Gap Kids Store Review - Have I Shrunk Again?
1535 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10128
I popped in a few weeks ago when my brother suggested I check out the store again. Of course, now I remember why I never shop in here! Most of the clothes are of decent quality and cut for the prices (sales come and go all the time here). So it's only the insistence of the Gap Kids designers to make everything so, well, childish that makes me refrain from buying most anything.
I know, at this point, most of you are thinking, 'what do you expect? It IS a children's store!' But my God, does everything have to have a little embossed (or gigantic printed) cutsie palm tree/sailboat/heart/rainbow on it?! Poor teenagers - I don't get the impression that 13+ year old girls or boys want to be dressed like this. Then again, it's been over a decade since I was that young, so maybe I'm wrong here? It gives me the impression that the only parents that shop here for their 14 year olds are desperately trying to tampen down their children's hormones. Can you possibly get more wholesome (at this price anyway) than this?
Anyway, despite my grumbling, I did wind up checking out the jeans -and a random dress, for kicks. It's been several years since I tried on a pair of jeans here, and I was surprised to find that either I've lost weight and a few inches off the top, or the pants are sized differently. About 7 years ago, I fit into a size 16 slim. The 16 slim fit in the waist, were just a little longer than my heels, and a little baggy in the thigh/leg area. Imagine my surprise when I slipped on a 14 slim and found that they were slightly longer than the old pair (which, alas, I no longer own), and tighter in the leg. I actually recall that I probably bought the size 16s back then because the legs were too short. I guess Gap realized teenage girls want to wear high heels or something, as I highly doubt they've gotten more willowy over the years.
The pants were not baby dolled up except for a tiny rainbow tag on the right back pocket. Easy enough to snip it off if you so desired. Quite a few of the other jeans did not have any of the girlie adornments on them, so if you can find a pair that's good here, it's a good deal cheaper (these were $29.50...about $20 cheaper than the ones in adult Gap). It also has some 'distress' marks on the inner thighs for stylistic purposes. They measure 26 1/2" around the waist, and have a 28" inseam.
The big shock came when I suspiciously looked at this dress. It came in the entire Gap Kids range of sizes. It's actually unbelievable to be wearing something like this past the age of 12, but I was stunned to find it available in larger sizes! The belief in the age appropriateness of baby bunnies and huge colorful flowers on clothing for 16 year olds by the designers is to be...commended.
Ok, honestly the thing that really threw me is that the sizes for some of the clothing seems be really off. The dress I tried on did come in size 14 and 16 too, but I was wearing one sized for an 8 year old! How embarrassing! Not only was the item a size 8, but it was slightly too big for me, well, everywhere except the shoulder straps.
So I have a relatively big bottom and small top? Hmm. I'm not really sure about that one either. Another item I own is a denim skirt that I bought about 3 years ago that I absolutely love...in a size 8, with a 24" waist. Oh well, I guess this isn't something to fuss about - after all, the adult clothing is the same way!
Gap Kids does not carry dress up clothing except for a button down shirt or two, in either gendered section. If you're willing (or deliberately looking) to put up with the cutsie stuff, then the place does carry quite a good selection of decent polo shirts, pants, jeans, and outer wear - with a definite imbalance towards pink and pastels for the girls, and blues and yellows for the boys.
Otherwise, you can do what I do, and hit 'em up for a lone skirt or shirt that doesn't make your short self look like you're supposed to be shopping here! If you're looking for great quality however, I'd suggest somewhere else, as most of the stuff isn't made to last terribly long in great condition.
If anyone else has any other suggestions for children's stores, be my guest and let me know!