It’s not a trick question but it can be a tricky question when it comes to clothes shopping. My own daughter is now 14. In the 12 months prior to her turning 14, she went from kids’ clothes to adults’ clothes, right before my eyes. Scary stuff. And not just for my budget.
The variety of fashion choices opened up … she was out of the fashion wasteland that had been her tween years.
From the ages of about nine to 13, girls today are super keen to grow up. Their minds are all a Gaga and Beiber. They want to grow up. Fast.
They want to be hanging out at Supre, Dotti and Valley Girl but even if the clothes fit them physically, it’s all just a little bit too adult for my liking. Or is that just me?
And therein lies the growing dilemma, how do you temper their desire to look and dress like they’re 15 and still guide them into clothes choices that you’ll BOTH be happy with?
In Miss A’s latter years, I’ve escaped easily in this department – she threw more tantrums over dresses as a three-year-old than when she was 13. (The story of her screaming the length of our local shopping centre when I wouldn’t buy her the pink-frilled licensed character dress of her dreams is one that I’ll be replaying at her 21st.)
She’s always loved new clothes but she’s never shown a desire to look older than her age. (She’ll kill me if she reads this, but the other day she was actually worried about how short her dress was.) Go figure. Clearly, I’ve done something right.
So, how do you work with – not against – the growing up too quickly trend and come out in a similar position?
You could try not letting your daughter out of the house (except for school). This is a method threatened by fathers from birth. Dads wish they could enforce it; mums know that it takes greater psychological warfare than that.
My one big tip is to try and make shopping for clothes a fun thing you do together – before the tween years turn to teen. (For this to remain a fun event, you need to exercise extreme patience, not sing along to Katy Perry even if it’s being blasted on the in-store music system and become immune to eye rolls.)
For us, it’s generally a school holidays thing. Yes, she goes shopping with her friends now she’s older; but I’m still considered a good sounding board (and cash supply) as a starting point.
And I tell her the same thing that I tell my clients – that top or necklace are not coming home unless you absolutely LOVE them.
Tween stuff I like
1. Country Road Kids took their size range up to size 12 about a year ago. I like their girls’ collection as it’s not too frou frou and it’s quality that lasts. For info about this outfit, head here.
2. Eeni Meeni Miini Moh. Love, love, love this range out of Queensland. It’s age appropriate but with a nod to trends and very wearable. This skirt is way too cute.
3. Witchery extended to kids in 2010. Much, like Country Road, it’s appealing to the kids of its core customers. So much so, I’d seriously like a women’s version of this dress.
4. NIVEA lip balms are perfect for tweens – they feel like they’re wearing “makeup”; you’re happy that they’re not; the bonus is and that their lips are not cracked! (NIVEA Fruity Shine $3.98 – out in May; NIVEA Pearl & Shine $3.98 – out in June). www.nivea.com.au
5. The Lost Girls by Minkpink is a new tween range from from this Australian brand. I love that the range includes lots of options for all girls – from the girlie girls to the tomboys. More info on the website here.