Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Don't those girls have parents?"

THAT was the question on my lips last Saturday night while waiting to be seated at Biaggi's. We were subjected to some of the most awful prom dresses that I have ever seen. This site, which is the first result in a google search for prom dresses will give you a clue about the kinds of dresses we saw. Lots of sequins and satin, but mostly lots of skin.

We saw cleavage on high school girls that would have been risque on a pop star. Lots of dangerously low backs and cut outs in bodices. On the other hand, we also saw some girls who looked beautiful, in dresses that were lovely and fashionable, without being skanky.

As the mother of teen boys, I can emphatically say that they would not leave the house with a girl wearing some of the dresses we saw.

As the mother of a 21 year old daughter, I know how hard it can be to find fashionable clothes that are modest. But we have to raise our daughters with enough self-respect--and respect for others--that they understand that the message those kind of dresses are giving isn't a positive one!

I'm not suggesting they need to dress like this. (Although that might be fun!) I am just suggesting that some of these girls could really use some parental guidance in the way that they dress. And maybe there are a few parents out there who need a reminder that it's okay to tell your kids no.


Gauntlets said...

Prom has become a really, really bad idea. Let's picket one sometime. I likes me a good picket.

Marie N. said...

Do you know anyone who has a prom alternative?

Rachel said...

Some of those dresses I might considering wearing to a movie premiere. If I ever went to one. But I'm also an adult, and I wouldn't even wear most of those to a black-tie event.
That antique dress, though, is gorgeous, even though I prefer non-puffed sleeves. I want a Victorian Walking Dress to wear to church... it would be warm and pretty!

Rebekah said...

Hi, Marie--lots of options here, for everyday, prom, and swimming: (my personal favorite for swimwear--skip the hood if you want)

Not that I'm obsessed with this topic or anything.

elephantschild said...

I'm with gauntlets - let's meet behind the Dairy Queen at 4pm, ok?

I sew, and I've seriously considered hanging out a shingle after Christmas next year saying I'll custom-make dresses for high school prom...

Becoming Me said...

Wonderful post. I have a four-year-old daughter and am already starting to instill values of modesty.

MLight said...


It's so hard to find places to shop for teens who want to dress more modestly than current fashions. My 16 yo daughter doesn't ever shop in junior's sections, but the clothes in the ladies' departments aren't really "fun" enough.

Her favorite places to shop are vintage clothes stores. Fortunately, the college town near us has a number of those. It does mean that she's developing her own very unique sense of style!

Jane said...

It *is* hard to find more modest clothes for teens that are still cute and stylish. We used to do lots and lots of trying on just to find a couple of acceptable things.

Glenda said...

Gives new meaning to the saying, "I'm off...faster than a prom dress." HAHAHAHAHHAHAH!

Anonymous said...

Hello, Indiana Jane:

I am all in favor of instilling values in children but, in practical terms, does this mean starting my girl with a one-piece bathing suit instead of a bikini when she's little(4years old)?

You wrote, "As the mother of teen boys, I can emphatically say that they would not leave the house with a girl wearing some of the dresses we saw." Do you mean *you* would not let them go, or would they come up with this conclusion on their own?

This looks really dumb in print, doesn't it?

Thanks for considering my questions.

Alex's Grandma

Jane said...

I think that how this applies practically will be different for different people.

My daughter and I are clothes people. We love clothes. We read In Style and watch Tim Gunn. We like pretty. When my daughter was five she had a cute Esprit two piece. It was fine for a five year old. Now that she's 21 she struggles to find cute, stylish swimwear that doesn't leave her feeling uncomfortably exposed.

As far as my boys leaving the house with a girl in some of those dresses: There is first the fact that the girls we know *wouldn't* wear some of the dresses we saw. They would know better and their parents would know better. :)

My 15 yo says that a girl in a revealing dress would have three choices if she wanted to go to prom with him: wear something else, put something on over it, or he goes home. But both of my older (15 & 17) sons say that wouldn't be going out with a girl who would dress that way.

And in the case of a couple of the dresses we saw--one in particular--(and I'm sure PPP knows which one!) I would have to step in. NO ONE needed to see what that girl was sharing with the world.

I don't think it looks dumb in print at all. There is a lot of variation in what people are talking about when they talk about modesty.

I have always given my kids lots of autonomy and room to make their own choices and so far that has worked well. But I wouldn't hesitate to put my foot down about certain things.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight. I'm always looking for "Perfect Solutions to Life's Problems." Guess I should stop doing that!

I like Rebekah's website recommendations - especially the "ahiida" one. Cool!

Right now my "bathing suit" consists of shorts and a T-shirt.
And no swimming!

God bless you and your family.

Alex's Grandma

Shannon said...

I'm the owner of a Modest Clothing Site for Women and Girls, called Sierra Brooke. We have a section called Brooke's Closet that offers modest clothes all under $10.00! We are a fairly new site, so I'm trying to let others know we are out there. :-)


For all the women out there that would like a place to call there own, Sierra Brooke is here for you! We pride ourselves on offering MODEST women's and girls clothing. Say goodbye to frumpy and hello to stylish & chic! Help support our MODEST clothing industry. Feel free to spread the word!