Single dad needs your advice about buying clothes for his daughter

by singlemomseeking on February 26, 2009

mini-skirt

As many of you know, I love getting your emails.

I often turn to Dr. Leah, aka The Sanity Fairy ™, to help me answer some of the heavier parenting questions.

And very often, I turn to all of you. Thanks!

So, here’s the latest, from Steve, the single dad of twins — a son and a daughter — who often comments here as “SDMktg.”

Steve is a very caring and devoted father who lives in southern California. Although we haven’t met in person (yet!), it’s clear that he’s a great cook, baker, dad, and boyfriend. (Every year, he bakes homemade cakes for his twins’ birthdays!)

Steve recently wrote to ask about a clothing dilemma regarding his daughter.

Here’s the deal:

“I’m having a hard time finding pants that fit my seven-year-old daughter.”

“She’s the biggest kid in her class, — and to use the cliché, she’s big boned.”

There isn’t a weight issue here. It’s simply a challenge for this dad to find pants that fit his daughter in both the waist and length.

“I’ve tried buying pants a couple sizes larger — like a 10 — but then they are way too long in the legs.  Rolling them up doesn’t work and hemming them isn’t the best either because the knees end up hitting near her shins.”

“I’m hoping someone out there in the blogging world will have some suggestion,” adds Steve. “Maybe another parent knows about a brand or store that has clothes for bigger kids.”

Before you jump in and ask if Steve’s daughter might wear skirts instead, I already asked him that.

“It makes me insane the stores and designers have all decided that micro minis are appropriate for elementary school girls,” Steve says. “I don’t care if they have built in shorts underneath, they are still too short.”

Not only do those super-short skirts show too much leg, Steve says, “but my daughter is also fair skinned and burns very easily.”

So, there are two issues here:

First, if you have any suggestions for Steve –  where can he find perfect-fitting pants for his first-grader? — let’s hear them!

Second, if you have a daughter, how do you feel about these “micro minis”?

Do you let your daughter wear short skirts, does it depend on her age, or never?

Photo from Cookies Kids

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

MC February 27, 2009 at 5:16 am

Stretch pants! Target sells tons and at cheap prices, too. If her size is too tight, just get a larger size and hem them. And they’re totally in style too–all the little girls seem to live in them. They’re typically worn with a longer, untucked top or even a dress that comes down below the hips.

Re skirts–our here in freezing Minnesota all the little girls wear stretch pants (& snow boots!) under their skirts and dresses (on the days when they feel like wearing skirts and dresses). It’s a cute look and solves the too-short-skirt problem. An alternative is wooly tights, but the feet in these seem to wear out too soon. In the summer, most of the girls here wear shorts or capri-length leggings under their skirts.

I’ve found it helps to let my daughter pick out her clothes to wear each day by herself. I just exercise veto power depending on the weather or if something’s too short or too small. She and her little friends like being “fashion trend-setters” by putting together crazy color mixes and patterns. Typically these days she wears to school a knit dress over stretch pants, and then a rock band T-shirt over the dress and finally a hoody. No, she doesn’t end up looking like a little preppy angel from the J Crew catalogue, but she’s comfortable, covered, dressed in layers if she gets too warm, and ready to play soccer if she wants to at recess.

Check out Lands End Kids online—they’re stuff is good quality and sized much larger than Target or Walmart’s clothing. In addition, many of the pants have adjustable waistbands and also come in three “width” sizes–I don’t remember what they’re called, something like slim, regular and chubby.

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Zooey February 27, 2009 at 6:00 am

Okay, so I’m not a regular reader. I just followed a random link on another site. Not a single mom (or mom at all). Anyway, I had a similar problem when I was a kid. I was HUGE for a kid, and it sounds like it’s very similar to this girl. I was big enough to wear regular ladies’ sizes, but the length and proportions were wrong. One of the biggest problems was that I still had the rectangular figure of a little girl and the pants would look comical with the hips sticking out. Long story short, I wore men’s pants. They’re sized in waist and length and they don’t have hips. Good luck!

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Thena February 27, 2009 at 6:49 am

I’ve always had the same problem with my step-daughter. Have you thought about capris? In order for them to fit in the waist they would probably almost be long enough to be considered pants. Or thats how it was with us. As far as stores JC Penneys is great for kids plus sizes, please dont let that offend you, just the way there made, bigger in the waist and shorter

Thena´s last blog post…Baby Books

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MindyMom February 27, 2009 at 7:19 am

This is a tough one. I’ve faced the “fit” issue with each of my older 3 girls. My oldest is petite and I would always have to buy smaller sizes than her peer group so couldn’t wear the styles her friends were wearing. My 2nd daughter is tall and thin and if jeans fit her in the waist they are too short, (abercrombie slim fit -though expensive were the only jeans that fit for years, now they are too short also) and my 3rd daughter is petite but a little chunky. My solution for her has been to buy a larger size and hem the length. Old navy has less expensive jeans the price of altering (I don’t sew)balances it out. On the skirts I let them wear them but if they are WAY too short I tell them they have outgrown them and it’s time to hand them down.

MindyMom´s last blog post…What’s Your Dating Age-Range?

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Noreen February 27, 2009 at 7:31 am

My 7 yr. old daughter who is all legs, wears mini skirts but ONLY if she wears leggings, usually capri length, underneath. That way she gets the skirt but doesn’t have to wear tights, which she doesn’t like.
As for better fitting pants for big boned kids, Old Navy makes plus sizes for girls, at least size 10 and up.

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Legal Editor Mom February 27, 2009 at 8:19 am

I currently have a problem buying clothes for my daughter and she’s only 5. She’s in between sizes so nothing fits right. Jeans can be tough due to the waste vs. length issue, so my daughter wears a lot of leggings. The elastic at the waste makes for an easier fit, and length never seems to be a problem. (Thanks to capris, the shorter ones look intentional! And cute, with a larger top.)

I also suggest buying higher quality clothing, but on sale, since the kids grow so quickly and what fits today won’t fit for very long!

I chuckled when I read this because when I was a junior in high school a looooong time ago, mini skirts had just come out. My mom bought me some and when my dad saw me in one coming FROM school, he had a fit! And minis back then were to the knee! I do agree that the ones that are out now for girls are way too short. I let my daughter wear them in cooler weather only with tights underneath. Noreen also has a great suggestion which I’ve used; there are cute outfits out there now with the short skirts AND leggings. Or you can make your own combinations…

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singlemomseeking February 27, 2009 at 10:53 am

You mamas are amazing!! I knew that Steve could count on you. Thank you, thank you!!

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The Exception February 27, 2009 at 8:42 am

My daughter has two skirts but she wears them with the decorated tights. I don’t mind her wearing them now, but next year… I am not so sure. (And I bought the things)

We do Gap jeans. They have the three sizes (slim, regular, and plus) and they have adjusting waists. They also have the styles that allow you to choose the boot cut, skinny leg, straight… that sort of thing which carries over into a different fit for different body types. I can’t imagine not having the adjusting waist feature… It has saved me since day one as my daughter runs on the thin side but hates things around her hips as it bothers her hip bones. You can find brands that run roomier or thinner too.

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wandamd February 27, 2009 at 8:42 am

Gymboree online also has plus sized pants if you order online.

I have the opposit problem and they also have slim sizes.

I do have the same issue with the mini-skirt-for-a-child, in fact i’m not a big fan of the kids clothes that mimic adult styles in general! Children’s place always carry’s these mid-thigh biker-type cotton shorts that i have her wear under a shorter skirt in the summer. Also, gymboree (i am not pushing them just putting this info out there :) sews shorts into most of their shorter skirts.

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Heather February 27, 2009 at 8:55 am

Children’s place has pants that have buttons on the inside so you have buy a larger size and then pull them in around the waist if needed. I have a four year old that is very tall and skinny for her age. I have to buy size 6 for her just to get them long enough and then pull them in around the waist. Target also carries some pants that are able to do this.

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singlemomseeking February 27, 2009 at 10:53 am

Yes, Heather, THOSE are the pants I was talking about with buttons on the inside. I didn’t know they were at Children’s Place, too! I’ve only seen them at Old Navy and The Gap. Thanks!

I DO let my daughter wear short “skorts” — skirts with shorts underneath — during the hot summer. I’d love to hear other parents’ view on short skirts/skorts.

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debra February 27, 2009 at 9:08 am

I’ve had a lot of luck with Lands End as well, though for boys clothes, but the same issue, need a larger waist, but the next size is just too huge everywhere else. Sears in my area carries LandsEnd, so we can try on in store, then order more online in other colors if the store hasn’t got them.

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Kari February 27, 2009 at 9:10 am

My daughter was the exact opposite taller and so so so skinny, she still is. Even the slim fit pants are too big in the waist. JC Penny seems to have a line that caters to all shapes and sizes for the girls. I forget the brand name but when I am able to I’ll check and report back the brand.

Kari´s last blog post…Banking Day The New Financial Life Has Begun

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singlemomseeking February 27, 2009 at 10:52 am

Kari, that’s our deal here, too! I have a very slim kid, so almost all of her pants are too big. I either need to take in the waist with a very hap-hazard sewing trick, or find those pants with a “buttoned belt” sewn in — from Old Navy.

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S February 27, 2009 at 10:58 am

Check out CheekyBanana.com – they will customize for you and the clothes are sweet!

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Heather February 27, 2009 at 12:06 pm

SingleMomSeeking, Check Target also. Not all there pants have the buttons but alot of them do. My child is mixed raced and she is going to be one tall women….43 inch tall, size 1 shoe and 6 plus in clothes but only 37 pounds at 4 years old. Let me tell you I have friends that are on the look out for clothes that will fit and they buy and bring them to me when they find them. Good luck to your friend that is need of pant for his daughter. If he finds that pants fit but at too long and need to be taking up. He can buy webbing that you can fold the pants up with put the webbing in between the pants and iron up the hem. I have done this for pants and it is a great way to take up pants without having to sew.

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SDMktg February 27, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Thank you all so much for the tips. I will definitely look into some of those. Capris seem to be a good option. My son is really skinny so I always have to watch to be sure he isn’t wearing older pants that still fit in the waist but are 3″ too short.

My daughter is very sweet so finding her cute clothes is important as she’s just at the age where kids start to get a little mean sometimes. She loves when we can find her stuff that looks good on her. I like stuff she can be comfortable in and I love that she’s still my little girl and not a 7 year old going on 25.

SDMktg´s last blog post…Weekend Plans – Chicken Piccata with Angel Hair Pasta

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Corey February 27, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I would say try Lands End, LLBean and JCPenney. They all (first 2 esp) carry quality clothes that are age appropriate. I have big issues with so much of the stuff that is out there in the “little girls” sections of stores, even Target.

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won February 27, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Also, if you go to a fabric/sewing store, you can buy a button that is a “waist extender.”

When my daughter was on steroids they were a blessing. They add an inch or so to the waist discreetly and without sewing or anything remotely complicated like that!

won´s last blog post…The post I’ve been avoiding – Part One

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T February 27, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Wow! I’m impressed with so many who have chimed in! Steve knew the place to come for answers!

I do allow my girls to wear short skirts in the summer. I do it… and they want to be just like me. Hmmm, note to self: watch what I wear.

The funniest is when they walk around the house with my bras and high heels on. Ok, that’s a whole blog post in itself, isn’t it?

T´s last blog post…Dating woes, plans and being adored

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Kari February 27, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Rachel, the ones at JCP also have the buttons in them but they sell some without for the girls that don’t need them too. What I love is they sell slim, long, with the buttons in them. Such a score really. Especially since I can’t sew.

My kiddo wears skirts, she puts the kabash herself on shorts that are too short, we have huge problems getting shorts. I don’t mind any of it much as long as her toosh doesn’t hang out, she is 11 and lanky and actually looks quite cute in some of the skirts and not “hoochie” at all. Of course she has no butt or mature girl shape either… yet.

Kari´s last blog post…Banking Day The New Financial Life Has Begun

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SDMktg February 27, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Great suggestions. I really appreciate it and my daughter will too.

Now if I could just get her to learn how to French braid her own hair…

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Kindall Nelson February 27, 2009 at 4:00 pm

I don’t have much advice on the size part of this, but I do have a comment on the skirts.

Micro minis (like the cute ruffly ones) are only allowed until you are potty trained. Once the diapers are gone, the girls either wear capri-length opaque leggings or they don’t wear them at all.

I am probably pickier than most about my girl’s clothing… but I know that whatever I let them get away with now, they are going to push two steps further in high school… so I’ll just reign them in while it is still all my decision.

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GLSD February 27, 2009 at 9:32 pm

I always allowed my daughter to wear skorts and whenever she wore a dress I always put lil spandex shorts underneath (just so her undies won’t show if she mistakenly sat the wrong way). Like most of the comments Old Navy and JCPenney have the plus sizes. Rachel with your daughter being on the slim side, I always got my daughter xlong in length if available.

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Laura February 27, 2009 at 9:54 pm

I cant answer on where to buy but have the same issue with my son! The length is an issue!

Would I let my daughter wear mini skirts? Not now and definately not to school – fortunately once they hit Gr 1 they have a uniform and before that it is really a problem! Altho the school does ask that little girls wear shorts under their skirts!

When she is older I would let her – like teenager age!

Laura´s last blog post…A few questions

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casualencounters.com/blog February 27, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Buy ones that fit the waist and take them up yourself. It’s really not hard. Or you could ask a friend to do it, providing you know one with a basic level of sewing machine familiarity.

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judy February 28, 2009 at 2:10 am

Wet Sealis my daughter’s favorite because she is shorter and their jeans comes in different lengths.

find a friend who sews

Get a “crimper” That is probably not the name. I have never needed one but have friends who live by them…it cuts and resews seams all in one…

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Canadian Bald Guy February 28, 2009 at 11:51 am

My daughter is 10. And I thank the stars above each and every day that she is a tom-boy (at least at the moment).

I honestly don’t know what age is appropriate for “micro-minis”, but elementary school is definitely NOT appropriate.

I hope my daughter continues to love raggy jeans and starts listening to Neil Young & Pearl Jam. I’ll feel a bit more at ease if that happens.

Canadian Bald Guy´s last blog post…To break a heart…

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judy February 28, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Hold the phone. I don’t want to start anything here but Steve after looking at your website and the scantily clad and naked females on it I am curious if you have thought they you may be imposing a double standard with the short skirt thing

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Apples February 28, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Judy- I have to admit I have double standards. An adult and a Child is two different things. For example I could care less if Mrs Muffet down the street has “bootylicious” written across her butt but its another thing when a 9 year old does.

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SDMktg March 1, 2009 at 4:53 pm

As Apples noted, it is a double standard. There’s a big difference between adults wearing what they choose to wear and designer/stores/parents/etc. dressing little girls up like women.

The site isn’t my personal blog. It’s a tailgating site geared towards men so I do what I can to bring in traffic. Most of the women are celebrities and that’s part of their jobs. With photography, lighting, and PhotoShop that is a whole different topic altogether.

I did go to Target today and found a couple pairs of jeans, a skirt (just above the knee) and some shorts that fit her great and have enough room to last at least until summer. She’s thrilled.

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Megan March 2, 2009 at 12:30 am

My daughter is 9 and has the same issue. I have found that pants from The Gap (a size or 2 larger) are a great fit and last longer than other brands. She has been wearing a lot of skirts and dresses with leggings this year and seems to be more comfortable when she does.

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Apples March 2, 2009 at 12:09 pm

And just for the record it doesn’t get any better as you age! I have ALWAYS had problems with pants! From childhood to adult I have the jeans curse.. My problem is 1 I don’t like my butt hanging out and 2 they are never long enough.

As someone else said Gap, Old Navy is good too. Maybe like someone else said a size 2 or what not in adults might work make sure its a “classic rise” jeans not “just below the waste” or “low/lowest rise”

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