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Is 11 too young for the little black dress?

I thought my mom was so lame when she refused to let me wear a black dress when I was a teenager. So why am I standing in the dressing room at Bloomingdale's having the same argument with my daughter 30 years later?

We've come looking for a festive Christmas outfit. Yet, rack after rack, all I see are sexy little black dresses in the 2nd-floor girls department. She's only 11. But all the slinky, spaghetti-strap, cocktail-style gowns make her look like Long Tall Woman in a Black Dress, not Daddy's Little Girl.

Murphy's Law has nothing on Mom's Law, the universal inevitability that we end up repeating our decades-old mother-daughter debates, only from the opposite perspective. My mom didn't want me to wear black to the prom when I was 15 because she thought I was too young. To her, black was the color of seduction, sophistication – slightly dangerous, sly. Which is of course why I wanted to wear it as a teenager. And why I think twice about my daughter wearing it as a tweener.

Is it old-fashioned of me to find a little black dress inappropriate for a little girl? In these modern times has black become just another color?

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