20 June 2008

Slipping Away

Mrs. Yeoman Farmer (MYF) had quite an eye-opening adventure yesterday: trying to locate an adjustable slip that nine-year-old Homeschooled Farm Girl (HFG) could wear under her new dresses. We're not talking anything fancy here. Most of HFG's dresses are of the "everyday" variety, but we consider them a bit too thin to wear modestly without a slip.

MYF had never seen slips at the "superstores" she shops at most: Wal-Mart, Meijer, etc. Those are great places to get Junior Slut In Training outfits, but we rarely get any clothing there other than underwear, socks, and jeans for the boys. So, MYF called her aunt (BTW, in the black community it's pronounced "ONT," something I will never get used to saying) and asked for advice. Aunt Rita suggested Sears or J.C. Penney's; as MYF recalled her own mother buying slips at Sears when she was a girl, she decided to try that one first.

Uh, uh...sorry. Bad move. The children's department had zip, zero, nada --- but the clerk was kind enough to suggest MYF try a ballet studio. Using her cell phone and the store's phone book, MYF called J.C. Penney's, and both ballet studios in town. Nobody had anything. Just as MYF was snapping her phone shut, a nice older woman emerged from the bathroom. "I overheard you earlier. What you're looking for is a dinosaur," she said, sadly.

Undaunted, MYF decided to pursue another line of attack: based on the advice of a ballet studio clerk, she phoned the two bridal shops in town. Surely a bridal shop would have a slip that a Flower Girl could wear at a wedding, right? Nope. But the woman at one of the shops was kind enough to flip through all of her catalogues, seeing what could be ordered. But nothing sounded like it would work.

Frustrated but not defeated, MYF and the kids finally left Jackson and made their way to Ann Arbor to visit Grandma in the nursing home. Surely the big, upscale department stores like Macy's would have something, right? Not a chance. One of them said they could order something, but it wasn't the right size and the straps didn't adjust. At least MYF was doing this by phone, from the nursing home, and not driving all over town.

When she arrived home (quite late) yesterday evening and shared this sad tale of woe, I suggested she turn to the Internet. Her first move was to Google the words "Girls Slip" or "girls slip lingerie" or some such thing. Uhm...bad move. Most of the sites that came up were pretty unmentionable, and reminded me of the time I Googled the term "Vietnamese girls" while researching my novel. I suggested she refine her search, and then she finally got some usable results. With a bit of comparison shopping, she found the best source: an outlet/closeout place called Boscovs. But given that these are closeouts, MYF thought it would be wise to order three slips: one in HFG's current size, and one each in the next two larger sizes.

But you know what? It shouldn't be this difficult to find modest clothing for little homeschooled farm girls. And it's a crying shame that you can't find anything modest in retail stores.

4 comments:

Jeff Culbreath said...

What a story. Mrs. YF is nothing if not persistent! Good for her.

My wife has been through the same thing too many times to count. As you know she just gave up and started making clothes at home. Now my oldest daughter makes her own clothes too. Our youngest daughter wears "bloomers" under her dress or skirt. Bloomers are basically just long shorts or boys swimming trunks.

Keep up the fight. It doesn't hurt to register a complaint with the store managers now and then. Maybe they'll get the messsage someday.

Edward Vielmetti said...

I would try the Vermont Country Store

http://www.vermontcountrystore.com

as one possible start - more the new england look than the midwestern look, but the kind of practical place where you wouldn't be embarrassed by anything in the store.

benedictus said...

Ha ha! Reminds me of the early days of online shopping when I made a very naive guess at the URL for Dicks Sporting Goods.

We have had some luck shopping on ebay. There are some folks who specialize in selling modest cloths, including swim suits.

(FYI: haven't commented before, but been reading your blog for a while. It's very enjoyable, and always makes me look forward to doing some of my own homesteading when we get a house).

TYF said...

Thanks to all for the comments - nice discovering some of the readers out there.

Thanks for the tip on Vermont Country Store; they do have slips in women's sizes, but not small enough for HFG.

We have had good luck finding modest girls dresses on Ebay, but it can be hit-or-miss.