Dressing your kid

Krista - posted on 10/11/2011 ( 155 moms have responded )

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Do you dress your kid "child"-like? Or do you dress them as a mini adult?

My mom was giving me a bit of flack this weekend, saying that I dress my 2-year old in such dull colours and grown-up styles.

I'm just not crazy about a lot of the bright colours and cartoon characters on kids' clothing (especially the cartoon characters).

I prefer to dress him a little more mature, and did so even when he was a baby. The outfit in question that my mom criticized was a heather gray t-shirt, jeans, his black Chucks-type sneakers, and a little gray herringbone newsboy cap. I think he looks so adorable in muted colours and more grown-up styles. When she buys him clothes, she gets him stuff with bright colours, and festooned with trucks, or Tigger, or some other cartoon emblem.

What do you think? Should we dress little kids as little kids? Is it inappropriate to dress them more maturely? (I'm not talking about dressing them provocatively or with adult slogans on their tees...just more grownup-style clothing.)

What do you think looks cuter?

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Sylvia - posted on 10/18/2011

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I confess I find it weird that anybody would make rules about what underwear someone can wear under their uniform. But then, competitive sports were never my thing (let alone, heaven forfend, cheerleading -- did they even have cheerleaders at my high school? I have no idea), so all I can say for sure is that there were no rules about what you could or couldn't wear under your choir, band, or orchestra uniform. The drama teacher did have one underwear rule: you had to wear pit pads. The costume crew was always grateful for this rule -- except of course for whoever had to take them home and wash them after each performance :P



I'm with Meggy in wondering how they would know what kind of panties someone is wearing if they don't show from outside...

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/18/2011

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Sherri, I'm just curious how they'd know if the person is wearing the mandated underpants instead of the seamless grannie panties.

Charlie - posted on 10/18/2011

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Thongs have the worst panty line of all !!

No way a young daughter of mine would be wearing one seamless undies all the way.

[deleted account]

My kids wear whatever comes to us in the form of hand-me-downs. It's a good mix of character stuff and grown-up stuff. When I buy something, it's usually from Gymboree or Children's Place. I'm not fond of the character stuff, but I let my daughter wear Dora or Princesses or Elmo when she asks. If we are going somewhere (other than the grocery store) I generally let her pick from the nicer, more grown-up clothes. The only hand-me-downs I've refused to let her wear are those with Hannah Montana or Justin Beiber. She's only 3 for crying out loud. Why do they make stuff like that for children so small?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/15/2011

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LOl Angela, I bet it makes nursing on the beach a lot easier :) I had to pull the top of my suit down to nurse when we went to the lake over the summer, but no one really noticed.

I'm overly controlling at times so I help my 7 year old pick out her school clothes and her clothes when she stays with my MIL. That way I know she's dressed nice. If I left it to my husband, who knows what she'd be wearing.

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Sarah - posted on 05/19/2012

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When my daughter (now 6) was a baby, I always wanted to dress her older or at least with no friggin cartoon characters. I always dressed her in t-shirts and jeans and she wore prewalking shoes with all of her outfits. It just seemed weird not to have shoes on her. At 2.5 yrs, I started letting her watch Hannah Montana in addition to the preschool shows on Nick Jr (previously Noggin). Because of this, she wanted to dress like a rock star all the time and she was so cute. My niece dresses her 2 year old son like you do and I think he looks really handsome all the time. I really like the style she chose for him. My daughter is the size of an 8 year old, so I dress her like the older girls. She wears jeans, denim shorts, sandals, and 8-12 year old styled t-shirts. My mom likes to dress her in homemade sundresses so she looks her age when she visits. Those are cute, but both my daughter and I prefer the older looking clothes. I like the older kid styles for her, but not the muted colors for my girl. I think it looks cute on boys, but I like for her to dress for comfort and that usually means hot pink or turqoise, since those are her fave colors. Sorry for the super long post. I guess I would just say dress your son however you see fit and don't worry so much about what others say. I think you're doing a great job judging from the outfit you described.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/18/2011

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I feel we all have tall skinny girls LOL

Oh Abby went in all pink today. Pink winter coat, pink snow pants, pink snow boots (with black on the foot part) pink fairisle print toque and mittens. And her PINK Hello Kitty book bag in which was her pink Disney princess lunch bag that a friend of my mom's bought her. She even had on a pink striped hoodie sweater along with her dark blue skinny jeans. Pink socks and black ankle boots with PINK studs on them for indoors.

Can you tell what that child's favourite colour is?

Sylvia - posted on 11/17/2011

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Yes, lots of love for the tankinis around here too. Although I always have to take in the waist so the bottom doesn't fall off (!). The 4'3" 50-lb 9-year-old is evidently not the target market for most bathing-suit manufacturers :P

Angela - posted on 11/16/2011

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Claire has a Tankini, it is so so cute and it went through two summers already. She also has a one piece. I would let her just wear bottoms too, but she likes her Tankini.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150266619725408&set=a.10150266581590408.489014.657585407&type=3&theater

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/16/2011

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LOl I agree with the hoochie too! One of our neighbours gave Abby (my 7 year old) a bikini with a triangle top. Now I had boobs at age 8, but I can easily foresee my older daughter needing a training bra clear into her 20's at this point. I don't really like her wearing it. She does have a tankini that I do let her wear along with a one piece. Her other bikinis have all had a pull over top and covered more- something I'd love to see in an adult bikini. I'm just glad I never let Abby's paternal grandma try to dress her, she'd look like a mini street walker.

@Angela (and anyone else who won't let their SO dress the kid(s)) considering what my husband was wearing the first time he met my parents I believe my fears are confirmed.

Sylvia - posted on 11/16/2011

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@Angela, I admire the European attitude to boobies and toddler nekkidness. I wouldn't have a problem with little girls in topless bathing suits. What bugs me are the ones that are styled like sexy adult bikinis, but sized for babies or toddlers. Blecch. (Plus, isn't it super uncomfortable to wear a bikini top when you don't have anything to hold it in place? I always refused to wear two-piece suits as a kid for that reason -- the top would end up sliding up toward my armpits while I was swimming.) Anyway, I guess my basic principle is, nekkid toddler = fine, hoochie-mama toddler = mega-ick.

Sylvia - posted on 11/16/2011

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@Meggy, yeah, adding an extra tier is a good idea (although it's stretchy knitted fabric, which always makes me nervous when I'm sewing :P) ... the thing is, she does have longer skirts that are perfectly presentable, so it's kind of irritating that she doesn't wear those but keeps wearing the old ones :/ OTOH, I remember doing similar things when I was her age, so ...

Krista - posted on 11/16/2011

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And the funny thing is, I have gotten SO many compliments on that hat. Just this past weekend, a random stranger stopped us at the Best Buy to tell us that she just LOVED how we dressed our son, and that she adored that hat.

Melissa - posted on 11/16/2011

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I get the same kind of comments from family members. The other day I was speaking with my boyfriend's uncle (our son's are 18 days apart) and we were talking about clothing. I told him I get a lot of grief from some family members for dressing my son like an "old man", and he said that he dresses his son like an "old man" too. The only thing is that I dress my son somewhat like an "elderly" man -- sometimes in tweed trouser pants, suspenders, a cardigan, newsboy hats, etc. Whereas my boyfriend's uncle is somewhat wealthy and buys his son True Religion and "7" jeans, so his style is actually like a teenager/young adult. I love the 'classic' style but also like a little rockabilly (it all depends on the mood/occasion). Ever since my son was about 6-months old I quit putting him in the cutesy animal character items...



Anyways, I don't see anything wrong with dressing our children the way we like. The way I see it is that they'll reach an age where they have their own style preference and want to dress themselves (which I'll be perfectly okay with), but until then I'm taking advantage of the time being and dressing my son the way I want! Lol.

Stifler's - posted on 11/15/2011

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i wish women's sizes was like mens'. 42 is 42 inches i'm pretty sure and so on.

Angela - posted on 11/15/2011

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I have to say over here in Europe the size for kids by length. It makes it really easy. For example if you kid is 110 cm, then you by 110 -116 depending on if you want room to grow! Same with shoes... goes my cm.

Angela - posted on 11/15/2011

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LOL Meggy!!! I would never let my husband dress Claire! On the few occassions he has done so , she is clean but looks a bit off. Colours do not match, patterns do not match, and he never could do her hair!
I let Claire choose between two outfits I pick out. This way she has a choice but I have control. Maybe we are just control freaks.
I would do the same if she visited family .... have full matching outfits and extra "just in case". Even when I take her to preschool, I make sure the extra outfit matches the shoes/boots she has on for the day. Because once she had a pee pee accident and was wearing a red floral print top, with her Leopard print boots! It looked all wrong! ha ha yes as I write I am a bit of a control freak for sure.

Angela - posted on 11/15/2011

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Oh I know kids dirty... It is just my thing for them to be neat and clean. However when they get older.... and I know when mine did, I had one that was a little mess. She just always seem to be a magnet for food and dirt. But I must admit as soon as I saw it, I changed her. yeah... I do and did a lot of laundry.
Claire has bad eczema so I use only unscented, perfumed stuff to do her clothes, but I also have a ton of clothes for her...
When Samantha was little she had hardly any hair, I put her in dresses, bows etc...people still called her he... it did not help that I called her Sammie! But really she would be in a dress...cute little girl shoes and all and be called a he.
Yeah over here in Europe most little girls who do not have boobies yet are topless, it is fine by me. More comfy.
After age 18 many ladies young, old, big and small go topless on the beach. Boobs are just not a big deal here.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/14/2011

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@ Sylvia. If you know how to sew or know someone who can sew you could probably add a tier onto the skirt. I have the same issue with a lot of my older daughter's clothes because she's tall and skinny. I told her today when we were walking home from school that I can't wait until she's grown up and can buy clothes that go more by size than by age. I said this because today she was wearing a pair of corderoys that hit just at the ankle!

Sylvia - posted on 11/14/2011

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@Meggy, that seems perfectly sensible to me ;)

The battle I'm currently fighting is too-short skirts. DD got these cute little yoga skirts (with shorts attached underneath) at Children's Place about three years ago, because they were on sale and cute, and they still fit around the waist, so she wants to keep wearing them -- but instead of being a decent length, they're now like micro-miniskirts D: I'd like to retire them altogether -- surely there's a five-year-old somewhere who would like them! -- but for now we've compromised on wearing them only in the house :P

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/14/2011

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Sylvia you'd say the same about my older daughter sometimes. Sunday we went to the park and I had her dress in jeans DH's cousins had found at a thrift store that are very worn in the knees (Hey they were free and there aren't any holes) because who wants to dress their child nice when the child is going to go run around outside?

Sylvia - posted on 11/14/2011

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@Angela, if you saw my DD some days I'm sure you'd think she was terribly neglected LOL. I don't seem to be good at laundry like some people are (possibly because scented detergents make me sneeze and bleach kind of freaks me out), and DD is congenitally messy and klutzy -- it's not as bad now as when she was littler, but if I made her change her clothes every time she spilled something on herself or got dirty, my entire life would be spent doing laundry. So she's not always particularly clean. I'm okay with that.

I do, however, make her put dirty things in the laundry hamper when she takes them off -- she doesn't get to keep wearing stuff that's filthy.

Kari - posted on 11/14/2011

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I let my kids (almost completely) dress themselves. My 4 yr old son likes the blue jeans and normal tees.. My 3 yr old daughter likes the crazy looking clothes and shoes, with bright colors and what not. But as for my 20mo old, sometimes I dress her in bright colors and sometimes I dress her in more adult like clothing.. (I too hate the cartoons stamped on the clothes) but I dont see the big deal in what they are wearing as long as they like it, its kid appropriate and its clean..

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/12/2011

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My older daughter was called a boy when she was wearing a DRESS! And someone else asked if my 8 month old was a boy even when she was in pink. So Sara, I feel for you.



ETA: Older daughter was 2 weeks old

Jeannette - posted on 11/12/2011

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Well, when my kids let me dress them, I loathed the t-shirts with the characters or sayings on them. I always dressed my son in layers and I bought button up shirts for my daughters with the occasional polo pull-over. That is not to say that both my mom and MIL didn't get those hideous things into the wardrobes. I just didn't let them wear them when we went out to a movie or dinner.
My son (15) now wears Polo style shirts, jeans, or khaki shorts, and shoes. He refuses to wear converse, vans, anything street or what he perceives to be "hipster". My oldest is the fashion conscious child and buys nicer looking clothes for the most part. All of them will run around in t-shirts at home or hanging with friends, but I am proud that 2 of the 3 dress up to go out on family outings. Marie, eh, she is her own quirky self. ;)

[deleted account]

I dressed my baby in blue yesterday, because I got tired of seeing her in pink. The outfit had hearts and butterflies on it. She was called a boy twice. I tried putting a headband bow on her, but she ripped it off.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/12/2011

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I don't know what's overly shocking about a toddler in a bikini. As long as it's not a string bikini. I've had both my 7 year old and my 8 month old in 2 pieces which were age appropriate. In parts of Europe children's bathing suits don't even come with tops.

Both my girls have an array of clothes even though I have taken the Disney princesses out of the line up for my 7 year old. She does wear a lot of Hello Kitty though- she even has a bed set for Hello Kitty. We have everything from socks and underpants to a lot of tops and toques. Last year she also had a Hello Kitty winter coat and Hello Kitty sneakers. Her favourite colour is pink so there are a lot of pink clothes (my MIL even bought her bright pink skinny jeans.) but there are other colours as well.

The clothes for my 8 month old sometimes make me groan because there is so much pink in baby clothes. However I found a cute set in a 2nd hand store with dark mulberry coloured pants and a top with birds in a tree in deep colours of teal, blue and mulberry. Also for Halloween my mom's older sister sent a set that consisted of a black top with a silver glitter cat and black and white leopard print pants. My mom also found her a red top with a dog on it. She also has some jeans. So far nothing too childish I guess.

[deleted account]

Shoot. I've never actually worried about how I dress my daughter... Though I have heard stories about people and their opinions on dressing children, I never thought it was much of a big deal. I mean, I guess I get a little judgmental (in my mind, not out loud) if I see a little toddler in say a bikini (

Ashley - posted on 11/11/2011

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I guess I never gave it any thought... I never buy my son clothes or very rarely anyway. Clothes come as gifts so I tend to dress the kids with what they have. However when my son started playschool I bought clothes that had a bit more maturity.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/10/2011

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I do the same thing to a point. When we go to my MILs I pack the resolve and make sure my MIL has her washer empty so I can use it if need be. I do pack extra for my baby.



I found out that my 7 year old daughter is probably one of the best dressed kids in her class (at least in my opinion) But I do wish she'd learn to pick out her own clothes.

Sherri - posted on 11/10/2011

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I to this day still do this Angela and two of mine are teenagers.

Katherine - posted on 11/10/2011

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angela im the exact same way take pride in your child dress em nicely, brush their hair/teeth, bath em etc

Angela - posted on 11/10/2011

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My pet peeve is kids that are wearing dirty clothes. Now I know kids get dirty IE at school or the play ground but I am not talking about that. I am talking about kids that always have on dirty clothes not to matter what time of day.

I have a neighbor whose kids are constantly wearing summer attire in the winter, dirty, wrinkled mess of clothes and their hair rarely looks combed.

I always want to grab them, bathe them, dress them and do their hair!

I always have a change of clothes for Claire "just in case" she has an accident or spills something on herself. Maybe I am a bit obsessed but I like her to be in clean clothes.

Katherine - posted on 11/09/2011

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We dress our son like a mini adult, jeans or cords, dress shirt, polo etc. I prefer for him to be dressed appropriately and we both hate seeing all of the advertising on children's clothes. We have a couple of shirts but we rarely put him in them. mostly dressed liked daddy, hurely, quicksilver, etc

Lacieann - posted on 11/09/2011

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I also always try to dress them better than me. I hate when I see a mom dressed to the nines and her kid is running around in clothes that are too small/dirty and/or ratty.

Lacieann - posted on 11/09/2011

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I love putting my girls in bright colors and bows, but I love to dress my son in sweater vests and little khaki type pants. I am adamantly against characters on clothes (if disney wants me to advertise them on my kids they can pay me) As long as you aren't dressing them trashy or provocatively and they enjoy what they're wearing dress them in whatever you like.

Kari - posted on 11/08/2011

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I like colors, but I think a lot of the character stuff is over the top. My mom always has something to say about how I dress my daughter. The other day I put her in black tights, a black onsie and a cute leopard skirt. Because it isn't my mom's "style" she said the outfit was tacky. I thought it was adorable, so I just smiled and didn't say anything. He is your son, and you can dress him however you want! :)

Meghan - posted on 10/26/2011

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Ugh I really hate clothes with cartoon characters on them. Disney Princess, Cars, Toy Story... none of that stuff is in my house and if somebody gives something like that I immediately give it to a friend of mine who dresses her kiddos like that. Commercialized crap. :P My boys wear jeans, polos and cute sweaters. We do have some colorful items though because I love orange and yellow on my kids. My baby girl has jeans, shirts and dresses.

Sylvia - posted on 10/24/2011

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BTW, I danced all through my childhood (not competitively -- I don't think that existed then, or else my mom was just smart enough to keep me away from it -- but with lots of performing) and although there was considerable fussing about hair and a certain level of fussing about wardrobe and makeup, I don't remember anyone EVER saying ANYTHING about what we could and couldn't wear under our tights and leotards. I have zero memory of whether or not anyone had panty lines :P

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/24/2011

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Just as long as you aren't dressing your daughter like a hoochie it should be fine.

Yes I'm tired and can't think of a good reply right now. But I do agree that children don't need to worry about panty lines.

Hope - posted on 10/23/2011

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I think about my children and what they would like. My 3 year is always with me when I am shopping so I let him choose his own clothes. He always goes for the bright colours with prints on the front, which i thing is fine. I have a couple of nice button through shirts for him to wear on good occasions but my view is let him be a kid while he can, he has a whole life time to be an adult.

Angela - posted on 10/23/2011

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We have TLC here in NL but it always like 2 years behind the first airing dates from the USA. I liked TLC over all but I hate the shows like Toddlers and Tiara, when I first saw this show I was dumbfounded as to why this was entertainment. I watched one episode and was sickened. Fake tans, eye lashes, at age 2!!! PLEASE.
I enjoy dressing my kids, I loved to dress up Claire and yes it is my taste etc mostly but never can I see making my kids compete with fake tans, eyelashes, thongs, etc. Why should a child worry of such things such as panty lines for crying out loud.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/23/2011

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I don't think they air Dance Moms in Canada. TLC Canada does air Toddlers in Tiaras, but I don't get that on my current sattelite package and I refused to watch it back in the States. Give me Winx Club with the exageratedly skinny animated girls :P it's more entertaining.



I don't feel that anyone but the parent has a right to dictate what type of underwear is worn by a child. You don't want pantylines, then recommend seamless panties instead of a thong! Ugh I could NOT see making my child wear a thong!

Angela - posted on 10/23/2011

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If Dance Mom's is anything like the Toddlers and Tiaras show, NO THANKS...MAKES ME VOMIT

Janice - posted on 10/23/2011

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I'm not sure about other dance schools but of the 5 of my cousins girls who dance only the oldest has worn a thong. I wonder if it was more about her starting to feel self concious (sp) than a requirement. I know the younger ones have never been required to wear them.

I have never seen the Dance moms show but that sounds terrible! Its not like that with my family! :)

Angela - posted on 10/23/2011

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I guess I would never let my children participate in such a type of thing if it was so so so compation that a 4 year old could not have panty lines! I am all for copetiion but it has to be fun first. If little girls showing panty lines is bad than I am not for such a thing.

I wore thongs when I was younger and thinner all the time now I do both I do not find them uncomfortable. But I do not look as good in them as I use to!



How the heck do I spell competition... even spell check won't recognise it lol sorry folks i suck at spelling...

[deleted account]

We are a thong free household. :)

The girls are in gymanastics, but their first team show isn't until December. I haven't heard anything about underwear, but I don't think it'll be an issue under their team leo and team shorts. :)

April - posted on 10/22/2011

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*edit to add-- it doesn't surprise me that they'd chose thongs for their 8 year olds...

April - posted on 10/22/2011

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i couldn't imagine being a dancer in a thong. i'd be the worst dancer! all i would think about is the perma-wedgie! i've watched Dance Moms and it does not surprise me that those moms would choose thongs. Have you seen those moms?? They get tipsy on national tv, they leave their kids in reno while they party with their boyfriends in florida, they flirt with casting directors to help their daughters get roles, and so on. I wouldn't exactly describe them as parents of the year!

Stifler's - posted on 10/19/2011

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Once you get to highschool you're in ladies sizes lol I have no idea why a kid in primary school would want to buy a g string or why their mum would buy one for them.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/19/2011

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I've never found thongs comfortable myself and my DH doesn't seem to notice my underwear except that it's on.

My older daughter and I both seem to prefer comfy undies in prints. I just wish I could find Hello Kitty ones in my size.

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