The Back to School sale is in full swing. Clusters of teenage girls glob around racks of the latest fashions, swaying to the beat of a music video playing overhead. Serving up a buffet of up-to-the-minute trends, the sales offer sleeveless mock turtlenecks, halters, tank tops, hipster jeans, rocker tees. Bedazzled is still in, as is camouflage. Baby polo shirts are back, as are plaid skirts and pants, '80s-influenced belts, and the usual jeans and cotton tees.
The girls are wearing jean shorts and tube tops, one-shoulder tops, and tiny tees that read "Not if you were the last guy on the planet" or "Angel," in glitter.
And with places like Old Navy advertising their miniskirts "the shorter the better," how does teen fashion compare with school dress codes?
The general code for area high schools, both public and private, centers on creating a safe and distraction-free environment. No short shorts, nothing that pictures or advertises an illegal substance, no gang colors.
At some private and public schools the issue is moot. Students wear a school uniform. At other schools students in inappropriate dress will be asked to change. And most of those teenage girls at the mall won't be able to wear the fashions to school that they see in Seventeen, YM, and Teen People.