Dear Crabby, What Should We Do About Inappropriate Apparel?

Dear Crabby,

As a parent of a teenager, I need to ask your opinion about how to handle inappropriate apparel.  Not only for my own child, but sometimes for her classmates as well.  They frequently wear clothes that I would not approve of.  How should I handle this?

Sincerely, Patty Proper

Dear Mrs. Proper,

I have seen a handful of these teenagers myself lately.  Pants falling down, shirts too tight, shirts too loose, I’ve seen it all – and I’ve seen too much!  I cannot understand what these kids are thinking when they get up and get dressed in the morning.  I have basically worn the same style clothes since Nixon was in office, and I’m fine with that.  There have only been a few times in my life where my clothing was ever in question.  Most of those incidents all happened before I even needed to shave.  There was the time when I was at fifth grade summer camp and my mother packed me my favorite yellow swim trunks.  All the boys had a huge crush on “Jenny,” the summer lifeguard at the camp.  One day while we were all out on the dock swimming, we noticed that Jenny and another guy lifeguard were pointing at and talking about one of us.  We all assumed it was because Jenny was equally interested in one of us that summer.  Then, in one heart-stopping moment, she called out to me of all people.  She called out and said, “Hey!  You in the yellow shorts, come over here please!”  I smiled at all my buddies and ran right over.  The guy lifeguard was laughing really hard, and Jenny was sort of covering her face with one hand while extending me a towel with her other hand.  She said, “You are not allowed to wear those shorts anymore.  If you want to continue to swim, go put these old blue shorts on.”  As I went into the bathroom, I looked at my shorts in the mirror and realized they were completely see-through!  Whoops!  So I put those blue shorts on and went right back out to swim!  I always said, “No shame, no gain!”  Anyway, the incident that happened when I was an adult was not as cute and innocent.  I had just received a nice pair of jogging pants for Christmas one year and was wearing them whenever I had the chance.  Then one day I was walking into the local drug store and I got caught on a shopping cart at the door.  I didn’t realize the back pocket had gotten stuck on the bar.  I walked away while the backside ripped wide open and revealed my unmentionables to the world.  I felt just like Janet Jackson at the Superbowl for a moment.  But as you can see, my incidents of inappropriate apparel were not as deliberate as these young kids today.  My personal opinion is that you should put your foot down and let these kids know how you feel.  If their outfit is inappropriate, send them right back to change or hand them $3 to go to the Salvation Army and pick out a decent outfit. You may not be popular at that moment, but at least your opinion will be heard and in the long run these kids will end up dressing like the rest of us level headed people.  Good luck and let me know how it turns out!
Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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