Tween Style…Is That Normal?

A friend asked about my tween’s knee socks. The knee socks are bright. And by bright I mean neon. Sometimes striped. Often with a repeating pattern of frogs or Nemo fish. The socks could be argyle or plaid. But, for my tween the brighter the better.

I told my friend that with tweens all bets are off. Elementary and middle schools have strict dress codes, which saves some aggravation in the mornings. The kids know not to argue about what to wear. The rules are usually…

  • No t-shirts with offensive messages on the front.
  • No images having anything to do with drugs or alcohol.
  • No spaghetti strap shirts.
  • No bare midriffs.
  • No low rider pants showing underwear.

So, you would think that the dress code would mean there would be no further discussion about dress. Uh no. We still spar about foot wear. I say “No!” to flip flops. She says “Yes!” I say “No!” to shorts in the winter months. She says “Yes!” It’s a battlefield many mornings. My teen went through a brief phase where she wore one outfit to get on the school bus and then changed in to a second outfit after PE. I would see her get off the bus in a dress and say “What??” I made it clear to her that if she was ever abducted on her way to school, I would need to give the police a description of what she was wearing when she left for school. I know this may sound extreme, but I also wanted to nip in the bud the whole “I’ll wear ‘mom-approved’ Item A and switch it for ‘kid-approved’ Item B.” She agreed…reluctantly.

We spar about t-shirts. While the girls would never ask to wear a tee with an inappropriate or offensive saying, they have been known to pick up a shirt with something about hating homework or “I Hate Math.” These t-shirt slogans are a no go for me. I don’t want a teacher to look at the shirts and make an inference that my kid hates doing homework. I may be overreacting, but I have drawn a line in the sand. No anti school tees. Period. Ditto for “I hate my brother/sister” tees.

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And then there are the dress choices that are no exactly inappropriate…not anywhere near offensive…but just a little off center. Examples…if you know my kids you’ll know I have a bunch of examples to choose from…

  • Neon or brightly colored knee socks
  • Toe socks worn with flip flops. Ow! My toes hurt just thinking about wearing these socks.
  • Tigger ears, antlers, bunny ears, and probably any other “ears on a headband.”
  • Jewelry and lots of it. Only a “No” on PE days.
  • Makeup — “No” if the child is in elementary school. Minimal makeup…lip gloss…if child is in middle school. I allow my high schooler to wear makeup if it is minimal and tastefully applied.

When my girls were 8 and under I had them in matching dresses (my girls are 2 years apart but have worn the same size clothes since the youngest was 6 and the oldest 8), Disney Princess outfits, and Osh Kosh clothes. Around 8, both discovered Justice and basically all bets were off. Justice is better than Forever 21…but not much. By 12, both had moved on to Hollister/Abercrombie/American Eagle/aeropostale — more normal…less of the too-grown up clothes. Oh, how I miss those days.

I look at my tween in her favorite look…a pair of gold, sparkly Ugg boots with a pair of striped or Argyle knee socks…with a pair of shorts…in the winter. All I can I say is Tweens!

The links in this post are to Happy Socks via Commission Junction.

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