Monday, October 1, 2012

Dressing a Toddler Girl

Every change of season we have the glorious task of replacing C's wardrobe. Ordinarily the thought of choosing all new clothes for her thrills me, but as she gets a little older the task has become more tedious. Maybe I'm picky, but this season especially I am totally disappointed in the options that are out there. First of all, let me say that we don't shop for toddler clothes in stores like Janie and Jack, or anywhere in the mall for that matter. As a one-income family I can't justify spending that kind of money on clothing that will be subject to the abuse of a toddler, not to mention grown out of in 6 months. I prefer stores like Carters, Kohls, and Target. We've had great luck with jeans, khakis and corduroys from the Jumping Beans line at Kohls and they are often on sale for less than $10 per piece. Now that the weather in the mid-Atlantic is cooling off (some days anyway, it's going to be a freakish 80 degrees on Wednesday) we need some long pants for C to wear. Short sleeves are still fine for now and she has a zip-up hoodie to wear over them if it's too chilly for short sleeves outside.

So off to Kohls we went this morning. I was in search of simple jeans, khakis or corduroys (preferably Jumping Beans since they've held up well for us in the past), some long pants/sleeved pajamas that are cotton (I know the polyester is flame-resistant but I hate it), and possibly a pair of play shoes. Luckily, I found all except the play shoes. The pajamas were easy, though I had to dig a little for the cotton ones. The pants were another story. When I say that the clothing section reminded me of a bag of skittles, I'm giving a conservative description. Every single piece of clothing was bright or neon colors and patterns, both tops and bottoms. I don't even know how you could possibly match them. How do purple leggings with orange polka dots match up with a turquoise top with a penguin in a winter hat on it? It was bordering on sensory overload and I am not good at shopping in chaos. I don't have a problem with children's clothing being colorful and fun, but certainly every inch of them does not need to be so wildly decorated. I would have just abandoned the scene and gone to Carters (who is apparently also having a disappointing love affair with the neon), but I had a 15% off coupon that I was determined to use. After digging, searching, digging, and more searching, I was thisclose to buying her boys' jeans because they were the only non-psychedelic pants I could find. Finally I found a pair of jeans and some tan corduroys. I didn't even bother with tops.

It was on to shoes at that point. My hopes were low. I had already searched online at Stride Rite, Carters, OshKosh, and Kohls only to find shoes that are hot pink, covered in glitter, or Dora the Explorer themed. Gag. It was no surprise that I found exactly that on the shelf at Kohls. There was one little pair of Nikes that were mostly gray with some hot pink detail which were somewhat acceptable, but they didn't have them in C's size. Even if they did I'm not sure I liked them enough to buy them. And so that search continues.

To give you an idea of what I'm dealing with, here is a sampling of the Stride Rite options I've seen...

See? No thank you. No thank you. No thank you.

Baby clothes are almost always tasteful. Even boy clothes are all classic colors- blue, green, orange, tan, black. Why must toddler girl clothes make it look like every day is Wacky-Tacky day?! I have never been a huge fan of wearing bright colors myself, but it would certainly be more tasteful even for a toddler if your top and leggings were not clashing neon colors and patterns. Little kids can still dress like little kids without looking psychotic. And I'm not sure the problem was that it was Kohls either since they also carry Carters and OshKosh in the store. Personally I blame whoever thought it was a good idea to bring back the 80s. That was my childhood. I remember it. It wasn't pretty then, and it ain't pretty now!

Here's to hoping there's better stuff out there by Christmas!

Sidenote: In many years you can look for the follow-up to this post titled, "What the @#$* is my Teenager Wearing?!" as I have a feeling this situation isn't going to get any better.

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