While writing this blog, memories flooded in of helping my step-daughter, Sofie, shop through her teenage years. We shopped for underwear and bras, her first job interview outfit and her year 12 graduation dress. We had a few disagreements but mainly we had a lot of fun.
I still have two teen girls to shop for, in fact just the other day I took my 13-year-old shopping for bras, the poor darling was so embarrassed… mainly because I kept putting the largest nanna bras on my head. I like to make all my shopping trips memorable, haha.
Usually the fights start when we either disagree on a style, or they start getting too fussy.
I’ve found shopping for necessities such as underwear or shoes is bound to start a shopping centre dispute. Usually this results in me throwing an adult tantrum. (This really works, they choose something quickly so we can leave).
Gone are the days when they were little girls and would wear whatever we chose...
The techniques below can make shopping for teens less stressful, and it starts by getting to know your daughter’s current style. I say current because we all know it’s a girls prerogative to change her mind. Woo hoo!
1. Find out your daughter’s favourite colours
Often this is a simple question we take for granted. Even if she liked purple last year or last month, these things can change overnight. Another option is to choose safe neutrals such as black, grey and navy.
2. Look at fashion together
Ask your daughter what the latest trends are. Discuss the ones she likes and more importantly, doesn’t like. Have conversations about the types of things you used to wear at her age. Are there any similarities to the current fashions?
3. Discover the places your daughter and her friends shop
Often teens are on a budget and tend to shop at affordable stores such as Factorie, Cotton On, Jay Jays, Ally, Supre and Valley Girl. You can get a feel for the types of styles that are available by simply walking into one of these stores.
4. Look for jewellery
Earrings, necklaces and rings are often safe items for teenage girls. These are the easiest things to buy and also last longer (unless they lose them, like that black diamond ring… I’m talking to you Sofie, mwah). Some stores offer collectable pieces that work together like Pandora and Emma & Rowe.
5. Play a people watching game
Go for breakfast or lunch together to look around at what people are wearing. Make up fun and positive stories about them. For example, guess based on their clothing where the person might work? Are they a cat or a dog person? Do they have kids or no kids? This really helps teens know the importance of how we dress. If we can guess some things about others just by how they look, others can, and do the same to us.
If all else fails, make sure there is a returns or exchange policy or just get them a gift card!
Over the years, as not only a stylist, but mother and step-mother to a total of three girls, has made me rethink my approach to teenage fashion. Honestly, I sometimes don’t like their clothing choices, but the thing is I don’t have to.
Fashion is an experience that all girls and women can have fun experimenting with.
One day you can be a princess, another a drama queen and the next a quirky creative. The rule with teen fashion is that there are no rules. The only ones who have to like it are themselves. Our job is to help them to create their own rules to self-expression so they grow up to be strong, confident, and amazing women.
If you would like to bond with your daughter over a morning of fun and fashion, join me on Saturday 10th of March for my Mother and Daughter Style Workshop!
1. Colour of the Year - Ultra Violet
Pantone like to give colours fancy names, basically it’s a medium shade of purple. This colour is super versatile and suits most skin tones.
You don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to look good. In fact, there are ways to upgrade your style without spending a cent! Woohoo!
My mother is a natural red head, she told me as a child she was teased as about her red hair and freckly skin. It took her a long time to embrace it and enjoy the fact that she stood out. I always thought her hair was so beautiful, especially in comparison to my boring mousy shade. When I was allowed to dye my hair as a teenager my first choice was of course red!
This year I've been fortunate enough to go on two cruises! One was a three night comedy cruise out of Brisbane and the other was a four night cruise out of Cairns to Airlie Beach. On both cruises I spent the whole time eating, sleeping, eating some more, drinking and then more sleeping. Due to this I would avoid tight fitting clothing, so my tummy could expand unnoticed, haha!
From my cruise experiences I've discovered the must have items to pack!
How to be a Speedy Shopper
Have you ever been asked to an event and realised you had nothing to wear? Welcome to my life! The reality for me is most of the time I do have something to wear, but I want something new. For example, this week I decided that I wanted a new dress to wear at the races, even though I have 25 dresses that would suit the occasion (I literally counted them).
This left me with the dilemma of finding a dress two days out from the event. It isn’t the first time this has happened and it won’t be the last! My husband always tells me I wouldn’t get anything done if it wasn’t for the last minute. Thankfully I have become very skilled at finding the perfect outfit in a limited time for clients and myself. If you are short on time and need to speed shop below are my top tips!
A few years ago my husband asked me why I had so many cruddy undies. This could have meant a multitude of things. I panicked and started thinking was there a hole I didn't notice or worse, did I not use enough NapiSan the previous month!
I asked “What do you mean by cruddy?”. He replied “All your undies are beige”. I informed him the correct term is nude. It’s the perfect non-colour for under any piece of clothing. Then he said “There’s nothing sexy about nude knickers”.
At this point I wanted to punch him! I snapped back “I buy everyone’s undies in the house, I look for specials at Target and Best & Less. Why do the colour of my undies even matter? Would you rather me spend $20 on a pair from a lingerie shop?” To that he simply replied “Yes”.
Then it hit me, like a ton of nappies.
For many women shopping is an escape, just like fishing is for men. It is seen as a leisurely activity, a chance to relax and socialise with friends. Afterwards men lie about the size of the fish; women lie about the price of the dress. For both sexes, most trips end in disappointment. Surprisingly though, whether you love it or hate it, you keep going back for more. You’re hoping for the catch of the day, that elusive one in a million piece that makes you feel like you rule the world.
While fishing men may tackle sharks, get their fingers caught in hooks or become stranded in the middle of nowhere, but what women face is far worse…
Do you rule your wardrobe or does your wardrobe rule you?
As a personal stylist I have seen every type of wardrobe you can imagine. Over the years I noticed a familiar pattern with all of them. I discovered there are three main types of wardrobes. The size has no effect and some people's wardrobes can be in between. Which one are you?
Personal stylist, image expert, speaker, fashion consultant & style blogger.
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"Gerlinda made me feel comfortable in my own skin, I feel less judgement towards my body. I've already saved so much money avoiding the mistakes I used to make. I'm inspired to buy fashion again, and buy clothing I know I'll wear. Gerlinda really listened to me and was able to find items that were perfect for my lifestyle. This was over and above getting a new wardrobe, I love getting dressed each day!
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"Gerlinda is incredible! She knows her stuff and is passionate, she is amazingly capable at guiding you into a new look before you even realise it. I now know how to shop for me and since working with Gerlinda, no longer make fashion faux pas!"
Sally Mlikota - Owner of CBC Staff and previous president of the CBWC