Clothing Crisis: I Am Choosing To Dress My Daughters Appropriately


Spring is finally here in Vermont! This means the first day it hits over 50 degrees everyone runs into their closet to put on anything other than the wool sweaters we’ve been wearing for the last 8 months! This time of year is a time for visiting playgrounds that have been blanketed in snow for too long, getting the first creemee (that’s soft serve ice cream for all of the non-Vermonter out there) of the season, dusting off the flip flops, and spring cleaning. In my home the first part of spring cleaning is the dreaded task of cleaning out the closets and trying on all of the summer clothes from years past. This is not one of my most enjoyable tasks. Not only is it a pain to have my kids try everything on and then take it off, but it is also a sad reminder that they are growing too fast! They may not enjoy the trying on and taking off part of this task but they do love to shop.

The reward for going through the previous years clothes is of course shopping for new clothes that fit. A trip that has every mom overwhelmed with excitement (insert sarcasm here).

Now don’t get me wrong, I love to shop but I am getting a bit worried about future shopping trips with my oldest daughter. She is six right now, soon to be seven, and I am already noticing such a difference in the clothing options that are out there for her. For the most part she has outgrown the “cutesy” things you find at popular toddler and infant brand stores.

Truth be told though I am mortified by some of the clothing options for tween and teen age girls.

I see so many national brand retailers carrying peek-a-boo blouses, thong underwear, belly shirts, and extremely short skirts for children as young as age 5.

Many stores that carry my daughter’s size, I don’t even want her to enter! Please tell me why a little girl needs silk string bikini underwear or a halter top? Or how about any wording written in large letters across her bum? Really? Thankfully we still have some options in other stores for a few years but the problem is my daughter thinks that some of these clothes are cool. She wants to shop in the store with the loud music, loud clothes, and 10,000 different types of accessories that every six year old apparently must have. These are the stores that make my head spin and I get nauseous just being in them for five minutes. For her, she is already associating these styles with what is “cool” and “trendy”. But for me I look around and see things that are just inappropriate for little girls to wear.

Way to short for my 4 year old!
Way too short for my 4 year old!

Recently, I was appalled by a pair of denim shorts that were sized to fit my four year old but had an inseam of no more than one inch! It would be near impossible for these shorts to cover my child appropriately, because she moves and sits like a four year old normally does.

Don’t we already live in a society where our children are over sexualized at a younger age than we were? Why promote or rush their development by dressing a 7 year old provocatively?

I think it is bad enough that many teenagers dress is such a revealing way. The rule should be if you have to constantly pull the crotch of your shorts down, even when standing still, it’s a tell tale sign that you should not be wearing them. I am sometimes in shock of what I see high school girls wearing when I drop my daughter off at school. If this is what we have to look forward too I am dreading the teen years as a mother of three girls. As parents are we more concerned with being our children’s “friend” that we give into their requests even if it is against what our morals and values should be?
I am not advocating for dressing your kids like Little House on the Prairie characters everyday but I am saying lets teach them a little self respect at a young age. Little girls should dress like little girls. The word “juicy” should never adorn their bottoms. Shirts should always cover their bellies, and any shirt that resembles a bra should just be banned. Our children are growing up too fast; let’s slow this process down by starting with dressing them in clothing that does not overtly display their innocent little bodies.

I am glad that for now I am able to convince my daughter that these clothing options just aren’t the best choice. I am the one who pays the bill though and I am choosing to dress my daughters appropriately. In a couple of years when she hits the “tween” years and these retailers with skimpy girl clothing is where she is begging to shop, I hope she makes the right choices and doesn’t become another tween girl who wants to wear shorts that look like underwear.

I feel like the battle has just begun . . . please pass the wine.


  1. Our rule is that if we can see up it, down it, or through it, it’s not something that we are going to wear. Having an easy to remember rule about clothes has really made it a lot easier to shop with our girl, as she knows she can’t argue! She doesn’t always pick out the designs I would pick (ok, she never does), but she does follow the rules.

  2. THANK YOU for posting this! I have been having this conversation at home for a while now and it’s refreshing to know other parents feel the same way!

  3. Luckily I was blessed with learning to sew at an early age so I’ve made my almost 5 year old some of her clothes, and cut of some of her pants to Bermuda short length! But I dread the day when she wants “cool” clothes!

  4. My daughter is 6 and I’ve felt the same way. The shorts are crazy! I also went to buy her underwear the other day I was appalled! I just want cute briefs!
    Let us know if you find a great retailer. Right now I just buy pieces here and there.

  5. I have a newly 6 year old but she is extremely tall. She has always worn 2 sizes up. We have the finger tip rule with shorts. We were handed down some tank tops with built-in shelf bras a couple years ago. They were size 6, why would a 6 year old need that?

    I also have a 4 year old son. He is the same height his sister was at this age. He only needs one size up as boys clothes run so much bigger. It is tough as a parent.


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