Thursday, June 04, 2009

Summer is Here: My Annual Rant

How to shop for boys:
Go to Sears or Goodwill or wherever you go.
Buy jeans.
Buy button shirts for church.
Buy polos for school.
Buy t-shirts for everything else.
Go home.

How to shop for girls:
Go to Goodwill, Ross, JCPenney, etc. etc.
Hunt through vast dizzying acres of clothing.
Bypass everything that's too flimsy, ugly, skimpy, short, or emblazoned with crazy pictures and logos.
Realize you've just bypassed everything in the store.
Tear out hair.
Go home.

I do this every year. Summer comes and I think, ok, surely surely this time I can just go to a store and buy a few basic t-shirts for Jenny. And maybe even a khaki skirt if the Force is smiling on me.

I realize most of the world doesn't have my requirements regarding skirts, knees covered, etc. But still. I know there are plenty of other conservative dressers out there. Shouldn't it be possible to find ONE plain little solid-color t-shirt with more than itty-bitty cap sleeves and a decent neck besides?? Skinny little 10-year-olds don't need scoop necks that let tall people see clear to their belly buttons. And why does everything have to come with wild billboard-sized pictures front and back?

I just want a proper little pretty modest t-shirt she can wear on slightly dressy occasions with a variety of skirts and maybe a button shirt . Would it be so hard for JCPenney or Ross, with their endless racks of clothes, to have ONE of these?

Apparently so.

I need to make time to sew, soon.

(No doubt many of you can point me to sources online. Wouldn't it be cool though if, since you were in town anyway, there was a place where you could run in, buy, and run out?)

(And we note, again, that boys' clothing tends to be loose and well-sleeved and practical and modest. Yeah, you have to bypass the skulls on t-shirts, but you can still find clothes that are CLOTHES.)

End of rant. Watch for another one next year.

Quote of the Day:
"I'm not short; I'm fun size!"
--a t-shirt Amy likes


  1. I agree! My daughter recently left the world of toddler clothes (not much better) and is into the little girl section. The selection is absolutely appalling. For some reason, I don't want my precious, innocent, daughter in a middriff top and shorts that say "sassy" across the bottom!

  2. I just have to laugh (so sorry). Having had a girl first, I had so much fun picking out cute clothes and such. when my son came along, i wanted to scream "Why are there no cute clothes for boys?? Jeans and T-shirts!! that's all there is!!" (of course, he was a 2-year-old in a 4-year-old-sized body and there were NO jeans to fit him and Ic could not find overalls anywhere, so for YEARS I made my own patterns and make him overalls!! We had the same problem with shoes. I think he was 2 before his fat little toddler feet were flattened out enough for shoes. I think his first "baby shoes" are sneakers that are about 7 inches long. Even now I have to buy him sneakers in the women's department!!

    So, I guess it's all a matter of perspective. (my verification word was "notglads"...too funny).

  3. Try shopping Lands End Overstocks, and Hannah Lise (online, both). Also Wholesome Wear for swim suits!

    I know it's not so nice as going into a store and being able to try things on, but Land's End you can buy several sizes and then return whatever doesn't fit to your nearest Sears store. A very cool feature! My oldes Dd is 13, and the other is 9, so I definitely hear your pain!! We sew too . . (and have you tried to find patterns for girls that are cute AND modest lately?! Esp. once they are out of the girls size and into womens?!)
    I often post pix of what I'm sewing on my blog. Feel free to come visit.

  4. Simple solution -buy boy's plain T-shirts, cut out the tags, and no one will know. Unfortunately that will not generally get you pink or purple, but if you wanted to, you could buy white ones and dye them. As for the skirt problem, I totally agree -only a few years ago I could find decent skirts in thrift shops -now almost all I can find are short-short, ultra flimsy/see-through, or extremely tight/slit-up-the side skirts.

  5. I saw a pink T-shirt in the boys dept at Old Navy last week. Pink is the new color for boys...go figure. Now that my son ACTUALLY recognizes that pink is for girls and blue is for boys....except that I wear a LOT of blue..

  6. I recently inherited a sewing machine....much needed since i have daughters ages 5 and 6 - and i agree THERE IS NOTHING OUT THERE FOR LITTLE GIRLS THAT DRESS MODESTLY...Sewing will be my new hobby - hoping all the best for you!

  7. Have you tried Target?

  8. Chuckle. Sigh. Love your skinny daughter-neckline rant since that's our story, too.
    BTW, I'm a neice of Merle B. -for your "Mennonite game".

  9. Try having a slightly chubby daughter who at the age of 10 is almost as tall as me and NOTHING in the girls department and definetly NOTHING in the junior department fits and if you find it in the womens department its to old!!!!!!! Its frustrating beyond belief!! Now theres my rant! Sharon

  10. wow, i thought this was my burden alone here on the other side of the world where every Ch. woman seems to be a size 0 and yeah, they have cute skirts but try to fit a 'normal' westerner in them.......
    but on the other hand we found a whole shipment of tshirts that said things like, J. loves you more than you know, J. is Lrd and so forth, when is the last time you've seen that in your walmart :)
    Becki S.
    (married to Geoff, son of Eli and Bonnie :)) i love ur honesty about life and family, i'm there doing that just in a way different setting.....

  11. Hi, I don't know if this will help but I shop eBay. I use the term "modest" in my search. Sometimes it works. Especially for skirts. Ask for the waist size and length from the seller.

  12. I had this same rant yesterday trying to buy a swimsuit for my six yr old. It is apalling what passes for swimwear these days. I managed to find one decentish suit, but I know my dd will proabably hate it. I have also had to give away most of the hand-me-downs I've gotten for my dd because they were much to "adult" for her. It's so very frustrating.

    Unfortunately the best places I have found for modest clothing is online. I've also found alot of nice patterns for sewing at the thrift store--since most of them are from the 80's and 90's they seem to cover alot more. I found an online tutorial(i love free tutorials) for making bloomers the other day, so I made myself a pair. I prefer to wear skirts, but I work with babies and spend a lot of time on the floor so now I don't have to worry about exposing myself.

  13. This is my vote for a new post. Please, naturally.

    WV: lobbi

  14. I'm so glad I'm not the only one having trouble with this! As a 20-year-old with conservative tastes, I have such a hard time finding appropriate tops! My favorite place right now is Old Navy-- I usually shop online. They're pretty good for sales on basic solid-colored tees, especially this time of year.

    Thanks for the smiles! :)

  15. My friend told me that the women from her church asked their local Catos to stock modest denim skirts. They got some nice ones in and said if they sell at least x amount of those skirts they'd keep them in stock.
    Find a store that wants hometown business. Or is this just OK? ;)