Shopping for Your Teen

The Straight Goods About Shopping for Teens, from a Teen!

Are you having trouble back-to-school shopping for your young teen daughter? Well, I’m in middle school and can help take the confusion out of choosing the right clothes for your teen!

Your Daughter's "Style"

Styles are very important to your teen and you have to know what her style is. Pay attention to what she picks out at the store or wears most often. Also think about what clothes sit in her closet (until you force her to wear them!).

Moms, it may be hard to hear, but your teen has a different style than you do. Buying matching Mother-Daughter outfits is never a good idea.

You may think that the hottest new look is moccasins, when your daughter wants Uggs! Or that The Children’s Place is "in" because their sizes go up to 13, but your daughter will say, “even though it fits, doesn’t mean it's cool!”

What is Appropriate?

Every girl has a different style, and some styles are more appropriate than others. Know that your daughter does have self-respect, so ask her what she thinks is appropriate, and discuss it.

If you’re not comfortable seeing her walk out the door with a skin-tight shirt and a mini skirt, speak up! I’m sure she’ll understand.

For instance, I like athletic pants with writing on the bum, but my mom doesn’t. Recently, someone gave me a pair as a gift. We compromised that I could wear them at summer camp, or as cozy-wear around the house.

You also have to think about what school says is appropriate. Check with her school to be sure, but most schools I've been to have two main rules:

Standing, with her hands at her sides, where her middle finger ends is as short as her shorts can go. Yes, shorts CAN be too short!

No bra straps can be showing - you can use the three-finger rule: the shoulder of your daughter’s tank top must be at least three fingers wide.

Brand Names

Another thing that really confuses parents is why teens want to wear all these expensive brand names. Teens understand that a lot of brand names are expensive, but we also need to feel that we fit in at school. (Yeah it’s dumb, but it’s true!) We like to have a couple of t-shirts that say Hollister on them, but it doesn't have to be our whole closet!

If you're unsure as to what the more expensive brand names/Stores are, here are some your daughter might like:

American Eagle
Abercrombie & Fitch *

* keep in mind that some schools don’t allow this brand because of the bad word that rhymes with Fitch - or at least, that's the rumour.

Some less-expensive (but also cool) brand name stores are:

Old Navy (just for jeans)
H & tM

The Bottom Line

With all of this in mind, some things that pretty much everybody likes now (no matter her style) are: skinny jeans (no "Mom" jeans, bell-bottoms, or straight legs), graphic tees & Converse shoes.

The important thing to remember is to talk about all these things with your daughter. If you do, you'll both end up happier, and you will also be ready to go back-to-school shopping!

Alexandra Rea is fourteen years old, lives in the ‘burbs west of T.O. Her dream is to become a famous actress and to play university-level volleyball.

At school, Alex enjoys student parliament, orientations and plays, school teams, athletic council and meeting new friends. In her time off, Alex plays rep-level ringette, soccer, volleyball, guitar, and is an avid reader. Her favourite places to be are Canada’s Wonderland, on stage, a volleyball court, or anywhere with friends!

Alex always tries to live life to its fullest and when others ask Why? Alex asks, Why not?