Of Hemlines And Hoochie Mamas

Because I have two little girls 33 months apart in age I save every stitch of clothing that can be passed down to Miss A. Don’t fret, she gets lots of new things thanks to the grandmas. The budding diva slash Hannah Montana in training slash future American Idol winner year 2025 shall not be denied!

I’ve noticed that since Miss A is growing into the last of the toddler sizes, a size 4t, that I’m having more and more trouble discerning what belongs to Miss C and what belongs to Miss A as I go through their clothes and set things aside that are too small for Miss A to pass along to a co-worker. The items that they can still wear I’ll put in storage for next season.

Here’s an example of sizing differences that definitely show how styles slim down as girls age and wear larger sizes.


Can you tell which pair of shorts is a size 4t and which is a size 6x? The white shorts on the right are actually size 6x from Old Navy. Granted they are the surfer style (ie pretty dang short) and the pair on the left are in the longish range, in my opinion, even for a 4t, but still.


Same thing with these denim skorts. The skort on the left is a longer style skort in a size 4t from Circo (Target brand) and the skort on the right is a size 6 short skirt I picked up for Miss C at a consignment sale that she could actually wear when she was 5 because it ran so small.

Shirts are especially prone to run small in size 6 and up as they are the more fitted style.

No wonder tweens and teens and grown women alike have body image problems!

I always remember to shop by fit, not by label, but I never thought it would start with my girls at such a young age. I’m definitely not a prude when it comes to clothes and I won’t be dressing the girls in ankle length pinafores any time soon, but I’m also not going to go for the hoochie mama wear, either.


  1. Amy says:

    I had a hell of a time with my daughter beginning about 4th grade. Everything she wanted was too teenager-looking, Britney Spears-inspired, skank-in-training-ish. And this was mostly what was available in her size! I wanted nice dresses, and maybe a pretty little suit for Easter, but that just isn’t available for young girls anymore without a lot of searching.

    I never noticed the size thing, but I only had the one kid.

  2. Jen at The Cute Kid says:

    I think in general sizes are a pain for everyone. Everyone is a different size in every store can’t there just be some kind of new world order of clothing sizes? I think everyone’s life would be so much easier! Once we get that out of the way then we can work on the ridiculous array of styles, haha!

  3. Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com says:

    My mom developed a laundry system to help her out with the identification process. She made marks on the tag (or somewhere on the back hem) of the clothing in permanent marker. I was the oldest, so I had a mark that looked like a single tally line. My sister had a mark that looked like two tally lines. The next sister had a mark that looked like three tally lines. (You get the idea). When someone outgrew something, she’d add a tally mark and call it a day.

    I think it made things go a little faster. Maybe that will help with the sorting for you too?

    Also, I can’t believe those skirts. I really thought the one on the left would be the larger size.

  4. rhonda says:

    I have two girls (almost 5 and 7- yikes) and we are dealing with some of the same issues.

    I look for clothes with adjustable waists, and buy a size up. Plus, I have found Lands End, CWD Kids, Ragsland, kelly’s kids etc (look for them secondhand at consignment sales or ebay) to be more traditional and modest (ie not so Britney- hoochie mamaish).

    I completely understand the battle…I am glad that my mil sews some!

  5. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says:

    I save clothes too – although I’ve noticed that by the time things make it down to Becca (5 years younger than Abby), they’re not always in great shape, and the styles have often changed. I agree about the sizes though – it’s crazy! Abby and Hannah are 20 months apart, and nowhere near the same size, but I’ve taken pants out of Abby’s drawer that are just too small on her, put them on Hannah and they fit. And oh, the skirt thing – I end up buying at least one or two sizes too big, just so they’re long enough! Sigh… 🙂

  6. Leighann says:

    I know…I bought my daughter a new cotton skirt the other day and when she tried it on it was so low on her hips. Good thing it has built in shorts. But seriously, if she wore a thong (which she obviously doesn’t at 4), it would rise above the waistband. I was all “Hello Britney!” (Spears)

    I have problems differentiating between my two kids socks. The boy’s 2T socks are the same size as my daughters 4/5T from the same store. I don’t get it.

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