My oldest daughter — now a tween — starts middle school all too soon. This momma has been panicking! Not because of the endless list of school supplies, new school, new classes, boyfriends, and all the things that typically come along with the middle school drama. No — I panic because my daughter wants a whole new wardrobe!
Why a new wardrobe?
The days of me being able to quickly shop at children’s department stores and accepting hand me downs from others moms has become a faded memory. My daughter is now aware of labels and what is deemed cool and not cool. She has a closet full of graphic tees and printed leggings that still fit her. But some time between leaving elementary and gearing up for middle school, she decided she needed a more “grown-up” look. My question for her — who told you these things aren’t acceptable? Who has the authority to decide what is the popular trend? And then I just become sad. Because I hope that no kid her age feels the pressure of having to wear certain labels or wear a certain type of clothing. The rules for acceptance in society start at a very early age it seems.
I know what you are thinking. Just say no. Make her wear what she already has. But instead, I took this as an opportunity to buy her new things, while teaching her an important lesson at the same time. I won’t give in to the social demand that we must buy clothes from this store and wear this brand to conform to society. If I have anything to say about it, I won’t allow my daughter to feel that way either.
I don’t want my daughter to be exposed.
When we started shopping for new clothes, the first and biggest problem stared me in the face. The children’s section is too small — but the juniors and young women’s? Too big! Not only the size issue, but the fact that most shirts we found were too low cut, cropped top, and show waaaay too much skin! The pants we found? Also too low cut, and show areas that shouldn’t be exposed. What school allows this type of clothing? The answer? Probably none.
Alas — hope!
Then I put my Google search skills to the test. I ended up finding a section called “big girls” at Macy’s. This is basically a tween section! SCORE! This is perfect. It covers up what needs to be covered while remaining trendy and hip. And best of all? It was all on sale! I racked up. Momma was happy, and my daughter was happy too. We also shopped local consignment and bargain outlets. I highly suggest this to any parent looking to save some cash. You can find new clothing at a huge discount!
I am sure this problem will follow us each year in middle school. However, I now know there are options out there. Sometimes you have to dig a little to find the right fit and the right style, but there is definitely hope to be found in dressing your tween-aged girls!