Clarissa Cruz
October 27, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Goodbye, pastel cords and frilly frocks. Hello, leather pants, rock-star tees, and fake-fur jackets. Girls are catching up to their fashionable elders, with looks that make OshKosh seem downright dowdy. ”Teens are dressing sexier and more sophisticated than ever,” says Guess? designer Suzie Hamer, who adds that hip-slung jeans and Lurex halters are among their most popular items. Retailers can thank Britney, Mandy, and Christina for the trend. ”Kids see these stars and their eyes light up,” says teen designer Gia Ventola (who’s dressed Britney Spears). ”They wanna be like them, look like them, wear makeup like them.” But with schools across the country banning the very items that are the rage — California’s Temecula Valley School District sends home students who wear camisoles or baggy pants, while bare midriffs are a no-no at Riverton High School in Riverton, Wyo. — not to mention parents outraged over Spears’ barely there ensemble at last month’s MTV Video Music Awards, is girls’ fashion going too far? ”Kids create their own styles — and they’re good at it,” says Seventeen editor in chief Patrice Adcroft. ”We can draw a line in the sand, but that doesn’t mean they won’t step over it.”

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