Tween Styles - Fashion Tips for Your Preteen

A guide to understanding tween style fashions

Tween styles can be fashionable and work within your budget.
Your tween needs to find a style that suits her personality and budget. Photo: Robert Linder,

By the time your tween enters the fourth or fifth grade, she may take a new interest in her clothes, hair and even in her accessories. Tweens are very style conscious, and you can help your daughter conquer tween style challenges with a little advice and a few tips. The tips and advice below should help.

Helping Your Daughter Find Her Look

Older girls no longer want their mothers shopping for their clothes.

This may hurt a parent a little, but it's really a positive sign that your tween is developing her own tastes and personality. Allow your daughter a little freedom to choose her own clothes -- making sure that her choices match your expectations as well as any school dress codes that apply. To learn about what tween girls are wearing, subscribe to a tween magazine or check out styles at popular tween stores such as Aeropostale, Delia's, Hollister and Kohls. You might even consider buying a book about fashion and style that would help your daughter learn more about the topic. A Smart Girl's Guide to Style (American Girl) is a great resource for tween girls who want to learn more about different styles, how to find bargains, how to mix and match and have fun with it all.

Make fashion fun by taking the time to educate your daughter about clothing styles and even the names of these styles. Show her the difference between a pullover and a cardigan.

Explain the difference between a puff sleeve and a cap sleeve. You can even spend time researching different styles that were popular when you were a tween, to give your daughter an idea of how styles have changed, and how some styles have remained the same.

Teach your tween how to mix and match her clothing so that she can make the most of the clothing budget.

Begin with a few basic pieces, such as a skirt and two pairs of jeans. Then show her how her look can change with different tops and accessories. Share those tips you rely on, such as how a belt can define your waste, or how you can make your legs look longer with the right pair of jeans.

You can help your daughter find her fashion look by first evaluating her personality. Is she an outdoor girl? Does she love to play dress up? Try to help her find a style that works with her personality, and explain the difference between a casual outfit and an outfit that's appropriate for a more formal event or a school dance. In addition, show her how she can easily change the look of an outfit by adding a scarf or jacket, or by accessorizing with necklaces and jewelry.

Understanding style and fashion is only a part of the learning experience. Your daughter is old enough to begin taking an interest in caring for her clothes and accessories. Explain how to properly launder her clothing, and preserve her clothes so that she doesn't have to constantly replace them. You might consider reorganizing her closet so that she has specific spaces for her shoes, purses, scarves, necklaces, hats and other accessories.

It's important to note that while fashion can be a lot of fun, clothes don't make the person. Make sure your daughter understands that her personality and the way she treats others is far more important than the clothes she wears, or the bags she carries. And every girl should know that a positive attitude and a smile are the very best fashion accessories a girl can have.

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