The Fashion Advice I Wish I Had at 15
There’s nothing more annoying than being told what to wear. When I was 15, if my mom or dad (or anyone else) told me that what I was wearing was too revealing I would roll my eyes and tell them to get a life: Seriously? Stay out of my business and find something more productive to worry about.
If I’m honest about it now though, there is some fashion advice that could have been useful for me to hear. After all, my fashion motto was the tighter, the shorter, and the more low cut the better. And in retrospect, there are a few things I wish I had considered before walking out of the house:
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. So you’re not a little girl anymore, and if you want to, you can look really sexy. But just cause you can put on clothes and makeup that make you look 20, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
It’s not your job to be a sex object. It can be confusing because every time you open a magazine, turn on the TV, or watch a music video, it seems that all the awesome stars we admire are dressed in virtually nothing. It certainly sends the message that, as women, it’s part of our job to look sexy. But that’s just not right. We don’t have to look sexy at all, and that’s totally fine. Your sexuality is such a personal thing that you have to negotiate on your own terms. You don’t have to be wearing really revealing clothes…even if a lot of your idols are.
Consider that maybe you’re not ready to look so sexy. Not only is it not your job to be a sex object, it’s especially not your job to look like one now. You’re a teen! Have fun being a teen—there’s no need to rush growing up (trust me on this one!). It doesn’t feel good to be rushed into more responsibility than you’re ready for. You know how you spend a lot of time thinking about when you might be ready to kiss a guy, date a guy, or even do more? Well you should think about whether or not you’re really ready to dress in a revealing or mature way. And if you’re not, that is so okay!
Own who you are. It’s really fun to play around with fashion, different clothes, hairstyles, and expressing yourself through what you look like. But figure out what YOU really want to be wearing. It doesn’t have to be the same stuff that your friends are, the outfit Rihanna wore to that event last week, or what’s in the window of stores at the mall. Take time to figure out the kind of clothes that feel good for you, and the kind of image that YOU really want to present. After all, being told what to wear is no fun…whether it’s coming from your parents or the TV!
Do you feel pressure to dress a certain way? Tell us what you think!
Amber Madison has been writing about sex, love, and relationships since college (she went to Tufts University) when she wrote for her school newspaper's sex ed column. Since graduating, she's published two books: Hooking Up: A Girl's All-Out Guide to Sex and Sexuality and Talking Sex With Your Kids and has been quoted in a ton of different media outlets from Seventeen magazine to MTV to NPR. Have a question for Amber? Send us an email!