Silky Shorts and Other Horrors

I’m over at Segullah today posting this. But since I know you’re probably too lazy to click over there, let’s get a discussion going here too. I’m really interested in everyone’s opinions.

My 14-year-old son, York, has a pair of bright orange silky shorts. I loathe silky basketball shorts. I’m sure I must have bought them for him because I buy all his clothes. But what was I thinking? Was I so exasperated with clothes shopping that I just said “fine” when he waved them in front of me? Oh, we somehow ended up with a red pair too.

Every time he wears his bright shorts I want to tell him to go change. There is no way those are stylish in any crowd at high school.  I want him to look cute in public. But I also don’t want to be one of those bratty moms who has too strong an opinion about what her kids should and shouldn’t wear (except when it comes to Holiday outfits).

I have a friend like that. I love her but she’s always got some issue about what her daughters are wearing, whether its high heels to school, or a belt that’s really jangly, or anything striped (“stripes don’t look good on anyone!” she says.)

I reckon that as long as my kids are being modest then they should be able to wear what they want. But then I think of those stupid basketball shorts.  I really would like to “accidentally” spill bleach on them.

When I think back to the dreadful clothes I wore (anything fluorescent, T-shirts with biking shorts, the month where I wore shoelaces in my hair) and my appearance in general  (disgusting perms, purple and blue striped eyeshadow and, horrors, white lipstick!), I wish my mother had maybe stopped me once or twice as I was walking out the door and had me rethink my choices.

But it probably would have turned into a giant fight.  I’m not sure whether my mother was being wise or simply didn’t care.

Do you think that we have the right to help our kids make fashion choices?  It can be futile to insist that a three-year-old change her clothes but what about a thirteen-year-old?

What about husbands? Do you let the man in your life wear whatever he likes? Do you disagree? Do you even care? Does he?

10 thoughts on “Silky Shorts and Other Horrors

  1. As far as my husband, I definitely say something, because it matters at work if he looks like an idiot or not.
    My kids? I’ll inform them if they look really bizarre in a nice way as a means of warding off middle school humiliation, but other than that they are “free to choose”. For Olivia’s first day in a non-uniform school she chose a pink and baby blue tye-dye skirt, and “matched” it with a turquoise and BROWN stripe polo shirt because the “blue matches”. Uh, ok. She LOVES that outfit, and wears it often. I figure, as long as she likes how she looks, it’s all that matters. The rest of the worlds’ voices will haunt her soon enough and cause her to doubt her own opinion of herself. I will be very sad the day she is ashamed of her favorite outfit.
    Now the boys, if they honestly don’t care (as they frequently DONT), I will make go and change. Because at some point, they need to be taught. Heaven knows they will likely never care on their own.

  2. Jennie-

    Love the blog…Here is my 2 cents from the cheap seats.. Pick your battles… I betch you win most of yours anyway! Good Mom! Great post though!

    Take care!

  3. Remember that keeping your kids off drugs thing? I say let kids wear whar they want as long as the clothing in question is not blatantly disrespectful in the context of its wearing. Don’t let him wear the silky shorts to a funeral. Husbands? I make strategically nonchalant comments and then buy him clothes for Christmas.

  4. My husband has his own fashion style. Sometimes I agree. Sometimes I don’t. But I know he probably doesn’t always love what I wear. As far as my kids go, there are times where I choose and times they choose. I don’t have the bball shorts fight since my son loves jean shorts. However, I have a major problem with the silky bball shorts. Mostly because of how they hang in the front. There is no hiding anything on boys with silky shorts. And don’t get me started when grown men wear them. There’s bball shorts and then there are silky bball shorts. Silky=gross in my opinion!!

  5. I am strict about what I let my boys wear. They can wear anything around the house, provided we have no guests. But in public, tidy with a collared shirt. My husband couldn’t match to save his soul, and I used to get all up in arms. Then I realized he is 46 years old, and I’m not his mother. Her job was to train him, my job is to train my sons. I also never let in the house anything they wouldn’t be allowed them to wear regardless, like sleeveless shirts and camo. I am thankful for a school uniform, it takes a lot of fights away.

  6. Yeah, so at our house we call those shorts pajamas. They can wear them anywhere a person could wear pajamas. That includes out in the yard. My husband dresses much better than I do. Daughter wears super weird stuff to school, but I only fight the big fights.

    Sure, let’s get together over Thanksgiving! email me at

  7. I am seriously struggling with this very issue since my daughter, like her grandma, only wants to wear sweats and yoga pants and none of the cute jeans I bought her. I still have no idea what to do about it. Some part of me tells me I probably have to give up the control on this issue, but I don’t want my daughter to always look like she just got out of bed!

  8. Hmmm…..I say if the shorts make him look silly, as in, he might be snickered at, then forbid him from wearing them. If not, let him where them. My son wears black basketball shorts a lot and they look fine-no “package” exposure at all, like one of the other ladies said. Haha! My 11 year old girl where’s bizarre combinations that don’t match. You know the ones that are old faces, but not so cute? She doesn’t have the greatest rapport with kids at school. I would like to tell her to just dress cute and she may not have that problem as much. I hate to send that message though. :/ Perplexed myself….

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