Alivia is now a tween. Shopping for her is a total nightmare. There are limited stores that have tween clothes.
Justice for Girls is one. I, for one, am not happy with the quality of the clothes from Justice. I rarely find anything there that looks half way descent for the price. When I do, there is a hole in the item before ALIVIA even outgrows it. Alivia is not hard on her clothes. I try to buy things that she can wear and then turn and give to Addison to wear. For the price one has to pay for clothes from Justice, I expect them to be outgrown before they wear out. That has not happened in any of the clothes that I have purchased for Aliva. Therefore, I have not been to Justice in 2 years, last buying something for Alivia there for Christmas when she was in the first grade (she is now in third). Besides, most of the time, Justice tries to dress tweens to look more like little hussies, in my never to be humble opinion (sorry, that is the only word to describe it!). Enough on Justice. I believe my opinion on the store is clear.
This season has been especially difficult. For one, I no longer buy her things in advance. I really should, but her taste in clothing changes so much. I would hate to buy her new clothes and find that she refuses to wear them when the time comes. Seriously, buying Alivia clothes is a big investment in time and money...cha ching! So far, Alivia usually is very appreciative of whatever I find for her. She knows that I am struggling between the finding clothes in her size that look too babyish and clothes for hussies. :)
Gymboree carries Alivia's size, now 8-9. However, I really have to look so that Alivia does not look like a Kindergartener. That is difficult to do at Gymboree, but not impossible. I have had good luck there the last couple of seasons. There sizes go up to size 12, but I am not sure Alivia will be willing to wear Gymboree when she is 12. We are pushing it now.
I have purchased things from Crazy 8 (the step down from Gymboree) a few times, but I have found their clothes shrink and do not last. So, I try not to buy anything there anymore unless purely for play clothes.
Next up, the Gap. Their clothes are built to last. I try to only shop there when there is a sale, though. It is more difficult to put an outfit together, but I usually find a couple things here. Alivia has 2 pairs of jeans from the Gap and a few shirts. I just bought her some play clothes from there, too (again, I pay more so they will last so Addison can wear them as well. I do not want to buy 3 wardrobes every season with Alivia, Addison and Asher. What a nightmare! That will come soon enough). I do have a little problems with the Gaps sizing being too big. Alivia is wearing an 8, which in their jeans works. However, in their play wear, the pants are super long. It is a big guessing game. And, since the Gap is no where around here, I hesitate buying online or going to the store when I may have to return the clothes due to sizing issues. Old Navy is one place I can only go for play clothes for Alivia. Again, they just do not last. I also hate it when I see 10 girls at school with the same shirt on. Considering Old Navy is a mile from our house, neighborhood and school, a lot of girls get their clothes there.
I absolutely love Hanna Andersson. I have purchased things from there since Alivia was a baby. Their clothing is expensive, but it looks like new after 2 kids have worn it! It is of amazing quality. I have purchased the girls' Christmas dresses from there for the last few years. LOVE our Hannas. This year, I again purchased their Christmas dresses from Hanna and also purchased Alivia a few dresses to wear with leggings for school. Alivia does not like to wear jeans, so the dress/legging combo seems to work for her. And, with Hanna, Addison will be able to wear the clothes and they will still look new (and lucky for me, Addison does not mind so far).
I have purchased a few thing from Children's Place, too. However, again, it is located about a mile from our neighborhood and the kids's school. So, you see many kids wearing their clothes at school. I mostly buy clothes from there for play. It does look okay through one kid, 2 kiddos may be pushing it. Their denim is of good quality, though (although my girls rarely wear jeans). I have bought boys' clothes there and it has lasted through Asher. That says something. Also, it is Children's Place, so I am thinking my time of buying things for Alivia there is limited and growing slimmer with each year. They do have sizes through 14, though (which is crazy!). I give her maybe one more year, buying size 10 maybe from there, maybe. Big Maybe.
Lastly, I just purchased a few things from Next. I have never ordered from this catalog before, but Alivia actually selected some things out of it for Christmas (SCORE!). They looked cute and came reasonably priced. We will see how they work out. She will be getting these items for Christmas, I believe. I may have to lay them up to her while she sleeps to make sure they fit. :)
Really, it is a full time job and an expensive undertaking finding tween clothes for the next season. Thank goodness I love online shopping! At least I have several things purchased already for Alivia for next summer. I'm so overwhelmed from shopping (something I hate to do), that I would prefer just to go naked myself. Now, that is a scary thought!