Thursday, August 13, 2009

Toto, I've Got a Feeling We're Not in Gymboree Anymore

Weekend in Little Rock

This was Laura two years ago, in her first-day-of-school outfit for first grade. It is exactly how I think little girls should dress. I mean, impeccable, right? (Dress is Gymboree Bon Voyage, Summer 2007 and shoes are the Cherry Pie line, for the Gymboholics among us.) Oh, Gymboree had me on their Gymbuck treadmill big time. I confess I even used to be a regular reader of one--okay, two--Gymboree discussion forums. I know. I kind of can't believe it either: a Gymboree discussion forum. We had a long and happy run with Gymboree, workin' the sales to get it super cheap, wearing it, then passing it along or reselling it on eBay.

But in the last year, I've been hearing rumblings from Laura about wanting to shop at Justice, which is apparently the racier sister of Limited Too? Today I finally caved. I hadn't bought her any new school clothes, because I'd bought ahead so much in seasons past. (She still has clothes she's never worn.) So I told her we could go to Justice and she could pick an outfit, but that we would have to agree on it.

I had never darkened the door of the place. And when we walked in, my first thought was that it looked like an explosion in a hooker factory. Spangles, tickity-tack, flirty skirts, lace everywhere, and neon (very on-trend for Fall). Another mom I was chatting with there peeked into the dressing room where her two daughters were trying on the outfits they had picked, and she turned around to me and slowly mouthed, "STREETWALKER." I nodded in sympathy.

I mean no offense to anyone who loves Justice. There were cute things in there, it turned out. But the overall impression upon walking in was just. . .not that little red sailor dress. I had a few minutes of culture shock. Little girls definitely need a guiding hand in there, in my opinion. Laura, however, was in heaven.

Laura Loves her Outfit

This is what we came away with. She fell hard for the peace sign motif. Actually, there were a LOT of peace symbols in there. I think this upcoming generation must be very dedicated to non-violent resolution of world problems. And they love Snoopy too. So, cool. Laura also picked a pair of pink jeans in the same color, and another, more traditional floral tunic top (that was at my subtle prompting). So she can make a few outfits out of that.

And you know, now that I look at her in the clothes, this outfit is perfectly girlish and cute, not too grown-up at all. I think it just had to be taken out of the context of the store, which honestly, did not look like high-end retail, and isn't meant to be, I know. A nun's habit would have looked tarty in there. This lace-trimmed cami gave me pause at first, but she won't wear it to school without the jacket. And she loves herself so much in it. She danced out of the dressing room in this, and the other mom said, "Oh, you'll be buying that." Then that woman, who totally got it, suggested that I might "get another year out of" the Children's Place as a transition from Gymbo to Justice. She might be right. Also, there's Crazy8, the older sibling of Gymboree. So we'll find our new fashion mode for this next phase. Matt is a good barometer, and he just thought she looked cute, so we're fine.

But I look at that picture of her in the red sailor dress, and I remember that I thought she was such a big kid then. I guess because I had baby Hank. But she was a baby herself, practically. And now she's rocking canvas wedges. I bet there is no chance I'll ever get her back in one of those striped Hanna Andersson playdresses. So for the second time this week, I must now go to my room and cry forever.

19 comments:

Mental Momma said...

I think I had my last run with Hanna Andersson this year. Sniff.

gretchen said...

All I can say is thank God for Parochial school uniforms! That said, Grandpa bought Jude a new pair of sneakers today for first grade. Skechers Z Straps. He was so excited he wanted to wear them to bed!

A Day That is Dessert said...

You are such a good mama! Admittedly I thank my lucky stars that my boys are still perfectly content for me to pick out their clothes at Hanna and crewcuts - Abbott's only qualification is that it look 'sporty' and not at all 'fancy'. He know that to church and holidays/parties he must be 'fancy' but that's it :)

bsouth said...

I think she looks lovely in the second picture but I totally see where you're coming from. I wept for a long time when I had to get rid of the last sleep suit and switch to pyjamas. Never again will I have to struggle to do up all those poppers. Sniff

Kelly said...

I love those wedges...do they come in our size?

Casey said...

I think she looks adorable in both but I know what you mean about the hussie store. I've seen prostitot clothes in the baby and toddler section, I dread what we're going to find when we move into the bigger kid's stuff. Laura is adorable, nice compromise.

Amy said...

Ok, wow--I can't believe how much she's grown in two years! Amazing.

Very cute outfit, and I think you're smart to "chaperone" her in there. Tell Laura she looks great!

The Dental Maven said...

So glad to hear there's a mom out there that won't dress their little girl in red-light district clothing for school.

Michele Renee said...

Wow, the difference in two years is amazing. Her outfit is very cute. I loved the part about the dressing room dialogue. You were in the company of others who had been before you.

Sjn said...

yes... our babies do grow up. My baby is having a baby! What do you think of that!

Jenni said...

she DOES look cute, but you're right, not so much like a little girl. i sob with you.

however, i've been told that boys let their mom's pick out their clothes for much longer, so you can shop for Hank at Gymboree for a few more years. But boys clothes aren't nearly as fun/cute.

Hootie said...

Okay Bren... bust out some pics of Solomon's new shirts. (I found the camera, by the way. So remind me to give that to you.)

Bren said...

Thank you, dear Lord, for 3 boys. (One UPS delivery from Children's place, 5 pair of the same short in different colors, and one from Gap, 7 tshirts in different colors. One new pkg of socks. I never left the house.) Yeah, Beck, our only request was from Solomon "I don't want to wear any shirts that aren't funny". So I stenciled his tshirts.

Laura will be much like her mother. Which is to say, she will always know how to look good.

Jane said...

The first picture is indeed lovely, but I think Laura also looks impeccable in the current photo--in her own, more grown up way.

Sara said...

She *is* rocking the canvas wedges! Laura is cute as a bug, but with a ladylike air of sophistication and cool.

Oh, Justice. I was a little taken aback by it, too. But I was reassured when 1.) my girls mocked some of the clothes right along with me and 2.) Aggie deemed most of their stuff over-priced and refused a very cute bedazzled denim vest (I know that doesn't sound cute, but it was) that I offered to buy her for her birthday.
I think they're a great place to find neat trendy accent pieces to go with our foundation of Target clothing. ;)

You and your Gymboree history ohmygoodness! love it.

Michele said...

Just to add another reason for a crying jag; she'll be borrowing your shoes in no time. Yes, it's perfectly understandable to weep when that happens. She does look very cute though.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Mary Janes, Mary Janes, Mary Janes. Wherefore art thou, black patent Mary Janes?

But damn it Becky, I caught a glimpse of that fabulous convex mirror hanging on the wall above Laura's head and I lost all concentration. I don't care that you spray-painted it. I just want it. I want it bad, man.

Today Mr. M and I were at the mall searching for the Lego store. "It's right next to Justice!" he insisted. And I was like what? What the hell is "Justice"? Sure enough there it was, and I'm with you, mom. Justice looked err, umm, like a prison-clothes gateway store. ; )

But then again, that's what my mom said about "The Limited" lo those many years ago, so fret not. It's all in the context, as you so ably note.

melondonkey said...

funny onion article in the same vein

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/mom_has_some_wild_new_ideas_for?utm_source=a-section

Aviva said...

Oh noooooo! Please don't tell me the Hanna Andersson years will come to an end!! I live less than a mile from an outlet, and I LOOOOOOOOVE Hannas so much I wish I were skinny enough and short enough to wear the 160s like a friend of mine is. :-)