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The joys of shopping solo for my children's clothes

by Traci Schumacher on Fri, 10/25/2013 - 10:44am

Suddenly my daughter's clothes have seemingly shrunk. I hate it when that happens. Sleeves and skirts are too short and shirts are too tight. Time to go clothes shopping.

So I set out on Wednesday to update my 9-year-old's wardrobe. By myself. There are times when I like the idea of going to the mall with my kids, indulging them in some treats, enjoying time together. But usually it doesn't turn out quite as idyllic as it sounds in my head. So, I've taken to shopping solo whenever possible. I've found this to be the best way to shop for my daughter especially for several reasons.

First, we avoid the distractions of her asking for every pretty thing in sight. Her eyes will light up as she swoons over Shiny, Sparkly, and Girly. She is a marketer's dream.

I am far more practical. I am not looking for shoes or jewelry or headbands at this point in time. And my time is limited. Focusing on clothes, I can get in and get out of a store with some level of efficiency so that I can move on to other items on my to-do list. After all, a mother's work is never done.

Second, we avoid the debates over which clothes to buy. This one helps in terms of price and style. In terms of price, left to myself I can easily consider special promotions, coupons I may have, and sale items. My daughter, on the other hand, will emotionally attach to a pretty $50 top while I am calculating markdowns on a nearby rack, and then we must negotiate. And by “negotiate” I mean we pretty much are not buying that top and she has to accept that fact. Not fun.

As for style, I was incredibly disappointed in much of the selection for girls that I found this week. But I am certain my daughter would have begged for many of the clothes that I rejected. And that would bring us back to negotiating. And with style, sometimes she wins.

Although I have developed a new style rule recently. If it is something that I am not going to want to look at over and over again, then we are not getting it. I learned this tidbit of wisdom after I bought my daughter a strikingly neon green top because it was “cute” and “fun” and she really really wanted it. And now I cringe every time I see it. Sometimes I avoid washing it to extend the amount of time between wearings. Yes, we moms can be sneaky, but if I'm doing the laundry, then I decide what gets washed, right?

Anyway, I did manage to find a number of lovely tops and skirts for my girl after all, and I just hoped she would like them. But, if not, I figured I could always return them. Thankfully, however, my daughter (and I) loved everything I picked out. There was only one top that didn't fit well that needs to be returned. Thus, my solo shopping trip was a huge success. My daughter got some new clothes that she needed, and we were both happy about it.

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