Back to Basics: Whatever Happened to Leaving A Little to the Imagination?

Dress codes for dating and our daughters.

Somewhere a long the lines women lost sight of dress code etiquette when trying to entice the male species.  Sadly, today it starts at a much younger age.  I haven't decided if that's because the divorce rate is so high and so many of us middle agers are out there dressed to kill...your reputation that is.

There is an inappropriateness to our dating dress code and we've seemed to have made it a trend.  Not always by dressing that way ourselves.  Sometimes it's simply by allowing our daughters to dress that way.  Are they imitating us?  Or are we imitating them?  Either way it's the wrong message!

What ever happened to "leave a little to the imagination," or "why buy the cow, if you get the milk for free?"  Yes they are old fashioned, but sometimes old fashioned is a good thing!  For instance grandmas chicken soup for that common cold.  We need to get back to the basics again both in our own wardrobe and those we are passing our feminine torches to...our daughters.

There is nothing more unappealing than a forty-something (keep in mind I'm a forty-something) sitting at a bar with her boobs on display.  It wreaks of desperation ladies.  Now before someone goes postal on me for my views, know that I always speak from experience.  In other words, there was a time or two when it was my boobs at the bar...before I thought better of it.

There is equally nothing more unappealing than the 15 year old dressed for homecoming in a skirt short enough to display her...eh em...daisy.  For God sake...if she bends over the whole world will know her business. 

We are collectively sending a message and not so subtly I might add.  I wonder if it is really our intentions to sink that low and why we feel like we have to?  I'm not suggesting that we put a penny between our knees when we sit down with our dates or during school. Nor am I talking turtlenecks in July. However, keeping the parts protected for a little while...you'll find...will give you more power than you know. And should you snag the bachelor you've been eyeballing...what a prize he will have waiting for him when you are ready!

Dare to be different!  Start the back to basics trend!


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micheal w smith August 18, 2012 at 12:55 PM
I think I concur with your assessment. As a male of some 70 years, I still enjoy the eye candy that comes from watching beautiful women sexily dressed. And with age, comes the wisdom that recognizes the deeper need for companionship as we all travel the road of life. However, I would advise women that while sexy is great - personality wins in the long run. For me at least, I would take a women with average looks but a great sense of humor - over the gal who some would discribe as a "10". But what do I know - grandkids, not sex appeal is my big motivator now.
Nancy Jo Brown August 18, 2012 at 04:21 PM
We're told in the work world to dress for sucsess.....when a woman shows the world so much, what does it tell the world she is dressing for? Does the clothing say" don't treat me as if I have a brian and a personality ?" Why would any female put such a low value on herself?
C August 19, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Take a look at most of the back-to-school ads. The pre-teens look like hookers.This is what our children are being offered today. How can a pre-teen make a decent choice, when they aren't being shown anything else? Parents, you can! Don't buy this junk for your kids.
Karen Blaisdell August 19, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Hear hear Michael and thank you for your comment. Perhaps if (parents) were more motivated by their children they wouldn't purchase the clothes to begin with! As far as those that should know better...here's hoping they get the memo!
Karen Blaisdell August 19, 2012 at 08:10 PM
There are many reasons a woman sinks to that level. Low self-esteem, relationship damage, mid-life crisis...but it still doesn't make it right. I'm hoping more women will realize what their REAL assets are!
Karen Blaisdell August 19, 2012 at 08:11 PM
C, I couldn't agree more! Shame on the makers of the kiddie clothes, but shame on the parents that purchase them more!
Julie Abshire August 19, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Indeed. I saw this on facebook the other day and I think it trully defines what you are saying "Be a girl with a mind of her own, a woman with an attitude and a lady with class." Simply put.
Hartland HS Parent August 20, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Thank you Karen.
Dale Murrish August 21, 2012 at 12:41 AM
I also blame the dads who are unwilling to say no to their daughters on immodest attire. They, of all people, should know how men think and also want the best mates for their daughters. It’s possible, but not easy, to find attractive and modest dresses for dances. You would think that supply and demand would naturally create a market. Unfortunately, peer pressure is powerful and there is not enough demand for modest clothing. Parents can do at least two things to push back: Network with other parents and patronize stores that sell modest clothes (there are some). Avoid stores like Abercrombie and Fitch that deliberately push early sexualization and ignore the complaints of customers, “We don’t care what you think.”
JH August 21, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Parents need to step up and not let their daughters dress, or act, like hookers. Children aren't born with an innate sense of morals, nor do young girls often have any idea what dressing the way they do says about them. It is the parent's responsibility to raise their children, but too many parents are more concerned about themselves than their children. Way too many kids are raised by their mother and see her various boyfriends over the years instead of being raised in a stable two parent family. It's simply selfish parenting where the parents put themselves first instead of their children. It's not just the clothes, far too many people (of both genders) have cheapened the meaning of sex, to the point where it is constantly on display and readily available. What should be part of a marriage is instead enjoyed freely and recreationally by those, young and old, who are too irresponsible or foolish to understand that what they are doing is wrong... and society just accepts this. This country needs to hit the reset button as far as morality is concerned. The problem is far deeper than clothes.
Nancy Jo Brown August 21, 2012 at 02:58 PM
You have touched the heart of these problems. As a teacher for MANY years and the parent of a son I have watched parents stop parenting. This is the hardest job in the world and not for the selfish or those who want to live through teir kids.
JH August 21, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Agreed, dads need to learn to say no. Unfortunately, way too many parents are either divorced or never married in the first place, so each gives in to the children's whims in order to be the favorite parent. Also, parents need to go shopping with their children. Go to any mall and you'll see scores of children walking around unsupervised, mostly in and out of the stores which do, as you said, push early sexualization. It's time parents get over being "cool" and go with their kids into the stores and wield the veto power that being a parent comes with. Simply being in the same mall doesn't count, you need to be in the store giving the yay or nay to everything they try on. No, your kids won't like it, but if they turn out decent they'll thank you later.
Karen Blaisdell August 21, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Yes JH our moral fabric has disintegrated in this country and we cover it by calling it tolerance, feminism and the like. I will be posting another article about this soon. Thanks for you comment!
Karen Blaisdell August 21, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Of course Dale, forgive me for omitting them from the article. I suppose it's hard for me to wrap my brain around a father allowing his daughter to dress provocatively. Back in my days, I'd of gotten the strap.
Nancy Jo Brown August 21, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I hope you do. You have started an important discussion
Dale Murrish August 21, 2012 at 11:46 PM
I was agreeing, Karen. You can’t think of everything. JH nailed it; parents have to be willing to parent and not be their children’s friends sometimes. Only two people can be parents; later on the children may thank them. If not, at least the parents know that they did their best. You can love your child the most by not spoiling him/her and by putting up healthy boundaries. Dr. Spock did a whole generation of permissive parents a disservice. Child-centered parenting can produce adolescent adults. Dr. James Dobson with books like Dare to Discipline is much better, in my opinion. I think we also need to restigmatize swearing. That’s something most Americans can agree on. That’s on my list of articles to write someday. Keep up the good work!
nailedit August 22, 2012 at 06:12 PM
I love that you poseted this. I am a 40something, single/divorced man. I see these young girls walking around like this and I want to smack their parents. Men can't help but stare, and regardless of the taboo, a 15 year old displaying her 'daisy' will drive a good man to the bottle, and a bad one to corruption. And parenting is a huge part of this. I agree 99% with JH. I look for more of your articles on this subject. I hope they are read far and wide. The only way I would alter what JH said, is to say it is completely possible (but not preferable) to both PARENT, and be divorced. Just because a woman is single, doesn't mean she has to flaunt her boyfriends, and her strategy for finding them in front of her children. And in divorced families where the Father steps up and parents, things can be very different then the scenerio JH describes.
Karen Blaisdell August 22, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Regarding single mothers and dating, I was that woman for five years. It isn't fair to lump all of us in the same category. Truth is I was hell bent on making sure my children didn't suffer from the single parent syndrome. Run a muck and what the revolving dating door. It is possible to parent without the other parent present. In fact, I think I'll give myself a pat on the back for raising two exceptionally young men in an estrogen household. I will be posting another article within the next two days. Thank you for your comment!
Cheryl Pickett August 23, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Just wanted to add my voice to those who say good for you for posting this. I'm in the 40s are fabulous club too and am constantly amazed at how girls to women of almost any age have no clue what it is/used to be like to be identified as a lady. The words that come out of their mouths, the conversations they take part in, let alone what they wear, not all that long ago was looked upon as being for another kind of lady-not one most wanted to emulate. If we are old, out of touch or uncool for trying to create self-respect, and respect for others, so be it. These kinds of discussions need to happen way more often. I'm very glad to see such a positive response so far.
Lynn Gross August 23, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Karen - feminism has disintegrated society's moral fabric??!! Really?
Karen Blaisdell August 23, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Cheryl, I couldn't agree more! I'm hoping this article continues to attract attention and positive feedback as well as the others I post. I think too many times we are willing to let things go in response to "tolerance" and quite frankly I have no tolerance for the direction we are heading in with our children. As far as grown women not getting the big picture on ladylike etiquette...well I can only hope they read the article and question their choices.
Karen Blaisdell August 23, 2012 at 08:53 PM
@Lynn...is that a quote from my article? Forgive me, but I can't find it. Perhaps from something else I have written? My views on feminism are as follows. I think that feminism or the woman's lib movements have done some good things for women. I also believe that just like a lot of things in the twenty-first century it can be taken too far on many occasions and as a woman I find it rather irritating. There are some things that men do better than women...shocking. On the other hand there are some things that women do better than men. I don't believe girls should play on the boys football team either...omg I'm a traitor! That doesn't mean I don't think woman shouldn't play football, it means i think they should have their own darn team! Everything isn't equal and trying to make it so is just awkward...just my opinion and you know what they say about those.
Lianne Mathie August 23, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Well, sometime those female football players go to the Olympics. Holley Mangold is Nick Mangolds little sister. She is far from a petite flower, but there is room for everyone in this world I suppose. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1274798-2012-olympics-holley-sister-of-nfl-center-making-name-for-herself Needless to say, if you grew up with brothers, they made you a lttle tougher.
Karen Blaisdell August 24, 2012 at 06:32 PM
@Lianne, thank you for pointing that out. Allow me to point out my original quote: "That doesn't mean I don't think woman shouldn't play football, it means i think they should have their own darn team!" I'm not suggesting she wasn't good enough to compete or to play overall...I'm merely suggesting women have their own leagues. Thank you for your comment and link. P.S. I grew up with brothers and although I don't play football...I'd like to think I'm pretty darn tough...for a girl ;)
Lianne Mathie August 24, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Karen, I realize what you said.There will always be people in this world that do not fit in to any mold, square peg, round hole That being said, I try not to pigeon hole anyone. Some are a little more outrageous.Now , back on topic. Usually when with a friend, when we were younger, if they were wearing something a little too revealing I would just introduce my friend as. Hi, this is Karen and these are her breasts. Sorry about using your name. But you get my point.We all need to help each other a bit sometimes. Have a great day:)
Karen Blaisdell August 25, 2012 at 08:21 PM
@Lianne...and as you humorously point to my breasts as your contribution, I write this article as mine :) Thanks for taking the time...have a wonderful weekend!
John August 25, 2012 at 10:47 PM
(Please notice: The following is tongue and cheek and only partially serious.) Once a month I take my daughter on a daddy/daughter date. By doing this I am teaching her that she is a princess - and a princess never opens her own door. The other day I forgot to get her door and she just stood there and cleared her throat and directed my attention to the fact that she was waiting... I think the little bugger was actually tapping her foot at me. ;-) I am teaching her that if a gentleman takes her to dinner but calls it a "dutch treat" then she should allow some other young lady the pleasure of his company. I am teaching her that if a gentleman tells her that he "loves her" yet pressures her for premarital attention then he does not really. I am teaching her that love is sacrificial and if the young man that would woe her heart does not sacrifice himself for his mother then he is not likely going to sacrifice himself for her either. Yes, I know that my teachings are gross over simplifications but I would have her throw one back that was a keeper than keep one that should have been thrown back. And Yes, some people may say that I am doing some damage to my daughter but I figure that the college-fund will double for a therapy-fund in a heart beat and I don't want to have use it for a Baby's Room. ;-) I used to sub-teach in the mid-2000's and I was not impressed with the thongs that 6th grade girls insisted in displaying - Thanks for the article.
Nancy Jo Brown August 27, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Your a good dad
Karen Blaisdell October 04, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Dear John, I am sorry that I never saw this to respond. I can only say kudos to you for doing what you are supposed to do as her father! When we decide to have children, it is an unwritten contract to protect, love and teach them...too many parents today don't take the time...you are exceptional! Sincerely,


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