A dear internet friend writes:
Dear Francesca and Plumcake,
I am not what one would call the big girl, I am fourteen and a size zero or two. I have a dreadful time trying to find clothes that are within the price range that my mother would deem acceptable for someone who is still growing and fit properly. My problem is I have a rather large bust. I am a DD and while this might not seem that large it is on someone of my size (I am five foot two). I know this isn’t exactly your area of expertise but having read the letter from Tracy I thought you might be able to help.
Dear Anna Beth,
Ayyyy! To be fourteen years old, and 5’2″, and have the DD bust, it is not easy! And to have a mother with a budget! Ayyyy!
Francesca says: You must work together with your mother on this, as a team.
On one hand, is your family’s financial needs. On the other is your understandable desire to look attractive. Francesca trusts that you are not trying to tell your mother to buy only the latest, designer, name-brand clothing, but rather that you want normal, pretty blouses (of any brand) which do not look like tents on you, and that the prices at large-chest specialty stores, such as Bravissimo, are out of your budget.
If this is the case, then sit down with your mamman and explain that you are happy to buy clothing that is on sale, or less quality than your taste (perhaps you have very advanced standards for your age, but at 14 you can get away with less quality; your mother is correct about this), but that the reality of having a large chest (which perhaps you inherited from her? Or from your beloved grandmother?) is that, one way or another, one pays more for the clothes. For example, if you are going to a regular clothing store and buying clothes off the rack on sale, then you must buy a bigger size, so that it will fit at the chest — and then you MUST bring it to a seamstress to have other areas, such as your size 2 waist, “taken in.” There is also the matter that the sleeves may need to be shortened.
It is a choice of either spending more on the clothes to begin with, or of spending more on the seamstress (which might be the cheaper option). At the very least, you will need a budget for pretty camis, as our readers have discussed in the comments to Tracy’s question.
If your mother balks at this, Francesca’s suggestion is to become crafty, literally. Francesca herself greatly wishes that she had taken a sewing class at your age, so that she could create or alter clothing to her own specifications, without need of the seamstress. Taking a sewing class now, when you are young, will allow you to develop your talents as you grow up, so that by the time you go to college you are creating one-of-a-kind clothing that makes your new college friends say “wow, where did you get that?”
Another option is for your mamman to give you an exact number of dollars per year that she is willing to spend on your clothes, and for the Anna Beth to step up the babysitting or dog-walking or newspaper route jobs in order to supplement the amount.
Using your own resources to get what you want, rather than relying on your parents, is what we call “building character.” Francesca, too, worked hard every summer during her teenage years and used the monies to purchase things that her parents could not afford, and look, now she is the woman of a fabulous career who wears superfantastic clothing and even is asked fashion advice from people around the world! So you see, there is much hope for the Anna Beth!