12 year old stepdaughter's clothing


I’ve been in a similar situation with my youngest stepson. He is overweight so he has to wear adult size clothing. I’ve tried to sew up the hem of his jeans so that he does not walk on them, make him wear a belt and buy him shirts that actually fit and are good colors for him. His mother on the other hand puts him in shirts that are clearly too big because they come to his knees, baggy jeans that are way too long, ripped up at indecent places, and almost every shirt she buys him is either a bold green, red or has wide horizontal stripes.
My husband and I have discussed this and it’s gotten to the point wear I’ve asked him to change clothes before we go somewhere. My husband originally said that if he wanted to look sloppy then we should let him. My response was that we as adults are the ones who are supposed to care how they look. He’s not supposed to care, he’s a kid. WE have to show him that we care how he looks. I have even quit washing some of the clothes that his mother sends him over in.
Now my other stepson is very picky about his clothing. He’s 13 and has always dressed decently. Doesn’t want clothing too big or sloppy looking and is always aware of how he looks.

What does your husband say about this? Does he also think that she dresses inappropriately?
Here are my suggestions:
If you and your husband agree on this, buy her clothing that will fit properly and look good on her. Don’t give her the option. Don’t take her with you shopping. If she is determined to only go to those two stores, then let her mother buy her clothing there.
When you buy her clothing, make sure that you hang on to tags and receipts and if she destroys clothing that you buy to make it more in fashion then have her learn how to appreciate the value of a dollar…
If it will not cause problems between you and your husband, put your foot down. Do not allow her to wear that clothing when she is with you. This will likely turn her into a true teenager and put her in that “You’re ruining my life” phase…but that’s what parents/stepparents are for right?
I’ve commented to my husband that I wished having a belly had been fashionable when I was growing up…I’m constantly trying to hide the weight I’ve put on in the last couple of years and it makes me feel better to know that girls are not under that pressure anymore. BUT in the same aspect, the sight of a girl with a belly wearing a shirt that is 2 sizes too small or a white tank top and a blue bra, makes me cringe. I have to keep in mind what I wore while growing up, how far I tried to push the limits my parents set. But I also remember my father making me changes clothes before we would leave the house.
If you and your husband are in agreement on this, please do what you feel is right and appropriate.


I see this as a major issue of rebellion here. Stepdaughter has found something that really gets under your skin and both mom and she know it and are milking the situation. My vote would be to ignore it. For a while my stepdaughter was in this heavy makeup/goth sort of phase. We never said anything to her. One day I treated her to a visit to a salon where they had teenage makeup application that cost about $18. I also bought her some trendy makeup. The stylist did a great job teaching her how to apply makeup and she loved how she looked. She toned her makeup on her own.
My other daughter used to come up with combinations of clothing that I wouldn’t be caught dead in…not to mention hyper short shorts…again, we didn’t say anything and that phase died out as well. Now she dresses very professionally when at work and modestly and in an age appropriate way when she is out in public.


I agree with MAL. If you make a HUGE issue over clothing, hair, and so forth, then what happens when and if the issue is drugs, alcohol and sex? Usually these clothing issues are strives for individuality and rebellion, AND THEY PASS. You’ve got to pick your battles.

If you don’t like the clothing, then don’t buy her clothes. But I wouldn’t waste my money on clothes she won’t wear. If you don’t want her to go out in public with you, then don’t take her. You need to be a little flexible too. Say you’re going out to dinner and stepdaughter insists on lowriders with crack showing and a tight midriff showing shirt. Compromise. Say “We would like to go to dinner and we’d love you to come, but you will need to change your shirt into one more appropriate for dinner. If you don’t want to change your shirt, then there are pizzas in the freezer.” If you MAKE her change clothes to go to dinner, then everyone will have a horrible time because she will be copping the teen-age attitude the whole time.

I am going through the clothing thing with my 13 year old daughter. I try not to fuss when it’s around the house, but when we go ‘out’, my rule is no bras showing and minimal cleavage. Luckily, she doesn’t care for low riders, but is fond of the shorty shorts and tight tank tops [:0]


I really appreciate your responses. I have spoke with my mother about this and yes I too tried to push the envelope so to speak with my clothing except I was 16 not 12. I found my shorty shorts and my tube tops in a can on fire in my backyard very quickly. I have a daughter who is 20 who went through the Goth phase and dying her hair all kinds of colors and that is something I can more than live with because it does pass. My thing about my stepdaughter is that her mother is a very obese woman who wears her clothing as tight as she can get it. I am no small woman myself but I dress to try to flatter the parts of my figure that can still be flattering if you know what I mean. I never wear clothing that accentuates the negative. My stepdaughter on the other hand is a little chubby and wants to wear her clothing skin tight and both my husband and I find it to be inappropriate. The thing that bothers me the most is that she says things like this and this is a quote from her e-mail

“Everytime I wear the girls jeans you get me people always ask me why my pants go up so high and I have to say because my stepmom makes me wear these colthes!”

For starters she hasn’t worn a pair of jeans at my house in like 6 months since it has been warm here, secondly her shirts are all babydoll style and cover her belly so no one would see her pants or where they go to & thirdly, other than passing a few acquaintances she knows from school briefly in the hall at the movie cinema we never see anyone she knows and we never have her when she is at school.

My mother has advised me not to argue with her about it. She says there is no reason ever to justify what I do our my home and that our rules have to apply when she is with us. She said to buy her clothes that are stylish but that fit appropriately and if she doesn’t like them to call my mom and she will watch her if we want to go out. We are picking her up this evening, this should be very interesting.


I am feeling what you feel in a responsible manner.As i am a father, my decision is do not force her. Have you said her in a calm manner not to dress like this. If so bring her to the place where you can see the descent girl is.


Ok, so I really am writing this to vent and to get some advice from maybe anyone in this situation. I have a 12 year old stepdaughter. I have been with her father for 5 1/2 years now and have watched her grow into a young lady. The problem I am having now is that her mother allows her to dye her hair, wax her eyebrows and wear clothing that I would not deem appropriate for a 12 year old. She is a little overweight and she wants to wear low rider jeans and tight shirts with her belly showing through the shirt. I know alot of young girls are out there dressing like this and parents seem to not even notice that their overweight daughters stomachs are hanging over their pants but I am overweight myself and I try to dress in a manner that is flattering to my figure. My stepdaughter has just informed me that her mother took her shopping at two local stores and bought her juniors size clothing (which does not fit in my opinion). When she bends over you can see the crack of her butt and on top of being permitted to wear padded bras her shirts are fairly tight. She told me in her e-mail that she is tired of wearing clothes that I deem appropriate and that if we are going to take her shopping she expects to go to these two stores. #1 - Over my dead body am I allowing her to go out in public with me with her belly hanging over her pants and her butt crack hanging out but I dont think I should be told by a 12 year old what she is going to wear. I have a 20 year old daughter myself and at 12 she wore what I told her to wear and dresses now at 20 in a manner which flatters her figure and is appropriate for college and work. Can anyone give me their opinion on this. I just think girls today are out of control with the low rider pants, shorts that look like diapers and skin tight tops.


Fortunately I have been able to covince her to let me buy her bras and panties and some other things that she takes home so I know that at least her personal business isn’t hanging out and sometimes she goes to school dressed well. So I can relate to the “our house clothes” and “their house clothes”.


Where is DAD in all this? Most girls dress like that because they are looking for attention and affection, peer pressure at school dont help either. In my opinion, Her Dad needs to sit down and talk with her, NO DAD should allow his daughter at 12 to step out of the house like that. Or mother… The 12 year old is the KID the parents are the Adults, and the rule makers. DAD talk with your daughter about your concern of her safety and reputation and how you care and love her. Bad Form on behalf of the biological mother… This is a child… 12 year old CHILD.