Let's just say it like it is: Raising a teenager in today's world is just hard! One of the many reasons Disney Pixar's Inside Out was so popular this summer was that its stormy parent-teenage relationship was just so realistic for viewers. It's no secret that teenage adolescence is a cess pool of low self esteem and body image issues, and that these issues make their way into every area of your teen's life, including her choice of dress. You might look at your daughter one day and be shocked at what you see as she walks out the door. You might want to say something but also feel that during this tenuous time period, you have to start picking battles.
Sometimes, though, you will find that your daughter isn't dressing a certain way because she loves those specific styles, but rather because she can't figure out how to successfully pull off dressing modestly. Instead of bringing on World War 4 (or 5, 6, 7... no one is judging) with your daughter, here are some tips to help help her dress in a modest and fashionable way:
1. Teach her that Occam's Razor isn't just a social studies term- Sometimes the most simple solution is the best one. Show her that she can wear outfits that just consist of one piece of clothing, and don't require tons of layers, stretching, and pulling down. Examples of this include dresses, jumpers, and shirts with sleeves.
2. As you walk through the streets, point out trends that are super cute AND modest- Have you shown her how gorgeous and hip a maxi dress can look? Anything midi? How hipster the layering look is these days?
3. Expose your daughter to celebrities who don't think fashion means baring it all- This could double as a super fun bonding experience and a teachable moment. Take your daughter to a concert, debate, movie or book-signing that features a celebrity you both love who dresses in a chic and classy way. Shared experiences of this kind are a great trigger for meaningful conversations about what it means to dress out of self love and respect.
4. Teach your daughter that her fashion is inspired by high fashion. A lot of the time, teens have a narrow understanding of fashion as being the skimpy outfits of the currently hip teen celebrity. Show them that the world of fashion is broad and elegant at large. Show them the Fashion Week Shows (see here and here!) and reflect on how the true fashion inspirations of our time are very often artistic, eye catching, and modest.
5. Connect her to the world of modest fashion- Tons of pinterest and instagram accounts and hundreds of blogs are devoted to chic modest fashion. Help connect her with some of these accounts so she can be blown away with what other fashionistas have come up with!
6. Take her shopping!! The best way to help your daughter find the looks she loves and works for both of you is to go shopping together, and to talk about being intentional about what you buy. Having fun with her in a dressing room, giving her positive reinforcement and buying her pieces that fit your requirements and are truly gorgeous can go a long way!