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
- 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.
- Jeans do NOT need to be washed after one wear. In fact….they look better worn in (aka dirty). Try 3-5 wears. Or even more if they don’t stink. Even then..there is Febreeze!
- Wash them inside out. Unless you are going for a fade. The goal? Preserve your color as long as possible.
- Dryer? Uhuh. Hang those babies up. And when they are almost dry, give them a spin with a dryer sheet. Jean perfection.
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.
- Have an idea in your mind before you leave the house.
- Know – and make sure your girls know – what is acceptable and what is not.
- Set a budget.
- Be honest. If it does not look good…say so!
- Don’t rush them. They need to process, and really look. I’m a fast decision maker…but teenage girls? Not so much. Be patient.
- Think about the “unmentionables”. A good strapless bra goes a long way.
- Spandex under skirts that may rise is a MUST.
|here’s what I looked like in the morning…|
- Have them clean out their closets before hand. Take out what no longer fits and either hand it down to a willing recipient, or donate it.
- Make a list of what you want to look for. Needs vs. Wants. Be specific. Are you looking for floral jeans, this springs hot trend? What type of jeans? Cropped or skinny? How much are you willing to spend?
- Look through magazines or on websites of stores you like to shop at and get an idea of what is out there. Add or subtract to list.
- Parents – know before hand what is acceptable to you. How short is too short? How see through is too see through? Make sure they know you get the final “ok”. Setting that up before you head out, makes saying “no” that much easier on all of you!
- We gave each of our kids a set amount of cash in an envelope. This was theirs to use. When it’s gone. It’s gone. This makes them responsible, and accountable.
- In addition to that amount we will buy necessities. Socks. Underwear. A pair of jeans or shorts if they have none. Again, decide this ahead of time and write it down.
- Take snacks. I refuse to buy expensive mall food unless we are stuck there for lunch. When they thanked me repeatedly for lunch yesterday I did tell them I was obligated to feed them at least once 🙂 #kidding. But seriously, a pack of crackers and fruit snacks goes a long way. Just sayin.
- Everything gets tried on. And everything gets talked through. What will you wear this for? What do you have that goes with it? Is it on your list? You would be amazed at how many times something gets put back on the rack after really processing it out loud.
- Be willing to put things on hold. And mom, be willing to go back if they want to. I know this takes extra work. But they need to trust that if they are willing to think about with a hold…you will be willing to go back for them.
- Be honest. Be kind. Respect each others choices. And listen.
- You may learn a thing or two about why they like something.
- They might have excellent thoughts and ideas about what YOU try on. Example? I did not buy a pair of pants I thought were perfect on me because of Anneke’s opinion. I did buy a dress because unanimously they said “I had to”.
- Know when it’s time to quit and go home! This is very important – trust me!
|and what I looked like nearing the end of our day….|
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.
Better than tell you…let me show you….
This is my girl. What I love about this look is that the color sells it. This dress was tasteful and beautiful (Nordstroms Rack). It is very hard to find a hemline that is not too short for a long legged girl (can’t imagine where she gets THAT from). And even this is a tad bit too short for me, but acceptable due to the full skirt. Thankfully we have our spandex underneath! I love the high neckline…and the simple brown belt at the waist. Hair is natural…make-up simple. Yup. Proud mama.
Here is the crew. Love the colors and textures.
Can you tell we were having fun?
My hope and prayer for these beautiful young ladies is that they know…they truly know…that their real beauty comes from the inside. They don’t need to show more skin…or cover up their faces with heavy make-up. What makes them attractive is this…THIS joy and laughter that they are sharing. A love for others. A love for themselves. And nothing can ever take that kind of beauty away. Not at ANY age. (a message to myself)
They reminded me of that this past weekend. Thank you girls. You ARE beautiful.
lisa – aka mom – aka mrs. lehmann (why does that always make me think of my mother-in-law??)