The Nightmare in the Girls Department


Last weekend, I went shopping for summer clothes for my daughter. I am very lucky to have a friend with a daughter three years older, who hands down some amazing clothing. So, I felt very lucky to be headed to the mall with only 2 things on my list: inexpensive khaki and denim shorts.

It was a nightmare.

Some background. My daughter is 8. She is a slim 4 feet 6 inches tall, so she is in the 95% for height and all legs. She has always been tall and I had already suffered the way too early exit from the super adorable toddler section and had entered the hoochie mama different world that is girls size 4-14 clothing.

Although, I still walk longingly  through the toddler section, wishing they made those cute clothes in her size 10-12.

I understand that some shorts will not fit her, given her long legs. However, I was not prepared for the lack of ANY shorts that would be fun, comfortable AND 8-year-old appropriate.

I looked at every short offered in 4 stores in our local mall. The denim options fell into two categories – really short and super short. One style was even labeled “The Super Shorty!” I had no better luck with khaki styles. I found either one pair of short frayed khaki colored denim or past the knee, heavy uniform shorts.

Are shorts longer than my hand too much to ask?

This was not the first time I had encountered this problem. Last year I ordered her expensive slim cut Bermuda shorts from an online retailer and from an upscale mall department store. They fit well, but knowing she was due for another growth spurt I was looking for a cheaper option. And let’s face it, I will barely drop $30+ on a pair of shorts for myself, let alone on a pair for her that may not last the season.

A few days later, armed with a ruler, I finally found one pair of each style at my favorite big box retailer. ONLY one style each to choose from, but at least it was something. I was angry. Why is it so hard to find a simple clothing item that will not make my child look like a college co-ed? Why was I the crazy woman armed with a ruler, running around the store measuring inseams?

10 inches. Not ideal, but better than most.

Our kids grow up way too quickly as it is. I am guilty of it as well, letting my daughter do way more than I let my oldest do when he was her age. But I would at least like to be able to wait for her to dress like a teenager… when she actually is a teenager.

Have you had a similar experience? Where do you shop for your little girls? Help us out by sharing in the comments! 


  1. Just today I rejected a pair of athletic shorts at Target because I couldn’t imagine they’d actually cover my 8 year-old’s (size 6x) bottom. They were privacy shorts and something lacy, sewn together, and called athletic. And they were shorter than the palm of my hand.

    The sad part of this whole ordeal is that stores would sell it if consumers would buy it. Moms apparently don’t buy modest shorts for their daughters anymore, so stores don’t sell them.

    • I used to work in retail, which makes this all the more frustrating. I think it is a chicken or the egg issue. Are retailers providing the trends and consumers supporting it or is the consumer asking for the trend and the retailer supplying it? In this case, I think it is the retailer supplying it, as it is easier to cut down a junior style to sell in the girls department than reinvent the wheel. And as it is the trend, many consumers just adopt it. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment Amy!


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