Who wears short shorts? While the Royal Teens sang that question in the 1956 song of the same name, it's a question many parents are asking today as hem lines, particularly on shorts, creep up higher than parental minds could ever imagine. From what I can tell from friends and the blogosphere that is buzzing over the issue of keeping girls looking modest, parents are answering the "Who wears short shorts?" question the same way: not my daughter.
So what are parents trying to keep girls short shorts out of their home to do? Be empowered. Realize that you have control, and don't be afraid to use it.
* Power of the Purse
Don't spend your money on clothing you find unacceptable. Stores carry those crazy short shorts because someone is buying them. Vote with your dollar.
I know it's hard to feel empowered when in a loud, crowded store and you're surrounded by parents who are caving like cheap tents. That's exactly how stores like Justice want parents to feel. In fact, they're hoping that you'll get so overwhelmed that you'll fork over the cash and leave your tween in charge while you go yell "Serenity NOW!" outside. Don't do it.
* Use Your Voice
"If you think tween fashion is inappropriate don't just sit at home stewing about it, say something. The advent of social media has made it so much easier for us to engage in protest and gather people to echo our concerns," Miss Lori said in her article 7 Tips to Keep Tween Fashion Cool Instead of Too Hot. Parents this week let The Children's Place know how they felt about sexist t-shirts, and the store responding by pulling the shirt while saying, "“We take feedback from our customers very seriously.”
* Because I'm the Parent, That's Why
If you have to be legally responsible for your child, that means you get to call the shots. Set out your expectations and your limits. Your tween may not like it, but that's okay. This may be the first time that your rules are different from those of other parents. That's okay. It's going to happen at some point. (At least, I hope so.) Talk to your tween, explain your point of view.
Younger tweens may honestly not understand, and this is a great chance to talk about the importance of clothes that flatter without sending the wrong message. Note: while talking is important, don't get into a huge debate with your worked-up child.
School have a dress code? It's your friend. Read it with your child prior to shopping.
Use humor. Check out this awesome photo on Facebook of a dad in short shorts with a jacket that asks, "Ask my girls if they still think short shorts are 'sooo cute'." How would your girls would feel if you wore short shorts?
* Find stores that work for you
It's not easy, I know. Believe me, I know. Click here for some of my favorite clothing stores that won't have your tween looking like she belongs in Pretty Woman before Richard Gere shows up.
Crazy 8 has some good shorts (not long but not uber short), all on sale for $9.99 this weekend and their largest size is 14.
Lands End has shorts on sale now and they go up to size 20.
While we haven't had a ton of success at Old Navy and they have some too short options, many other parents are a fan of their bermuda shorts.
There are pricier stores in this list above, like Crew Cuts, but I'm cheap. Tweens grow faster than they have since they were toddlers, so I'm not willing to invest in items without staying power.
* Explore Other Clothing Options
Can't find good shorts? Make your own. Buy jeans and cut and roll them to a length that works. Other parents suggest adding lace at the bottom.
Skirts are often not as short, or are easily paired with bike shorts or leggings underneath that make them far more acceptable.
Two words that make me happy: Maxi dresses.
Long, trendy, not revealing?
Yes, please! Unfortunately, many have spaghetti straps. Boo. Add a cardigan, though, and your tween is good to go. Both skirt sand dresses transition easily into cooler weather with the addition of leggings, making them a more economic choice for the school wardrobe than time-limited shorts.
The maxidress above is an option for first day of school wear for my kiddo and it's on sale at CWD Kids for $19.99.
What are your favorite stores for tween clothing shopping? Please share in the comments!
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