIBLE! She has worn jeans every day to school in 80 and 90 degree weather these last few weeks. I can see no short shorts. But they just don't make ones that go to the knees.

Karmyn R said...

I tried to find my 3 yr old a swimsuit that wasn't a bikini style - almost impossible. (I found ONE)

Sure, I can get one through Land's End - but I have to pay three times as much for a suit that she is only going to wear a few months.

Not So Anonymous Michelle said...

Amen sister!

I know what you mean, I like to dress Emma cute, but not like a hoochie! Emma does have a two peice and a one peice swimsuit for summer, but not some string bikini, I just can't see that for a little girl, I don't even care for teens wearing that kind of thing...or adults for that matter. Why can't teens & adults even have a little modesty! I'm amazed by what I see in the stores in tiny sizes for little girls and even babies and toddlers, just as I'm amazed by what I see some of the students on campus walking around in, it's school, you are here to learn, not to strut your stuff and show your cleavage and ass crack and I'm sorry, how can you walk in those stripper shoes? UGH, don't get me started!

Carrie said...

I don't have daughters, so I don't struggle with this.

However if I did, I WOULD! I cannot believe some of the things on the racks at stores, and when I see a kid wearing them, I'm even more shocked!

I saw a girl the other day that was maybe 8 with the word "juicy" written on the butt of her shorts that barely covered her tush.

It's really quite shocking and appalling!

I wish you luck!

Anonymous said...

Sing it, Sister Mert!
I actually like the longer length on tees, because it means that they will last longer. Little O is a skinny little thing, though, and I bought her a shirt a Kohl's that was nice and long and the same generous size that I buy all of her tops in-- Ssweet lord tiny baby Jeebus, that thing is sausage-casing tight on my little bean pole!
I struggle with halter tops, because they can be really cute, and good ones provide almost better coverage than a spaghetti strap tank that gaps open, you know? I've rationalized it as long as there's no shirring or anything to give the illusion of filling... does that make sense?
I can find one piece suits, but only with cartoon characters... We found a Hello Kitty we could both live with...

kailani said...

I am! I'm so glad that GG's future elementary school will have a uniform. It will make getting dressed in the morning so much easier!

Bethany said...

I am with you!

I have a 4 year old and a 16 year old. The clothing issues at my house are enormous!

Holly Schwendiman said...

Oh Mert what true and ringing words. I hate so much that the immodest is glamorized the way it is. My daughter has always been about 3-4 years ahead of her time and I'm already dealing daily with the modesty battle. She wants so much to do and be what she sees and that's just plain rotten because what's out there to be seen is just gross. It's a crazy world - thanks for speaking up about it.


Izzy said...

I'm TOTALLY with you...but you probably knew that already!

I just went shopping to find some summer clothes for my daughter that are cool (it's very hot in FL) but not trashy and teenager-ish. It wasn't easy.

I ended up buying shorts a size bigger than she needs and taking them in in the waist so they won't be SHORT shorts. She's SIX. And of course, all the boys shorts are down to their knees.

It's kind of sick and I frankly can't believe MORE people aren't bothered with the lack of appropriate choices out there.

wolfbaby said...

my kids were cloths usually to big for them for two reasons.. one they grow so darn fast it's cheaper... two.. I really dislike how short the shorts are and how short the tops are. ugh. I buy mens jeans for me on a regular basis. I bet I buy little boy's shorts for my girls, when there older.. least there long enough... and you can't tell oft times a boy's t shirt from a girls;).. i hope...if you go to thrift stores alot of times you will find stuff that is not so popular anymore but fits better and is alot cheaper!!

Karianne said...

OK, I"m outing myself here. I'm the hoochie mama baby dressing woman that buys those clothes! I will probably be changing my tune once she is in school, but I swear, I"m hooked in everytime. On the other hand, I dress her like Holly Hobby too when I get the chance so I run the spectrum.

My dad was pretty strict, by our standards, about our clothes. Even when we were adults, and he would stop by the office, we would be throwing on jackets and such to cover up because we would soooo hear about it.

Thankfully my brother still has that frame of mind. He tells me, "If I ever see her wearing something with writing across the butt, I will kick yours!"

Ash said...

My cousin Raizel is a hassidic Jew, I'll just ask her where she shops and pass on the info.

Daddy Forever said...

Luckily, we don't have problems with trampy clothes (yet). Our 6 year old has a tidy waist, which makes it impossible for anything to cling to her. If we buy smaller sizes, then then the don't fit length-wise. I think we're going have to learn how to sew or have to let her eat all the ice cream she wants. said...

I don't understand this problem with finding modest clothes. I'm very modest myself and I don't have trouble finding appropriate clothes. Old Navy has plenty of shirts that don't stick to my daughter. The pants don't sit next to her armpits but they don't threaten to show any bum, either. Is it a US/Canada thing? Slackermommy was talking about padded bras for 6-year olds too. Are you guys exaggerating? I've never seen this. Again: US/Canada thing? Are you sure the bras aren't for 12-year olds? Why would any mom want their 6-year old to look like she has breasts?

I shop online mostly (other than when I go to Old Navy) for kids clothes and I love Hanna Andersson. The clothes are plenty loose for you and they're bright and childish, not stripperish. They're a bit pricey so I pick some up on eBay, 2nd hand from those shoppaholic moms who buy so many clothes that their kids can only wear them once before they resell it. Top quality stuff made to last, and lots of their stuff is even organic. said...

OH, and "daddy forever": my girls are the same way. Gymboree, Old Navy, and Gap all make pants with elastic at the waist just like maternity pants. And they're normal, straight-legged, average-wasited pants. I can't see where anyone would find them immodest, except for people who believe that all girls should wear dresses all the time.

Mert said...

I'm not exaggerating on padded bras in size six (and up) girls. I've seen these types of things in Target and Walmart. I don't have a reason to exaggerate on this, this is a real issue everywhere, but maybe some countries and states have more options... I don't know, I can only base it on what is here in my part of Iowa.

I'm glad you are able to find proper clothing, but that doesn't mean that there is a general problem with retailers and designers putting this type of clothing out there. I understand i don't have to buy it, I'm merely saying that what I have found out in my area, and even 45 minutes away is disturbing... and it's very hard for me to find clothing in my area that I feel covers my girl's private parts properly. Not for lack of trying, trust me.

My husband just mentioned that we should try Old Navy and the Gap. Since we don't travel to our nearest mall that isbn't a strip mall very often (45 minutes away), I tend to forget that these places are options, out of sight out of mind.

Money is an issue for us though since we are a single income family, and these places don't always have reasonable prices. I do frequent the clearance sections on several websites though, and Old Navy and the Gap are worth a look I suppose.

Thanks for your insight and comment, and for the store suggestions. I think both of us have similar goals based on reading just your recent blog post , we both want something better, no? I hope to be back to read more of your blog.

BTW, you might not have noticed since I think you are reading my blog for the first time, I tend to be a bit sarcastic. I am not expecting for every square inch of my daughter to be covered, I just don't think I'm being that unreasonable that we should have to compromise general modesty to clothe our children.This year yes, the jeans are better. last year low cut hip huggers were all the rage, and I refused to buy them. The problem is that as long as people continue to buy these things, they will keep making them.

Thanks again for your comments, I always enjoy a good discussion! Not everyone has to have the same opinion, that's what I love about blogging.

Pippajo said...

Oh, Mert, I am so, so, so behind on reading your blog and I know I'm really late to chime in, but I am so right with you!

I've been complaining about this since Red Headed Snippet was 2 years old! Since Kindergarten she has been the odd girl in her class NOT dressing like a floozy.

Not to discourage you or anything, but it only gets WORSE as they hit puberty. Wait until there are actually boobs to try and cover! And I am constantly on shorts patrol, making sure she hasn't rolled the waistband so much that her cheeks practically peek out of the bottom of the shorts!

Up until last year I did all my shopping at thrift and consignment shops and, for some reason, it was much easier to find decent clothes there than anywhere else. Now, we're stuck with Kohl's and it's a crap shoot.

I blame Britney Spears. Don't have a real solid reason, but it feels good to blame her.