I miss the days when I could simply hit the clearance racks and stock up for back to school clothes. Then one day my kids started to have an opinion on what they wanted to wear. My daughter hated anything floral and my son would only wear anything fit for a large 6 ft-tall football player. My daughter would come with me shopping and try to school me in what was cool. I couldn’t argue, when I was her age, if my clothes didn’t have an alligator or polo player on them, I’d be ridiculed.
Fast forward. My kids are now 17 and 15. How things have changed on the fashion front. Teens today are so dialed in. Heck, I’m guilty of raiding my daughter’s closet to find a cool outfit! They know how to get the hottest looks without it costing a thousand bucks.
My advice to parents wanting to shop for their teen’s back-to-school looks this fall – DON’T. Kids are fashion savvy and definitely don’t want mom and dad tagging along. Give them the freedom to make their own style decisions, with a budget of course.
In no particular order, with help from my daughter, a few must-haves for the young female stylista in your life: Boyfriend jeans, denim jacket, oversized but fitted blazer, vests (as in tuxedo, not argyle), leggings, slouchy boots, flats, big belts, lots of v-neck t’s, long cardigans and high waisted skirts.
My daughter gave me a lesson on what is fashion “sick” and what is “ick.” At Aritzia we found a terrific jean jacket, modern and not typically boxy. Instead this was cropped, with some great details, $140. They had great blazers as well but at $225, a little out of our price range.
Urban Outfitters was next on the list and we found a great blazer, a little longer with rolled up sleeves and only $78. My daughter mentioned she could find some items cheaper elsewhere, so this is what I mean by trusting your kids to make good budget decisions. They know when something is over-priced.
One item my daughter decided to break the bank on was a ruffled tuxedo vest at Armani Exchange. It had a beautiful cut and great ruffled detail on the shoulders, $98.
We stopped at American Apparel and Forever 21 for basics, then up to Over the Rainbow for jeans, settling on a pair of Fidelity boyfriend jeans that were soft and roomy with the ever important rips for an old worn look. I didn’t feel bad dishing out $218 as I figured I was shopping for the both of us!
My son would never dream of shopping with me but he did at least share some gems with me. Thankfully, he has ditched the over-sized look for a sleeker, more “preppy” style. Fitted jeans, simple v-neck sweaters, fitted t-shirts, colourful ok as long as they are not plastered with a logo, dress shirts (yes, dress shirts!)and Sperry’s. If he wears a cap, shoes have to match!
My son suggests American Eagle, Hollister, H&M, French Connection, and Sporting Life. Skate, and snowboard shops such as West 49 have great t-shirts and dress shirts. For sick shoes, check out Livestock on Spadina.
So hopefully that helps those of you struggling to decipher what’s sick in teen fashion. And if you need some more inspiration, just check out what Misha Barton, Rachel Bilson, Chris Brown, Zac Effron or other teen celebs are wearing. Unless it’s Marilyn Manson…then you’re on your own!