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Do all teenage girls' jeans have to be skin-tight?


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It's a reasonably serious question.  DD14, who is starting public high school (and was in B&M for most of 8th as well) and I are having some disagreement about what is necessary and appropriate for jeans/pants.  Her POV is that all girls wear the equivalent of jeggings or skin-tight yoga pants (not the flowy ones, the legging ones) all the time.  Jeans that are in my opinion quite form-fitted but not absolutely legging-tight are for her anathema; she thinks she'll be a completely outsider and very uncool and etc.  The ones that look normalish to me are much tighter than what we wore in the late 90s and early 2000s, but do have some looseness I guess.

She thinks this is absolutely required: https://www.aeropostale.com/seriously-stretchy-high-rise-uniform-jegging/0097083895.html?utm_source=googlepla&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=pla|nb|desktop|girls|uniforms&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-az4l9Hz4wIVICCtBh3fkAFZEAQYASABEgJPQPD_BwE

I think these seem perfectly acceptable:

https://www.eddiebauer.com/p/21117355/womens-stayshape-straight-leg-jeans---slightly-curvy?sp=1&cm_mmc=GooglePLA-_-brand_PLA_B_Brand_New-_-Women-_-0114730050001008&cvosrc=cse.google.0114730050001008&cvo_campaign=brand_PLA_B_Brand_New&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIus7Y89Dz4wIVWiCtBh3aRwMfEAQYAiABEgI7N_D_BwE

 

It is not a comfort issue; she says she'd use the latter to wear around the house or do gardening or something.  

I remember being a teenager and being absolutely certain that all of my clothes were socially unacceptable and everyone was staring at me and I was a complete geek and etc., but I'm not sure if this conviction on her part is more that or if it's a result of advertising or if all girls at schools these days really do wear super tight jeans.

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Oh, dear. Firstly, as a mother of two daughters, I empathize. But. Baggy skinny jeans and a belt? On behalf of your daughter, I'm begging you to reconsider. Considering that nearly every other gi

I would spend some time shopping for jeans that are acceptable to both of you and that actually fit.  If you could go back in time, I don't think you would find that the 90s were any less objecti

The ones you picked out do look a bit old fashioned

Right, I imagine most people wouldn't, and I really don't want to debate what is appropriate, exactly, just the extent to which super tight jeans are normal/standard, if that makes sense.  I get that they're normal, I get that they're standard even, but DD14 is pretty convinced that they're required, does that make sense?   And I don't have enough interaction with lots of high school kids to really know, or I haven't been looking at their pants or something, because her expectation about it surprised me.

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I think you're both worrying entirely too much about this, but since she's the one who has to wear them you may as well get what she wants.

Also, this may be somewhat regional, so our answers might not do you as much good as you think anyway.

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The Aeropostale’s link your daughter pick is in for all ages (elementary school to seniors). It’s very stretchy material though so they are just hugging the skin (like scuba attire) rather than skin tight (where it looks like someone wear a size too small).

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My 17 y.o. dd hates skin-tight jeans and refuses to wear them, but she's never been one to go along with the herd. I think the skin-tight look isn't very flattering on most, if not all, people, so I'm kind of surprised it's stuck around as long as it has. 

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That's true, it might be regional.

It was definitely not the case 3 years ago when she was in school in 6th in Colorado.  We live in the rural midwest now, possibly regional standards are different.

 

Hmm, I'll have to think about it.  We're not religious but we are very conservative.  To be honest, for me, the sort of classic-straight type of jeans (or pants, if she were willing to wear anything except jeans, which of course she isn't) are on the edge of my personal tolerance for tightness already, so the idea that only jeggings are socially acceptable is hard to swallow. 

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She should wear what she wants and is in fashion assuming it's reasonably covering and practical for whatever she's doing. I would absolutely say the pair she wants fits that criteria. Thus... oh well.

My mother despaired at my flannel and combat boots. You'll live through the skinny jeans.

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15 minutes ago, soror said:

The ones you picked out do look a bit old fashioned

I can't believe I am saying this but I agree.  LOL....I was like oh I like those EB ones....then I realized hey, I am 54, so probably not what teens want.

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We dress fairly conservatively. I allow stretchy tight jeans...but not skin tight and of a thicker material (so every lump and line doesn't show). DD likes distressed jeans, rips and such, and that's been harder to find -- rips that aren't super high on the thigh. 

I do prefer for DD to wear a longer shirt when her pants are snug. 

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33 minutes ago, moonflower said:

Right, I imagine most people wouldn't, and I really don't want to debate what is appropriate, exactly, just the extent to which super tight jeans are normal/standard, if that makes sense.  I get that they're normal, I get that they're standard even, but DD14 is pretty convinced that they're required, does that make sense?   And I don't have enough interaction with lots of high school kids to really know, or I haven't been looking at their pants or something, because her expectation about it surprised me.

They are required for her to be in style. Completely tight from top to ankle is the style. Jegging or leggings are in style for young people. With that said, I think it is up to the parents to decide what things they accept or do not accept regardless of how in style it is. But if you are on the fence and think socially it may be better for her to wear the jeggings, then let her. 

Personally I think the return of a long rise is just ugly as heck, but it is in style, so my dd wears them. 

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Yes, the Aero ones you linked are the norm now.  However, since you can still buy "boyfriend" jeans, looser jeans are not outside the realm of teen fashion, if done "correctly," which usually means with lots of rips.  https://www2.hm.com/en_us/search-results.html?q=boyfriend+jeans   

I would let her wear the kind of jeans she wants.  The skinny jeans are SO much better than the majorly low-cut jeans popular several years back - at least her rear will actually stay covered when she sits or bends over, so she won't be flashing everyone.  

As for the skin-tight yoga/exercise pants that are so popular, you should know that many girls wear th*ngs with them so they stay smooth, and there may be some peer pressure to conform.  

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no they don't.  and no, not all girls wear skin tight jeans.  if that's what she sees, it's because that's what she's focused on.

just be careful they aren't too tight.  they can cause utis if they're too tight, and other health problems.

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According to my 16yo fashion guru, there is a trend in some areas for teens to wear "mom jeans" ironically, but they buy them from teen brands (like these ones from Hollister) or from vintage stores. The Eddie Bauer jeans you linked are "real" mom jeans and would be very out of place in any high school. If the "mom jean" trend hasn't hit your area, skinny jeans / jeggings really are the only trendy style of jeans for teenage girls. 

The Aeropostale pair you linked look great, especially in navy! Tight, light-colored jeans do tend to highlight curves, so sticking with darker colors might be a compromise you can both live with? 

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32 minutes ago, moonflower said:

Hmm, I'll have to think about it.  We're not religious but we are very conservative.  To be honest, for me, the sort of classic-straight type of jeans (or pants, if she were willing to wear anything except jeans, which of course she isn't) are on the edge of my personal tolerance for tightness already, so the idea that only jeggings are socially acceptable is hard to swallow. 

This was me. I gave up and let her wear them. I think the pros outweigh the cons at this point in her life. I just make sure they aren't terrible from the back, you know? And the all-over dark washes seem more modest to me--somehow you don't notice the tightness as much as in a faded or washed out pair. I don't know if that helps.

Still no short shorts or mini-skirts (without leggings) allowed. 😉 

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I’ve been looking for boot cut jeans for my dd14 (girls size 16) and I’m struggling. Her body type isn’t suited for skinny jeans and that’s all I can find. Boot cut is much more flattering but they’re nowhere that I’ve found yet.

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14 minutes ago, klmama said:

Yes, the Aero ones you linked are the norm now.  However, since you can still buy "boyfriend" jeans, looser jeans are not outside the realm of teen fashion, if done "correctly," which usually means with lots of rips.  https://www2.hm.com/en_us/search-results.html?q=boyfriend+jeans   

I would let her wear the kind of jeans she wants.  The skinny jeans are SO much better than the majorly low-cut jeans popular several years back - at least her rear will actually stay covered when she sits or bends over, so she won't be flashing everyone.  

As for the skin-tight yoga/exercise pants that are so popular, you should know that many girls wear th*ngs with them so they stay smooth, and there may be some peer pressure to conform.  

I do like skinny better than low rise. And it will  help your sense of decency if she wears longish flowy tops that cover at least part of her bum.

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I think jegging/skinny jean is the thing. My dd is 11 and she cares nothing about style but is all about the jegging out of comfort. Regular jeans would feel awful to her. Kids raised nowadays with leggings as a norm feel like jeggings and skinny jeans are "dressed up". LOL. I think once you have worn leggings it is hard to go back to regular jeans and leggings have been "in" for a long time.

I was shocked to see the high waisted acid washed mom jeans last year. It was the style for at least a minute. Ugly as heck and so unflattering. I'm conservative about my dd's clothes but I'd take a jegging over that any day. Nothing wrong with a jegging or skinny jean. All the ones we have bought my dd are plenty modest. I probably size up but they are more flattering and modest than the super tight press on jeans of the '80s.

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My dd, 17, and I both wear Old Navy jeans. Not the skinny ones but more like your Eddie Bauer pic above. 

Neither of my dc have ever seemed to care at all about what's considered fashion or in style. It's never seemed to hurt them socially either. If my dd wanted the skinny jeans I would be fine with it though as I don't feel it's a big deal and she's the one wearing them and should be comfortable.

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If it's what her friends are wearing something different would make her stand out.

I'm bothered from an "I don't like objectification of women and girls" point of view that female clothes are consistently more form fitting and revealing than male clothes. Leggings as an item of dress don't really bother me when that is what everyone is wearing, I wear them myself because they are comfortable. 

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I'm 55 and I wear leggins and skinny jeans BUT I do wear them with longer shirts.   "Boyfriend" jeans are popular and I think those are cute when styled with the right shirt & shoes.  If you google boyfriend jeans you'll see what I mean.  They're sort of like mom jeans but it's all in the styling, I think.

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You know, I just realized, I have seen some styles that aren't at all tight on young people. But not teens. More like college, early 20's. It's the baggy overalls. Also the high-waisted loose style. I am probably describing it all wrong, but it was in during the 90's. It's sort of pouffy around the hips and then more tapered at the leg.

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38 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

I’ve been looking for boot cut jeans for my dd14 (girls size 16) and I’m struggling. Her body type isn’t suited for skinny jeans and that’s all I can find. Boot cut is much more flattering but they’re nowhere that I’ve found yet.

I saw some cute ones from Topshop yesterday. 

But most girls are not wearing them around here.

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13 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

I recently saw a FB ad for Gap high rise jeans. I hauled out a photo of my mom circa 1986. Yep, same pants. I find them hideous, complete with gathered pooch front. Nope.

Not all high rise jeans are mom jeans, though (back in the day those would have been worn ironically, when wearing things ironically was a thing).

Athleta makes high rise skinny jeans that are sooo comfortable and also stylish. I’m sure a lot of companies do.

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I can't stand the skinny pants trend. I don't think they look flattering on everyone and even skinny people. I saw a picture someone posted with a young slim girl wearing skinny jeans (I hate tapered leg pants for myself) and honestly it felt like it just made their feet look huge. They were wearing sandals. I don't care if it's dated, I still wear boot cut lol. 

I was expecting much more tight than what I saw when I clicked the first link. Those aren't so bad. I would just let her get them. If you want her to get "jeans" as opposed to jeggings, let her pick out some actual jeans on her own? And even that might be an obstacle depending on the store. Maybe a Levi's store would be useful in this type scenario. I don't even know if teens like that brand these days. 

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We seem to have reached a compromise that involves tightness down to the ankle (where, to be honest, tightness doesn't bother me) but the not-as-tight-in-the-hips-and-thighs variety - probably this will involve buying the larger of the two sizes that kind of fit and then wearing a belt, which she did for most of last year just because she was growing.  Sigh.

I will state for the record that I think it's really unfair that teenage fashion is A. so rigid and B. so sexually objectifying of girls.  I remember being irritated by it as a kid in the late 90s, and that was nothing, NOTHING, compared to now.  What I thought was tight and restrictive then is pretty much un-buyable now, unless you buy jeans with, as mentioned above, rips and things.

I'm not in any universe paying someone to pre-rip my kids' clothes for them. They do enough of this on their own.  

Sigh, that is all.  

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5 minutes ago, moonflower said:

We seem to have reached a compromise that involves tightness down to the ankle (where, to be honest, tightness doesn't bother me) but the not-as-tight-in-the-hips-and-thighs variety - probably this will involve buying the larger of the two sizes that kind of fit and then wearing a belt, which she did for most of last year just because she was growing.  Sigh.

I will state for the record that I think it's really unfair that teenage fashion is A. so rigid and B. so sexually objectifying of girls.  I remember being irritated by it as a kid in the late 90s, and that was nothing, NOTHING, compared to now.  What I thought was tight and restrictive then is pretty much un-buyable now, unless you buy jeans with, as mentioned above, rips and things.

I'm not in any universe paying someone to pre-rip my kids' clothes for them. They do enough of this on their own.  

Sigh, that is all.  

I remember holes in the knees being fashionable in the early 90's, but I find the current ripped fashions very odd. At least knees are a normal place for clothes to wear out and rip, a rip in the upper thigh of a pant leg is...just weird.

I roll my eyes at most fashion trends though.

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2 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

However, I think feeling out of place as a teen is a legit concern.

I wholeheartedly agree with this. I was out of place, fashion-wise, all through school. It was miserable. I spent a lot of time thinking about it and worrying about clothes. Looking back, I think I would have been more outgoing, developed more friendships, etc. if I had felt like I fit in. Even as a adult, I think about clothes way too much. I've always said that if I have kids, they're going to be allowed to wear whatever's in style, as long as I can afford it.

What about skinny jeans that aren't so thin? Or maybe a few pairs of black ones and dark blue ones? Somehow the lighter blue ones look skimpier.

The girls at my rural school all wear skinny jeans or yoga leggings.

 

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22 minutes ago, moonflower said:

We seem to have reached a compromise that involves tightness down to the ankle (where, to be honest, tightness doesn't bother me) but the not-as-tight-in-the-hips-and-thighs variety - probably this will involve buying the larger of the two sizes that kind of fit and then wearing a belt, which she did for most of last year just because she was growing.  Sigh.

I will state for the record that I think it's really unfair that teenage fashion is A. so rigid and B. so sexually objectifying of girls.  I remember being irritated by it as a kid in the late 90s, and that was nothing, NOTHING, compared to now.  What I thought was tight and restrictive then is pretty much un-buyable now, unless you buy jeans with, as mentioned above, rips and things.

I'm not in any universe paying someone to pre-rip my kids' clothes for them. They do enough of this on their own.  

Sigh, that is all.  

Honestly, the low rise trend of the mid 2000s (how do you say that? I’m thinking about 2004-2005) when my dd was 8 (EIGHT years old!) and I could not find jeans that didn’t show her crack were the absolute pits. And paired with short shirts! True we have long torsos here, but it was truly horrible.

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22 minutes ago, moonflower said:

We seem to have reached a compromise that involves tightness down to the ankle (where, to be honest, tightness doesn't bother me) but the not-as-tight-in-the-hips-and-thighs variety - probably this will involve buying the larger of the two sizes that kind of fit and then wearing a belt, which she did for most of last year just because she was growing.  Sigh.

I will state for the record that I think it's really unfair that teenage fashion is A. so rigid and B. so sexually objectifying of girls.  I remember being irritated by it as a kid in the late 90s, and that was nothing, NOTHING, compared to now.  What I thought was tight and restrictive then is pretty much un-buyable now, unless you buy jeans with, as mentioned above, rips and things.

I'm not in any universe paying someone to pre-rip my kids' clothes for them. They do enough of this on their own.  

Sigh, that is all.  

I would spend some time shopping for jeans that are acceptable to both of you and that actually fit. 

If you could go back in time, I don't think you would find that the 90s were any less objectifying. Specific styles come and go, but the prevailing attitude was not better then. The early 80s had a very young Brooke Shields murmuring about nothing coming between her and her Calvins, the 70s had peanut jeans, the 60s had micro mini skirts. 

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We were in Target yesterday and actually, a fall trend is waist high jeans with a yoke at the waist and pleats below. Not skin tight. Very 80s. Very flashback provoking. Plus, according to my kids, high-waisted mom jeans are also a current thing for high school girls.  

Will they reverse the leggings-as-pants trend? Not likely. But at least the option is there. 

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9 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

We were in Target yesterday and actually, a fall trend is waist high jeans with a yoke at the waist and pleats below. Not skin tight. Very 80s. Very flashback provoking. Plus, according to my kids, high-waisted mom jeans are also a current thing for high school girls.  

Will they reverse the leggings-as-pants trend? Not likely. But at least the option is there. 

 

As a plus-size woman, I weep for our plus-sized teens. Neither high-waisted, pleated jeans nor skin-tight jeggings are very flattering.  

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Was thinking of the tiny mini skirts and dresses of the 70s. When I see pictures now it is shocking how short they were. 

Most of the teens I see wearing skinny jeans and leggings are wearing them with longer shirts. My preteen dd wears regular T-shirt’s she gets from events she attends with her jeggings. She looks adorable and she is covered. Way more covered than fashions in past decades. And she is comfy. 

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In my area, yes, to be in style, snug-fitting all the way is required, be it skinny jeans or jeggings. Personally, I'm loving this. I have a very slender dd and the stretchy jeggings fit her soooo much better than anything else. She's covered and things don't gap or fall off her.

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