Dilemma: my granddaughter wears revealing clothes

Katharine Whitehorn / 30 March 2016

A reader wonders what, if anything, she should do about her teenage granddaughter's revealing clothes.



Dilemma: my granddaughter wears skimpy clothing

I have three grandchildren and one is a girl; she is 15 and very attractive.

What worries me is that she wears extremely revealing and sexy clothes; I feel sure she is sending out all the wrong messages to the boys at her school and I wonder whether I should speak to my daughter-in-law about this.

I have never said anything about the boys – even when they wear their baseball caps back to front!

Would it be out of order for me to comment on the way my granddaughter dresses?

Katharine Whitehorn's advice

Knowing that the older generation disapproved of her clothing wouldn’t necessarily stop the girl dressing that way; much teenage dress is deliberately designed, if not to shock their elders, at least to make it clear they are not in the least like them. 

How else would one account for the fashion of a shirt deliberately showing under a pullover, or torn jeans?

It’s possible – likely even – that your daughter-in-law feels as you do but reckons it would be counterproductive to say anything, so she wouldn’t thank you for telling her what to do. 

And even if she did decide to forbid her daughter to dress provocatively, it might not work: broadcaster Jenni Murray’s mother was very strict about clothes – so Jenni just kept her outrageous Sixties gear at a friend’s house, and changed when she went out on the town.

Our readers say...

We also asked our Facebook followers for their advice...

"Girls these days do grow up very quickly, as long as she is sensible and doesn't bring any 'boyfriends' home who are obviously too old or too interested in pushing the boundaries she should get wise to them. They are more wordly-wise than they make out. They know the score, if her clothes show off too much flesh or what she is or isn't wearing than her parents should feel comfortable enough to step in, be there if she needs you, she should already know that!"

"Thank your sensibilities that her clothes aren't as short as late 60s. She is just trying to fit in with her friends."

"Think back to what you were wearing at that age. I bet it was even more revealing."

"Ask her if you can borrow them! Then you could either try them out or store them out of sight! lol."

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