Either I’m old or Old Navy needs to rethink their fashions

Dear Old Navy,

I’m a really busy girl. I have kids and work and school and supper and laundry and, well you get the point. With all this going on I prefer to shop at night. When all the kids are in bed. Usually around midnight.

To shop at midnight I have to shop online because the stores are closed by then. But that’s ok. Really I prefer this anyway because people often annoy me and online I don’t have anybody coming up to me over and over again saying, “Can I help you?” or “Are you finding everything you need?”

My daughter is growing like a weed. Seriously. I can’t get that girl to stop. I buy her a new wardrobe and by the time I wash everything once she outgrows them. It’s really annoying. I told her she either needs to stop growing or she needs to get a job, but she never listens. Figures.

So anyway, my eight-year-old is now in a size 10 so I had to buy her a bunch of summer clothes. Her size 8 clothes from last summer are way to small. So I headed over to my trusty Old Navy bookmark in Firefox and took a look at your inventory. I picked out some cute summer dresses, some shorts and a bunch of t-shirts. All good.

My daughter also needs some new swimsuits. Her butt cheeks are starting hang out of last year’s suit and I just can’t have that. I’m apparently not hip because I’m just not down with these short shorts and teeny-tiny tops that girls are wearing these days. I want my girl to be covered.

So I purchased this swimsuit for my daughter. It’s really cute. She loves pink. She loves flowers. And this covered her tummy. These were her three requiements. So all was good.

At least until the clothes arrived.

My daughter was so excited for her new clothes (she kind of a clothes junkie, but aren’t we all). She immediately ran downstairs to try on her swimsuit first. Imagine my shock when she walked up stairs with boobies.

Now I sometimes get distracted, but I was pretty sure she had no boobs before she went downstairs to try on her new clothes. But there she was, standing before me in her new suit with what was so obviously some boobage.

I was shocked. Before I knew it a “what the hell?” slipped out from lips. See what you did to me Old Navy? You made me curse in front of my child. Tsk. Tsk.

Upon further inspection I discovered this suit has a little padded bra. Seriously Old Navy?!? A padded bra. In a child’s swimsuit? Not a teenager’s swimsuit, but a size 10 CHILD’s swimsuit.

Fortunately I was able to remove the padding and all is now right with the world. But I’ve got to tell you. I’m still a little shaken by it. What’s next, padded onesies for infants?

Get a grip Old Navy. Girls may think they want to look sexy. And they may think padded swimsuits are the way to go. But any girl who wears a size 10 doesn’t buy her own clothes. Her mom buys ‘em. And I gotta tell you. This mom is sooo not in to the padding.

I’m putting you on notice Old Navy. Our relationship is starting to get a little rocky. If you value my love and affection you won’t let this happen again.

Hugs and Kisses,


  1. blue bamboo Said,

    April 11, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

    WOO! HOO! I am loudly applauding your critique of Old Navy and its fashion design for our daughters! What on earth are they thinking? Old Navy, a former staple, is starting to sell what my husband and I call ‘little girl hooker wear’. It sucks. I want my girls to be covered too. Until they’re 30 or so. ;)

    blue bamboo’s last blog post..We Wii’d…

  2. Matthew @ Childsplayx2 Said,

    April 12, 2008 @ 7:54 am

    Seriously? Padded? Wow.

    I have noticed even when shopping for my toddler girl at target that some of the skirts and such seem a little, ahem, short.

    I’m gonna have to start learning to sew and make our own clothes if this keeps up!

    Matthew @ Childsplayx2′s last blog post..100 Things Worth Remembering, Part IV

  3. Lis Garrett Said,

    April 12, 2008 @ 8:28 am

    Yeah – I’ve noticed Old Navy clothes starting to get a little inappropriate for young girls. Even if girls that age are slightly developed (I got my first bra when I was 10) there’s no reason for a swimsuit to be padded. That’s just weird.

    Lis Garrett’s last blog post..Feedback

  4. Mrs. F Said,

    April 12, 2008 @ 1:51 pm

    Wow, just wow. I can not believe that.
    If a 10 year old (or 8-year old in your case) wants boobs she has to do it like the rest of us did when we were 10- with Kleenex. Jeez. Padding in her swimsuit. Ugh!!!

    Mrs. F’s last blog post..Menu Friday and a special birthday treat

  5. Jamie Said,

    April 12, 2008 @ 3:12 pm

    Oh hell no! Ugh.

  6. Zen Said,

    April 13, 2008 @ 3:17 pm

    Dang! I wouldn’t go as far as to call it ridiculous or misguided, but that’s quite strange that for some reason their researching has come up with the information that large boobs when a girl’s ten already comes into notice. Ew. I can’t bear to think of it >.> What’s weird is, I’m fifteen and when I look for swimsuits, I don’t often find ones with padding. So the fact that your daughter’s swimsuit is designed for 10-year-olds is just….argh.

  7. Angie Said,

    April 13, 2008 @ 6:35 pm

    I am grateful that I have a son right now. I am really appalled at the way the fashion industry thinks that little girls need to look like teenagers! And that teens need to look like 25 year old women. There is already enough fuel for inappropriate conduct (by the opposite sex) out there. Why can’t we have more designers who believe that it is more than ok for a young girl, teenager, or woman to dress modestly. I’m not talking full-length shirts, and skirts, but can we please cover things up a little more? And can we allow the little girls to dress like little girls?

    Thanks for sharing this. Sorry if I rambled. This issue is a huge pet peeve of mine!

  8. Cindy Said,

    April 14, 2008 @ 6:43 am

    That made me a little sick to my stomache! Shame on you Old Navy!

    Cindy’s last blog post..A new beginning

  9. Stephanie Said,

    April 14, 2008 @ 4:23 pm

    I think Old Navy’s swimsuits are right up there with some of the things Kohl’s is featuring for the under-16 set. I am appalled. Zen might not call it ridiculous or misguided, but I definitely would! They’ll be old enough to wear bras with no padding required before too long. Why push the envelope?

    Stephanie’s last blog post..Five Years

  10. Sunday Reading Said,

    April 20, 2008 @ 2:15 pm

    [...] selling a plunging, padded bra for kids as young as seven. I recently had this same issue with a bathing suit I bought at Old Navy for my eight-year-old. Tags: active listening, Adventure in Parenting, ALot2Lose.com, BlogHer, [...]

  11. daisy Said,

    May 13, 2008 @ 3:22 pm

    not everyone who is a size 10 is eight years old. my daughter is 14 and a size ten. i say that if you can take the padding out, everything’s fine….. but if we’re talking about an 8-year-old, then DEFINITELY take the padding out. what girl even needs to think about that when she’s eight? there WILL be time for that

  12. MBH Said,

    May 13, 2008 @ 6:01 pm

    I just wanted to chime in as a former Old Navy employee. The padding in the little girl’s bathing suits is actually there to protect them from perving eyes. They range of development from girl to girl in a single size is really big now. The padding is added in there to prevent from nipples being visible under the thing spandex suits. ON really does have the girl’s best interest in mind, and it’s something that we at our store discussed as well before asking someone about it.

  13. Adrianna Said,

    July 9, 2008 @ 11:25 am

    wow, for a 8 year old! seriously?

  14. Jessie Said,

    March 10, 2009 @ 6:13 pm

    I dont think its that bad because im 13 and most of my friends wear a 10 or 12 so for our age that is completely appropriate.

  15. Alex Said,

    June 27, 2009 @ 9:39 am

    Well, I’m 15 and a bit on the small side. Okay, a lot on the small side. I still wear a size 10, especially for bathing suites.. so i think this is perfectly fine. Im actually looking for somewear where I can get a little padding because Im as flat as you can get.. and for 15 thats a little embarrassing.

  16. Jo Said,

    March 24, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

    Okay, I just gave it some thought. What would possess a store to do that? I thought back when I was younger. I am thinking, for you women out there, do you remember breast buds? They sucked, right? Can you imagine sporting those in a swim suit? Super embarrassing. IF, and I am saying IF, the padding is there to save the embarrassment of buds in a wet swimsuit, then I am all for it. Especially if they are removable. I had buds in the 4th grade and I hated them.

  17. Lisa Said,

    June 5, 2010 @ 5:39 am

    Hey, all. Personally, I think Christine needs to read the details before shopping online. Especially at midnight. The bathing suits that are padded aren’t meant for eight year olds! They make them for people like my daughter. My daughter is petite, she is 4′ 8 1/2″. She fits into a size 10, but she’s 12 years old. And she actually does “have some boobage”. I want her to be covered (not let anything show through), and because most bathing suits are see through, I buy her padded bathing suits because she is self-consious. She actually NEEDS the padding. And to Jo, yes she has buds.

  18. Christine Said,

    June 15, 2010 @ 11:29 am

    Actually my daughter is now 10 1/2 and wears a size 14/16. I just bought her 2 new bathing suits. Neither of them were padded. In fact I didn’t see a single padded swimsuit in the girl’s section at Target. She is now starting to develop (much to my dismay) and wears bras (that are NOT padded). And I still wouldn’t buy her a padded bathing suit. No 10 year old (or 12 year old) NEEDS a padded swimsuit. My daughter has several swimsuits (including the one that I mentioned in this post) and none of them are see-through. Let’s be honest. Your 12-year-old isn’t self-conscious because bathing suits are see-through. She is self-conscious because our society has this obsession with big boobs and every girl wants to be bigger than she is. Other girls are likely developing faster than her and she wants to be like them. I’ve been there. I’m in my 30s and an A-cup. I feel her pain. But buying our preteen daughters padded swimsuits and bras isn’t the answer. Instead we need to teach our daughters to love their bodies the way they are. I understand that’s easier said than done in today’s day and age where girl’s are just looking for any excuse to make fun of other classmates, but I just can’t grapple my brain around a solution that involves padded bras for children.

  19. Jo Said,

    June 15, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

    See, for me, it wasn’t wanting to be bigger. I wanted a buffer between my boobs and the world. It isn’t about the swimsuit being see through, but rather the funky bud shape. New boobs don’t look like real boobs for a good while. I went to Justice to check out the padding and it’s more of a thick liner than actual padding. It’s not going to boost your size like like a wonder bra. It’s going to keep your headlights from turning on.

  20. Amy Said,

    June 28, 2010 @ 4:42 pm

    I was at JC Penny today in Brighton, MI and I could not find a 4T or 5T suit for my daughter that didn’t have (loudly and proudly-proclaimed through heart-shaped stickers and tags) a padded bust.

    I wanted to throw up. This is my FOUR-YEAR-OLD. What is wrong with people?

    These kinds of suits got pulled of the shelves in the UK and dubbed “pedo-bikinis”. Why aren’t people here shrieking with outrage?

  21. Jo Said,

    June 28, 2010 @ 6:45 pm

    Now THAT is crazy. You can’t even say that maybe there’s puberty going on.

  22. GIGI Said,

    July 2, 2010 @ 7:55 am

    I’m sorry but we are having exactly the opposite issue – my poor dauther is 10 and has developed more than I would like at this early of an age and so the padding is exactly what we need. Now understand the padding I have seen, is not thick at all in some swimsuits and in most cases it is removable. I haven’t seen any young girl swimsuits out there with modesty petals in the front, so why should my daughter have to suffer by showing all she has. Again she is 10 and does not want to show any more than she has too – however we have checked everywhere and have had almost no luck or we are havng to look at the Junior sizes to accomodate the bust issue. In this case she really hates it because as most of you know the Junior size suits all get smaller and smaller in the bottoms and she does not like that at all either. Justice was the only store I found with the padding in a young girl size. I would much rather have the option of padding – at least you guys can take it out – it is much harder to have to add it to Girls size swimsuits so as to avoid my daughter’s embarrassment because her Nips are showing through. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think they are doing it for Bigger Boob purposes – some young ladies just need the extra covering. Trust me I have seen plenty of the non-padded swim suits you should have no problem finding them. To me there are a few more girls out there (busty or not) that need that extra padding to cover large or dark nips – I don’t feel that just because they are little girls that should be OK to let them hang all out because we are so hung up on padding. Unfortunately we live in a society where perv’s are watching whether we like it or not, and I’d much rather have a little sheet of padding to help protect my daughter from hanging all out. I have read over and over in these comments how the parent is so offended by this, but my daughter is bothered by it and so we do what we can to make sure she is the one that feels comfortable and trust me she has enough, I am not looking for her to have more. I admit, we do struggle in finding bra’s with covering and not boob padding as well, I do see that in the bra’s but the bathings suits have not been a good find for us this summer. I guess all our girls are just not built the same so what some of you critizize them for, I happen to applaud them for.

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