April 22, 2008

Question: Undershirts

I am hoping those of you with daughters older than mine can help me out on this. What is the deal with the "cami" tops sold in the little girls' underwear department? They're like tank tops and they match the underwear. They're undershirts, yes? And here is my main question: Do most little girls wear them? Or just SOME? Elizabeth still wears onesies now, but she's in the largest size and I've been wondering what's next, if anything. My older boys don't wear undershirts, but do older GIRLS wear them?

58 comments:

jonniker said...

This may or may not be helpful, but I vividly remember wearing undershirts much like you describe until I was old enough for a bra.

Nowheymama said...

K. (who's 6) wears them sometimes; it depends on the style/fabric of the top shirt.

LoriD said...

My 7-year-old has some undershirts. She wears them mostly for warmth in the winter and also under a blouse or t-shirt if it is relatively thin. She certainly doesn't wear them all the time.

Swistle said...

Jonniker- Me too! Did yours have little rosebuds on them? I had pink roses and yellow roses. And possibly blue roses, but the memory jury is out on that one.

Nicole said...

Hi Swistle,
Frequent reader, first time commenter...

I remember wearing the undershirts until I was ready to a "training bra". My undershirts had little roses on them. I had some with blue, some with yellow and some with pink.


Oh the memories...
Nicole

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I think it's probably personal choice. I don't recall wearing undershirts, but like nowheymama said, it might depend on the type of top shirt your child is going to wear. I also agree with lorid, they're a good option for warmth.

I don't think they're 100% necessary. I'm noticing more and more that some of the clothing they're making for children is almost more "accessory"-like... more like, "here's another way to spend some more money on kids clothes!".

Par exemple... why in the kids section do they make little "bras" that look like real bras... but they're size 1AAAAA or something?

Why on God's green earth would you put your child in a "bra" if they have no boobs? Undershirts are fine (but again, personal choice)...but if you have an 8 year old daughter with a flat chest... I just don't get it. I feel like its a waste of money and maybe it makes them grow up a little too fast.

I know some children develop early and need little bras early... but some of these bras? They're obviously not meant to hold anything in... I just don't get it.

LOL. What a rant, eh?

I don't even have any kids, so take my advice as you want to... I would just think that the undershirts are personal preference over whether or not she needs them under her particular clothing.

Saly said...

I'd be intersted to read these answers as well. ED does not wear an undershirt----he hates them. CA doesn't either and stopped wearing a onsie when she potty trained. It seems like she should though, right? For modesty? I vaguely remember having one on....

JennB said...

I put an undershirt on my daughter when it's chilly. So they're not an everyday requirement, at least not to me.

Linda said...

I use t-shirts for an extra layer in cool weather. I would use undershirts, but t-shirts have dual use and undershirts do not.

Emma's mom said...

I only put Emma in an undershirt when it's cold outside. Usually I start skipping the undershirt when she makes the move from long sleeves to short sleeves.

Jana said...

I've always wondered about undershirts! I never wore them and since I really had no idea what they were for, my daughter doesn't wear them, either. Of course, I grew up (and still live) in a very warm climate so needing an extra item of clothing to keep warm is a fairly foreign concept to me.

Maggie said...

I too remember the rosebud undershirts. I don't remember actually wearing them under my clothes, but rather with little shorts as pajamas in the summer.

Jody said...

I wore them when I was a kid but my daughters have never worn an undershirt in their lives.

The laundry pile is large enough as it is, thanks.

Kristin.... said...

My 7 year old wears the camis with a style of shirt that makes her feel a bit self conscious. Apparently when she bends over, you can see down the shirt, so the cami gives her peace of mind.
And my son LOVES his undershirts. He only weighs 35 pounds and he's always chilly.

Jen said...

since most of our clothes are hand-me-downs, we tend to wear them to help the clothes "fit" Some summer dresses just need a little bit more underneath to make them wearable in public. It's kind of like throwing shorts on under a jumper that's a little too short.

I've tried to get them to wear them in the winter for warmth, but they generally don't.

Welcome to our World said...

Ditto. Undershirt until I wore a training bra essentially.

AndreAnna said...

I never thought about it until now and I am currently fretting over this.

My kid is a stripper though and always warm. I think one more layer would just piss her off.

JMC said...

I grew up in SC, which is pretty darn hot, and I don't recall wearing undershirts ever. My oldest never wore them until we moved to PA and I noticed that my nieces wore them in the cooler weather. My middle two wear them in cooler weather for warmth. They don't wear them in summer. My youngest is still in onesies, but I use those just like undershirts - only in cooler weather.

Barbara said...

I always wore them when we lived up north or as I got older if I was wearing a kind of see-through top.

desperate housewife said...

I definitely remember wearing undershirts in the winter, and hating it. I dressed Addy in onesies (when it was truly cold out) until she was two, and then abandoned them completely and never attempted to have her wear undershirts. I figure, if she's cold, we can put on a sweater or a sweatshirt on top, just like the grown ups. With her temperment, I can just see undershirts driving her up the WALL.
This is something my mom firmly disagrees with me about. She always thinks my kids look cold. :)

Tina G said...

My 5 yr old wears them in the winter under a shirt- for layering purposes mainly. I wore them until I needed a bra and I sooooo missed my undershirts! We got some in Marshalls that are super soft- and plain white.

carrie said...

Yeah - layering when we lived in the frozen tundra of Chicago. Anytime I would have normally put a onesie on her - I switched to cami/t-shirt after she was potty trained.

laughing mommy said...

My 5 year old wears those cami style undershirts if it is cold outside or cold at night. They seem to help her stay warmer although I'm not exactly sure how. I think little girls see mommy wearing a bra and want to wear something underneath their shirt too.

nonsoccermom said...

Hmm. I do not remember wearing undershirts as a little girl. Of course, I grew up in the sauna of South Texas so extra layers of clothing = invitation for heatstroke.

jen said...

I didn't read the other comments, but I think they are just girly undershirts. I just buy the envelope neck gerber or carter's "undershirts" and put them all in a box and both kids wore them. They've outgrown them and I haven't bothered replacing them, so they don't wear any undershirts anymore. I used to do it when they were younger for warmth in the winter though.

monique said...

Neither of my girls have ever worn undershirts, (they wore onsies until they outgrew them) but they both have a couple of camis for wearing under something that might be more revealing than they would like -- especially thin white tee shirts or whatever.

Ms. Flusterate said...

My youngest (11) insists on wearing them only because she is too young for a bra and wants to be like her older (well-endowed and not from ME) sisters. My older two did not wear them nor did I.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

I think it's just another way of separating you from your money. My daughter is almost 7 and doesn't wear them. You could just wear them as a tank top or as pjs, with the bottoms.

Other than that, "having" to wear them as a precursor to a bra? No way! She'll have to wear a bra for so much of her life that starting early when there's nothing there seems rather silly to me.

Oh and Swistle, I made a post just for you.

jaime said...

Uh.... I don't remember ever wearing undershirts. But then, I'm kind of a hick.

Eleanor Q. said...

I wore undershirts as a kid until I was ready for a training bra. I think the climate we live in would determine whether I would dress my kid in one now. But as someone who runs a little cold, I like having a little extra warmth that isn't a jacket or a sweater.

Kelsey said...

I had totally forgotten about those little rosebud undershirts until you mentioned it, but I totally wore them! I just asked my mom about this the other day. I also used onesies until potty training, then nothing for a while, and now Harper wears an undershirt when she feels like it because we received some as hand-me- downs. She seems to like them so I probably will buy some when these are outgrown, just to have the option. Unless Elizabeth is frequently cold, I would think they are basically unnecessary.

Omaha Mama said...

We bought a 5 pack of plain white Hanes tanks. They go under some of the blousey tshirts that B has that are scoop-type neck. She doesn't wear them under regular tshirts. I did buy her one cami to wear under her super-itchy (according to her) Easter dress. It's tighter and has the little under bra thing. I imagine she'll wear it as a top in the dead of summer when playing in the back yard, kind of like a swim suit top.

Anonymous said...

I have two girls, ages 5 & 7. The younger one wears undershirts every day. I'm not sure what she'll do now that it's hotter. The older one wears them when it's really cold, or her shirt is thin or light colored. I bought them each 4 or 5 plain white hanna andersson undershirts. They were $8 and cheaper then those cami type things at Target, plus organic as well.

Everyone's crazy... said...

My daughter and I had a conversation about this just last week. I made her wear something under her t-shirts when she started being more obviously a girl in 3rd grade. She ended up wearing a bra a couple of years later, but still to this day wears undershirts or layers of some sort.

I make her do her own laundry so the addition of a layer a day doesn't end up making anymore work or me.

It's totally a preference, but I didn't want her little self to get teased or feel awkward about her body so young.

There was plenty of time for that in Junior High and now in 10th grade, she's pretty well adjusted.

and completely addicted to the under shirt.

Marie Green said...

My girls wear undershirt/cami's that you are describing, but only in the winter. I just like them having an extra layer, especially when it's super cold and at night. I don't think it's necessary during warmer months...

the new girl said...

I TOTALLY remember wearing undershirts.

I still wear those cami-tops with certain kinds of shirts.

*tactile issues*

Meegan said...

Swistle - I definitely had the same undershirts you described to Jonniker! And yes, there were blue roses in addition to the pink and yellow ones.

I know nothing about what happens after onesies. Camis? For little people? Sounds creepy to me.

k.. said...

I love them for warmth, she was just recently potty trained and in the largest size of onesies available so those are out...but I will buy her some of these when the cold weather hits again. I do remember wearing them (the rosebud ones even!) as a little girl.

Allison said...

Clicked over here from Jonniker. My daughter is 2 1/2 (3 in September) and when it was cold outside and she just had on a long sleeved shirt, she'd wear one of those cami type undershirts for warmth. T tops, she called them.

Alice said...

i grew up in (pretty cold!) nj, and NEVER wore those undershirt/cami things.

i know this for certain, because when i was in like 9th grade, my mom finally bought me a training bra because she felt it was time i wore SOMETHING under my shirts, even though - sadly, oh so sadly - there was absolutely. no. reason. to at the time. oh highschool, how i hated you.

jonniker said...

Swistle, mine were boring and plain white. I am envious of your rose-laden shirts.

Farrell said...

so this is what I have to look forward to? gah.

Ginaagain said...

I think it's really a personal choice thing. My 12 yr old never had any interest in wearing them (and is less than thrilled now that she has to wear a bra). However, my 9 yr old started wearing them when she was about three and wears them under everything, even her pajamas!

Emblita said...

I always wore undershirts too- until the whole training bra thing kicked in around 11 years old.
I had some really pretty ones with embroidered flowers too.

But they were mostly a winter/thin shirt thing. Not so much in the summer.

Misty said...

Meh. I didn't wear them. I had a slip for under dresses sometimes, but no undershirts. Not quite sure of the point.

I wonder about the "modesty" of such a little girl. I am not sure piling on layers sends a good message if her brothers don't have to do it. My vote is that if the boys don't do it and you can't tell the difference between the little boy chest and the little girl chest, why the undershirt? Sounds kinda...off to me. I can't explain properly.

Tracy said...

I am a little bit of a freak about that. My girls wear them everyday. I started when they were little with the onsies and just continued from there. I wear one everyday too, so maybe I am just pushing my obsessions on them.

CAQuincy said...

I remember wearing them as like a pajama top in the summer when I was little--but only for like one summer.

I've never bought them for either of my daughers.

Chez Bacon said...

My daughter is almost three has some that she wears occasionally- usually under dresses when it's chilly or if her shirt has itchy inside seams or is sort of see-through. I remember my mom was horrified that she wasn't in undershirts this winter, though, even when she was wearing a shirt with a sweater over it.

I have a question about onesies, though- how long are kids supposed to wear those? Was I remiss in not keeping them on my daughter longer? Once she outgrew the 24mo size-around 18 months- I thought she didn't need them anymore? I couldn't even find bigger ones.
Also, I've seen some moms put plain onesies under EVERYTHING- including other shirts that snap at the crotch. Am I supposed to do this too? I always used onesies as part of the outfit (my 3mo is currently in a onesie and matching pants) and not as underwear that was supposed to go under everything. Once my daughter was walking/over a year, if she was wearing a shirt that didn't snap I wouldn't normally put a onesie underneath it. Only if it was chilly out.
I think I might be obsessing here.

Swistle said...

Chez Bacon- My kids have all been long-torsoed, so their pants tend to be loose at the waists and their shirts are short. I use onesies as long as possible: they help hold pants up and they keep tummies from chilly breezes. But I think I use them longer than is typical.

Astarte said...

I wore undershirts, and I hated them. Josie is almost 9, and will probably start wearing training bras this coming year, but up to this point has never worn an undershirt. I don't know any children who do, actually, unless it's winter, but then it's not an undershirt, it's a layer. She sometimes wears a tank top under something if I feel it's too low-cut or thin, but again, it's a layer.

Kim/2 Kids said...

My daughter who is now 11 lived in Petit Bateau tanks until last year. However, this is the same girl who wore the same outfit for 9 days straight before I could wash it. She didn't wear undewear or socks consistently until the third grade. Luckily, she outgrew most of her little quirks.

Anonymous said...

I never wore undershirts. Then again, my mom didn't bother buying me a bra (and I never asked for one) until I was 12 and already in a B cup, so I'm probably not the best example.

Colleen said...

I just stopped putting the onesie t-shirts on Zoe since she's been potty training. I felt like it was still a little chilly and I wanted her to have the extra t-shirt layer...but those snaps were a problem. I bought some of the cami shirts. They're just plain white. They don't match the underwear we bought (wiggles, elmo, dora and little mermaid).

Danielle-lee said...

My little sis wears them. She's been wearing them since she was 7. She wears them mostly for an extra layer, but I think it's also the pre-pre-bra.

Jenni said...

I always wore undershirts, but I never even considered buying them for my 5 year old daughter until this weekend. I was watching my two nieces (5,7) and they both were wearing them.

I was, "Oh yeah, undershirts. Forgot about those..."

I think I may pick some up for the think summer materials.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see there is dialogue regarding this. I was starting to think I was crazy. My daughter is 7 and I have had the worst time trying to find an undershirt with short sleeves that I wore as a child. Like many of you I thought you basically wore an undershirt until it is time for a training bra. Expecially when it's cold outside. I only find camisoles and tank styled undergarments and in my opinion these are entirely too grown up for girls age 10 and below. What will they ever have to look forward to. It's a shame that the clothing industry has forced our daughters to want to be ladies before their time. Bra's are forever and is something that girls should look forward to graduating to. No one so many very young girls already are wanting breast implants.

OliveStreetStudio said...

While I'm WAY LATE commenting, I just had to chime in with my frustration. My daughter is now 3 and the onesies are too small for her, BUT it's cold outside! SO I went to buy undershirts. MUCH to my dismay, Target, Kohls, Children's Place, Hanes - all have camisole types. What about the little t-shirts ones? I always remember wearing them until switching to a training bra...DID anyone ever find ones???

Anonymous said...

It's a throwback to the time when *everybody* wore undergarments, both upper and lower. Men have a choice of styles, the t-shirt and the wifebeater. Yes, young people, less than 75 years ago the t-shirt was *strictly* underwear! Little boys had t-shirts, little girls had cami-style undershirts, and women wore full slips or camisoles over their brassiere. I too had the rosebud print ones, which I only wore when it was very cold, or when visiting my grandmother, who believed I ought to wear them every day, even in August.