Thursday, July 01, 2010

Is a Little Modesty Too Much to Ask For??????


Today was Girl's Day Out, our first real one since coming home. It was time to buy a few clothes for summer and camp aside from having the girls wear the boys' old T-Shirts which they begged to have as we cleared out their closets. Although we had picked up a few things here in town at JCPenney, it was more to get us by and stall for time than to really build a wardrobe. The kids grow so fast when they first come home that we wanted to wait until that settled down before getting too much.

I also wanted to wait until the last possible moment before introducing bras, which have been needed since we came home. Wanting it to be special rather than something that was painfully uncomfortable due to new relationships, I purposely put it off knowing that with camp in July we would need to do something by then. I had thought we might get around to it a month or so ago, but that was when Angela strongly started making a stand about wanting to be a little girl, and she needed time to sort through some of those feelings at least a little before thrusting burdgeoning womanhood upon her. I am glad I waited until now, it was the right thing to do as instead of it being awkward and emotionally distancing it turned out to be a giggle fest for both Angela and Olesya. While Angela was at first a little crestfallen when I introduced the idea today, Olesya's delight pulled her into the adventure of it and she soon relented but wagged her finger at me as she said "OK Mama...but me still little girl!!" and I said "Of course you are, you will forever be my little girl!" and she grinned broadly at me, reassured all was well in her world.

What conflicting emotions reside beneath the surface for a young lady adopted at this age! And how much I love them both, the little girls that remain behind and the emerging women who will continue to blossom in so many ways over the coming years. For me, knowing who I am mommying at any given time can be a real challenge...is it the little girl within or the pre-teen waiting on the sidelines??

As this was our first real shopping extravaganza, I quickly realized that my worst nightmares were indeed going to be realized. We visited store after store, and there wasn't a thing on the racks that any of us found appropriate or of a style that was comfortable for either of them. I was surprised as each of them carefully looked at each item for quality and value as well, so there were no arguments about paying $40 for something that would fall apart in the wash the first laundry day.

We eventually found a few things for Angela but had to visit the Misses Dept. at Sears to do it. While I was not 100% pleased with our selections, they were certainly better than anything in the Juniors Department. Jeans that are cut so low on the hips that both girls blushed when trying them on, "skinny" jeans that only look good on anorexic waifs, shirts and blouses that are cut down the the belly button or are so see through you might as well not even wear a blouse. I couldn't believe that after hitting no less than 9 stores we found so very little that any of us deemed worth buying. I also was completely relieved that the girls and I seem to have the same idea of what is appropriate and what is not. They have no desire to be fashion plates, even politely declining a couple of things that I thought were not too outrageous. They want decent, modest, basic clothing...pants, polo shirts, etc. Angela has been telling me she only likes boy clothes, but we figured out today that it was not because she likes boy clothing per se, but because she is so shocked at the girl's clothes available and wants more casual, Land's End type styles. When we found some polo shirts in Sears at the Juniors Dept. she got so excited and said "See Mama? This good! This good for me!". She didn't realize there were styles she liked in girls cuts because we can't FIND them anywhere! I knew what she was hoping to find and figured surely we could locate it somewhere, but alas, other than a few items it was hopeless.

Poor Olesya came away with very little to show for our efforts. Her smaller size left her out of what we managed to find for Angela in the Misses Department. She is not yet solidly in Juniors but is too large for the Children's Dept. She too wants very modest clothing but prefers a little more girlie look than the tailored look Angela leans toward. Neither want low necklines, close cut jeans or too short shirts.

We came home and I fired up the laptop as Olesya told Dominick "Papa...all Grand Junction...all bad clothes, nothing pretty, all grown up clothes even for little girls! So sad, Papa!". So Dominick and I sat down across from each other with dueling laptops and perused the web sites for Land's End, LLBean, Gap school uniforms, etc. We usually will not shop such places as they are just too darned expensive but we both agreed it is 100% worth it in this case, even if they have to have less clothes it will be what we all think is appropriate and what they can feel confident in. But even there, it appears it will have to be the school uniform lines that are more what we are looking for.

I knew it was going to be a little bit of a challenge, but I never anticipated it being this hard. I also don't want them dressed in burkas, but man, what is out there these days is just plain awful. I have searched the internet for modest girls clothing and most of it comes up as dresses, which they are adamently opposed to :-)

So, come on everyone, PLEASE give me suggestions! What they are asking for, and what we actually are so HAPPY they are asking for, is not really all that odd...it is the same stuff I used to wear as a kid. Why is it so hard to find things now???? Has our society changed that radically? If they were a couple of sizes smaller we would still be able to find some cute styles in the children's sizes but neither one is really in that category anymore.

Well, I am off to check out LLBean I guess...Dominick told me "Spend what you need to, it's worth it. I don't want them walking around looking like..." well, you know. 'nuff said.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Consignment stores, four quilters in church who can sew girls' clothes, we can have an expanded girls' day out shopping for patterns and material, www.modestclothes.com (looks like some good long tees with a bit of curve to them, some long skirts, many vendors--I think I'll go back and look for some for me--old ladies should not be wearing hip huggers and crop shirts). That's a start.

Love ya,
Lael

Joyce said...

Would you want to sew or is that not even an option?? Im not great in buying clothes for myself or my son but have cranked up the sewing machine to get going. Maybe there is someone near by who might want to teach the girls and make some clothes in the meantime. Maybe you need something now , and this suggestion is way off...

Joyce

Phoenix said...

Try Boden- a UK company, not skanky clothes but not burkas either. I dress my 8 year daughter (who is very tall) in their 13 year clothes from the normal children´s and Johnnie B lines.

http://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Teen-Girls-Tops-T-shirts.html

Phoenix said...

Just wanted to add- they are a "middle class mummies and kids" company- aiming at a bit of olde worlde charm and a bit of Cornwall beach vibe. They do have good sales (one on now) and often give 10-20% vouchers. I will be interested to know what you and the girls think!.

Renia

Kelly said...

I like GAP and OLD NAVY. I shop on-line. GAP will often send me an e-mail for 30% off everything. GAP carries girls polo shirts and longer shorts. Also - did you check out JC Penney school uniforms on-line? I have an 8 year old daughter and I have a hard time finding bermuda length shorts for school. I can usually find some at GAP. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Look for a good thrift shop. Some are better than others. I think if they offer consignment it is often indicates higher quality clothes. In general, I find clothes that are not so high fashion, have been laundered and didn't fall apart and won't shrink.

Also, church rummage sales can have very nice things at great prices.

Yard or rummage sales might be helpful.

And of course, hand me downs from friends.

Set up a separate email and get online coupons from stores and catalogs.

I wish you all well. Pat

Anonymous said...

Old navy and the children's place.

garnet said...

I, too, am looking forward to hearing your responses as I have a 9-year-old. She's on the smaller side so will still fit into kid's stuff for a little longer but I do find that I shop the uniform section of stores and buy much of her clothes there. Things weren't much better when she was younger and I bought much of her stuff by tedious hours on Ebay searching. We live overseas and she attends a small school that doesn't require a uniform but doesn't seem to mind (or know) that is what I'm getting her. Sad thing is we are in the U.S. early this year and leave early (on Monday) and the uniforms haven't been out yet so I'll be dashing to the store once again today in hopes they will be.

Kara and Quentin said...

You might try Hanes.com. I know they have polo shirts and the prices are really nice. You can request a free catalogue or just browse online. I like the t-shirts they have for girls too. They work great for those summer days spent outside playing. I have 4 girls and my oldest is 9. We haven't had to go up to the junior sizes yet, but I am dreading it!

Anonymous said...

Had to share this:
http://catholicherald.com/opinions/detail.html?sub_id=11140
on dressing room discovery

Not sure if there is enough selection but you could look here:
http://www.upstreamgirl.com/default.aspx

or HannaAndersson (especially for Oleysa)
http://www.hannaandersson.com/division.asp?id=girls

Hope that helps,
Teresa F.

TheHappyNeills said...

Sometimes we shop Lands End for basics even though we normally have a garage sale clothes budget. Even though I could find a good pair of khaki pants for my 5 yr old at JCP (I can't find much anymore at garage sales for bigger boys) for $12 or $15, I could spend $20 at LE and get incredible quality and durability, with a GUARANTEED. PERIOD. assurance.

Their return policy is a big kicker for us--any time, any reason, guaranteed, period. Even if you decide you don't like the color after 2 years, they'll take it back and give you a refund. They really do mean ANY reason. It does not have to be within a certain timeframe or unworn or for the "typical" reasons you return things for stores.

I've even returned a coat that none of my family ever really wore (my parents got it when I was a freshman in high school!), it just circulated for about 13 years amongst my parents house, then ours and my siblings once we were off to college. . . They gave me over $100 back for it!!! Simply because no one was thrilled with this coat.

I'd keep looking at Lands' End! Their older girls stuff is so cute and modest! Sign up for their email to get notifications of free shipping and discounts, which they have all the time!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this, Cindy. I get so discouraged at what moms and dads allow their daughters to wear. And I'm not happy that my sons are around it at school. Dress code? Supposed to be. They do stress that the girls are to be covered, no spaghetti straps, etc. Doesn't always happen.

I agree that consignment shops and garage sales are good places to look...depending on who's garage! And do check for online coupons for Land's End, Old Navy, etc.

Wish we had clothes to pass on, but I think our 15yr old is probably smaller than your girls, and our 13yr old about the same size. I know it's extremely hard to find pants that cover. Sometimes the best we can do is make certain the shirts come down low enough to make sure nothing shows. I understand they don't want to wear "mom jeans", but I also don't want them to become comfortable wearing such low or skanky stuff.

Good luck. With six daughters, believe me, I know the great shopping dilemna. I'm sorry your girls had to see first hand what our society has sunk to.

Nancy in the Midwest

D and A said...

Get on the e-mail list for Land's End - they have a lot of good sales and frequently offer free shipping, plus if you don't like it or it doesn't fit, you can return it at Sears instead of paying to ship it back. And - OLD NAVY, OLD NAVY, OLD NAVY. Eddie Bauer outlet also has a website that is cheaper than regular Eddie Bauer.

Christina said...

So glad I am not here yet... as Kendra is in girls size 7/8 and some 10/12... although it is coming soon... Keep us posted as to your progress :)

kkolshorn said...

I also love Old Navy. Also look into The Children's Place. They have all sorts of styles, and are constantly having huge sales and offers. They are having a big sale that goes to the 5th.

Stacie Brown said...

Hey Cindy, Old Navy and Gap are good finds. If you are headed to Denver soon, check the Old Navy Outlet in Silverthorn. They often have a 97 cent rack that has tons and tons of t-shirts, capris, Bermuda shorts, and skirts that are more age appropriate for Ashton (14). The last time I was there (2 weeks ago), I really scored. They had a 40% off sale, and all those 97 cent items were 60 cents. Yay Me!

Fashioned for Fun, a sexual purity modesty class for MS/HS girls, is doing a clothing exchange on July 21 at Northside. It's from 3-6:30 for the public. You might check there for clothes for the family. And, it's FREE! Love that.

F4F is offered through Life Choices, so you might think about that for next year. It's really a great program with lots of good postives choices encouraged.

Email me with sizes for the Girls and I might still have some stuff from Ashton for Angela.

Good Luck, my friend!

Anonymous said...

OOPS!!! I posted a suggestion on clothes but posted it on your last post "Nudged". Sorry! Check it out!
Mary Morris

Hilary Marquis said...

I couldn't believe the difference in styles/modesty of little girls clothing when Mia needed to start shopping in the big kids section! Holy Cow! She was only 4 yrs. old for Pete's sake! I wouldn't let a 16yr. old out of her ROOM dressed in such a way much less out of the house....It is really sad that things are made with so little regard for modesty and self respect. Stylish and cute does not have to be something that streetwalkers would wear. Good luck with your search. I always hit the HUGE consignment sales twice a year (armed with a slew of measurements for each child and a tape measure ;)

Deb said...

agreeing with the others that consignment stores are the way to go. Wehave some called Plato's closet around here and they have tons of everything and every style.

Anonymous said...

Since your girls seem to like sportswear, I would suggest the following: championusa.com ,Eastbay.com
and the petite sizes at EddieBauer.com (on-line sale, but getting picked over now)
Good luck! Layering is always good when those necklines are a little low. Going to Silverthorn sounds fun too!!
Marilyn Stahn

Regina said...

I love the clothes from Hanna Andersson. Not cheap, but not outrageous. They're timeless, tasteful and great quality. www.hannaandersson.com

Anonymous said...

As I have a 9 year old girl, I found the suggestions here very helpful. I have pretty good luck with Lands' End (for me too) but as they are a bit pricey, I'm going to take the suggestion to get on their e-mail coupon list.

I agree with previous comments, it is so sad to see how some parents allow their kids to dress, including T-shirts with words and attitudes that we would not allow our kids to say much less wear. And the low cut jeans are really a problem, unless you can find a shirt that goes down to their hips. Sometimes an inexpensive short dress over pants or shorts will work. Trying to find shorts that are long enough is difficult too.

If nobody would buy this stuff, the companies wouldn't make it.

We are also starting to deal with lyrics to pop songs, movies, books, radio stations, and modern culture in general. Anybody have any ideas on dealing with that in pre-teens? Don't want to overly restrict them which only causes rebellion later, but also don't want to allow "brain trash" into our home.

Peggy in Virginia

Anonymous said...

J.C. Penney and Walmart both have girl's half-size departments for girls who may be wider than they are tall. And, Walmart has Juniors half sizes, too, if you have time to search the shelves. "Lei" is a stylish brand for Junior girls. If you hit either store at the right time, you can find tops, jeans, etc. for $3.00 to $7.00. Miely Cyrus is a fun Junior brand that Walmart carries, too. Lei shoes at Walmart are often cute and stylish for Junior and Pre-junior as well. How about garage sales? We just sold five plastic storage tubs worth of 1/2 size and junior girls clothes on a garage sale for $1 to $3.

Anonymous said...

Kohl's sale racks for girls and juniors

Karla Kahler said...

Gymboree online goes up to girls size 12 for girls and their summer sales are great. I just bought a bunch of shorts and tees for 3.99 each. They also have school uniform type things at decent prices.

We love Hanna Andersson around here. They size by height in cm, so measure them before you start shopping. I can get away with buying Hanna b/c it has great resale value on ebay and at some consignment stores. I buy things on clearance and usually make money when I resale them later.

Anonymous said...

I have 2 girls, 9 and 11, who wear sizes 10 and 14. We like Kohls and Old Navy, Target, Gordmans- theGap can be pricy. I only shop sales. For church camp they needed all knee length shorts, but could find them in these stores. Make sure you are on email lists so you can find sales- I rarely pay more than $10 for any item of clothing, due to sales. More athletic stuff like long nylon shorts but in girls colors can be cute. Even cut off jeans w/ cute T's.Wish I could help you shop, I love it :) Jeans are hard the thighs can be tight even w/ my thinnest girl. Target brand and old navy are usually good. enjoy your blog. I have 4 and 11 yr boys as well, oldest three from Russia/Kaz. stephanie

Bob; Carrie DeLille said...

:o)