Those that know me, know my fashionista, diva daughter, Alexa. Fashion is SOOOO...not my thing! To Alexa, it's everything! I swear, just knock me out now and wake me up when she's out of college! Although, even I have to admit she's a pretty stylish little chickie.
We've had a running battle since she was about 7 yrs. old on what clothes she likes vs. what Mom likes and what clothes are appropriate for her based on style, where they come from (give me strength), what she actually needs vs. wants and cost. When she was much younger, I shopped in Gymboree, ALOT! Yes, the clothes are a little more expensive, BUT, she could get a year and more, sometimes two or more out of them because while she did grow, she grew slowly and these clothes fit her little trim body so much better than Oshkosh or Carter or many of the department store brands. Plus they wore so well and were so well made. Today, the word Gymboree is only spoken in hushed tones lest she be forced to even look in their window.
The past few years I've been lucky??? All she wanted was Limited Too clothes. She's big on the bling factor. Me, not so much...Anyway, I found a friend and co-conspirator in the person of the manager of one of the stores in our area. Stephie is Alexa's personal fashion consultant at LTD2. Stephie knows us on sight. She remembers when Alexa's birthday is. She'll giggle right along with her and ohh and ahh over each item of clothing. To help me, she manages to sneak in what I like for Alexa's consideration. You see, if I propose something to Lex she'll turn her nose up at it. If Stephie proposes it, she'll try it and actually consider it! So for the last few years I've gone with the overpriced, flimsy material, sequins and glitter everywhere, exclusively at LTD2. I sit back, Stephie shops with her and I pay the bill!
Alexa has now reached the ripe old age of 11. She's in middle school and dangerous, foreign and mysterious words have started to creep into her vocabulary like, Aeropostle, American Eagle, and the dreaded Abercrombie!! HELP!! I think I hear Harold Hill singing to me, "There's trouble in River City!" (I don't think a boy's band is going to cure this one though.)
I've been fighting even the mention of these words but I fear the fight is lost. We went shopping this week. I gave Alexa a cash budget for her to buy clothes for the spring and summer (rest of the school year and into summer) ON HER OWN*! For support, we brought along her friend Melissa, who I have to say can be a pretty savvy shopper and I hung back, found a chair to sit in and watched helplessly from the side lines.
*Yes, I followed at a discreet distance behind and was at least allowed to look at what the girls tried on and was used as a gopher to find different sizes and colors as needed. I also pointed out the fine print on the sales signs (my eyes are so much better than theirs!)
Now, in her defense, Alexa did a pretty good job. She came away with one pair of shorts, four pairs of capri pants(cargo, jean and bermuda styles), two camis, three T-shirts (from THOSE stores) and one or two regular tops, and she had $20 left over!
Me, I'm seeing this as the beginning of the true end of my influence over what Alexa wears. The next time we go shopping, I'm bringing a book and a valium.