a kid wear department like a clown show’s dressing room.

(Content Warning: Rant on kid-related stuff follows.)

Once upon a time, I thought that buying clothes for myself was just about the most aggravating possible shopping experience.  Turns out I was dead wrong–shopping for two preschoolers is worse by far.

For starters, why is it that I can’t find pants to fit these kids to save my life?  If they’re long enough to not end above the ankle, they’re invariably much too wide in the waist.  If the waist fits, they’re too short.  Quinn needs pants that are Size 5 in length, and Size 4 at the most in waist circumference.  Right now I have to buy the Size 5 pants, and tighten them up with a belt.  Lyra has the same problem, which is aggravated in her case because few girl pants even have belt loops.  Now, I know my kids are not particularly skinny, but the near-universal occurrence of too-short-or-too-waisty pants leads me to believe that being smack in the 50th percentile for height and weight is somehow unusual for kids these days.

Then there’s the lack of variety in girl clothing.  When I go shopping for Lyra, I have a great variety of options, as long as I look for either a.) glittery princess shit, b.) Lil Bratz-type wannabe club couture, or c.) Prostitot wear.  I’m sorry, but there’s absolutely no reason for midriff-revealing clothing in the pre-teen age bracket, and that goes double for the pre-school bracket.  Do people really tart up their little girls like Tijuana hookers?

Last point of grievance: the almost complete lack of shoes that don’t have fucking Velcro fasteners.  Some of us would actually like to teach our kids to tie their own shoes, thank you very much.

Can’t I just buy normal freaking clothes for my kids, please?  Jeans that fit boys of average weight and build?  Plain button-down shirts?  T-shirts and footwear without cartoon endorsements?  Girl clothes that aren’t glittery, sugary, cutesy, slutty, or cheesy?  I swear, it’s enough to make a Dad look at stitching patterns for sack cloth ponchos…


22 thoughts on “a kid wear department like a clown show’s dressing room.

  1. SemperGumby says:

    Have you tried LL Bean right there in West Leb? Pricey I imagine but it would seem to fit what you’re looking for…

  2. Ami says:

    I dressed my daughter in boy clothes for years.
    She never knew.


    When I had portraits done, she and her brother were dressed alike… and he didn’t have to wear a dress or a princess shirt.


  3. MauserGirl says:

    I know some people don’t like them, but have you considered going to the Thrift Store for children’s clothes, if there’s one near you?

    Most thrift stores have a ton of children’s clothing (and other kids’ stuff) to suit almost any taste. They certainly have a much wider variety than Walmart of any children’s departments or children’s stores, and you can’t beat the prices, especially when you have kids that will outgrow anything you buy them in just a few weeks. Where else can you get a $2 T-shirt and a $4 pair of pants?

    As far as girls’ clothes go – who’s to say you can’t shop in the boys’ section for Lyra? As long as she likes it and you like it, who’s to say what she should be wearing? I know I preferred anything with animals (horses, in particular) over anything pink and sparkly. I still don’t like pink. And there’s no reason why girls should be limited to “girls” clothes …

  4. DaddyBear says:

    We ended up buying a lot of my daughter’s clothing online. If you don’t want her to wear the “I wanna be a ho” starter set, finding in big box stores is out, and the selection at other stores is really small. We had a lot of luck with Gymboree.

  5. Nancy R. says:


    I’ve got some girls jeans in “slim” that belonged to Sweet Daughter’s cousin. Seriously — that girl has no bum. Sweet Daughter is not built on those lines, and so if you’d like me to ship them to you, I’d be delighted.

  6. A Horse Thief says:

    I have the same pants length/width problem with my boys. The solution is to find pants with the internal belts (elastic with buttons). We usually get ours at The Children’s Place when they go on sale.

    As a bonus, when they become the favorite pants you can let out the waist, cut them off at the hole in the knee and have shorts that fit.

  7. Calvin's mom says:

    Circo is not bad (a Target brand), and most of their pants for boys and for girls have the elastic-and-button tightening system. (Eldest daughter is 9, and needs a 6 in the waist and a 11 in length; son is 6 and needs a 4 waist and 6 length). They’re also not bad from the logos/glitter/trampwear stance.

    Also, thrift stores and Land’s End are good.

  8. Kim says:

    I have had good luck finding adjustable waist pants for my 4yo son, (18-24 month waist, 4T length) at Target, Old Navy, and Kohl’s. The OshKosh Jeans I purchased at Target have worn really well, but I don’t know if they carry them in the 4-7 sizes.

  9. kneil says:

    We’ve had a lot of luck buy clothes from “Hana Andersson” for my little girl.

    BTW: If you want to escape the evil kids shows, I got my 4 1/2 year old hooked on dinosaur docudramas via BBC’s “Prehistoric Park”.

  10. Jay G. says:

    Opting for cloth sack here, boss…

  11. MarkHB says:

    Just spray ’em with insulation foam. They’ll think it’s a game, and you’ll short-circuit the whole “new clothes every four months” crap.

  12. MaryAnne says:

    I feel your pain. I have a 4 year old boy with the same sizing issues. The Target in our area doesn’t have adjustable waist anything, but Old Navy does. Except all their jeans come in some sort of eternally dirty looking pre-mangled finish, they never have dress pants in his size, and I can’t find a decent dress shirt to save my life. And one walk through their girls’ section makes me VERY glad I had a boy. Gymboree has decent stuff but is WAY out of my price bracket. Makes me wish I’d paid attention when my grandmother tried to teach me to sew.

  13. julie says:

    know exactly how you feel – except that both my girls are TALL.

    Miss 6 is wearing size 10-12 and Miss 8 is wearing size 12-14 JUST so the length fits – this, of course, means they’re both well and truely out of the ‘girls’ clothes and into the tweenies (read “no-option-but-Prostitot-wear”). The waists of course are WAY TOO LARGE!

    Not sure what the solution is – other than learning to sew!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. john b says:

    I haven’t got to your stage yet. My 10 month old is a little large for his size, I finally have a use for that tape measure that Col. Cooper disapproved of. “But, Jeff, that’s just for barroom betting.”

    Any possible daughters will probably be made to wear dresses somewhere between Snow White, and Mennonite.

    Prostitot! I love what you can do with the language Marko. I’m severely handicapped in that I was raised with American English, thus am extremely, comfortably, lazy, with it.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      I didn’t actually come up with that term, but I adopted it enthusiastically. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much the way of the English language.

  15. I have the very same problem with clothes for The Little Girl. Big enough in the waist = three or four inches too long. Correct length? Only if you don’t mind cutting your kid in half.

    Honestly. I wonder what the kids that can actually wear this stuff look like.


  16. Pol Mordreth says:

    My kids are all tall and thin, so I have dealt with the same issue. Surprisingly enough, Wal-Mart always had a decent selection of basic jeans – tees – shirts for both boys and girls. I have found that Kohls also has a great selection.

    I would recommend not shopping at Target if you are a gun person. They give a sizeable amount of money every year to the Joyce Foundation, some of which makes it to the Brady bunch and the VPC.



  17. PhillipC says:

    My son is very slender, and we have to get the elastic-button adjustable pants for him when we get pants. Fortunately we’re in Florida, so for nine months of the year it’s shorts weather.

    He’s also staying in clothes for a lot longer than we have any right to expect. We’re just now starting to retire some of his 2T clothes, and he’s 4 1/2. If I’m not mistaken, he still wears something that’s listed as 18month. Somehow I expect when the growth spurt hits, it’s going to hit HARD.

  18. Mongol says:

    I don’t have kids, but I have the same problem finding clothes that fit me.

    I recently got a custom-made duster coat, and had to get size medium length, size small arms, and an extra-large chest.

    Sometimes I hate being built like a cave-troll. 😦

  19. ArkieRN says:

    I knew that shoe tying had become thought of as unnecessary when I bought a Dressy Bessie doll for my grand-daughter and learned that they now come with Velcro shoes. I was scandalized!

  20. George says:

    I’ve had a lot of luck at Gymboree. The shortie wears a lot of long tops with tights underneath.

  21. Laughingdog says:


    The problem in your case is that your kids, sadly, are nowhere near the median size. Based on what you are saying, the average child of their height weighs significantly more.

    So your choices are:
    a) accept that you can’t find clothes that will fit them.
    b) find a new place to shop that isn’t targeting the “fast food junkie” families.
    c) learn to sew
    d) embrace McDonalds and shove those fries into your kids’ mouths as fast as you can.

    Which is the ideal solution is entirely up to you. 😉

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