3 Things About Teenage Fashion Other Parents Want You to Know

First of all, let’s put something on the table right now–I do tell my kidlet which clothes are appropriate and which clothes are not–based on my opinion anyway. So just because it doesn’t appear as such, doesn’t mean I didn’t say it. Am I right–sound familiar parents?

A tight spot because on one hand my child says, “Everyone dresses like this,” while the other hand checks my blood pressure for emotional distress as she leaves the house in some type of spandex she poured herself into. The good news is, I was “asked,” yes folks you heard it here first, I was actually asked by my kidlet to write about teenage fashion sense.

I agreed to write about it, but from a parents’ perspective and this is my take on it. This is not about what other parents “do” or “say” in regards to the wardrobe, no, this is about choices–hers!

1) Right to own the experience

My daughter is correct; we parents should allow our teenagers to decide what they want to wear. After all, we are only talking about clothing. Some of it might be a bit questionable, but when I think back over the 70’s, I am sure I sported a few horrid outfits from time to time.

It’s their choice, right or wrong, and they will have to be accountable for their wardrobe whether it is positive or negative, these young adults will inadvertently own the decision. Let us not forget that somewhere along the line peer pressure will usually take care of some of it.

2) It’s the style ‘du jour’

They are all doing it. All one needs to do is drive through the carpool line to see the commonality of teenage choices. I’ve said it before in a recent post; teenagers want to be like everybody else even if that means wearing clothes that are distracting or inappropriate.

These young adults are not looking for acceptance from the parents. It’s quite the opposite.They’re desperate for approval from the peer group. They don’t care what’s inappropriate, they just want to fit in and stay current with the trends. Negative parental opinions would be the fuel the teenager needs to support the fashion choice.

Teenagers are not preparing for the future, they’re accessorizing for “right now.”

3) Parents would like to be invited for coffee

When you see that kid getting out of the car with a somewhat embarrassing appearance, invite the mother over for coffee. Commiserate together because most parents of teenagers understand what other parents are dealing with. We might as well enjoy each others’ company and brainstorm ways to actively and positively raise our children.

The funny thing about so many parents, is that some are so ready to pounce on another mother for the actions of the child. As social media runs amok it is incredibly easy to hide behind the keyboard and exert any type of social shaming fit for the situation. The reality is, many other parents are harboring the same stress over their child’s choice of clothing. I would go so far as to say that many parents would let their kidlet walk out the door than start an argument in the morning; hey, if the kid is out of bed and on time for school–clothing is secondary.


The point is, just because a teenager is wearing something we don’t agree with, doesn’t mean there was no parental interaction. Sending a parent up the river is just as hypocritical as me telling my daughter her outfit is inappropriate. Times change, and thank goodness, so do fashion trends. In the meantime, since my “hot pants” clearly must have shrunk in the wash, I will hand them over to the one person who knows fashion–my in-house trendsetter.


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