Yesterday, I took my daughter shopping for some new shorts and as I waited for her outside the fitting rooms, a young teenage girl came out wearing one pair of jeans and holding another.
"Well?" said her mom.
"These are a zero," she said. "But they're a little tight in places."
"I think maybe you need to go up to a 1," her mom said.
"No, mom," she said. "I don't want to wear a 1."
"Well," sighed her mom. "As long as you can breathe."
As the girl turned and went back into the dressing room, her mom glanced over at me and shook her head. I just smiled.
That scenario, I think, is one of the trickiest mother-daughter shopping moments there is: When your daughter clearly needs to go up a size, yet telling her that feels -- to her -- like you're saying she's putting on weight.
Of course, at a certain age, girls are supposed to be putting on weight and it's a perfectly normal period of growth.
But they don't always see it that way.
I always encourage moms to make it about the clothes -- because it often is. My daughter knows that different manufacturers cut clothing differently and one's size 1 or 3 might be another's size 5 or 7. If it makes you feel bad to have to go up to a larger size, you can a) not buy that particular brand or b) buy the size you look great in and cut the tag out. Why not?