Time again for the overly earnest love letter to the Internet
Watermelon for dinner

What the kids are wearing these days

Being proper Seattleites, my children demanded to go to the indoor pool on this beautiful 83 degree day. "How about the sprinkler!" I suggested. "I'll fill up the pool!" That was good for maybe half an hour. "Mommy it's too hooooottttt." After that it was, "Can we go to the YYYYYYYYYY?" 

Damn the Y. But also GOD BLESS THE Y. Best ridiculous monthly bill I've ever signed up for. Now if Emma could just suck it up and stop crying in childcare we'd be golden. 

While Phillip took the big kids to the Y, Emma and I stopped at the nearby Fred Meyer. OSTENSIBLY I was looking for flip flops for the big kids, but I ended up buying, ah, summer wardrobes. I keep being delighted with all the clothes I already HAVE for Emma, and wondering why my big kids have nothing summery to wear and/or shoes that fit and/or jeans without holes and/or skirts that aren't scandalously short. I really did mean to buy JUST FLIP FLOPS, but I left the store with something like forty-seven shirts and thirty-nine pairs of capri pants for Molly. Oh, and a few shirts and shorts for Jack. We just finished modeling everything for Daddy and I'm pleased AND horrified that everything fit perfectly. I kept thinking, "Oh, that'll be too big, but better too big than too small! She'll grow into it! It has an adjustable waist, so we're all good!" (WE DID NOT NEED THE ADJUSTABLE WAIST.) 

But you guys, this was the first time I shopped in the Bigger Girl area. Not the infant and toddler section, the 4-6X section, and DUDES. There was exactly one rack of the type of clothes I would dress my kid in. The rest was Mini-Teenager, Mini-Hoochie-Teenager, Branded Sparkly Horrors, and Just Plain Ugly. I have some definite Feelings about age-appropriate clothing, but other than that I don't think I'm too picky. I often let Molly pick her own clothes, I'm learning to get over it if it doesn't match perfectly, and as long as it's clean and fits I will abide the layers upon layers of hot pink tulle. HOWEVER. I was surprised at how many things I would never ever let her wear, on account of Hideosity. Is that a word? It is now. There are always a lot of hideous clothes, but in the Bigger Girl Section at Fred Meyer, the hideous was about 90%.

What was not hideous? The teeny little Carters section where I bought the heaps of t-shirts and capri pants. And one pair of shorts because they were the only Not Booty Shorts That Also Matched The Shirts that I could find. SHEESH. These are just play clothes and all the colors and patterns mixed and matched and they don't SAY things, they aren't BEDAZZLED, they aren't trying to be sixteen. Carters 4Eva! 

I thought I should probably buy Jack some things too, as he's just in need as Molly, he's just not as... well, honestly, he and I are both fine if he wants to wear his googly-eyed shark t-shirt four days in a row. (Not to school. I have a nice assortment of brownnosey polo shirts for school.) But he needed a few pairs of shorts and some new t-shirts and I bought the only three t-shirts in the store that were not 1) camoflage or 2) stamped with skull and bones graphics. NO SKULLS AND BONES. HE IS [ALMOST] SIX. NO NO NO. YUCK. 

Sorry. I have opinions. 

I also don't want things smothered in sports pictures or dirt bikes or motorcycles or cutesy-tough sayings. YUCK! There are certain things Jack likes. For a while I was buying bug or sea creature shirts. Dinosaur shirts. Now I'm on the lookout for superhero shirts that aren't nine hundred dollars. But they still need to be CUTE. These shirts are TERRIBLE. 

And it's not just Fred Meyer, it's anywhere where kid clothes are relatively inexpensive. There are always cute things at the cute stores, but sometimes I just want a stack of five dollar t-shirts he can get dirty at the playground. Is it too much to ask that I not hate whatever is pictured on the front? ANNOYING. 

I feel like I have the rest of my life to disapprove of what my children are wearing. I don't need to start NOW.

Anyway, this is why I buy five dozen plain colored t-shirts from Old Navy before school starts. Of course these are worn out immediately, but at least I don't actively dislike them. 

GET OFF MY LAWN!

Ahem. 

My neighbor? The parking police? She made a point to smile at me as I drove by yesterday. What do you think THAT means, hmm? 

I'm going to go put my kids to bed, open a Beer of Mexico, and make my husband sit on the deck with me and appreciate the weather. Happy Sunday evening. 

Comments

Rachel

Wait, I live in Texas and I thought Fred Meyer was a grocery store. Is it more like a target?

Hillary

UGH, the skulls and crossbones all over the big boys' clothes. And stupid sayings. And everything looking vaguely sinister. Poor R is wearing clothes that just barely fit him right now because I have not wanted to admit he really needs me to shop exclusively in the big boys' department for him.

Kelsi

I love Old Navy! It's my go-to place for Sophie's clothes, because like you pointed out, they have cute, cheap clothes. I know before I buy from them that the clothes I purchase will look worn after about the 3rd wash, but who cares! They are cheap play clothes that she will outgrow in a month anyways. I've also had a decent amount of luck at Kohl's and Crazy 8, Gymboree only if it's on sale. I've also been fortunate enough to buy some hand-me-downs from friends that were still in excellent condition. I just don't see the point in spending a lot on kids clothes when they will inevitably get stained and be outgrown. We don't have a Fred Meyer here, or I would try them as well. But, I did try our local JCPenney's and was shocked at how ugly most of their selection was.

Sonya

I'm with Rachel, I thought Fred Meyer was a grocery store! I sobbed when Sophie outgrew Carter's. They only go up to 6X in girls' clothes and she hit size 7 (at age 4-she's a giant) this spring. I tend to buy clothes at Target or Children's Place for play-leggings and shorts and t-shirts-and then nicer clothes from Crazy 8s and Gymboree. I have not had great luck with Old Navy clothes and I do love Gap Kids, but I just forget to go there a lot of the time.

Since Sophie is already wearing such big sizes, I often have the dilemma of finding age-appropriate clothing. I want her to still look like a sweet kid, not some angsty tween verging into goth territory. That's why I like Crazy 8s and Gymboree-the clothes cost a little more, but they are sweet, colorful, and preppy. And they wash well and last. I won't shop at Justice for Girls, which I think must be the store of choice for the tween set. LOL.

Sara

Oh man, Children's Place all the way. They are always having killer sales, they are cheap to begin with, and they sell no Baby Hooker clothes.

But basically, we buy no clothes for our youngest, a boy, as he apparently lives entirely in awesome handmedowns.

Steph

Beer of Mexico! That tickled this grad student who is studying Latin America!

AmyRyb

I am with you on the skulls and other crap on boys clothes. My almost-five-year-old pretty much waved goodbye to 5T over the winter, and I am so annoyed by the crap on boys shirts in the older section. I don't mind old-school sports, but the extreme sports and the skulls and whatever else drive me nuts. I'm OK with the superheroes, but you're right--it has to look decent. I just bought him new undies and totally steered him toward the cool ones with just superhero logos, rather than the crazy ones with the cartoony superhero drawings on them. Sad though I am that I don't have a girl, my only consolation once I found out #2 was a boy was walking past the big girl section at Target and feeling relief I wouldn't be dressing a girl from that section in seven years. I do enjoy Children's Place--good coupons all the time, and their graphic tees are a little more PG/respectable. I was a little annoyed that most of their spring polos had a little skull icon embroidered on them (ugh) but for the most part their stuff is cute and they have a good selection of basic clothes. I, too, am a Carter's addict, and I think 99% of the clothing my baby is wearing right now--between hand-me-downs and new stuff--is Carter's. I usually stick to Target and Old Navy beyond that, but I've also ventured into Walmart for basics like plain tees and cheap shorts. There's a fair share of ugly there, too, but at least you're paying less for it. I figure I'll only be able to pull the Walmart shopping off for a little longer before he hits real school and gets stuck on brands, but it works for now :)

Kelley

I love Gymboree when they have sales as others have mentioned plus using my GymBucks and rewards I end up paying $5-$7 an item. For my oldest son I hit Marshall's and TJ Maxx for really cute but fairly inexpensive Puma and Nike stuff and my youngest son has a lot of hand me downs :)
My daughter is the middle child and most of her clothing is Gymboree or Old Navy (like I said, only on sale/clearance) and Matilda Jane (don't get me started on my love of knot dresses and ruffle pants lol.) I host shows so we have quite a bit of their new stuff for church, etc and other older MJ I buy off eBay or consignment at pretty good prices and I let her play in them with no worries.

Megan @ Mama Bub

Try buying an inexpensive swim shirt for boys without a skull on it. GO AHEAD AND TRY. I mean, couldn't we just go with a surfboard if we can't make it plain? Or even a shark? Why the skulls?

emah

If you watch Lands End and LL Bean you can get some good-quality basics that wear well and aren't super-expensive. They have plain stuff, and stripes, and very little ickiness.

My 3-year-old is getting into big girl sections -- she's size 5 right now, and growing fast -- and it scares the bejesus out of me. I am a huge fan of boys preppy shirts with matching hair bows, which I get lots of compliments on . . . of course, you seem to have a girly-girl, so perhaps not.

Lindsay

Loving the Seattle weather right now! Heading out to the balcony, I had a "beer of Mexico" in mind but then my husband opened a Vinho Verde instead. Who am I to complain?!

Elsha

I almost gave up hope shopping for summer clothes for Kalena who is now wearing a size 6. No more toddler section for her! Fortunately I discovered Children's Place and Crazy 8. Not too spendy, and still little girl clothing. Not pre-teen hooker attire. I also had good luck there with clothes for Will.

Wendy

I hate hate hate the hoochie clothes for little girls. My daughters are 3, but growing into size 5 and 6, and I refuse to buy them low-rise pants and shirts with Justin Bieber on them. They are very colour-specific too, which makes life harder. One will only wear light pink, the other light purple. Buy other colours? The clothes get torn off, or sit in the drawer. Luckily, Children's Place have those colours this season, so I've bought 5 pairs of lace trimmed capris and about 5 matching tshirts for each. And that's what they've got to wear. I'm not a fan of neon, or sequins, or disney clothes, and it's getting hard to find things that aren't branded and glitzed up.
Even harder for my son-he's nearly 7, and won't wear jeans. So it's sweatpants only. Hard to find tall-skinny cut sweats! I order all his shorts and pants off the Old Navy website (did I mention his fav colour is red??). And I refuse to buy shirts with skulls, or sports on the that he doesn't like. Luckily, Walmart and Sears have a line of Lego-themed tshirts for about $7 a piece,and he has um...maybe a dozen?
A new Target just opened in our local mall yesterday, and I went to check out the clothes for kids, but was not impressed at all. I was hoping for more normal and less neon, but no such luck.

Erin G @ebum1101

I cannot quit Carter's. Cannot.

Natasha

Try shopping for an 8yo girl who is super tall :/ WHAT IS WITH ALL THE BABY HOOKER CLOTHES. Justice is the devil. We stick to GAP, Tea, and Boden. I hit the sales haaaard
And ditto with the boys clothes!!!!! I hate sayings on shirts in general.... Then add some sport crap? No thanks. Dinosaurs and polos.

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