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!
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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