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When style is all that matters!

For parents of teenagers, the mystery of fashion is exactly that, a mystery. What their teenager believes is stylish and cool may be very far removed from parents own perception of appropriate dress. More and more public schools are adopting a school uniform in an attempt to impose more discipline on their students, imitating private schools that have always had school uniform. There are still public high schools without a uniform, but even these are implementing some type of dress code.

The school uniform is easier for parents of younger children, no argument about what to wear, and a thriving second hand market organized by the parent teacher groups can make a parents' life a lot easier. Teenagers at high school have long made judgments about each other based upon what they are wearing and how they cut their hair. School boards hope to reduce peer pressure and promote school pride, by introducing school uniforms.

Sometimes, adults seriously underestimate the ingenuity of teenagers!! In schools that have uniforms, a practiced eye can spot the stylistic differences between students, the slight tweaks that define a fashion and adjustments made to uniforms that say, you're in, or, you're out! It may be the type of socks they wear, the brand of plain black shoe (masses of potential here for style definition) or the collar of the white shirt, even how they tie their tie, teenagers are nothing if not adept at bending rules! What adults do not seem to realize is that for many teens, style is all that matters.

The style they choose, defines the group they are in, the type of sports they play, or do not play, the type of boy or girl they will date. Teenagers may profess to be rebellious and individual, but they are, for the most part, conformists and sheep. They may not be conforming to what their parent's want, heaven forbid, but they are following a style and a code of conduct, led by the most dominant personalities in their groups. The truly individual teenager may, unless they become a style icon, suffer dreadfully from bullying because they are seen as different.

Parents will find themselves in ridiculous arguments with their teenager if they question why the teen needs their jeans to be a certain make, or their hair cut a certain way. When money is tight, it may be very hard for the teenager to achieve their style needs and the parent to fund them. This requires a careful conversation, but an honest discussion about money. If style truly matters to the teenager, they may need to get a part time job to pay for it!

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