I say most…because I think there are some simple rules to follow when taking your kids – especially your daughters – clothes shopping. First, learn to say no. They are your kids. They need to respect your decisions regarding their wardrobe. But saying “ewww…no way” is not the best choice. Give them the same respect. Tell them why. Why you don’t like it. Tell them how beautiful they are are. How much they have to offer and that they don’t need to sell themselves short to look like the masses which might equal “trashy”.
shopping with teens
Teens and clothes. They go hand in hand…right? Well, most of the time. Sometimes it’s a battle to get them out of sweats and t-shirts…can I get an amen? But when they want to pull it together, they know EXACTLY what they like, what’s cool, and what looks good. And most of the time they are on target…most of the time.
And on top of that I have to ask…do you know what your kids are wearing? What their friends are wearing? Are you paying attention on Twitter? Instagram? You should be. NOT to be critical…hardly. But to be aware, especially with your daughters. Their bodies are precious gifts. TRUE fashion is not sleazy. TRUE fashion is classy and stylish and accentuates our personalities, not our boobies and booties.
* steps off soapbox *
Face it. Shopping for jeans. UGH.
We love them. Once we have “that” pair. But finding the perfect piece of denim is not an easy task. Can I hear an amen?
I liken it to bra shopping. Bathing suit shopping. And even possibly even as painful as waxing. Need I say more?
Let’s make it even more “fun”.
Add in two teenagers and a tween. Ahh…that’s better. Now it’s a hormone denim fest.
Here are my tips…and rules…and thoughts to make this a semi enjoyable, if not successful, trip to denim land.
- Breathe. Find your zen before you even enter the store.
- Even if you “think” you know your size, grab a size or two up. Jeans are funny. Sizes are funny. Numbers do NOT count. No really. They don’t. If your jeans fit great people will think, “hey, those look great on her!”…not…”hmmm, I wonder what size her jeans are?” So ignore the numbers and go for the fit.
- Try different styles. If skinny isn’t your thing, try straight jeans…maybe a flair, or boot cut.
- Check the rise. Ultra low rise should just be banned…period. Or instead should be labeled “show me your butt crack and your thong”. Ewww. Just ewww. Mid to low rise is great for all ages. High rise is back in style. And although I wouldn’t be caught dead in them – think the 80’s – my Isabel rocks them! Perfect for her body shape.
- Bring someone with you who will be honest. And be ok with honest. You want them to look good. Not skin over bologna. No muffin tops.
- Do a little gymnastics routine in the dressing room. Bend down touch your toes. Bend at the knee. Sit down. Move in them. That’s real life. Not sucking it in and standing in front of the mirror. Capicé?
- Try different washes. The darker the wash the more forgiving / thinning. Think of it as the “black effect”.
- More expensive jeans do fit better. But I refuse to pay a ton for denim. So find a middle ground. My favorites? Levi’s. Tried and true. Not cheap…but definitely not Citizens of Humanity or rag & bone.
Those tips are my starting point. If you are shopping with teens for jeans – hey look, I rhymed! – be prepared to battle a little. Be prepared for too tight and too low. Be prepared to say no. And be prepared to give her a multitude of pairs to try on. Isabel tried on what seemed like a million pairs. We found three. I think those are pretty good odds.
Do those sentences get progressively scarier? Or is that just me?
I think I have a fairly decent grasp on fashion. Therefore, when it’s time to take my teenagers shopping I don’t worry too much. In fact, I almost look forward to it.
Until. Until it came time for dress shopping for semi-formal. Semi-formal. Who made that action up? Truly it’s the ‘go-spend-money-on-a-dress-even-though-it’s-not-prom’. Seems hallmark gimmicky ..but what do I know? As a mom who homeschooled for 1 million years this is a very new thing. Hold me?
So I prepared myself. I mean, other than wanting them to wear burlap sacks from neck to toe, how hard could this be. Ok, I knew I had to be somewhat reasonable, and open my mind…a little.
Off we went. Isabel – freshman age 14. Anneke – junior age 16.
My girls are very different. Physically and emotionally. Isabel is tall and lanky – even things that aren’t short for most people end up being short on her long legged body. Anneke has a beautiful athletic build. This was not going to be easy.
First store. Macy’s. Does everything have be so short? Or tight? Or low? Jumpers? Aren’t jumpers trendy?
Isabel found a dress I loved. She wasn’t sold. My thoughts, covered on top and I thought a “high-low” would be perfect for her. Or in my mind a “win-win”. Short in the front…teenager happy. Longer in the back…aka bend over safe…mama happy. We put it on hold.
It’s that time of year again. They NEED to go shopping.
It’s not that I’m opposed to shopping. HARDLY! It just becomes a lot of work.
It’s a lot of personalities. And basically. A lot of females!! And the man child needs new things too! Oiy!
So as I prepare myself…I thought it best to review my own tips on shopping with my girlies – and man child. And then I thought. Maybe you need a review too.
Hang with me. The last week has not been the easiest in my life. But more on that later.
Here’s to coffee and chocolate and the MALL!
Let’s face it. Teen mags are telling our daughters to raise their hemlines and crop their shirts. More skin. More cleavage. More tighter. More see-through. (more tighter? excuse the grammar faux pas! You get the idea.)
And yet, here I have two teenage girls I AM determined to bypass the norm. Hopefully they will not only understand my concerns, but embrace my ideas as well! And most importantly understand the “why” behind it all.
This past weekend was my Isabel’s 14th birthday. We decided to do a photo shoot with her friends as part of her birthday celebration. I’ll be honest, I was nervous at what I might see. But can I just say how proud I am of these girls! They were breath taking. They were tasteful. They were natural. Everything about them just glowed.