Practically Speaking

Modesty & Shopping For Teens

I’ve been searching for modest length clothes for my 15 year old daughter, Natasha. Wow! I never thought it’d be such a challenge considering I’m on the liberal end of what’s considered modest length! ¬†I’m happy to report we finally found some brands that fit her body type and are still on trend.

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I was born and raised in Southern California, I’m the real-deal valley girl and grew up going to the beach every weekend. I wore short shorts then and still wear them today. But short shorts never meant booty shorts! I’m amazed that the majority of shorts sold for teens today literally show their butts cheeks. What’s in style at this moment are booty shorts with the side thigh cut up even higher! I’ve cringed as I’ve walked behind 14 year olds and 40 year olds with their lower cheeks hanging out. I mean… did they look in the mirror? Do they want this kind of attention?

Modesty is a touchy subject. I still get called out on occasion by followers and fans for certain outfits I wear even though my husband and I consider them to be appropriate. I believe the lines can be blurred as to what defines modest clothing and ultimately it is at the discretion of every individual by culture and location (within reason) to find their boundaries. I’ve realized that what is considered modest in one place may not be modest in another. My Russian husband wears a Speedo type bathing-suit to the beach which to him is very normal but not so common in the U.S.- which recently became of topic of discussion on one of my Instagram posts. What’s considered modest in Miami with it’s cultural influences may not be the same standard as that of middle America Missouri. So with this post, I pray that we don’t get into a debate as to what’s right or wrong to wear and you don’t judge me for what I consider appropriate or modest if you don’t, but that you yourself, along with your husband if you’re married, pray over what you believe represents you and your children in the best light.

Moving along…

Natasha has been so discouraged because almost every pair of shorts she’s tried on, I’ve said NO to. Many of her friends wear the styles I haven’t allowed…which just makes it harder. Oh, trust me, she’s begged, pleaded and cried at many stores- even making a small scene hoping I’d cave. But, I haven’t. I knew there had to be a few companies still making mid length shorts and I was on the hunt to find one! There are three things I had to keep in mind through all the suggestions I got.

1. Fashion. I needed on trend shorts for teens. Think Forever 21. Natasha wasn’t quite digging the suggestion of Ann Taylor Loft and bermuda shorts and capris were not an option as far as Cali style.

2. Price point. J.Crew is one of my favorite stores that offers different length shorts, but I wanted to find clothing stores that were inexpensive enough to give Natasha the ability to buy clothes with her own money.

3. Location. Although I was told that girls found mid length shorts at stores like Target, I found that living in L.A. doesn’t carry the more modest lengths. Frustrating! And while online shopping is major for me, Natasha still needs to shop in person since she doesn’t have a clear understanding of brands that fit her body type well. Her shape isn’t the same as mine, so it’s even a challenge for this fashionista mama to find the right shape for her.

After several stores, we found 3 pairs of jeans from Levi’s Store! Every girl knows how hard it is to find the one, and we did! It’s been 3 years of searching for jeans that aren’t jeggings that fit her butt and waist. Usually it’s one or the other. But Levi’s brand has a curve bar- meaning they have several styles that fit small and large curves without gapping in the waist. YAY!

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We also found a pair of mid-length shorts from American Eagle. (OK, I wouldn’t exactly call these mid-length (they’re still really short!) ¬†although that’s what the store considers them- but they covered her butt cheeks by several inches, and she was happy they were still short shorts!

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A few days ago Natasha went pre-birthday shopping with my mom ( you know how much Grandmas like to spoil their grandkids!) Here is one of the texts I got from Natasha while they were at Forever 21.

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I posted this on Instagram and many of you thought how wonderful it was that Natasha even asked my opinion and said how well we are raising her. While I totally appreciate that, I wanted to give you a bigger glimpse into our home life. The reason Natasha asked me if I thought it was too short is because we have a standard at home for her clothes. If she doesn’t adhere to that standard, I will give that piece of clothing away without hesitation. Over the past year, Natasha had bought several adorable dresses and skirts with her own money and took the tags off because she intended to keep them and wear them. But they didn’t meet our understood standard. She couldn’t return them to the store, so she lost out. Not only did she lose the clothes, but the money she earned to buy them. It didn’t take long for her to learn to ask us before she buys- or at least bring it home and show us before removing the tag. Sure, she could hide clothes and change once she leaves the house- but eventually those clothes find their way into my washing machine and since I do the majority of the laundry, I eventually find them! And sometimes those clothes just disappear without her even knowing!

Many of you suggested I start my own clothing line for teens. Sounds like a great idea- I think we should just take all of D.J.’s clothes from back in the day and reproduce them…. wait…. isn’t that what is on shelves now?!

So, what do you think? Do you have rules when it comes to your teens clothes or do you allow them to make their own choices? Do you find that where you live defines what you consider modest? What steps have you taken to ensure your teen dresses appropriately? Have you felt pressured to cave on your standards because other parents of their friend do? I’d love to hear your honest thoughts, feelings and ideas about this topic!