Let's Talk About Girls' Attire...( can of worms)

Today a friend sent me a link to this article from our local paper, Prom Dress Code Has Moms Up In (Bare) Arms. A New Jersey school banned strapless dresses for middle school formals and the parents protested loudly!

Here is a link to the original article in USA Today.

Let's just stir the pot today, there are bound to be all kinds of opinions on this topic...what is appropriate attire for girls. I'll get back to the prom topic, but first let's talk about leggings.

There has been alot in the news lately about girls attire in general. A middle school in California recently banned leggings as pants at school. Read about that one right here

Personal opinion, I have seen too many grown women who should be banned from wearing leggings as pants. But alas, there is no clothing patrol. I have seen "fashion citation" notepads that are jokes, perhaps we could use them for real?

Having three girls, I know the struggle of finding clothing to fit certain dress codes. We have had times of "being under" and "not being under" dress codes of schools.

My kids wear leggings as pants on occasion, but I'm always making sure the top they wear covers their rear end well. This legging-as-pants trend is on the rise, because now it's a constant thing to see girls and women of all ages, as well as celebrities sporting leggings, with nothing covering their rear. To me it just looks indecent. Call me the old Church Lady (remember SNL?), but I do. Even if you are in magnificent shape it doesn't work, in my humble opinion.  Huffington Post asked guys what they thought, and thankfully most questioned girls' judgment on the outfit, even though opinions differed on whether or not it was attractive.

I have had a daughter call me from school about being in trouble for wearing yoga pants, the day I let her do as she wished, knowing I'd be getting a phonecall later that day. Phonecall came. That solved it. I supported the school.

What is interesting and a little sad in both the legging and the prom dress episodes, the ones causing the backlash are parents! Well, let me correct that, the moms. In the legging incident, parents said:

"Frankly, the whole wandering eyes impacting academic performance is an issue for parents of said young men to concern themselves with," she wrote. "Boys should learn young that the answer to their inability to prioritize school work shouldn’t be 'cover up the ladies!'"

Another parent said, "Boys need to be taught to respect women no matter what they're wearing, and that's a big deal," Jerelyn Kruljac, a local parent, told

I agree with the lady that boys need to be taught to respect women no matter what, but from the article it appears that it was stated in defense of girls wearing whatever. I don't agree they should wear "whatever". No matter what she wears, the boys should still be responsible for their own actions and respect, yes. I don't believe we should put all of the onus on girls to be the responsible ones, no. But I do think there is some common decency in dress that girls should abide by, out of respect for nature, themselves and their guy friends and boyfriends.

Another girl I know wore a dress to school designed in such a way that certain parts were highlighted. A gutsy and caring male friend of hers said immediately upon seeing her, "Don't you know that when you were things like that boys will look straight at your boobs?" She was mortified.

Boys like this I would love to personally see and thank. Apparently he wasn't rude about it, but helping a friend out that he didn't think was the type to want that kind of attention.

I'm not against the school for having a dress code. I'm not opposed to a nice boy saying something so honest to girls. I don't think the boys are at fault for noticing what's in their faces. Sure, the boys need to learn to control themselves regardless of what females do or wear. But is it really fair of us to not respect them, or help them along by dressing decently?

Guys by nature appreciate beauty, we can't be mad at them for noticing. On the other hand, I've been very frustrated before in the language and talk of some boys who have no respect for females, and make unnecessary remarks, even to girls in jeans and a sweatshirt.  There does need to be a standard of respect from them definitely. I'm just saying let's help them a bit, as we more importantly help ourselves, by dressing with respect in general.

I know that girls secretly love to know that they are beautfiful and attractive. When girls discover they have a little power in their looks, I think the motives become a little blurred. Do you really just HAVE to wear leggings "to be comfortable", or is there a small thrill knowing guys are looking?

I have my own dress codes for my girls while they live here, or if I'm buying the clothing when they are in college. For example, I don't buy the dresses that are popular now that have stitching on the outside of the dress to make the front of the dress look like a bra. Not gonna buy it. If it's too short or too low, or says something crazy, I'm not going to buy it. Saw these at the mall yesterday:

Back to prom dresses. There was a trend that I hoped and prayed didn't catch on locally, after seeing it on celebrities and in pageants, and in some prom dress stores. Thankfully I didn't see any of it at our local prom. As my daughter and I were in Dallas shopping for prom dresses, she had a moment of fear wondering what I would do when I saw a load of girls in the try on area, all wearing the "current look" of faux see through dresses. They are dressy and beautiful, but have segments of the dress that are flesh toned, to give the illusion of being see through, though they aren't actually see through.
The girls were surrounded by smiling proud moms. I wanted to stand in the middle and say "Does no one here see anything wrong with any of this?!" But since I was with the one who doesn't like public attention or scandal, I spared her.

I just don't get it.  I know friends will disagree. But I'm so curious, moms of boys, what are your thoughts on your son's date wearing that?

Now. To the original article and the banning of strapless gowns. On one side, as a mom of girls who has had to shop for dresses, it is hard to find much that isn't strapless. On many girls it's completely appropriate. On others it isn't. I know of one girl who held her dress up all through prom as she danced because she would flop out of it otherwise. I'm more worried about super short or skin tight dresses that girls wear than strapless. We all have our own thing.

But if the school is making an effort towards appropriate dress, wouldn't it benefit everyone overall more to just go along with it, and be thankful they care? Yes it's a  pain and realistically we'll all probably complain about it.  But given the alternative, seeing some dresses that appear three sizes too small, perhaps it's a happy medium. Unfortunately not all kids have parents who will help them dress well.

At our own prom, I only saw beautiful dresses. This may be a more regional issue too, I don't know. But when attire in a school leans towards being out of control, and the school makes an effort toward decency, I think it's a shame for parents to lead an uproar against it.

What do you think? I welcome your comments, feedback, disagreements and opinions!  (Respectfully stated, of course, as they always are.)


  1. I agree with everything you've said here, but I still struggle with setting the dress code on the home front with 4 girls. We live in a beach community where, during the summer, many people have absolutely no problem (including myself) walking through town with a mere bathing suit and light cover-up. All winter, Yoga pants and leggings are what you see everywhere along with a water bottle and yoga mat carried under the arm but usually no coverage of the booty... at all! Its not a modest community I live in.

    On another note. Our school has certain dress code points. No mid-drifts unless there is a tank top underneath. No short shorts but this isn't exactly enforced. No strapless shirts. That's about it. A few times i have seen girls mistakenly (?) where tights with no coverage, thinking they were leggings. Whoopsie.

    About the dresses, our school is too small to have a prom, so no headache there, but we've certainly had our battles, i.e. for sweet sixteen parties. Its especially difficult when my girls go shopping together with their own money. AGH! I call it "shopping off the Ho rack".

    Anyway, you'd think parents would support the school's efforts for modest dress... but I am certainly NOT surprised to hear that its not the case. And that only makes our job of towing the line even harder.

    We could always consider moving to a more conservative area of the country.

    1. Karen, thanks for adding your thoughts to the conversation! I think implementing is an ongoing struggle for all of us. Regional must factor in to a degree. Too small for a prom?? How small is small? After I posted this, I realized there are people way more conservative than I who may not like some things I allow. We all have different opinions, but I think we'd all agree it's difficult in today's world to keep tabs on all of this! I say no to alot. But then I've let mine leave the house with me a little uncertain before, and often they are uncomfortable and fix it themselves. Then again, another purchased a bikini immediately upon arrival at college hahahaha. By then, they know everything I think, and they are on their own to do as they want. If that's the worst thing going on, I can deal with it. Not wearing bikinis I'm sure is unheard of in beach community. It's almost unheard of here! :D

    2. Wearing a one piece is unheard of here in the beach community... not counting me, because I won't wear a bikini, but I will say it was an argument between my husband and I on our honeymoon, back when I thought it would have been a good time to wear one. He thought otherwise and was mortified that I would consider it. (He was coming from a Mennonite community). HAHA.

      On another note, our school is K-12th and has around 150 students in total. SMALL. Class sizes range from 3-20. Its an interesting dynamic.

  2. My kids are only 3 and 1, so I haven't given this much thought except general-panicking when I realize these issues will all too soon be a part of our future, but I love, love the parentheses part of your title--too true, I'm sure!

    1. Yes, a can of worms... :) Well let's hope by the time yours are old enough, we will have swung back to a vintage style 50's wardrobe! It could happen!!


LOVE to hear from readers! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.