By Christina Botto
For most of the country, March means warmer weather and fewer clothes. Sweaters and coats are exchanged with short sleeves and shorts or skirts. Arms, legs, and body are exposed to the warmth of the sun - and the eyes of young men.
Parent's worries increase at the same rate their teen's clothing decreases. Telling our teen not to wear a particular outfit, not to dress so revealing, or to cover up will most likely be responded with: "It's the hottest thing this spring!" or "That's what today's teens wear!" - making us feel old and out of the loop.
Fortunately there are quite a few things parents can do when it comes to the way your teen dresses:
Know what's hot - visit web sites such as:
teenfashionista.com - a blog monitored by Casey featuring fashion trends, styles, and shopping advice for teens.
fashionclub.com - an excellent web site for the teen who wants more than just the latest trends. It has a fashion club and a career studio which is affiliated with the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.
Both of these web sites have fashions for girls as well as boys.
Look at your teen's magazines and discuss models and clothing. Help your teen to decide which types of clothing would fit best with their individual body type.
Visit websites that give advice on which clothing fits what body type with your teen. Two web sites I found very helpful are:
Fashion Tips Buy Clothes to suit Your Shape - for girls
askandyaboutclothes.com - for boys
Go shopping with your teen. Spend a day at the mall trying on all kinds of different outfits, even those you do not intend to buy, wear, or would not be "caught dead" in. Comment on how the outfits look, and what you do or do not like about them.
Besides having a day with a lot of laughs, you will also have the opportunity to find out about your teen's taste in clothes. You will learn which tops and bottoms your daughter finds too revealing, and give you the opportunity to listen and to learn about your teen's opinions. You also will have the chance to reinforce moral standards while creating fond memories that will last a lifetime.
Fathers - explain to your daughter that the way she dresses does affect how boys perceive her. It is not necessary to paint an ugly picture, but girls need the male perspective to understand the feelings they evoke in boys when dressing provocatively.
Make it an interactive conversation, giving her ample time and opportunity to ask questions. This is a great opportunity for a dad to protect his daughter and show her how much he cares about her. She will also be more aware of the opposite gender and be careful not to provoke them or tease them in any other way.
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