“AREN’T YOU A BIT TOO YOUNG TO BE WEAR­ING THAT?”

What’s ap­pro­pri­ate and what’s too flashy or re­veal­ing for your teen when it comes to cloth­ing? Nad­hi­rah Oth­man takes on this prickly sub­ject.

Herworld (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

Guide­lines for dress­ing your teen.

Some days when I walk around a shop­ping mall or pass by a hip cafe, I see a group of young girls hang­ing out and think to my­self, “Wow, aren’t they a bit too young to be wear­ing those clothes?” Com­ing from a quite con­ser­va­tive fam­ily (or rather, a con­ser­va­tive mother and ma­ter­nal grand­par­ents), I re­mem­ber not be­ing able to wear any skirts or dresses that fell above my knees, let alone crop tops or deep V-neck shirts – I would been kicked out of the house! The thing with this gen­er­a­tion is that ev­ery­one has be­come so much more vo­cal and ex­pres­sive. And fash­ion? It’s a form of ex­pres­sion.

At their age, teens are look­ing for their iden­tity. So, it’s okay to let them ex­plore the way they want t to present them­selves to the world. The tough part for par­ents, how­ever, is the e in­flu­ence of me­dia and In­sta­gram per­son­al­i­ties (re­mem­ber post-breakup

Mi­ley Cyrus?), as well as their kid’s friends and sur­round­ings. A lot of what’s avail­able in stores can be quite skimpy and re­veal­ing, mak­ing it a bit dif­fi­cult for you to shop for your teen. I be­lieve ev­ery­one should be able to wear what­ever they want – that is, when they’re ma­ture enough to make those choices for them­selves.

I’m not say­ing that you should wrap your daugh­ters up with a blan­ket but with young girls, I feel it’s im­por­tant to steer clear from show­ing any cleav­age and bot­toms that can get a bit ‘cheeky’ – so mini dresses or skirts, and hot pants, are prob­a­bly not the best for go­ing out. Be­sides that, opt for cloth­ing that’s less form­fit­ting. A-line skirts and skater dresses are usu­ally more age-ap­pro­pri­ate. It also de­pends on where they’re wear­ing those clothes. If your daugh­ter has on a crop top or hot pants at home, there’s no harm there. If they’re go­ing to the movies or a café with friends, it can at­tract un­wanted at­ten­tion.

If you‘re strug­gling with how your teen dresses, it’s im­por­tant that you don’t body-shame her. Don’t say things like “you look like a tramp!” or “you’re a lady, so dress like one.” Try to say some­thing like this in­stead: “I know you like wear­ing shorts but can you please wear some­thing longer when we go out to­mor­row?” It’s im­por­tant to keep your cool while con­vers­ing with your daugh­ter. Share with her your con­cerns when she dresses a cer­tain way, and en­cour­age or praise the out­fits that you ap­prove of. But ul­ti­mately, it’s im­por­tant to note that you can’t con­trol how she dresses when she be­comes an adult. Per­sonal style is called that for a rea­son – it isn’t yours.

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