Friday, April 03, 2009

Why Can’t My Daughter Look Like a Girl?

As we all know, Easter is coming. And that means Easter clothes. I had no trouble at all finding something for my sons—I generally get them matching polo shirts and they just wear their usual church pants. I walked over to the display, decided on red, pulled out a small, a medium and a large, and I was done.

But then it was time to find something for my daughter. She’s turning thirteen this year and has always been a little small for her age, so she’s just now teetering on the brink between girls’ and juniors’. I walked through the girls’ department and saw rack after rack of darling dresses. Lace, taffeta, ribbons … they were all too cute. I crossed over into the juniors’ section, and it was like getting slapped in the face by a blanket of rags.

I wandered around, wondering if I’d stepped into some sort of fashion twilight zone. Shirts that looked like handkerchiefs with neck holes. Dresses that were cut down to the navel and up to the thigh. Worst of all, the chosen fabrics were all so ugly. They looked like a tie-dye job gone bad, and since when has a tie-dye job ever gone right?

I probably spent fifteen minutes trying to figure out what to do. I’ll admit that not every teenage girl wants to wear lace and ribbons, but you know what, some of them do. My daughter is one. She’s a very girly-girl and she would enjoy having a lacy new Easter dress, but I didn’t have that option. Instead, I was faced with a selection of limp, drab dust cloths.

Would it kill the clothing manufacturers to produce just one little rack of pretty dresses, just one? And where are they getting the idea that once a girl hits her teens, she should start dressing like a boy? There’s nothing wrong with being feminine, and feminine doesn’t even necessarily mean lace and ribbons. It can mean a pretty color, as opposed to dishwater brown and khaki olive green. It can mean a flattering cut, as opposed to hanging off the body like a wet leaf. Where are the clothes for girls who take pride in the fact that they are girls?

I’m not saying that every girl should put bows in her hair and ride around on a Hello Kitty tricycle. But I believe there should be clothing options that address different styles and tastes, and those choices should include clothing for girls who happen to like dressing like a girl, instead of trying to put every girl in the nation in the same gender-neutral stuff that doesn’t show just how beautiful they really are.

And if you’re wondering what I ended up doing – I found a tank top that matched a skirt she already has, and then found a sweater to go over that. Took me an additional ten minutes, though.

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LexiconLuvr said...

AMEN AND AMEN!!! One of my biggest irritations comes in the form of girls clothing. Either they're boring or their skanky.

I'm glad you found something for your little girl. We should find some way to picket the fashion world.

Anonymous said...

What's worse is that the clothes for little girls are looking just like the juniors clothes. Why do girls have to look slutty?

Can't little girls look like innocent little girls any more? Why are the "designers" making them all grow up so fast?

Shari said...

You might try Downeast Basics or Modest By Design. They have modest clothes. I don't know if they'll have anything in your daughter's size right now, but I've found some great deals for my daughters there.

Jennie said...

I had the same problem trying to find Christmas and Easter dresses for my two granddaughters. Once they get past Girls size 6, the dresses look like they were designed for street walkers. Black, strapless, and slither for an 8 year-old?

Nichole Giles said...

It is very difficult to find the right things for our young teens to wear, especially when it comes to dresses. I've been having the same difficulty.

My girls aren't girly like yours, though. They'd rather go simple and no-frills. It makes me sad because they're so different from me--I LOVE girly things.

Anyway, you might try looking at Aeropostale--they carry size "0" and "00" and have some fashionable sundresses that are plenty modest with the addition of a cap-sleeve shirt under the tank straps. Also, it seems like I saw some at J.C.Penny's last week. The girls section there has a bigger size selection than any other department store.

Just a few thoughts.

Jenn said...

I really lucked out this year. Usually, I don't find anything, but for some reason, Wal-Mart had some really cute Easter dresses. They're white with purple flowers and little purple sweater-vests to cover the sleeveless straps. And they actually had them in sizes that fit my 3, 6, and 10 year old. (And the 10-year-old is big for her age. I had to get a 14) I've rarely done the matching dress thing, but I couldn't help it this time.

I'm sorry you had such a hard time finding something for your daughter! I agree - the freedom of choice only seems to go one way most of the time. Our daughters should be free to dress in beautiful floral dresses if they want to. :D Even if someone else wants the freedom to /not/ dress that way.

Karlene said...

I happen to like "dishwater brown and khaki olive green." They're my best colors.

Seriously, it can be hard to find suitable Sunday dresses, even for adults. Almost makes me want to start sewing again. (No, not really.)

Tristi Pinkston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tristi Pinkston said...

But the shades of brown and green they had weren't becoming for anyone - they were more like what a sewer rat would regurgitate. I'm not coming down hard on all brown and green ... just the really mucky-looking ones.

Lori Nawyn said...

Maggie and I just went through the same thing--the semi-cute modest dresses in weekend sales circulars were sold out by the time we arrived. We ended up going to Ross and found a couple there for a great price.

Deborah said...

It makes it really hard when you have a little girl in the family that will only wear pink and purple. Then, even the purple is agreed to under duress.

violetlady said...

Well, I don't have that problem thank goodness. I have one grown daughter and two grandsons. I do see such sweet little dresses for the very young girls (under 6). Then I wish I had a granddaughter. It sounds like you made a good decision, though. She could wear a girly-girl necklace and bracelet.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Oh I so hear you on this one!!!! My girls are a bit bigger in size than yours and finding them dresses is just as bad! I HATE it... shopping for clothes because it all either too cutisy or way too reveling! and while I'm at who the heck decided it is perfectly fine for my 4 yr old daughter to have heals????? nearly all the spring dress shoes little girls sizes 10 and up are heels, they look like shrunk ladies shoes! My 4yr old needs the cutsiy bows and FLATS!!!!! ok ok I'll shut up now!

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