Shopping for uniforms this year has been exhausting, to say the least. Not just for me, but for my 10-year-old daughter.
We are part of the public school system. You would think we would have a ton of options for uniforms. Nope. This year, after YEARS of wearing skorts, she decided she wants to wear shorts and pants. I guess once you hit fifth grade this is concerned with the “cooler” choice in uniforms.
We began our trek one weekend hitting the normal uniform hot spots in town. There were little to none to try on in-store. I heard over and over, “They’re moving everything to online. This is the only shipment we are getting this year.” Of course, this means buying pieces from every outfitter known to man, trying them on, then returning what we need.
Ordering two to three sizes from one store, waiting for them to arrive, trying on, and then ultimately having to return is rough on a preteen girl. After a repeated failure in the delivery and choice of the size, she had a breakdown. The one we, as moms, hope we don’t have to deal with until later in their life. She called herself “fat” through tears. I got angry. Not with her choice of words or her feelings, but with the manufactures of these clothes.
As women, we see this all the time. We can try the same size, same style of jeans on and they can all fit totally different. This is also becoming more and more apparent in children’s clothing.
I had the conversation with her that it isn’t her, it’s the stores and how they make the clothing. I told her (after some amazing advice from other moms) we are no longer focusing on the number, but the fit. Are you comfortable? Do you like the style? I know how she felt and it killed me she was already having those negative thoughts about herself at such a young age.
The following weekend I took her on a shopping excursion. We went from one store to the next, trying on sizes ranging from kids to juniors. After 6+ stores we found only ONE pair of shorts she liked that actually fit. We went to lunch and had the same conversation about number size and fit. She completely understood what I meant.
We are still on the search for uniforms and hopefully, we will find enough for the school year. But, I’m sure once the cooler weather comes and we are looking for pants it will be the same situation all over again.
I’m sure having the conversation with her about the obscure sizing has helped for the moment. I will have the same conversation with her over and over throughout the years, but at least I have a leg up by keeping her aware at this age.
Come on fashion industry! Get with the times! Let’s make more inclusive clothing. Please stop giving our children the same complex you have given their parents throughout the years.