“I’m not buying that!”

P1000049 3I heard in the news today that Urban Outfitters stopped selling a cropped tee that had been causing a strong reaction. At issue? The tee was covered with the words ‘Depression’ –  sending the message to young women that mental illness makes a fashion statement. At least 5,000 people signed a petition challenging the company to get rid of the shirt. This is the second time that Urban Outfitters has come under fire for a controversial t-shirt. Their response was quick: the company apologized to those who were offended and said it would no longer sell the shirts online.

I’m glad to see Urban Outfitters’ quick response but I am concerned that women, especially young women and girls, are being exposed to negative messages in the first place. I mean, really – do these companies not think through the significance of the messages these tees are sending? Words are not nothing. Words matter. Even on a t-shirt. And I’m not buying that!

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What’s up with booty shorts?

Pitbull and company performing on Good Morning America, May 31, 2013 Photo credit: ABC/Fred Lee

Pitbull and company performing on Good Morning America, May 31, 2013 Photo credit: ABC/Fred Lee

I have it on good authority that booty shorts are being worn in the public schools. Someone close to me (in middle school) who must remain anonymous for this feature, spent time talking about warm weather and booty shorts. “What,” may I ask (knowing full-well the answer) “are booty shorts?” His answer: “really short shorts that the girls wear to school.” Hmmm … “How did you come up with the name booty shorts?” His response: “Everyone calls them that.”

… so I googled booty shorts and found several links highlighting stripper shorts and dancer shorts. Nowhere did I find a link about middle-school age girls. And now I am back to one of the key questions I ponder when speaking of fashion … what is age appropriate dressing? And I don’t ask the question lightly nor do I confine it to midde-school age girls. At 52 it is something I need to question every day. How about the length of the shorts and skirts I wear? And other things like the fit of my t-shirts and sweaters. Continue reading

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Teen Talk


Teen Talk – Summer!

I’m back with my girls, Catie and Bridget and Catie’s mom, Christine, talking about teen fashion. Catie and Bridget are about to graduate from 8th grade and will enter high school in the fall. We have decided to meet at the start of each new season; today our conversation is all about .. summer! As always, whenever you have girls and women discussing fashion, somehow it ends up about shoes. Here is part of our talk…

Mel: Summer is almost here. Do you feel less pressure about dressing for summer?

Bridget: Summer is more relaxed and I can dress more comfortably.

Catie: Yes. Summer allows us to relax more. If I don’t have anywhere to go and I am at home, I can lounge and not worry about it. But I do still enjoy dressing up.

Mel: I just wrote about swimsuit shopping. I think it is one of the most difficult things for women to do as we get older – the bright lights, sensitivity to our bodies, etc. What is swimsuit shopping like for you? Do you run into difficulties finding what you like?

Catie: I don’t love swimsuit shopping. It is hard to find just the right suit, but when I do, it feels so great.

Bridget: Shopping for a swimsuit is easier when you are on vacation. There is more selection and options from which to choose.

Christine (mom): It is hard to shop for suits at their age; they are in between sizes that fit but styles that are meant for younger girls or sizes that are too large and grown-up for them. A good all-around style is the tankini.

Mel: Have you done any special dress shopping for your 8th grade graduation? Do you feel pressure with it – sort of like Prom? For you, Christine?

Catie: There is a lot of excitement with the 8th grade graduation. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else is wearing.

Christine: It is a special event with bigger budgets and more time spent researching the right look. However, there is not as much pressure as Prom.

Bridget: I think Prom dresses are more formal than graduation.

Catie: Most people will be wearing shorter dresses, more of a country-club look.

Christine: Shoe shopping became a big deal. Finding the appropriate shoe and height, was essential. Many shoes were off-limits because of their height.

Catie: Most girls will be wearing wedges now, as opposed to flats.

Bridget: Last year flats were popular, now it is wedges.

And one last question

Mel: Do you think about fashion in high school and what might be different?

Bridget: Seniors are almost-like grown ups in the way they dress – wearing higher wedged-shoes, etc. That will take getting used to. And we will need to carry totes for our books since we won’t be visiting our lockers during the day, so we can add totes to our wardrobe needs.

Catie: I would like to keep up with trends but protect my own identity at the same time. I don’t want to lose that.

Well said, Catie. Well said.

Until next time … what do you think?

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