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The Inappropriate Clothing Talk

Cover1W's picture

How have others handled this.
SD11 is "developing" and is 1/2 kid and 1/2 teenager in the same body. It's difficult to find clothes for her and she is very thin with long limbs. DP discussed this with me before we went to find her some new clothes which she really needed. We agreed no leggings and limit shirts to only a few (since we will be taking her to get summer clothes next month). She tends to wear leggings with short shirts like her SD9 wears, which is completely fine for a 9 yo. DP is aware that it's not quite right for SD11 any longer. He came to this conclusion all on his own BTW!

So at the store we had SD11 pick only jean type pants. There were only three she would agree to try on. I want with her into the changing room.
First pair she couldn't get on passed her large feet. Those out.
Second pair looked and fit great. Her complaint: these aren't soft (for jeans they were). They scratch around my waist. They are too baggy. I hate them. Note she has never ever worn any pants other than leggings her whole life. I let her know, nicely, that she has to start wearing other styles of clothing now that she is getting older and her body is changing. That HER DAD was the one that said no leggings. Cue tears. But not a tantrum amazingly enough.
Third pair: she actually did try on to my surprise but they were way too short.
So no pants.

We found DP and I explained what happened and he very nicely told her she couldn't keep wearing the leggings like she has been because she is older. "Fine, then I will have BM get them for me." DP: "your BM shouldn't be getting these for you either at this point."

DP ended up compromising with SD11 by agreeing to legging ONLY if she wears a skirt or tunic top with them. I said to both of them that was a great compromise with no real fighting. DP is also getting her a few more things (which he needs to make sure they come back to our place as we need them here...I predict he will never see them again which is why I don't buy clothes for them any longer).

I predict we will get into this again. How do people do this? I don't want to give her a complex like my parents gave me about my body when I was younger but appropriate clothing needs to be chosen...

another step's picture

I like the leggings with tunic idea. (I will never understand when it was decided that leggings are pants. They are not.) But if she is unwilling to dress in a manner that does not show her body inappropriately, then she simply can not go anywhere with you. Simple - dress decently or stay home when you are with us. That is not telling anyone that their body is shameful. It is saying that everyone at the grocery store does not need to see the precise shape of her ass and thighs. I am hardly a prude but come on. A little modestly never killed anyone and leaving a bit to the imagination is a good thing.

oneoffour's picture

I do not like wearing jeans. So I wear yoga pants. I would suggest these as an option. Or she can wear leggings etc around the house but must change into something more appropriate.

Maxwell09's picture

When I was in college I used to go around saying that leggings weren't pants and that some girls really shouldn't wear them regardless of how long the shirt/tunic they wear over it is. Some ladies just don't have the body for it. That being said, I lost a lot of weight and toned up then caved into the trend myself wearing leggings under longer flannels and the longer shirts. It's not that bad if you buying the correct size of leggings. I always bought mine a size bigger so my goods weren't on display. A lot of younger girls (like my college peers) were wearing leggings that were too small for their bodies or those "One Size Fits All" and that's when they look terrible: sheer, stretched, painted on the body. Yeah it can go bad if you aren't aware of your body. You might not agree or like it but it's really popular for girls to wear leggings as pants so I don't see your SD stopping nor do I think BM will make her. But hey atleast with it being Summer, she'll move into shorts and skirts soon.

moeilijk's picture

It's a tough one. I am the aunt to three teen nieces (twins 13 and teen 15, a few years ago) and I can tell you, every kid is SO different!

Twin1 - physically much more developed, emotionally less mature. Cares very much about dressing like her peers, but since her body is more developed, it's not appropriate. Parents really value modesty, so she's covered, just not comfortable. (Think low-rise jeans on a hippy girl. Who jumps up to play tag and the pants start to slliiiidde down.)

Twin2 - physically less curvy, emotionally about average. Dresses like her peers, matching her body-type. Also less concerned about fitting in so less drama over clothes at all.

Teen - physically a bit curvy but mostly average, emotionally average and very superficial. Dresses like her peers or slightly older, constant challenge to parents' rules about being covered/clingy clothes.

There was no way the parents could talk to Twin1 about her situation - she couldn't understand how others responded to her as though she was an adult because she wasn't mature enough to get that. They just had to be firm with rules and find ways to allow her to dress to 'fit in' with her friends... without allowing her to look too much older.

mommy0104's picture

I wish someone would've had an appropriate clothing talk with my skids..but then again, their BM isn't much better. No, they don't wear things with their butts or boobs hanging out...but both my skids and their BM have rather large stomachs..all look like they're about 45 months pregnant with triplets...yet they wear shirts 5 sizes too small. No, their bare midsections are not showing, but it looks like their shirts are painted on and I find it goes far beyond being comfortable with their bodies...yuck!

Cover1W's picture

Thanks all. I think we are on the right track. We ordered a couple tunic tops today and her skirts work great. Once she starts middle school I think she'll be more into jeans and things.
Summer wear will be interesting since she now has a chest and must wear a bralet. She's rejected some good tshirts because they were too thin (revealing) for her. SD9 now no longer needs ANY new tshirts for the summer at least!

We got SD9 into a pair of pants all day today and she liked them so that's a battle that we shouldn't have there.

Cover1W's picture

1) she wasn't wearing skirts or tunic tops with them. Just a regular, too short for even a regular shirt because she grew.
2) yes now the above has been solved and agreed on by SD11 and DP.

Cover1W's picture

Yes the ones we found she could not get on over her feet. Kid size but adult size feet. She needs to try on clothes for correct size otherwise DP would order these on line. And she's got about a one store tolerance for clothes shopping right now so anything else will have to wait until next month.

Rags's picture

The struggle between clothing that fits well and is appropriate and clothing that is trendy is an epic one.

Even my wife struggled with this. We married when she was 18 and through her 20s she would repeatedly try to go with the trendy stuff. Some of it worked. Some didn't. I struggled in getting her to realize that slinky braless spaghetti strap tops and sun dresses don't necessarily work on a nearly 6' tall woman with 36-C to 36-D cup breasts.

Invariably when she would go shopping she would return nearly everything once she got it home and could try it on with other wardrobe items. So, I started going shopping with her. She would gnash her teeth over items I recommended. "I am not even 30 yet. I don't want to wear that...." Rather than the trendy stuff I would go with the more classy designer type stuff that looked stunning on her. Every time we would go shopping I would talk her into an item or a complete look. She would pick her default trendy stuff. Invariably the stuff she picked would get returned and the stuff I picked would stay. She would get tons of compliments on my stuff.

So now ... she takes me shopping with her nearly every time and when she doesn't, she picks stuff that I would pick for her because she knows my advice is based on what looks best on her ..... trendy or not.

The problem is that designer stuff is not nearly as affordable as the trendy stuff. The good news is that it tends to be higher quality and can be worn for years. Which is why she never seems to get rid of anything.

It is a double edge sword and a monster that I in large part created. :?

Idiot man that I am.

CantKeepDoingThis's picture

Leggings with long shirts or long sweaters...perfectly appropriate. If the shirt does not come past the butt...hell no! LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS! I want to scream this everywhere I go! I blame the Kardashians...any style that is utterly stupid, I blame the Kardashians (like exercise wear as street wear).

This will not be the only discussion about inappropriate clothing...especially if BM will get her whatever she wants. Had this same problem with HHB for that is too tight (I've heard the same whining when trying to buy the girl jeans that fit correctly), butt shorts, miniskirts, tops that show cleavage or stomach, leggings (see-through mind you) as pants, etc. DH would say no to such hooch or clothing...would not buy it for her! Would get her appropriate school clothing, and she would then go crying to BM that DH wouldn't buy her any school clothes at all!! BM would get her friends or mom to take HHB to get the hoochie clothing she really wanted! I swear there are clothes in the bottom of that closet with tags still on them...probably ruined with ant holes now so that I can't even give them to Goodwill! Glad that girl doesn't live with us or even want to come to our home anymore...I don't have to hear the clothing arguments or be seen with her looking like she is always heading to the club!

chupacabra's picture

Has anyone bothered to have a conversation with this girl regarding how her body has changed? At 11, I wouldn't have had a clue what all the fuss was about.
BM or DH need to talk to her BEFORE clothing is purchased. If neither one of them can talk to her, can you? I don't know what kind of relationship you have with her, but seriously, when your body changes before everyone else in your class, it is stressful for a girl. She might need someone to talk to and have some questions answered???

And leggings are fine as long as she wears a skirt or something over them. It sounds like she's just too "immature" (and at 11 there is nothing wrong with that) to understand what is going on with her body.

BTW: this brings back memories of when I realized my body was changing. I had a VERY attractive figure and couldn't figure out why everyone was always looking. It made me very self-conscious for several years until I figured out what was going on.

Cover1W's picture

Oh yes, she and I talk about it. I've also given her several books since she's a reader. I think she is in the denial stage right now. But one good recent talk about her needing, must wear, training bras. She was fighting the bra thing but I put my foot down about that. This whole thing is going to go slowly. DP steps in when I ask him to and god knows what the hell BM does. Ignores most of it I suspect.

And very astute of you. I do think her emotional maturity runs about a year behind. She acts more like 10 than 11 a lot of the time.

ChiefGrownup's picture

My ss13 has been dressed by bm in flimsy thin jersey shorts or acetate long gym pants for school for years. I expect his voice to change any minute now so this was beginning to bother me in the extreme. For other reasons, DH decided he wanted clothes at his own house now. So I jumped at the chance to go buy him some decent clothes.

He is autistic so sensory issues are big for him. When he first tried on regular jeans or chino type pants with an actual zipper and button at the waist instead of stretchy elastic, he was whiny. This lasted for the first 2 or 3 times we had him wear them. Let him take them off after an hour. But about the third time he just got to playing and forgot to whine much. He never did take them off. So now he wears normal pants and normal shirts at our house. I'm so relieved. Seems like it may even have inspired BM because the last new clothing items I noticed from her house for him were still shorts, but normal twill with a zipper and a regular rugby shirt.

So kids at this age can get used to something new. Yours is a girl and that's different, but mine is autistic so he is vastly more sensitive to it than other boys. Parents really ought to get kids used to varied kinds of clothing textures when they are younger and body changes are not an issue.