The Struggle is Real. What are “school appropriate” rules doing to a girl’s self-esteem?

The Struggle is Real. What are “school appropriate” rules doing to a girl’s self-esteem?


Every year, at this time, parents engage in the struggle with “school appropriate” shorts, when what is deemed fine for boys is not always the same for girls, and girls are regularly sent home crying when they have been “dress coded” because they aren’t wearing the right length of short, or an overzealous teacher freely interprets the rule that seems to pick on them. As a tween brand we purposefully try to address this issue by designing several styles of long “fingertip” shorts that have an inseam anywhere from 5″ -11″, and offer capri length, as well. Our Buyers also scour other brands, to bring whatever longer styles they are offering into our stores. We put the offering out there for our customer to decide.


Here is the proof: 80% of our shorts sales are in styles that have 2-3″ inseams. We carry one short with a 1 1/2″ inseam that is designed for gymnastics and dance and generally worn with a bodysuit. (It’s respectfully designed to cover the booty completely.) Our long shorts are 22% of the shorts we have stocked, and account for only 18% of our sales! So we wanted to know, how can we help? Give us your feedback! What will you buy, and what will your daughter wear that will solve this problem? Or is the basis of the struggle simply that what schools want and what makes girls feel good about themselves is at odds?

Here is the conversation going on on the Triple Flip Facebook page: Kristie C. “I’ve been a Triple Flip fan since inception and my daughter (now 17 and grown out of the brand) always went with what she wanted. As a mother, I feel it’s my responsibility to ensure my daughter is dressed appropriately and in something she feels comfortable in. Unless the schools plan on having uniforms across the board, they have no business telling me how I should or should not dress my child. Are they funding my purchases, no! We’ve always loved the Triple Flip line because of the variety of choices and quality, and not once did I ever let her buy based on “this is what the school wants”. It’s her body, her choice. Now with that being said, it had to be respectable and that’s why I gave her free run of the Triple Flip, because every product met that standard. Has she been dress-coded, yes, and my answer was “I’m sending her to school in the same outfit tomorrow so deal with it”. Never had an issue after that. I won’t have my child shamed or sent home from school because she chooses to wear something comfortable and stylish that makes her feel good as a person.”

Stacey H. “I buy the gym shorts for gymnastics and my daughter knows to pick out longer shorts for school. Refusing to follow a dress code is ridiculously entitled. There should be a dress code at schools as it teaches responsibility and respect. Not everyone will agree on what that dress code will be. I am always grateful to stores that carry longer shorts. Thank you!”

Evelyn W. “Interesting conversation. My girls leave the shortest shorts at home. They will not wear the finger tip shorts -just as triple flip sales suggest. So far they have not been sent home. Our school has a dress code but it is not enforced. I think as long as bum completely covered and no spaghetti straps reasonable. It is tough for school to enforce because school attendance is important and if they go after the cheeky shorts and spaghetti straps they have to go after the kids that are not following the finger tip rule- even though the shorts still provide good coverage.”

Read this article, written by a frustrated parent, challenging the principal to take her daughter shopping:

Where do you weigh in on this issue? And how do we help our girls learn how to manage this in their lives?


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