Parenting

Tips for dads shopping for their daughters

From unicorns to non-matching colours, Ian passes along everything dads need to know about buying clothes for their daughters.

Photo: Deklofenak/iStockphoto

There are several disadvantages to living in Canada compared to the United States. They are as follows:

1. Higher income taxes
2. Colder weather
3. Inability to buy Cookie Crisp cereal
4. Selection and price for kids’ clothes is much worse up here.

As a result, when I travel to the States, I often come home with a suitcase jammed with clothes for the kids. (And, for any customs officials who read this blog, I never exceed my limit — unless there is a three-box maximum on Cookie Crisp.)

Right now, I’m on an extended work trip and had a chance to hit the outlet mall in Florida to buy our girls some new spring clothes.

I enjoy being at this stage where I can buy our girls — ages eight and five — their clothes. In just a few short years, a trip to the mall will consist of me handing over a wad of cash and then heading to Orange Julius to await further instruction as to when I can be seen with them.

While I relish the opportunity go shopping for our daughters, I know a lot of other dads get overwhelmed at the thought of buying clothes for girls. They get that panicky feeling inside Carter’s that all men get inside Victoria’s Secret; you just want to get in and out of the store without making a fool of yourself.

So this week, I figured I’d pass along a few tips for dads who want to go shopping for their young girls.

1. Take a smart phone with you
I’m pretty sure the inventor of Facetime on the iPhone was a man who was afraid of making a mistake while shopping, so he invented a technology that would keep his wife in the loop at all times. The great thing about having a phone is that you can text, email or video chat with your spouse and show her what you’re about to buy.  

2. Your child’s age does not equal their size
A look at your daughter’s class photo will tell you that kids of the same age vary greatly in size — just like adults. Imagine walking into a store and asking for a T-shirt for a 33-year-old man. It’s ludicrous. But we sometimes get fixated on sizes for kids because we assume they’ll fit into the appropriate shirt and pants for their age.

3. A lot of girls’ underwear sizes comes in even numbers only

Speaking of sizing, don’t waste your time looking for a girls size five underwear — apparently it doesn’t exist. I had this issue at Target last week, until I finally read the sizing chart that was posted on the shelf. They go sizes two, four, six, etc. for a lot of the major brands. And make sure you’re looking in the kids section for the underwear, because a single man poking around the women’s underwear section is just plain creepy.

4. Pink and purple don’t match
On the surface, it seems obvious that the two most popular colours for girls are purple and pink. But, apparently, they don’t match. So don’t buy a purple shirt with a pink skirt — unless you plan on purchasing an accompanying time machine that takes you back to 1983.

5. You can never go wrong with a unicorn — with one exception
If your daughter is under the age of six, she will adore anything you buy her with a unicorn on it. It’s a rule that’s as ironclad as the laws of physics. However, if you buy an outfit with a unicorn on it for a girl who is over the age of eight, now you’re playing with fire. A unicorn shirt is a lot like a Dora T-shirt; there’s a fine line between love and hate for a little girl. Try not to cross it.

6. For the love of God, keep your receipt
I think the reasons for this are fairly obvious.