It’s Not Pretty Looking Easy


Disclaimer: I am going to sound like an overprotective mother in this post.  I’m not sure that I can help it – raising a teen is hard work. 

Teenage Daughter is in a musical, mystery show at school this Thursday.  One of the requirements was a new, dressy dress – the kind that you would wear to a dance.  Since her wardrobe consists of seven pairs of jeans and one pair of khakis, I was kind of excited about her dressing up.   Off we went to buy her a new frock for the show.

Let’s just say that purchasing a dress was an education for me.   After an hour of looking at hoochie mama dresses (too short, too tight, too sleazy), we came upon a very pretty one.   Only one problem – along with the halter style it had a plunging neckline.  I think that she knew what I was going to say before I even said it.  “Okay, I’ll buy that one for you.  However, you know that I’m going to try to sew that neckline up a bit – it’s too low.”  Yes, she agreed.  I was able to close it up a bit and all is well with the world again.  She’s 13 and I want her to look her age. 

Then, just a couple of days later she wanted a Seventeen magazine at the grocery store.  Feeling nostalgic, I bought it for her.  After all, I used to read that years back and it was the “prom dress” edition.

Oh my gosh.  My, how styles have changed.  Were these dresses for the academy awards or prom?  Were these dresses for celebrities or for teenage girls?  Let me give you an example:


Here’s a little number from, which sells many of the same brands featured in Seventeen.   This gives new meaning to the expression, “Off like a prom dress” because there isn’t much there to begin with.  Just so you don’t think I’m being “old fashioned”, here’s another example:


So I don’t necessarily want my daughter to look like this (I found this under “You too can dress like a polygamist”):


However, the “Fredericks of Hollywood” look is just NOT appropriate for teenage girls in my humble opinion.   I wonder if the book “Stop Dressing Your Six Year Old Like a Skank” has chapters about teenagers?  Why didn’t I pay better attention in sewing class?


7 thoughts on “It’s Not Pretty Looking Easy

  1. Holy shit! Those dresses are insane, not to mention that the models seem to be closer to 30 than 16 (also, the racks on those chicks are ridiculous!). Any dress that requires shining/waxing/sparkling/otherwise adorning your cleave is Right Out in my book. I should scan in a photo of me at my first formal dance. The sheath dress look was pretty in at the time, but I was mortified to be seen in something so revealing (I was a scrawny kid for whom cleavage was a foreign concept) so I picked something with a pretty high neck and actual sleeves. I’m pretty sure it went down to my knees, even. It was the 80s, though, so there were plenty of lace and ruffles involved.

    If you need any sewing assistance, just ask!

  2. um, since when do 16 year olds have fake boobs, because seriously, that is just unnecessary. i applaud you standing up against it – sew those deep-v-necks up baby!!

    things weren’t quite this bad when i shopped for prom ten years ago – although the dresses still sucked. i ended up picking out a pattern and having a family friend make mine. i was SO happy with it.

  3. Geez. Are they serious? When I was 16 I had a flat chest, was all arms and legs and my feet were abnormally large. Who are these 16 year olds? Where are their mothers? And why are they souping them up on hormones?

    When I was a high school vice principal and a girl would come in a a skimpy dress to a dance my line was “Did you get that 50% off? Because it’s only really half a dress!”
    Three cheers for you mama! Rock it!

  4. Kinda sad and shocking same time. I remember reading “Seventeen” as a 13 year old. Had to hide it because mom didn’t think it was appropriate and I can remember it had a girl with a plaid skirt and saddle shoes on the cover. How much pressure can our youth take? Who can feel good about themselves looking at these photos? Why are we pressuring our girls to look like 25 year olds? I think it’s a relief when mom says “NO” – takes the burden off them.

  5. PS I like the Mormon dress. I think I had one of these in high school. remember,,,what was that brand? not Laura Ashley but something like that. Puffy sleeves unite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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