Bring Back Dressing Appropriately


I'll admit it, dammit. I am old school about some things, and dressing appropriately tops the list. My displeasure in how people dress runs the gamut of ages and applies to kids in school to parents and grandparents. I see teenage girls in yoga pants and short shirts and even shorter shorts arriving at school. Folks at the theater or symphony arrive in evening gowns and nice suits just to be seated next to a goof in jeans or cargo shorts and a Hawaiian print shirt. At places of worship, you will see everything from strapless, to see through, to shorty shorts.

In a world of high fashion, why aren’t people fashionable? I just do not get it!

Why is it that girls who wear crappy ass clothes to school beg to wear beautiful evening gowns to proms and homecomings? When did it ever become appropriate to wear work out clothes everywhere? And, let's face it, it is hard to listen to your Reverend's message when you notice all the males in your family admiring the ever present cleavage of the woman sitting next to you. Come to think of it, I think I was admiring her boob job as well.

Now, do not get me wrong, I am not saying people need to dress like prudes, but hey, do you really need to wear clothes to church or school that make me wonder that if I look away I might miss a glimpse of something I should not be seeing in the first place? I mean, it is like a train wreck waiting to happen.

While I think it is absolutely reprehensible that teachers could have a relationship with a student, I do think it is fair to say, that a lot of these little girls are asking for trouble, some knowingly and some unknowingly. Think that is terrible to say? Well, I was a public speaker that visited high schools, and let me tell you, the word that comes to mind when I think of many, if not most, high school girls, is slut. What I have seen in public schools would astound you, and I am not even a man! But, you can bet your bottom dollar, there is no way in HELL my husband would EVER teach high school. EVER!

And let us also mention how terrible a lot of these clothes look on most people. Okay, I guess the politically correct thing is to say that women have their own self esteem nowadays and do not have to abide by the sexist and self-limiting beliefs in how a woman should look. But I think that perhaps there is a real lack of self-esteem and respect to dress as many do. I am sorry. It takes a certain amount of no love for yourself to actually work at making yourself look worse.

Most folks should not wear Spandex or yoga pants outside of their home. There, I said it. First of all, if you are heavy, they actually accentuate the fat - rolls, puckers and divots. Short shirts cut most people in half and makes them look heavier than they actually are. (Sorry guys, I'm not talking about the Hooter's uniform tops.) Yoga pants with patterns and lines make most butts look giant - unless you are 8 years old or a yoga instructor! Daisy Dukes really look great on that airbrushed poster in your son's room, but in real life, I think young women imagine that they look like that airbrushed person and they just do not.

And low-rise shorts and jeans that are so low rise that you see a whale tale when they sit or bend over is just terrible. In all honestly, I have never ever heard guys say nice things to or about the young woman who's panties are showing. In fact, they would probably die of shame if they knew they were laughing and making fun of them. My heart hurts just thinking about that.

But it is not just women. The GQ and cologne commercials on TV show men looking so handsome you could just eat them up. But when I look all around me all I see are skinny jeans, sweatshirts, hoodies and stocking caps - even in the middle of 120 degree weather. Few guys can wear skinny jeans and let's face it, it is hard to take a man over 18 in skinny jeans seriously - unless he is the hot one in a metal band. Even then…...

Being the mom of a 12-year old boy and a foster mom to a 12-year old girl, it is incredibly challenging and difficult to help children find a sense of self respect and the independence to step out of the herd and into an individual sense of self. Everyone wants to be different, yet they work so hard to be exactly the same as everyone else.

But really, in the world of high fashion that drives a hundred major department stores and retail outlets, why is that people cannot seem to get it right?

Does the guy who shows up in cargo shorts to the symphony even realize how badly he has cheapened the event for the people who did dress for the event? And what would be wrong with erring outside of it's his right, to, what would be wrong with caring about how badly he cheapened a special event for so many? It sickens me that so many establishments are so politically correct that they so willingly abandoned their dress codes.

Girls of all ages looking too sexy for their age. Is it because moms like their sweet little girls to look like them? Can the dads of these little girls really like that they look like miniatures of their sexy mommas? I know the boyfriends sure as hell do - it leaves little to the imagination!

Is it because there are no dress codes for anyone other than for corporate American and some schools, that people have forgotten how to dress for all occasions? And honestly, I feel If you are a parent arguing the self-limiting argument for individuality through clothing vs educational excellence, I sincerely hope you are capable of changing your opinion on uniforms because the types of jobs available to educationally challenged folks will be those that wear a uniform and a headset stating, "hello, how may I help you?!" And guess what, they do not care about your individuality.

Is it really that difficult for a parent to say,"you are not going to school with that on, go change," or to not buy the clothes for them in the first place? Is it impossible to tell your son to put on a pair a of decent jeans and a collared shirt when you are headed off to church? Is it too hard to say you are going to wear that nice dress or slacks or suit to a piano recital or symphony? Is it unreasonable to have girls dress in normal, pretty dresses to the prom; one they would not be embarrassed to wear to a wedding with their grandparents? I do not think it is.

I hear a lot of people voice the same concerns I have mentioned above, but I see so few doing anything to change the current state of affairs. Parents have the right and duty to parent and sometimes, no usually, that means the parents are unpopular. But it just is not happening. Is it because parents want to be friends with their kids vs friendly? Is it a by-product of the dumbing down of America? Is it a socio-economic cultural transition?

I would love to hear your comments, both pro and con.

Ursula Neal

Ursula is a grief coach for mothers who have lost children helping them to move from crappy to happy again. She is also a personal growth strategist helping individuals reach their goals. She may be reached at 602-400-4423 or Facebook Google+

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