14 September 2012

the teen & tween fashion dilemma

Greetings all,
I have never complained about teen or tween fashion because i simply don't have a personal problem with it.  I have always found gorgeous quality, well priced, non trashy clothes for my 4 children with ease.  I avoid the rubbish & black vamp gear, who on earth designs & buys those awful clothes??  Not me. I don't even go into the stores which sell them.
Alas, i was faced with a dilemma yesterday in David Jones.  I took these pretty children's size 12 Gumboots designed denim shorts to the counter & explained my issue to the lovely Fiona (mother of 4 adult daughters, perfect mentor) siting my 13 year old is slim & these shorts would still be baggy on her, yet hips have to be coming eventually . . . however, i'm stuck with a teen fashion dilemma . . . these shorts would look adorable on my daughter this Summer, but incredibly inappropriate on her more developed peers.  Can she simply get away with these little short shorts, because she looks younger than her age??  It's the whole over-sexualisation of children issue.  Are we over thinking it??  Clearly these are a simple pair of Summer shorts on a sweet young lady??  Is it Ok because she doesn't have hips & boobs, boys & men won't be looking at her??  Why do i think the same shorts would be inappropriate if she did have a woman's body??  She still an innocent mind??  She has red & khaki shorts the same size, wears them often, no worries.  Is it because these are denim??  They're not even tight Daisy Dukes!!  
I bought them.  She didn't like them.  The fabric patches "aren't my style Mum".  Said she'd wear them around the house & to the pool.  But not out.  Problem solved??  Her sisters love them.  See you for round 2 in 2 years when the twins want to wear them!!  
 Now i never complain about boys fashion either, because i stick to a few brands - Fred Bare, Country Road & Seed.  Their graphics aren't offensive or cliche, they are clever & cool, printed on quality of Tshirt material with strong stitching.   
Yes, Fred Bare boys Tshirts are $40 each (i wait for discounts & sales) but they for last years & don't fade.  In fact, these two Ts i picked up yesterday, fit all 4 of my children & all 4 will wear them too.  Children's fashion is my hobby, truly, that is why i spend money on it where others spend cash on coffee, takeaway food & pricey events . . . i save up for children's fashion, good quality & style.  Once children hit school they have a uniform 5 days a week, they require a small selection clothes, so i invest in the good gear.  I'm also an expert in stain removal, so yes, they do wear these clothes to messy play dates & dare i say it, my daughters wear dresses to parties & my son wears a button down shirt - they are often the only children not in jeans & Tshirts, the mums comment (often to mock me) i reiterate - children's fashion is my hobby.
 My sister openly knocks me about my obsession with designer children's fashion . . . guess who asks for the hand-me-downs??  FYI i've kept all my sons tiny Fred Bare clothes to make into a patchwork quilt for when he runs off with some wife who steals him away from me.  
Do you share my interest on children's fashion??  Have you moved into the murky water of teen fashion yet??  Love Posie


Nicola said...

Yes & Yes! One of the nicest things about living in France is the gorgeous clothes for children (not the prices though!). It is hard for us to shop for my 11 year old daughter just like you as she has no hips and a tiny frame. She wants the grown up clothes but can still fit into age 7 shorts and bikinis! I bought some Fred Bare outfits for my twins when we visited Australia when they were toddlers. They wore them forever and like you I still have them. This post ticks all my boxes!!

Sophie Slim said...

Bah Posie, I dont know how you can afford it! I can barely keep my self in good looking clothes, let alone my husband and future children! I dread the day I have to buy them full priced clothing (adult prices).

Sophie Slim said...

Oh! and THANK YOU for not having a spam checker thingy. xx

Melbourne Girl said...

I don't have a major interest in kids clothing because I don't have kids. But I am always on the lookout for nice things around Christmas, because I like to buy clothes (dresses) for the littlies, rather than toys.

BUT...I do have a problem with the way some kids/teens clothing designers seem to think the girls are mini pole dancers.

Those shorts you bought look fine to me...but I've seen some young teen girls wearing shorts so short and tops so teeny, very little is left to the imagination.

Corrie said...

you know my love of kids clothes and I have 5 to dress! I learnt with keira that the cheap stuff all got thrown out and didn't last till the next baby! I learnt by the twins came around to buy better quality and emerson was able to wear some beautiful baby clothes from petit bateau and country road, okaidi and gap that had been through more than one baby!

so I learnt the hard way and like you I rarely ever pay full price for anything! even on shoes! my girls birkenstocks and salt water sandals go to the next girl down and that is a money saver right there.

I love dressing my kids up and if you can buy nice clothes for them why not!!!!!

I'm pretty sure all my large family friends would agree with me too:) more on the initial outlay for the bigger kids but saving in the long run!

and same applies for me!! I believe in quality for myself and a dress lasting a few years not just one season. I also buy for myself on sale or special offer time and am still wearing dresses I've been wearing for years!

and don't forget ebay! if you love country road but can't afford it get on ebay, so many hardly used as new clothes on ebay to pick up!

and now imagine the fun we're going to have shopping it up in the states!

oh and the shorts look fine - now if they were frayed and showing her undies I'd be having a quiet word to you!

Mum on the Run said...

I would rather shop for/dress my children than myself!
:-) x

Nat - Muddy Farmwife said...

I too dress my kids in dresses and button down shirts for parties, I think it's the right thing to do.
I tend to try and buy reliable brands in the end of season sales for next year's season, as to me it doesn't matter whether it's 'in fashion' as long as it's quality and going to last.
As for the teen/tween fashion, I am worried, very worried as it seems to be getting worse, I find it incredibly hard to buy shorts that aren't shorty shorts for my 3 little girls, and shorty shorts are definitely not practical on the farm or for sun protection. Same for shirts, it is hard to find proper shorts sleeves shirts, not singlets or cap sleeves which just don't provide enough sun protection. Drives me nuts!

fee @ chipper nelly said...

He jennie - I have had major girl envy and look forward to the day when my friends with girls have these dilemas!!! Boys may be less fun to buy for, but here's the upside.
I LOVE finding cool T-shits for them - and having three means I can justify a slightly higher price cos they all get to wear them. Happy days..fee x (and happy weekend!)

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhh I didn't know about Fred Bare. Just found their website and am in love. Thanks. I think???? I see trouble ahead for the credit card...

polkadotpeticoat said...

this is a dilemma we all face with girls clothes I hate it too!

The Provincial Homemaker said...

I often say Ginger has more designer fashion than I do. But, she also has grandparents and aunts etc that buy it. I got a laugh at playgroup one day when they were all incredulous that I actually scrub clothing - this was after a mulberry stain incident (lemon juice takes it out). But, really I can't stand stained clothing:)

B is building a house said...

A family member buys high end designer clothes for her kids (2 and 5) but all her clothes is from target and supre. And by high end designer I mean Ralph Lauren, DKNY etc. I will never understand it though...

Unknown said...

I'm lucky that i have a friend who hands all her girls clothes onto me for the twins at the moment. she has lots of family members who buy the designer gear so we get some fantastic scores! I don't tend to buy it myself...too expensive for two.
My Miss Teen is quite the prude really and i would have brought those shorts too but not sure she would have worn them....i tell myself to be grateful for that sort of reasoning lol!

Polly said...

I love it and I too like to buy good quality. I have found Charlie and me are a great less expensive brand which seems classic without numerous silly slogans and I love country road for all my kids.

Unknown said...

Teen girl clothing is definitely a bit of a minefield! My 14 year old likes wearing those little short shorts, mainly because they are nice and comfy on a hot day, and I don't mind her wearing them because she doesn't have a womanly body as yet. I have to say if she was a bit more developed like some of her friends are I would think twice before letting her wear them in public! Might be a bit of a double standard as she is the same age as her friends, but I feel that young girls who are mentally still young girls and not as old as their advanced body makes them look shouldn't be showing too much skin as I do feel that men (yes, men - not boys) will look at them differently. Really, who in their right mind would want men looking at their little girl in a sexual way?
Unfortunately my budget doesn't extend to buying the better quality clothing brands, I tend to buy most of mine and the kids clothing from the clearance racks, usually at Target or Big W but I have to say that they stand up well to the daily wear and tear that my children put them through! xx