Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Little tramps

At least, someone in the mainstream media who isn't afraid to state the obvious!

Here's a piece by CNN contributor LZ Granderson entitled Parents, Don't Dress Your Girls Like Tramps. Major kudos to Mr. Granderson for having the cajones to not mince words.

As the mother of daughters, we (meaning, our girls and I) are constantly amazed by the trash that passes for "fashion." I suppose if you consider it fashionable to dress girls like skanks, then that would explain why underwear is now worn as clothing. Go figure.

A few days ago someone (I'm not sure who -- it was delivered third-hand) donated a bag of clothing for my soon-to-be-thirteen-year-old Younger Daughter. Let me re-emphasize: thirteen. I don't know who thought the fashions would be acceptable in our family, but I'll give the mysterious donor the benefit of the doubt and assume they're just in the "fashionable" club.

Ambercrombie & Fitch is a clothing manufacturer infamous for selling thong underwear for six-year-olds. While I'm not positive this shirt advertises the company, there's no possible way I'm allowing my daughter to take that chance.

And this? Do you honestly think I'd allow my young teen to wear this in public? NOT!!

Who's at fault for this kind of trash being on the market? "No successful retailer would consider introducing an item like a padded bikini top for kindergarteners if they didn't think people would buy it," notes Mr. Granderson. "If they didn't think parents would buy it, which begs the question: What in the hell is wrong with us?...It's easy to blast companies for introducing the sexy wear, but our ire really should be directed at the parents who think low rise jeans for a second grader is cute. They are the ones who are spending the money to fuel this budding trend. They are the ones who are suppose to decide what's appropriate for their young children to wear, not executives looking to brew up controversy or turn a profit."

I couldn't agree more.


  1. As the father of SIX daughters, I couldn't agree more. My oldest is turning 14 this year. While we've taught them all about modest clothing, the hard part is finding it.

    There's a great video on the front page of the website right now called "195 Dresses." It is about a service project to collect prom dresses and turn them into modest dresses so that teens looking for hard-to-find modest prom dresses have a resource.

    My wife recently took our oldest three to get fitted for a fashion show. While at the clothing store, my wife pointed out that there weren't many "modest" dresses. To my wife's surprise, the store owner replied "Yeah, I just can't seem to keep those on the shelves. The kids buy them as soon as I get them." Hello? Shouldn't that tell you something about what you should be ordering MORE of? Yet, she had tons of swanky dresses on the racks.

  2. it would be a great service to all if counties brought back the home economists and public as well as private schools brought back home ec. and shop classes..

  3. I totally agree with Mr Granderson. Posted the link to my FB page I agree so much! Thanks for the link!

  4. My daughter has a dress like the one in the bottom picture, but it's layered over a t-shirt with leggings underneath or jeans. No Abercrombe here, either.

  5. This is one of the prime reasons for me learning to sew. Not only is it increasingly difficult to find simple, pretty, feminine, modest clothing for me, it's terrifying to look at the children's clothing and realize those are the options for dressing my baby girl in a few years from now.

  6. This has been a trend for a long time and it's one of my pet peeves. If I had young girls at home now (3 are grown and gone), I think I'd have the sewing machine out and be making clothes. Not only is what's out there tramp trashy, but it's so cheap it's almost disposable.

  7. I had an experience similar to Orange Jeep Dad's, but in a J.C. Penney store. My daughter and I were looking for a dress for her to have a photo taken (Christmas gift for family), and it was early December. The things we found in her size (I think she was 6 or 7 at the time) were more appropriate for a night club - spaghetti straps, slinky fabric. When the saleslady asked if she could help, I asked where the non-hoochie dresses were. She laughed sadly and said she understood (she was almost grandma-age), but they didn't have much to offer. We purposely went to Penney's thinking they WOULD have age-appropriate dresses! Finally found a pretty, modest dress in a GAP (of all places).

    Now that she's 14 and a size that barely crosses over into the junior section, we both despise clothes shopping for her. She doesn't want to wear what's for sale, and I refuse to buy it.


  8. I have 2 daughters and the only way they can wear the clothing that is for sale is to layer it. My 14 year old wears 3 shirts because they are all made so see-through and skimpy that if she just wore one her back and mid section would constantly be exposed. And pants--go ahead and try and find jeans for girls that DON'T sit below their hips. They don't exist anymore!

  9. We have six girls as well, and our solution has been to layer, layer, layer. I get tees and leggings or capris from the discount stores (Kmart, Wal-Mart, Target) and dresses and skirts from thrift stores, although I can usually find suitable sundresses in the discount stores in the spring and summer. Land's End is the one store I know that reliably carries modest tee-dresses in sizes that fit even my plump nearly 12yo. I've found that the prices are managable if I wait for the sales at the end of the season.

    It's definitely hardest on my 11 and 17 year olds, as they are in junior sizes now and there is practically no such thing as a modest tee any more, but we did find some at Kmart when they brought out their new stock recently. We bought one of nearly every color, 'cause you never know how long it's going to be until you find another modest top! I also look for classic button down camp-style tops that are fairly easy to find at the thrift stores, and are often carried in the discount stores during the warmer seasons. My biggest complaint is that dresses are so SHORT now--!! I prefer the hems to cover my girls' knees, but nowadays I'm lucky if they cover their behinds. I usually buy a size or two larger for the little girls, but then that means that they are "sizing out" as a much earlier age, ugh.

    Our youngest daugher is not quite two and I find myself agreeing with a previous poster; I think our long-term answer is going to be to learn to sew for ourselves, something we should have done long ago.


  10. Such a true article! Try buying modest clothing, be it summer or winter tops/dresses for a 17 yr old with a 42DD chest. Not possible. She wears mostly sweatshirts until it is so hot, she is melting then we try to find a sleeveless shirt she can wear a camisole under so she isn't hanging out. Of course, swimsuits are out of the question. Most of the time, a t-shirt and shorts.

  11. And what about swimsuits? I just saw the cover of the Land's End children's catalog - the boy's swimsuit is modest, rashguard and bermuda shorts. The girl's swimsuit was typically immodest. All the suits in the catalog, or any store, with no exception. So it looks like my daughter will be wearing rashguards and boys' swim trunks from now on unless I find an inexpensive modest alternative. And one day she will be needing a bra under that rashguard.

  12. Try having a daughter who is all legs!! It was very difficult when she was younger-thank goodness for uniforms in parochial school. When she went back to public school, I used to joke with my husband that she was one of the most conservatively dressed girls at school. Just like everyone else states--layers upon layers. She did it in High School, and now at 25 still does it. For the boy it was a little easier-he was never into the pants hanging off his hips-too hard to skateboard in. Now, at 21 in college he wears flannel shirts, layered over t-shirts with his jeans.
    I always said "pick you battles", my biggest is that everything was covered, and if the skirt was too short-then she had to wear leggings or tights. But, then again she also went through a stage where it never seemed like anything matched, and I would just tell myself-she is covered, while my husband and I shook our heads-stripes, polka dots, plaids-didn't matter.
    For the boy-oh, soooo much easier-just make sure the t-shirt didn't say anything inappropriate, and the pants weren't falling off!

  13. Birdy, (if Patrice doesn't mind me posting the link), the patterns I've found to use are from the Scientific Seamstress.

    I'm a total beginner at sewing and I find even the simplest store patterns overly fussy and complicated. The Scientific Seamstress patterns are perfect because they're done in a PDF format. She walks you through everything step by step and with tons of pictures and diagrams.

    Every pattern comes in years worth of sizes and you just print out the parts on your printer and then put them together like a puzzle piece.

    You can see her kids patterns here:

    I've personally made the Easy Fit Pants, Raglan T-shirts, and Bowling Shirts for my boys.

    She also has another line of patterns that includes misses and women sizes:

    I made the Peasant dress in one night just a few nights ago! And I was able to make it as modest as I wanted because she includes different cutting lines for the top based on where you want it to sit and you cut the skirt portion as a square with a length of your own choosing.

    I highly recommend them!

  14. Thanks, Michelle! Those look cute, I especially like peasant anything. I'm loving that you can choose where you want the neckline to fall.

    Swimsuits! Here's a site that will do custom orders...the suits cover lots of skin, but they are form-fitted. (i can't get on the site at the moment, maybe they're updating?)

    Here's a link to a gal who came up with a couple of very creative modest options: at the bottom of the post are a couple of links to her earlier version, and her vision behind her choices.

    At home, my oldest-at-home daughter wears a swimsuit under board shorts and a tee. Not very "girly," but at least she's covered--doubly important because she is very fair and burns easily.

    And here's a link to a darling paneled skirt that I am told is super easy to make:


  15. Women are in charge of our country and our culture. They are raised and educated to assume superiority in all things. Dressing like tramps is a manifestation of this attitude. If men are no longer factors then being ladies is no longer necessary. Trollop like behaviour all the way from kindergarden to the nursing home is an "in your face" outgrowth of this attitude.

  16. I've given up on buying jeans for my daughter in the girls section. We buy boys jeans, and lo and behold, the waist comes up above her pubic bone, and she's actually comfortable. Still, dressing her top half is a chore, and we end up either dressing her in boyish t-shirts, or overspending on pricey items from Gymboree and Hannah Andersson in order to keep her looking like the little girl she is.