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Dressing When Your Your Tween is In Between -- Sizes

Fashion is a challenge when your daughter is heading for womanhood.

One of my daughter’s dreams is coming true: she will be a flower girl at my brother Jeff’s wedding in November. Maggie was thrilled he and his fiancée, Danielle, asked her. And immediately we started the search for the perfect flower girl dress.

Great news for Maggie, with just one little problem.

Flower girls are usually younger than she is (almost 10) and a size 12 or under. Maggie has never been small for her age—she is tall and recently frustrated by the prepubescent weight gain some girls experience. She just fits into the high end of the girls’ sizes, depending on the store, and definitely doesn’t have the curves—thank goodness—she needs for juniors’ or women’s sizes. After making the rounds of the local department stores and searching online, I found “the” dress at lightinthebox.com. They had a great selection and made the dress to her exact measurements.

Problem solved. But not really. Maggie’s stuck in the dead zone between girls’ clothing and women’s clothing, and has experienced major fashion issues with everything she has tried on in the past month. Nothing fits correctly – not the Halloween costume, the dress for another family wedding or fall/winter shirts and coats. If it fits in the waist, the sleeves hang to her knees. If the top is the right length and width, she needs actual breasts to fill out the gaping V-necks and scoop necks manyshirts have these days.

If it fits comfortably, chances are she’d rather diethan wear it because it’s the most unfashionable piece of clothing within a 60-mile radius. Not to mention – how should I say it delicately? – the trashy factor seems very prevalent in this season’s fashions for older females. And last season and the one before that. Maybe I am overly sensitive since I have a daughter who isn’t old enough for adult clothes but needs something which fits her, while avoiding the whole hooker-in-training look.

Believe me, I know people have much bigger problems than what to wear. For a preteen girl, however, issues like these are nearly world ending. I feel Maggie’s pain. Seriously. I went through the same thing and there definitely weren’t as many clothing stores or on-line shopping back in the day. I cringe, even now, remembering times spent in front of the dressing room mirrors at , Sears and O’Neil’s with my mother. The awful lighting didn’t help anything when outfit after outfit didn’t fit correctly, didn’t look right and were often just down-right ugly.

What’s a girl to do? Most of the time I was close to tears while my mom tried cheering me up. Usually we ended up finding the humor in the situation and picked the best of the worst. Of course, I grew up and out of that particular awkward stage, though I still can’t laugh about it now. The situation might improve if Maggie grows 4 inches and develops serious curves by next week. In which case, the world’s her oyster as far as clothes. But neither one of us is ready for that, so I guess she’s stuck with leggings and blousy shirts for a while. Or, you might find us at Donatelli’s Alterations seeking professional assistance with our fashion challenges, since I can barely sew on a button.

Maybe, just maybe, you’ll be trying on an outfit in the dressing room next to ours and overhear a mother and a preteen daughter laughing. Hysterically.

Kymberli Hagelberg October 12, 2011 at 02:55 PM
Arrgh, I totally remember this age, but I had a different problem. Too short for EVERY-thing! Hang in there, Maggie (and Jennie too). You'll be gorgeous!
susan lin April 17, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Too short for EVERY-thing! Hang in there, http://bit.ly/HZ9ZvH.

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