18 answers

Strapless Dresses for 14 Year Old

My 14 year old daughter is "graduating" from 8th grade. She says she needs a "formal" dress, can we go look for one? I said OK. Later this evening, she shows me a dress on the internet that is above the knee, and strapless. Would you let your 14 year old girl (who is quite developed for her age) wear a strapless dress to school for this kind of event? She says she will wear a cover-up. Just not so sure about how long that would stay on...

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

First, THANK YOU to all the people who responded and came to my rescue during this potentially volitile time. I called the school and got the information on what this day was all about. Luckilly for me, they said, "absolutely not strapless dresses." This put an end to my delema. So, my daughter and I will go looking for a nice Sunday-type dress that she can wear to the morning ceremony. After the ceremony, they will be changing into regular school clothes for a day of fun at the park. I can't imaging my daughter wanting to wear a nice dress to this. So, again, thank you to all who helped me. My problem is now solved. I will certainly turn to this community again if I have any other questions. You guys are awesome!

Featured Answers

nope it is too grown up. Lets let the kids be kids. there is PLENTY of time for her to wear a strapless later.

6 moms found this helpful

My nieces all wear them for formal events....& they look beautiful! With & without a shrug/coverup/etc.

& not a single one of these young ladies dresses inappropriately.

I think this is another case of generational values creating roadblocks on the path to individual happiness. :)

Oh, & the "above the knee" is a very up-to-date style right now....

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

nope it is too grown up. Lets let the kids be kids. there is PLENTY of time for her to wear a strapless later.

6 moms found this helpful

Sorry but I think "it depends" is my answer -- and I know that's not much help! My youngest is 18 so I've spent the last several years shopping for graduation dresses, semi-formal dresses, "nice" dresses, casual dresses ---you name it! What I've seen is there are strapless dresses -- and then there are strapless dresses! Rather than ruling out a particular style, you might want to tell her what you want in a dress.

For my youngest (who is also not a "little" girl!), we talk about overall appearance: she needs to be appropriately dressed for the event -- and I get the final vote on what's appropriate. Nothing too casual for a "nice" event; nothing over the top for a more laid back occasion. Length is important. Certain style tops work better for Herself than others (for instance, she looks very nice in a fitted bodice but a looser one looks dumpy and disheveled. She looks cute in a higher cut, scalloped or sweetheart strapless but a straight across isn't flattering. Obviously, if a dress is strapless it must be a higher rather than a lower cut -- no cleavage. If it's a V-neck, how much V matters to me. Too snug (like those spandex dresses that are very form fitting and just barely cover the butt) doesn't work. What I call a "headband skirt" -- something that's supposed to be a skirt but is about as wide as a headband wrapped around your bottom -- is out.

So, that's a lot that's out. What's in? Anything that looks decent (by my standards), flattering, stylish -- and affordable.

If you have the chance, try and "pre-shop" without her. Go around, take a look at what's available. If there's a store that you like that you think she might, see if there's a person there who you can enlist to help your daughter choose something OK. SOmetimes, taking the mom out of things helps!

Remember, this is the first of many events to come over the next several years. Have fun with it -- but set a precedent. Let her see that it doesn't have to be her win versus your win -- you can both compromise and BOTH win. Set ground rules: she has to try on a choice of yours for each one of hers or something.

Relax. Have fun. Keep control (of your temper, your wallet and your standards). Be flexible and positive wherever possible. Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't let her. Some schools may not allow it either. Check the school handbook regarding dress code requirements.

5 moms found this helpful

I think 14 is too young for such a dress. My daughter is now 31. When she was a senior in high school she said that strapless was not appropriate for her at 18, even. YOur daughter has plenty of time to dress like an adult. There are lots of cute formal style dresses for that age from which to choose.

I would consider the boys whose hormones are just coming into play. I suggest a short strapless dress would make it difficult for them to keep their minds off sex.

I have a friend who chose a strapless wedding dress. She used a knit cover up which looked totally out of place. It spoiled the look of the dress.

5 moms found this helpful

Not for a school function. For a bar/bat mitzvah or formal dance, maybe.

5 moms found this helpful

I personally would not, but that's me.

5 moms found this helpful

Is this for the graduation itself or an end-of-year dance? Not that it makes a HUGE difference, but if it's for a dance I would probably at least let her try it on in the store. If it's for graduation itself- no.

If she tries it on at the store, then you can say that it looks too mature for her age (if it does) and go from there. She may have the same "grown up feeling" from an asymetrical one-shoulder dress.

You could also call the school and ask if there is a dress code for the event- there often is. When they say formal... that means a lot of different things... find out what the school meant.

She won't wear the cover-up.

4 moms found this helpful

No for me. Modest is hottest!

4 moms found this helpful

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