Tween style featured image

Tween street style

Kim AbbateFashion 28 Comments

Editor’s note: please welcome today’s guest blogger Kim Abbate from Life With Tweens. With a tween of her own, she will contribute a regular post on age-appropriate styles to help those of us with kids in that awkward stage.

Tweens are defined as kids aged 8-12. They’re no longer young children and not quite teens. Unfortunately, the styles we see on the racks in some shops leave a lot to be desired.

Whenever I’m shopping with my 11 year old daughter, I cringe at the short shorts and crop tops with a few cursory tassles to hide things that tweens should not be flaunting. Yes, I’m old fashioned, but I’m also realistic.  Who amongst us would really like to see our 8-12 year old children in clothes that most nightclubs would cringe at?

After a lot of research, I’ve discovered a few stores that cater not only for the tween girl, but also our tween boys too.  The fellas should not be forgotten in all of this!

The thing my tween girl loves is the sense that she’s wearing pieces that are not made for ‘little kids’ but we both agree that short, tight clothing is a no go. This post is going to focus on a casual street style and find some clothes that both you AND your tween will be happy with.

This girl’s outfit was chosen in conjunction with the tween under my own roof.

Tween girl style

1.Target skinny jeans $25 | 2. Cotton On Hetty Kimono $29 | 3. Eve’s Sister Tee $39 | 4. CR Nude scarf $39 | 5. Target ankle boots $15 | Seed purse $24

When it comes to the boys, it was a little easier. I once again had input from two tween boys who gave me their grunt of approval.

Styling You tween boy style

1. Piping Hot Skinny jeans $35 | 2. Seed Heritage Tee $29 |3. Seed Hoodie $49 |
4. Pavement cap $17 | 5. Converse trainers  

This is the time when particular brands become important to your child and a wardrobe can become costly! With a bit of mix and match expertise, you can buy them a few key pieces (in the same way we pad out our own wardrobes) then add in the staples like jeans and tees from more affordable labels.

Here are the retailers I’ve found who understand the tween stage:

Seed Heritage
Pavement
Free by Cotton-on
Target
Country Road

Tween style is such a difficult in-between phase. Many labels don’t recognise it as a ‘thing’ but ask any parent and they will tell you it’s the time that their boys and girls get a real sense of their own style. They no longer wear whatever mum and dad buy for them; these tweens now have a fierce sense of what they like and more importantly what they feel comfortable wearing. That’s really what it’s all about, right?

Have you discovered any tween brands you can add to the list?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKim Abbate is a working single mum who blogs at  CreatingKim. Her blog focuses on topics that most busy mums can relate to around work, fun, family and health. She also blogs at Life With Tweens which focuses on everything related to that awkward stage between being a child and being a teen. She  has a passion for empowering women and drinking coffee. Or wine. Generally wine.

Comments 28

  1. Great post!! My tall 11 year old loves Jay Jays although I often have to steer her away from black, at least she is not into crop tops (ATM)!! Also Sportsgirl and Seed are a hit. She is a 7 1/2 now in shoe size so we can shop anywhere lol

  2. ” I cringe at the short shorts and crop tops with a few cursory tassles
    to hide things that tweens should not be flaunting. Yes, I’m old
    fashioned” Unfortunately many moms are afraid to be labelled “old fashion” they simply buy whatever they find on the tracks. We need more moms like you to send message to the fashion designers that they are still women who have some sense of decency, who care about what their children wear at whatever age level they are in.

  3. I think i’m still in luck, my 10 year old is very happy with what I bring home for him to wear! I do try and keep aware of what he likes and the style/fashion of the moment, or what all the kids are wearing! Good tips for stores to shop in, Thanks!

  4. I bought those boys Piping Hot jeans weeks back and I really don’t know what they’ve done but they were so big in the crotch they looked obscene. Never had such a badly cut pair of jeans for my tween before so now I’m stuck with no jeans, a tween who is only a size 8/9 and I really want adjustable waist and skinny cool jeans.

    1. Oh that’s no good Louise! If you’re still after adjustable waist, have you tried Pumpkin Patch? They have adjustable waist up to size 14.

      1. Thanks Kim, honestly I haven’t been back jean shopping for Master 12, I really need him to come with me. We do shop in Pumpkin Patch and have picked up some great pullovers and button shirts he’s really liked.

  5. Yep you’ve got the labels covered there. My girls shop at Pavement & Free by Cotton On too. Target was doing well and then started going into a slump again. I’ve got a teen and tween girl who are pretty close in age, so they share (read steal) each other’s clothes really. Miss 13 has not delved into Cotton On and wearing their super smaller sizes. Their basic pieces are still fine for tweens/early teens to wear too.

    1. Yes, some labels do that so well Norlin. Gap are the same. My tween bought a knitted sweater from their women’s range today

  6. Yep you’ve got the labels covered there. My girls shop at Pavement & Free by Cotton On too. Target was doing well and then started going into a slump again. I’ve got a teen and tween girl who are pretty close in age, so they share (read steal) each other’s clothes really. Miss 13 has not delved into Cotton On and wearing their super smaller sizes. Their basic pieces are still fine for tweens/early teens to wear too.

  7. I sure can relate, my love! I have the added struggle of a tween boy who is too big for some of the kid sizes but a lot of man ranges are too long for him or just too grown up. It’s hard! We shop at Jay Jays, Seed, Indie Kids and Next Kids for him.

    1. My tween girl is also too big for many of the kid sizes but the women sizes are ill-fitting. Will have to check out Indie Kids, thanks xx

  8. Pavement (used to be Gum or Gumboots) and Zara are doing well in this market at the moment, and the prices are pretty reasonable. Country Road is better quality but the prices (apart from sales) are higher. Seed is another, although the quality is not great. I favour the European brands for quality and styling and if you buy preloved then the prices are usually better than buying new through any of the brands above (and, yes, that is sort of a plug for my store, but it is true too!). Cheers, Jane

    http://stores.ebay.com.au/My-Encore-Store
    https://www.facebook.com/MyEncoreStore

  9. What a fab post! We are still a few years off the tween stage but I know it will be here all too soon.

  10. One Sunday (www.onesunday.com.au) also do lovely clothes for girls this age…thank you for this piece, any help dressing my two tween girls is appreciated!

  11. Great topic. When shopping with my niece I was really astonished about some of the slogans on girl’s tshirts!!
    Boys are a bit easier for sure. My son is ten and is still relatively happy to have some parental input on clothes. I buy almost all of his stuff from Target (especially Piping Hot) and Pumpkin Patch which has a great range of jeans. My son is still pretty thin and PP do a great range of skinnies.

  12. Love this post! I have an eight (going on 25) year old granddaughter, who informed me a while ago that she is a tweenie. We love shopping together for clothes etc. She calls it’s ‘girl shopping’ because ‘all girls have to buy clothes’. No short tight anything for her. I bought her a pair of boyfriend jeans with ripped knees at Best and Less, she loves them. And leopard slip on trainers at KMart. Such fun 🙂

    1. Oh my tween loves her boyfriend jeans too! I can definitely relate to the ‘going on 25’ sentiment. They’re in such a rush to grow up, aren’t they?

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