Clothing choices draw attention

February 02, 2012|Lisa Prejean

On a recent shopping trip, I noticed a pair of sweatpants with words across the backside and wondered, once again, why manufacturers think this a good idea. Perhaps they think girls will buy the pants in order to attract attention. They probably are right.

But why are parents allowing their daughters to walk around in these? 

When a piece of clothing has a word on it, where does the eye go? Straight to the word.

Do we really want to attract attention to our daughters' bottoms?

Don't young men (and not-so-young men) have enough struggles without having to deal with even more temptations? When are we going to take some of the responsibility for the feelings we invoke in others?

Lately I've been working with my daughter and other teenage girls, teaching them why their choice of clothing matters. Dressing modestly is one way we show that we care about others. It also shows that we care about ourselves.

Whether we like it or not, what we wear says something about us. We send nonverbal messages each time we get dressed and walk out the door.

What kind of message are you sending? Or, what kind of message are you allowing your daughter to send?

Before we know it, winter will turn into spring, and spring will become summer. What better time to talk to our daughters about the way they dress?

The intent is not to have them feel bad about their figures or their femininity. Rather, the goal is for them to realize the mystique that surrounds them and to celebrate their beauty in a healthy way.

Here are some concepts I've shared with teenage girls:

 Clothes should draw attention to the face. The fabric lines should direct the eye upward.

 The neckline should be high enough. While leaning over in front of a mirror, is everything covered that should be covered? Remember, most boys are taller than girls.

 Sleeveless shirts should fit properly. When turning sideways, do undergarments show? If so, perhaps a tank, cami or short-sleeved jacket is in order.

 The hemline of a shirt and the waistband of a skirt should overlap. When the arms are raised, is the midriff covered? It should be.

 The skirt hem should be long enough that the thighs are covered. Stand in front of a mirror. Sit in front of a mirror. Bend in front of a mirror. If the view is too revealing, put the skirt back on a hanger and try again.

Every girl needs to know that the effort is worthwhile. She also needs to feel that her worth is priceless. Modest clothes reflect that.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send email to her at

The Herald-Mail Articles