Warning: This Will Probably Offend You

Last night, I ran to the grocery store. I had dropped the kids off at my Mother-in-Law’s for the night, and hubby and I were going to have an evening to ourselves. (For the most part. We still had Gage, but he’s easy!)

While I was walking through the grocery store, I couldn’t help but notice how short shorts have gotten. I noticed one girl that had an iPhone sticking out of her back pocket. Her iPhone was longer than her shorts were.

I was flabbergasted. What makes wearing shorts that short acceptable?

And that’s not even what got me the most. The girl was walking through the store with her mom and dad. She was probably 14 or 15 tops.

As the mom of a teenager, I think it’s absurd what some parents will allow their children to wear. I’ve seen good Christian girls show up for church events in shorts that are shorter than iPhones. Do parents just not care any more? Do they think it’s not worth the fight?

I understand wanting attention – and wanting to show off what the good Lord gave you. I, too, was once a skinny little thing, with legs up to my neck. I wanted to push the boundaries of the dress code my church, school, and parents had all set. And I did. But, when I got caught, I was grounded for what seemed like eons. (And, yes, I always got caught.)

I am so blessed to say that I rarely have problems with Ashley and her wardrobe. She has been given a few things from some girls that I’ve simply had to ask, “If you were standing in front of Jesus, would you be embarrassed to be wearing that?” Now, every time she puts something on, she asks herself that same question. Rarely do I have to ask her to change her clothes. She’s only 14, but she understands the rules her father and I have in place, and she doesn’t push it. (Yes, I know how lucky I am!)

My husband and I do have a strict dress code, and I’m not ashamed of it. Ashley is not to wear low cut tops without a tank top underneath. Skirts and shorts go to the knee. And if she’s swimming in a pool or at the lake and boys are around, she wears a pair of shorts over her bathing suit.

How can we be so strict? Well, let’s think about this…. My husband was once a teenage boy. He *knows* the kind of thoughts that run through a boy’s mind when they see a half-naked girl. And if our daughter is the one dressed like that, she is the one causing that boy to have those thoughts. Therefore, she is sinning by causing that boy to sin. As a parent, it is my job to keep my daughter on the right path, and setting a dress code is just one way I’m trying to do that.

How do you feel about dress codes? Do you enforce them in your household?

Angie Vinez (2893 Posts)

Angie is a wife and mother to 8. Her life revolves around cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other household duties. She is passionate about her life in Christ and wants to encourage other mothers in their own walk of faith. Angie is active on many social media networks, loves technology, photography, and graphic design, and loves creating blog designs for other mom bloggers.


  1. 1

    I’m the father of a 5 year old boy, so I really haven’t had to battle this problem. I think it’s a little bit more rare to have problems with boys dress no matter the age. I will say that if we ever have a girl, she will not be allowed to wear the revealing clothing I’m seeing in public these days. The shorts are way too short these days. They don’t leave much of anything to the imagination.

    • 2

      You’re exactly right! There’s nothing left for the imagination. As the mom of 4 boys, I’m certain I’ll have a whole new set of problems when they become teenagers…

      • 3

        It sounds like you are raising them to be Godly men! We all struggle with temptation, but having God as the cornerstone, I’m sure they will find the straight path to Him!

  2. 4

    Not offended at all! I applaud you. Those have always been the standards in our family, too. Our kids haven’t been to tough on us (any of the 5 of them, 4 are girls). We don’t just make arbitrary rules. We discuss it as a family and they know the reasons for the decisions we’ve made. Like you, we’ve been very blessed.

  3. 5

    Totally not offended, my friend. I understand. I have four girls (and one boy) and they are all over the age of 12 and I have no had that issue either, of course I have raised them to be modest and we do have rules in place. I don’t ever really remember having to say anything to them either, I think they just “get it”. At any rate, I am always shocked at what I see in the hallways of my kids’ school. It is NOTHING like when I went to school, and what I love is that they have these rules about spaghetti straps (no spaghetti straps) but the low cut shirts are okay, as long as they don’t have spaghetti straps. What? Unbelievable. I think there’s still a few of us folks that believe in more traditional values. I love that you asked her if she would wear that for Jesus. I might just steal that if we ever have an issue. 🙂

  4. 7

    This is totally not offensive, in fact, I couldn’t agree more! It’s very difficult to find modest clothing for young girls these days which is a sad testament to the times we live in.

    • 8

      That is SO true. I hate going shopping for my daughter because it takes trips to 15 different stores to find one that has shorts that aren’t up to her neck.

  5. 9
    LoriNKY says:

    Not offended and those are totally legit complaints and expectations. I am bothered though by the “blame the girl” mentality. As if boys are not responsible for their thoughts and actions. Believe me, those boys are going to have dirty thoughts no matter how much a girl is covered up. She could be swimming in a turtleneck and he’ll be wondering what’s underneath it. So, while I absolutely agree that modesty is the way to go, it’s like a punch in the gut to read that a girl bears responsibility for what goes through a boy’s head. That’s dangerous thinking.

    • 10

      I’m sorry you disagree with that statement, but I won’t apologize for what I said. The boys are sinning for thinking that way. The girl is sinning for leaving little to that boy’s imagination and helping them get to those bad thoughts. And *I* am sinning if I allow my daughter to walk out of the house wearing something like that.

      I have 4 boys. I’m not stupid. I know that they are each responsible for their own thoughts. It’s definitely not a “blame the girl” mentality that I have, I just don’t want MY girl helping any boy get to his dirty thoughts faster.

      If anything, I have a “blame the parents” mentality.

  6. 11

    I agree and am strict with my kids clothing. No short shorts at all. It is hard to find decent shorts for girls and I have four ages 2 – 17 years old. I usually go with capris for them mostly and as far as the beach they usually wear a cover up unless they are in the water or in the pool. But I understand. Most Halloween costumes for my 10 year old are so suggestive that she mostly dresses up like a goblin or something similar.

  7. 12
    Brittney says:

    I’m amazed at what kids where every day. I am pretty strict about how long shorts have to be and even skirts. My girls usually wear dresses that a size too big because I don’t even like diapered bums hanging out of a dress. I have 10 year old girls sit in my chair all the time with their bum cheeks hanging out the bottom of their shorts and midrifs showing. It is sad and frustrating, and I always wonder if they are dressing like that at ten where do they go from there when the are 16 or 18?

  8. 13
    DARLA KIDDER says:

    Well I only have 2 young adults sons so I don’t have to worry about that battle , but I can tell you myself as a teenage girl I was allowed to wear skimpy tube tops and tank tops and shorts , was not brought up in a Christian environment , not that I condone it but that’s what I was allowed to wear in the late 70’s.

  9. 14
    SnowflakeDay (Audra) says:

    I agree; in fact the hubby and I had the exact same conversation the other night. I saw more butt-checks hanging out at Wally World than one should have to be subjected to. I’ll go as far to say I think it’s dangerous for young girls to be dressing this way. I will say, I wish there were more stores that carried modest clothing. In the major clothing stores in our area, those short-shorts is all you find on the racks this season. I guess hoochy-mama is “in”. opps. Yep, I said it. 🙂

  10. 15
    Alicia Webster says:

    It’s shocking, isn’t it? And do you notice that half the time the moms of the little girls are dressed the same way? I am not a prude, really I’m not. But I have two daughters (and one son) and I don’t feel comfortable at all if their skirts go above their knees, much less their shorts. To be honest, even though it gets very hot and humid here, if we are going to be out and about in town, I have my daughters wear dresses or skirts. I just think shorts should be reserved for at home or for the beach or picnics. My husband feels the same way. And my husband says that he prefers that older women dress more modestly as well. He says the hoochie mama look has run its course, and I agree.

  11. 16

    It was surprised by the fact that someone was in the grocery store with shorts that short on then it was even more shocking when you said she was with her parents and underage, wow. When I was growing up, my mom would never let me wear something like that and my mom was extra cool, she let me do anything I wanted and always supported me but she knew better when it came to stuff like that. Shorter an an iPhone? iPhones are short, unbelievable. Times are a changing wow.

  12. 17

    How funny that my Mom and I were talking about this very same thing a few days ago. I remember being skinny and cute and thinking I was all that. I was even rebellious and fought back but I never wore clothes like the kids do now. Granted I do blame a lot on the stores themselves as that is all you can find for kids. And these clothes start and toddler age. Why would people allow a 2 or 3 yr old little girl to wear a string bikini?? Why a 7 or 8 year old? Why a 15 yr old? Makes no sense to me. All it does is incite all the hormone driven boys and cause competition and eating issues with the girls trying to figure out who is perfect and who is not. I know this because I suffered from eating disorders as a teen for many years. As we know I REALLY recovered but that is beside the point lol.

  13. 18

    A-M-E-N! I’m fortunate to have little boys, but someday, they’ll be teenagers and then young men. I’m raising them to respect women for all the things that are beautiful about them, not just their bodies. I know that someday, they’ll be faced with the same temptations my husband and I did…way too many years ago to think about. It makes it harder for other parents to keep their young men’s brains in their gourds, when young women are walking around in next to nothing.

    A couple weeks ago, my sister-in-law was shopping for bathing suits for her 1 1/2-year-old and had a heck of time finding a one-piece. What kind of message is that? Why on Earth are we sexualizing toddlers? Seriously.

    Great post!

  14. 19

    Not offended at all. I agree. What’s even worse is when MOTHERS don’t model a proper dress code for their girls. :oO

    • 20

      I couldn’t agree with you more! There have been several times at church I’ve wished I could give my husband’s suit coat to a woman and asked her to cover up. Our children mimic what they see at home. It’s our job to make sure we are portraying what is right.

  15. 21

    Good for you, love! I totally agree. This is how it will be at our house too, when my daughters are old enough to dress themselves. It will be hard because so many of their little friends will be dressing like tramps, but I like how you ask your daughter to picture herself standing before Jesus. That is a great benchmark. Awesome post! Hugs!!

  16. 22

    I’m not offended at all. And even though you couch this as based on your Christianity (which I totally respect), I am an observant Jew and we also try to teach our children modesty and boundaries, something that is increasingly difficult to do with the clothing available in today’s stores. I hope manufacturers of children’s clothes pay attention to the things we’re saying at some point! Thanks for raising this issue for us to discuss!!!

  17. 23

    My daughter (12) knows better than to even suggest them on the rack. There’s no way, not a chance, not even a thought of consideration that she’d ever get a pair of those shorts. And you’re totally right in noting disbelief that parents are letting the kids wear these around like they’re nothing. The low cut shirts are a no-no too…unless like you noted there is a tank top underneath.

  18. 24

    BRAVO! I finally just got around to reading this, but you hit the bullseye with this post. I have two daughters age 8 and 10, and we are already starting these types of conversations with them. Like you, we are blessed with girls that don’t tend to push the limits, but I’m sure they’ll try occasionally in a few years when they’re a bit older.

    What I really hate is when I have to cover my 6 year old’s eyes at the store because of someone else’s clothing choices. And you’re right, a majority of the time it’s little 13-15 year old girls.

    As the girls get older, I am having an increasingly harder time finding affordable options for modest clothing. Anyone have any ‘go to’ places for shopping for their daughters?

  19. 27

    I am visiting back from the hop and so enjoyed your site, now following RSS. This article caught my attention and I had to read. I have raised a teenage girl, and like you I never had very much problem. Even now in her 20’s she wear mostly capri’s. When you go to store there just isn’t anything there! Some of the shorts I have seen, oh wow! They were no wider than a phone, makes you wonder what they would cover. Sounds like your daughter is on the right path – keep up the good work.


  1. […] posted before about how appalled I am by the clothes girls are wearing nowadays. I have no problem wanting to look nice, but looking nice doesn’t mean that you have to let […]

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