My husband and I and are the parents of three wonderful children, but we've been having some issues lately with our 15 year old, our middle child. She continues to wear skirts that are much too short for her, including to school (where these kinds of things should be dealt with, but aren't) and when out with her friends. We both have to leave for work early in the morning and rely on our kids to get ready to go to school by themselves in the mornings, and we are unable to verify our children's attire; in fact, we first found out our daughter was wearing miniskirts was when the school called to tell us. When we get home from work in the evenings, our daughter is usually wearing miniskirts and occasionally other short clothing inappropriate for her age. We don't know where we gets them and suspects she borrows them from friends or buys them at malls when she's out.
She was very rebellious and rude the last time we discussed this with her. We told her that we as parents require that her skirts be knee length or longer and meet school dress code, to which she replied that we were being "old-fashioned" and "too conservative", and that short skirts are "what every other girl is wearing". We threatened then, perhaps too brazenly, to throw out all of her skirts, even her okay ones, and buy her ones that were full length (I.e that reached her ankles), knowing that she'd know that she'll have to wear them to school and would not like it, thus giving her an appropriate incentive to start dressing more modestly. After she continued being rude and not wanting to follow our requirements, we followed through, and while she was at school we threw out all of her old skirts and anything that we found inappropriate and ordered some full length skirts for her to wear, like something similar to this.
Last night she complained that other kids thought that she was "uncool" because her parents made her wear ankle-length "maxi" skirts, even though they were to demonstrate a purpose, and further complained to us about how we "don't get it" and how girls wear skirts that are short. I explained to her that when I was growing up, we were in a strict religious community where modesty was a big deal and we were expected to wear skirts that were almost ankle length, and so I therefore understand her wanting to express herself by wearing clothing that shows more skin. What I can't seem to get across is that while she has the right to express herself she needs to care about how she looks and dress appropriately. We feel that she accepted wearing the ankle-length skirt when she decided to not to follow our rules, yet she makes us out to be the enemy who won't let her be her own definition of cool.
Though we are still adamant about enforcing it, I am wondering if we were perhaps a bit too brazen and hasty when it comes to handling this. Do you feel like this was handled appropriately? I'd like feedback on how you feel we did in terms of handling the situation and what perhaps we should of done differently. Also, on a more general scale, what is the recommended way to deal with children who don't dress appropriately and you have limited time to deal with discipline due to a hectic work schedule