Posted: Jan 21, 2013 10:00 AM
Teenage girls were shocked to learn that their high school was banning leggings as "inappropriate" for school attire. Yes, leggings are back... and teen girls can’t get enough of them. But are they too revealing to be worn to school? Should it be up to parents to decide what clothing is acceptable for school?

Teenage girls have become big fans of leggings — and their jeans-related cousin, jeggings. Parents may turn a blind eye, but school officials are left to make decisions about what teens can and cannot wear on campus. School dress codes are being put to the test by girls wearing skin-tight clothing that leaves little to the imagination.

Why all the fuss?

The last time leggings were a popular wardrobe staple, you may have even been a fan. The comfortable, stretchy and skin-tight bottoms were usually worn underneath a tunic top or long sweater, hiding your rear view from public view. They seemed one step dressier than sweatpants — kind of how we feel about our yoga pants today.

While yoga pants and leggings have been on high school campuses for quite some time, now teens are taking the look one step further and revealing more. Tops no longer cover the rear, and even skirts worn over leggings are super short. Many teachers and high school staff members feel that the tight clothing is distracting and interferes with learning. Some leggings are made from such sheer fabric they resemble a pair of tights — and don’t leave much to the imagination.

Appeal to parents

We can't define modesty for every family, but we can ask them to make good decisions that reflect well on their families.

Minnesota high school principal David Adney decided to take action and emailed parents. Without actually banning them, he appealed to parents to have a discussion at home about the appropriateness of wearing sheer leggings or tight yoga pants to school. "We want them to strive for modesty," he added. "We can't define modesty for every family, but we can ask them to make good decisions that reflect well on their families." Adney admits he understands that the girls just want to be trendy. "But it's not too much to ask you to keep your butts covered."

What do teens think?

"I think leggings should be allowed at school as long as they’re not too thin or see-through," says a high school freshman girl we spoke to. "They are comfortable and everybody wears them." She and her friends wear their leggings just like they would wear a pair of skinny jeans.

Bottom line

As a parent, you need to decide what is — and isn’t — acceptable for your teen to wear to school. Telling her to follow the school dress code sets a good example and shows your teen that rules are put in place for a reason.

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