First Person || Bunnies and princesses v midriff girl in tight pants

As the mother of a young girl I have had to negotiate the clothing journey, and to be honest I’m not sure I like where it’s headed.  

For instance, have you ever noticed the difference in the sort of clothing you can buy for a very young girl compared to a slightly older girl.

I’m not talking about the bunny laden jumpsuits of a two year old – rather the stark change in style for someone who’s 7 turning 8.

For the uninitiated girls clothing comes in sizing clusters. That is baby to 12 months, girls 12 months to 7 years, and 8 and above.

Our family is on the upper edge of the middle group, where Miss 7 (going on 17) is about to shop with the big girls.

That’s scary on a number of fronts, not the least of which is the fact that she doesn’t like shopping anyway.

I know, right, who doesn’t like shopping!

But it’s equally scary for me as a mum, because the clothing is so very different.

You go from having a little girl with bunnies on her three quarter pants, and kittens on her coat, to midriff girl in tight pants.

As you get older the less you can show off your midriff the better, as for the tight pants – well let’s not go there – but apparently that works in reverse when you’re a young girl looking to impress. (How I am not totally sure) 

Now I’m no prude, but this seems to happen overnight, and completely at the whim of the department stores.

You go from shopping in one section of the store to another, but you may as well be shopping on another planet.

Having come this far I’m not totally sure I am upset about this because I can no longer wear this sort of clothing, or because my daughter wants to – but I will stress, still doesn’t want to actually do the shopping.  

I ask you what’s wrong with bunnies on coats and three quarter pants with swans and princesses? And what’s this obsession with black?

I made a pack with my husband not to buy black for our daughter, but that is getting increasingly difficult. It’s like a negotiation I am not sure I will win. 

And like everything that comes with raising children, there’s no manual to tell us how it should be done.

I just have one plea for the department stores, a few more bunnies and princesses for the older kids please – because, regardless of what my daughter wants – I’m not ready to let go just yet.

Fiona Ferguson is a Fairfax Media journalist. 

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