Innocent seeming (to teen) clothing with adult connotations? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 12-21-2014, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Innocent seeming (to teen) clothing with adult connotations?

I'm curious how our members have dealt with clothing issues as teens get a bit older and more adult in their choices for clothing. For instance, my 13 year old came home with a cute pair of tights similar to these: http://www.raveready.com/Black-Cat-P...e7908&gpla=pla

To her, I think they are just cute striped (her's are thicker and striped) tights with cat heads sticking out of the top.

To me, they look like a play on thigh-highs and I even worry a little about the play on a certain slang word for "kitty". Sigh.

When she brought them home her dad and I sort of made eye contact and I explained that they have a similar look as a style of adult stockings that are commonly used as lingerie.

At this age I do think my DC should understand if she wears something that adults view as suggestive. But should I? It feels so complicated to me. I know my DC is not responsible for how others feel about what she wears. OTOH, I want her to have information about her clothing choices that she may not be aware of.

I hate that I sort of spoiled her innocent excitement about her new tights.

What are your thoughts on this sort of thing?

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#2 of 10 Old 12-21-2014, 04:34 PM
 
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For what it's worth, those just come across to me as cute tights for a teen. Worn by someone a couple decades past that, they might read as...what I think you're worried about.

I think it's fine to mention your perception of clothing. Depending on the kind of relationship you have, she might take it as just helpful information instead of accusing her of being provocative (or shaming her for actually wanting to be provocative). I think it's so dependent on that, I don't know what to say.
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#3 of 10 Old 12-21-2014, 05:03 PM
 
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I think they look like they were inspired by Japanese pop culture / anime.


I don't think a teen or someone who is around teens a lot would think of them as "adult." Adults don't wear thigh high socks, We wear sensible socks. Actually, few people old enough to drive a car would be caught dead in those, unless they were part of cos play, in which case, may be up to age 21.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#4 of 10 Old 12-21-2014, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's helpful feedback. I do think they are very much anime/cosplay inspired and that's a new cultural thing for anyone in our family to be into. DC wore them out with us to dinner tonight. I did get a strong "play on thigh-highs" vibe from the tights but I gave DC the info I thought she needed and then supported her to wear them.

** I should add that we were at dinner with a friend of mine (age 30) who has similar socks. In a way that made me feel better because I could see them as humorous even for an adult. Before that I was thinking of them as provocative for adults and naive for kids, if that makes sense. Anime is just very much outside of my aesthetic wheel-house, I guess. Feeling better!

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#5 of 10 Old 12-22-2014, 04:37 AM
 
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For me with my teens, it has usually mattered whether they want to wear the heels too. The heels add another element that pushes it in the direction you originally were concerned about. Without heels I think those tights are fine. With heels, different story.

In our house I've usually talked with my daughter about how others might interpret the clothing, or how adult women have used the particular fashion, and how others might interpret it. I've mostly let her draw her own conclusions and make her own decision unless it is to school and it is something that breaks the dress code rule (such as really short shorts). So far she's made really good decisions and we haven't had to step in.

 











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#6 of 10 Old 12-22-2014, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Lauren.

I feel all the way better about this. In part from seeing DC in them out in public and seeing the reaction from other adults. Also from hearing from you three that talking to kids about adult perceptions of clothing is fine. I felt really badly about putting these adult considerations on my DC because I think it took away from her exciting purchase (the first time she had really bought a clothing item for herself, btw). But I do think it's important and something that I want to feel ok with talking to her about.

I also really agree and appreciate Salr's acknowledgement that dressing provocatively is one thing. It's something I have done in my life (to a small degree) and it's something I think my DC should be able to decide for herself when the time comes. But, I think being aware of various interpretations if that's not the intent is important too. BUT, then we get into sticky territory of what role "others" or "the gaze" has to do with expression and all that good stuff.

I think that if I approach it like, "I want you to have all the information that I have to give so you can make the most informed choice possible" we will be ok.
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#7 of 10 Old 12-22-2014, 06:54 AM
 
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I agree with the discomfort about making the importance of 'the others' a factor in decision making. I frame it like "for better or worse this is how it could be interpreted, wish we lived in a world where this wasn't true....blah, blah." You know what I mean. It is a good conversation either way!

 











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#8 of 10 Old 12-29-2014, 08:11 PM
 
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ICM we are in the throes of this ourselves with my 12 year old.

dd does not wear any sort of dress or skirts (unless she has to for some formal occassion), however she wears tights and sometimes cleavage.

i've had to do the inappropriate for 12 year old talk. i've even taken her to the mall to show what i mean. i expect her bottom to be fully covered and not exposed in tights.

but mostly whenever i have strong opinions (esp. when not really obvious) i've done just what you did. check in with others to see if the problem doesnt really lie with me.

with us anime has been a part of our life. dd's been fascinated by it as a crawling baby at the library. and yeah i thought of manga too when i saw your link.

the thing is age to me is not it. personality says a lot too. i know older adults who wear some teenie bopper clothes without looking out of place. they have carried it off well by accessorising well.

my dd now helps me a lot with my clothes. i'm kinda trying to find my way and she keeps an eye that i dont do too young or too granny looking either. yeah i'm starting to take notice she is embarrased by my effort to do nothing about clothing. i have to take into the fact that while i like color dd now wears mostly black and just coz she feels i look good in black and grey doesnt mean that i have to agree with her.

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#9 of 10 Old 12-30-2014, 05:31 AM
 
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Hate to sound like a prude (its crazy I even need to preface my post with that line... The times they are ah changing). But almost any item you get from a retailer these days (abercrombie, american eagle etc.) ESPECIALLY the summer versions are absolutely inappropriate to teens below 16. Im not saying teens need to be dressed in garbage bags, but the tightness shortness and revealing cuts on the clothing they make for tweens and teens is crazy.
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#10 of 10 Old 12-31-2014, 02:10 PM
 
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if it makes you feel better my teen wears stuff like that all the time and has since she was 12. If she asks me if I like it I just say "not really" and why. We don't stop her from wearing it (usually). I did ask her to block her sister from her Instagram because it's not appropriate. At least it makes her think about the perception. I never say direct criticism but I think what the moms here are suggesting, about talking to her about it, is a good tact. I hope it doesn't get worse from here! lol
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