My 11-year-old is still a child – so why is it so hard to find clothes for her suitable for her age
Before Christmas, while the shops were still open, I was on a mission to buy some new clothes for my then 10-year-old daughter.
She had stretched a lot and genuinely needed new clothes, as her old ones, after months and months or closed shops and little shopping, were starting to look as if they had shrunk in the wash.
However, having done a round of the shops, I actually came home with very little – and not nearly everything she needed. Why? Because I genuinely struggled to find clothes in her size that looked as if they were made with a child her age in mind. My little girl was 10 (she has since turned 11). And yet much of the clothes I found in her size looked as if they were made for someone at least five or six years her senior – maybe even more.
In fact, some of the outfits – all in children's sizes – would not have looked out of place on a woman in her 20s. We are talking cropped tops, t-shirts and hoodies, mini skirts, micro-short shorts and adorned with slogans and phrases I simply could not imagine dressing my child in.
I get that things are 'in style' – in fact, I spent years working in fashion magazines back in Scandinavia. However, should 'fashion' that is originally aimed at and designed for adults also be allowed to trickle down to children's wear? And where do you draw the line between what is fun and cute and what isn't actually appropriate?
Heels for children – is it fun or just a bit strange?
I guess a lot of it comes down to taste.
Personally, I think childhood is so fleeting as it is, and cannot understand why I should be rushing to dress my child as if she is five years older than she actually is. Also, I must admit I find it a little disturbing when you see children dressed in clothing that looks like it was made for someone years older.
So in our house, low-cut and cropped tops for my 11-year-old is out. As are short-short shorts.
And while I have no doubt there will come a day in the future where she will be begging to wear them and test out her style and fashion choices, in my opinion, there is a vast difference between an 11-year-old and a 16-year-old doing so.
And it turns out, I am not alone in finding it hard to come across girls' clothes that is not too 'adult.'
A UK mum recently took to TikTok to share her disgust at the 'inappropriate' clothes high street stores are selling for young girls.
Adelina Thompson said she visited several shops, including Primark, Next and Zara, but was unable to find anything suitable for her 5-year-old daughter – because all the clothes are 'adult' and 'grown-up.'
Thompson shared a rant on the social media site with her thoughts on seeing crop tops and short shorts for young girls, saying she found it 'uncomfortable' and 'icky.'
@adelinamurielIt was genuinely hard to find nice clothes for my 5yr old!! ##clothes ##childrenoftiktok ##toogrownup
'I've just got back from shopping for my daughter,' she said.
'She's going to be 5 in a couple of weeks so I thought I'd buy her some clothes.
'Went into Primark, went into Next, went into Zara, when did little girl's clothes become so adult and grown-up?
'My five-year-old is not going to be wearing a crop top and short shorts. It got to the point where I got uncomfortable it was just icky.'
Filming a white crop top hung up in a shop, Thompson added:
'I mean look at this, a crop top for a 7-year-old, what the heck?
'And this, why is there a bit cut out down the midriff and down the sides? What, why?'
After the video went viral and Netmums ran an article on it, a Primark spokesperson stated to the website:
'We welcome customer feedback and always encourage customers to get in touch with us if they have any concerns.
'We are committed to offering age-appropriate clothing: our childrenswear is designed and marketed in line with the British Retail Consortium’s Responsible Retailing Guidelines.'
What do YOU think, parents? Have YOU struggled to find appropriate clothing for your children after they get to a certain size or age?