I wish they were all this simple

By Mir
April 8, 2010

Sometimes someone sends me a question and I have no idea what the answer is. Other times—like today—I get to feel like a rock star because I know the answer right away. Yay!

Want Not regular (and pretty lady) Kakaty writes:

Dear Super-shopper Mir,

I’m in need of help. I’m searching for size 4T cotton bike shorts for my daughter in solid colors for her to wear under skirts and dresses. She’s very much a skirt and dress girl but needs to wear something under those skirts and dresses all the time – her choice, not mine. Many skirts on the market have sewn in bloomers which turned her on to the idea of having “pants” under her skirt. Plus I make her several skirts and dresses each summer and while I can sew a simple skirt, I’m not talented enough to sew in bloomers. So, she’s got a wardrobe of perfectly acceptable summer-ish clothes that she refuses to wear (she wore these things all winter with leggings under them).

I’ve searched and searched and all I can find to meet my needs are the solid bike shorts at Hanna Andersson. And while I love me some Hanna’s I would like to get 4-5 pairs and just can’t justify spending $75+ on toddler bike shorts. Not even ones stitched from magical Swedish cotton. And I’ve looked for resales of HAs on ebay with no luck.

I’ve tried to look on-line but other then HA I can’t find what I want. My criteria are: cotton, solid colors, tight fitting (like leggings, only shorts) for under dresses or longer tops, $10 or less per pair. I figure if a master on-line shopper like you can’t find them, then they don’t exist.

Give me a second to adjust my cape… okay. Picture me making a swashbuckling move right here, please. The answer to your question is… Children’s Place. More specifically, these bike shorts at Children’s Place, which come in a veritable rainbow of colors, for just about $7 apiece. They just got these in stock, so if you looked there before and didn’t see them, don’t feel bad. But they’ve pretty much been carrying solid bike shorts for girls every Summer since forever, so I knew they’d have ’em. And yes, they’ll be cheaper at the end of the season, but $7 isn’t bad, and you can use coupon code C4A4A to save another 15% off your order. (Also note: I linked you to the “little girls” option, which goes up to 4T. For fifty cents more you can get them in “big girls” sizes, so when they go on sale later this season, you can go back and buy up a size for next year.)

Alternatively, a see a few cute discounted patterned options over at Crazy 8. But TCP is going to be your best bet, I think.


  1. Gymboree has them, too – limited color selection on the solids, but I bought some in white, yellow and pink. Good luck!

  2. oh THANK YOU! We have the same situation over here.

  3. Wow, great info. I just said to my older daughter (age 10) yesterday that we needed to get some new ones for her for the same reason. i used to get from Gymboree, but pricey at full price. Perfect. Thanks so much.

  4. I usually go with Gymbo just because they are not as long as the TCP bike shorts and my 6 yr old says they are more comfortable.

  5. I have found some good ones at Target at times – but it’s hit and miss. Good luck!

  6. thank you thank you thank you! i was having the same problem — thanks, kakaty for asking, and thanks, mir for being as wise and pretty as ever!

  7. Gymboree is a great source for solid bike shirts- they last well. Francis pants has cute patterned shorts.

  8. If you know your Swedish size, you can look up at the HA website and look for an outlet and call them and say, “Do you have any bike shorts?” Unless they have one of there super-duper sales going on, they will usually be nice and look for you. It’s a flat amount for up to X amount for shipping. But I have gotten HA bike shorts for $5 at the outlet. And maybe you even have an outlet near you and you can go and get some Scandahoovian cuteness for cheap.

  9. My 7 yo lives in dresses all summer also. I must give a shout out to buying the HA shorts later in the season when they go on sale for $8-12. They don’t ride up or fall down and will miraculously last 2-3 seasons. (That Swedish sizing is amazing) We also own CP ones but often they do not last through the season for us because my daughter always has an August growth spurt.

    Also you can get decent ones from Lands End, but again wait for a sale.

  10. Dude – You must have a red-phone connection to CP, because I’ve looked there and all they had were crazy tie-dyed and ruffle-hem shorts. Off to buy RIGHT NOW. THANK YOU!!!

  11. same situation here. i just love y’all.

  12. I just excitedly did the “ooh, oooh!” thing, as I clicked over. I have been HUNTING these things. THANK YOU!

  13. Wow, I feel so relieved, because I’m having the same issue with 2/3 of my girls. Thanks for the leads, Mir, and it’s lovely to know I’m not alone with this issue!

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