Last week, on Earth Day, I was given the opportunity to speak to a group of Girl Scouts on Personal Style, Trends and Green Shopping.
Afterwards, I got to thinking that it had been a while since I had written a post for moms, with tween and teen girls. Inspired after meeting with this group of 6-8th graders, I wanted to share a few things I've learned along the way, about how to make shopping with our girls a fun and rewarding experience!
My daughter is not a big shopper, but she is particular, and knows what she likes. She has always been an original, who beats to her own drum. Therefore, when she entered into the tween years, shopping together was a must. Early on, a few of our adventures ended up empty handed. Empty handed was a problem, as she had outgrown everything in her closet - in what seemed like a second! After a few attempts, we re-evaluated how we were approaching our shopping adventures. After some reflection, we came up with a few ideas to making the whole experience more fun! We love shopping together - its an adventure, always filled with laughs and funny moments at the mall. My daughter now shops in the Juniors Dept - which is an entirely different experience than shopping with tweens, however the same guidelines apply. By tween, I am referring to that age between 10-12 where girls are growing constantly- emotionally and physically.
Plan Your Shopping Day
- Allow enough time. I like to allow at least 2-3, UNinterrupted hours to spend with my girl. Get to the mall with enough time to grab a latte, hot chocolate and a snack (never shop hungry!)and plan out your mission. What are you looking for today? What does she like now, not yesterday, in terms of style and comfort? What is the most important thing she's missing? Is it shorts, a dress for graduation, shoes, tops, undergarments? Don't try to do it all at once. It can take hours, just to find a dress or a pair of shorts that she likes - and that fit!
- Don't plan to shop for yourself while helping her shop - she will need your full attention whether she is aware of it or not.
- Befriend a salesperson to be your ally. Your girl may not listen to you, but she will listen to a fun sales gal with green hair!
- Try on LOTS of stuff! At this age, most items will not fit her changing body correctly. Encourage trying on more, than less.
- Does she want you in or out of the dressing room? Girls this age can be shy about their bodies. Give her some space (drink your latte on the couch outside her dressing room), but let her know you are there if she wants to show you something.
- Encourage a fashion show. Give positive feed back and notice what is working for her. Are the tops too low cut, because her torso has not stretched out yet? Are the shorts too short because her legs are longer than the rest of her body. Are waist bands too tight because she still has a little girl shape? Communicate back to the salesperson what is working and not.
- Compromise. You may hate it, but remember you are not the one wearing it. Your style may not be her style. As long as it is age appropriate, consider allowing her to discover her own look/style/comfort level.
Certain brands, are geared more toward ever growing tween shapes - many offering up to size 18.
Hollister (denim shorts and casual wear)
Boden (modest swimwear, cover ups, dresses and tops)
Old Navy/GAP (tees and shorts)
Kohls: MUDD, SO, Lily Rose (dresses), IZ Buyer (dresses)
Nordstrom: Tucker + Tate (awesome for underwear, sleepwear and bralettes), Roxy, Soprano (in big kids and juniors. Big Kids is best for Tweens), Ten Sixty Sherman (tops/sweaters), Tractr (for denim and shorts). For the full Tween selection at Nordstrom, click HERE
Styles to look for:
Skater dresses with higher necklines
Fit and Flare dresses with wider straps
Avoid strapless dresses, and pencil or slim skirt styles.
Denim shorts with a longer inseam
Flowy tees. Many tween girls don't like 'tight" fitting tops (F21, Nordstrom, Target)
Tanks or 1/2 tanks, to layer under their tees.
How do you shop with your tween or teen?
Have you had some bumps in the road you'd like to share?
Where do your girls like to shop?
Do you have any tips to share with readers on making shopping more fun for you and your girl?
Cleaned out your closet and looking to refresh your own wardrobe?
Ready for Spring and ready to clean out your closet?
The Ask Suzanne Bell Step-by-Step Guide is HERE.
Looking to challenge yourself, to Shop Your Own Closet?
Try the 30/30 Style Challenge, details HERE.
See you back this weekend!