Fashion advice for teenage girls

(22 Posts)
Cuddleczar Sun 01-Sep-13 16:44:57

This afternoon, my 15yo DD couldn't manage to get herself out of the house because she couldn't find anything to wear (that I approved of). Over the summer, she has been living in crop tops and shorts (OK for the beach) but now we are back we are facing the familiar problem of tops that don't go with trousers and trousers that don't go with tops etc etc. Made worse by her super-sensitivity to being seen by someone she knows (which she was able to disregard while away). To be fair, she doesn't have much that is suitable for the autumn (and which still fits her). When she chooses outfits for herself, she often ends up in her leggings and a top that is (imo) too short to wear with leggings. She has a stunning figure, too, so also has to deal with attention that is sometimes unwelcome. We tried looking online for suitable outfits (as opposed to just single items from various online shops) but couldn't find anything. Anyone know of a good website that offers this kind of thing? What are your 15yo DDs wearing this autumn?

musicposy Sun 01-Sep-13 17:16:47

My 14 yo lives in shorts the whole year but puts them with tights in the winter. She has a few check shirts she wears with jeans. She's suddenly into waistcoats with all kinds of embellishments, safety pins, badges, goodness knows what. She has dip dyed blue hair and fancies herself a bit of a rock chick or something I think! She very much has her own style. She's customised quite a lot of plain jeans and shorts by sewing buttons/ flowers/ chains/ beads on them and they always look effective.

My 17 yo is quite different. She does sparkles in a big way. She has some sparkly skirts and shorts and will put them with tights come the autumn. She has some quite nice tracksuit bottoms in burgundy and navy which are from new look and are actually quite flattering. She's got some nice knitted cardis and jumpers, mostly quite fitted, which look nice. She likes dancewear and has some pineapple all in one things which look as though they will be a sack of potatoes but she looks stunning in them.

My parents sometimes raise a hmm as they consider her skirts too short but I don't interfere. My 14 yo doesn't do short skirts, it's skinny jeans or shorts with tights.

Both girls are slim and small enough to wear children's ranges and I think this helps. They shop New Look generation 9-15, Tammy girl, Debenhams, occasionally M and S, all of whom do up to age 14 or 16. Primark is another staple.

Viking1 Sun 01-Sep-13 17:57:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

musicposy Sun 01-Sep-13 19:02:40

Viking, sounds as though your DD is a bit more of a fashionista than mine - I think DD2 is more quirky than outright on the current trend. She's very happy in her skin, though, which I think is good. Mind you I too have seen the lacy socks (the type with frills round they told me they were too old for at 6!) and doc martens. Jumpers seem to be in and at the festival we went to in the summer I saw a lot of baggy fisherman's rib type jumpers,often in garishly bright colours. However, I realise that may be been and gone by now as things move so quickly!
I would agree that I often don't think the things they put together go at all but they have to be seen out in it, not me, and their friends all look the same! DD1 wears skirts that barely cover her bottom so roll on autumn when it is cold enough to bring out the tights! I don't go interfering at 17. She gets a lot of male attention walking down the street, hooting, shouting, which I think is depressing but she's the one has to deal with it.

OP, it sounds as though you have more input into your DD's clothes than I do in mine. I do think this can lead to unneccessary battles. They are never going to look how you would choose them to look because part of being a teen is that you reject everything that came before you in terms of fashion and try things that look wrong to us old fuddy duddys - that's part of it. It's also worth remembering that what looks very odd now - the kind of thing you will tell them they can't possibly go out in - will have made its way into mainstream 5 years down the line and you will be most likely wearing a diluted version of it! I think leaving them to wear whatever, within reason, helps them find their own style and self identity. DD2 would not be seen dead in DD1's clothes or vice versa and I think this is a good thing.

bigTillyMint Sun 01-Sep-13 21:38:21

OP, I think you need to step back a bit and let her develop her own style. As long as she isn't revealing all and sundry, then let her wear what she wants - she is 15 now smile

DD (14) wears all sorts of combinations including some mentioned above, and gets a lot of male attention (particularly when she is in a bodycon dress!) but manages to stay on the right side of decent!

DalmationDots Mon 02-Sep-13 11:07:02

Take her to Topshop and then if necessary go elsewhere to find similar items cheaper.

I remember when DD was this age it was painfully hard as she was quite fussy and would get quite stressed and upset when shopping. Luckily by 16 she was buying most things herself and started to really enjoy shopping and fashion.

Find things like jeans, knitted jumpers, pretty tops, cardigans, shorts with thick tights, those round neck sweatshirts seem to be in. Ask her what her friends are wearing or what she wants and go from there, just help her put outfits together.

My rule was as long as the clothes are appropriate for the occasion e.g. not short shorts to visit a Great Aunt but short shorts fine for hanging out with friends in summer. a body con dress fine for parties but needs thick tights and a cardigan/jacket over the body con to go out for a nice dinner.

Cuddleczar Mon 02-Sep-13 14:44:35

That's all very helpful, thank you for all that. But it's a bit more complicated. Today, I have to work and she decided she would go to do a bit of shopping on the local high street. She put on her thick leggings and a long-sleeved jumper, took one step outside and realised she would be way too hot. Came back in, stripped off, back into her PJs, saying she has nothing she "feels comfortable in". "I'm worried I'm going to see someone I know and they will judge me". Still hasn't gone out. Yesterday gave away 2 Hollister shirts and 2 Gilly Hicks T-shirt tops to her sisters ("I don't like them any more"). Won't wear shorts in case she is seen; won't wear any of the dresses or skirts she wore on holiday ("It was OK while I was on holiday, I didn't have to worry about bumping into anyone".) Basically, she won't step outside the house for what she perceives as lack of the right clothes. I am happy for her to choose her own clothes (although as she has been made to feel uncomfortable by male attention, because she does have a truly fab figure, I have tried to steer her towards not exposing too much belly/boobs etc). I got involved yesterday because I could tell that even she didn't have any idea in her head about what would be the right sort of outfit for her. She loves her school uniform because no one can judge her on it. Does this sound familiar to anyone? It's verging on being a psychological problem. There have been times earlier in the year when we were held up for 30 or 40 minutes leaving for family events, because she couldn't bring herself to wear whatever she had on, and then changed for the leggings/jumper outfit I mentioned above. Feeling very frustrated with her. I would buy her something if I thought she would wear it--she genuinely doesn't have many clothes and not many bought this year--but so often she has chosen stuff, says she really loves it and then doesn't have the confidence to wear it. It sits in her wardrobe and then she gives it away. I think sometimes the problem is that she has this image of herself in her head, but when she puts all the stuff on, it doesn't square up with how she really is.

BackforGood Mon 02-Sep-13 15:24:24

It's interesting you say yourself that it's bordering on a psychological problem, as that's what I was beginning to think too.
In general terms I'd agree with the advice above - 15 is an age to be deciding for yourself and finding our own 'style' but it sounds like your dd really lacks confidence.
Is there a slightly older friend / cousin / colleague's dd who might be willing to take her shopping and help her find some things that she likes ? I know as my (almost 15yr old) dd has realised she might need more than just jeans, tracksuit bottoms and hoodies over this last year, it worked really well to take her cousin with us to direct us to the right shops and pick things out and say "yes" or "no" to combinations she was trying.

Katastrofee Mon 02-Sep-13 16:08:43

Have you tried looking together with her through fashion magazines or online shop look books. It is helpful to discuss the silhouette and looks that suits her and then go looking for similar items in Top Shop etc. This might also give you a sense of what makes her insecure. Is it male attention, girls' bitching or body image issues?

bigTillyMint Mon 02-Sep-13 16:16:13

I think it is pretty normal for a young teen to feel like that at times, but she sounds like she's having a crisis of confidence. Has she been like this for long? Do you think peers have been taking the mickey about her clothing choices?

MortifiedAdams Mon 02-Sep-13 16:23:36

What about a pair of denim shorts.over leggings - with flipflops, pumps or boots depending on the weather?

I think it looks nice and also means she can wear shorter tops.

Has she tried H&M?

Islf she has a smartphone, Pinterest is a great app with thpusands of photos and tons and tons of clothing ideas.

specialsubject Mon 02-Sep-13 22:28:55

as in the real world this is 'not enough to think about' is there something else going on? Bullied for appearance? Some other psychological issue?

lljkk Wed 04-Sep-13 10:17:56

I have similar with DS-13. The world is minefield of potentially intolerable embarrassment. It's just a silly teen thing (I went thru it too, iirc).

With DS I just kind of shrug & wait for him to take initiative. I found some shirts I thought he'd like in a local charity shop: he liked 2 of them: result! Finally reaching small adult man size so easier to find something to fit at last. He only needs, I reckon, 2 pairs of long trousers for autumn, lives in his PJs & uniform rest of time, anyway. 11yo DD has negotiated that she can have up to 5 pairs of non-school trousers & 2 prs of shorts, this is tonnes in excess of her actual needs, too.

Cuddleczar Wed 04-Sep-13 16:35:32

Took her shopping and managed to get a nice checked shirt from Fat Face, which the shop assistant suggested teaming with either her leggings or leggings and a bodycon dress...ordered the bodycon dress online. We have agreed that if she has not worn the shirt within two weeks, it will have to go back. (Fed up with buying her stuff she says she likes and then it sits in her wardrobe and is never ever worn.) lljkk, you are right, it is all about embarrassment. specialsubject, she has sometimes verged on being pathologically anxious about things...though it probably overlaps with normal level of teenage anxiety...I don't think she is being bullied about her appearance but I am pretty sure some girls are quite nasty because they are jealous of her figure and looks. Roll on Thursday when she goes back to school. Even she recognises that actually going there will be less awful than anticipating it!

MiniMonty Thu 05-Sep-13 02:22:08

You say she has a stunning figure - so it's all so very easy...

Just Google "super model in jeans and T shirt".
Show her the pictures.
And the pictures of the men hanging around.
Case solved.

So just do what's always been done...

Denim skirt, grandad shirt. Any flat shoe.
Spay on jeans, white T-shirt, heels.
Black leggings, black polo, pumps (very Audrey).
Little black dress, the no make up look, hair scraped back. Court shoes.
For a dressy version see above but with hair, make up and small earings.
Deviate with a crop top for T-shirt, a red dress for black etc.,

Through Autumn/Winter she'll need a jacket or two so go to M&S, Mens department and get a Blue Harbour dark blue sports jacket (slightly too big) and then to Gap (spend the money...) and grab a classic denim jacket.

I spent 30 years in the fashion industry and trust me, you'll never see a fashion editor at a catwalk show in London, Paris or Milan who doesn't fit one of these simple stereotypes.

Less really is more.
Encourage her to dress this way and she'll always look good and feel that she looks good.

Simple clothes, have fun with hair and make up.

Google any celeb image from the last twenty years and the picture is jeans and a white T-shirt. There's a reason.

Travelledtheworld Thu 05-Sep-13 23:26:58

Great advice Mini.

I also have 15 yo DS who lives in t shirts and leggings and wears the same clothes until they disintegrate.

She also reguses to go shopping in our lcal small town in case she sees someone she knows.....

NoComet Thu 05-Sep-13 23:52:35

There is a picture of Kim Sears in a yellow skater dress and a denim jacket. Terribly simple and looks amazing.

DD1(15) throws a denim jacket over many things, very effective. She tends to denim shorts T shirt and a hoodie or a long cardigan in summer. Or a dress and said jacket.

Winter jeans, t shirt and checked shirt as a jacket or a hoddie. Converse or boots long and short.

Coloured jeans and thick cable knit or lacy jumpers over colourful vests you can see happen some days.

DD2(12) is a total fashionister it's her who does rock chick, animal print or black and white leggings, vest tops, shorts, denim shirt as a jacket. You name it. I loose track of DD2s wardrobe and shoe buying habit. She is slim and elegant in the way only sporty preteens can be, she can wear absolutely anything and look good.

She cares what people think, while DD1 chooses stuff she likes and is fashionably enough to get past DD2. If DD2 passes it she won't get teased.

teenagersarentsobad Fri 06-Sep-13 22:11:21

Yes, it's me, a teenage girl, coming to you on Mumsnet to try and let you see how the other half live wink

The oversized jumpers and leggings/skinny jeans look is very much in at the moment, and I would say my addiction to oversized jumpers and sweatshirts is borderline crazy.
Your daughter seems pretty normal, my outfits usually consist of the above.

Is your daughter confident with her body?
I, personally, like most teenage girls, am not. I am in a large friendship group, in which all the girls are dancers and have flat stomachs and long legs. The only non-dancers are myself, and a girl who is blessed with being naturally tiny in both height and width. (Unfortunately I only got blessed with tiny height)
So I like to wear big jumpers to hide my stomach, which is not big, but not small either. I've got a bit of cushion. grin

I'd try and talk to her to see if any of this relates to body confidence. If not, offer to go shopping and tell her you are totally open to anything and that you won't judge her style.
If she picks out sequinned hotpants and a neon bralet, you are obviously within reason to say no.
I am often more at ease to go shopping with my friends rather than my Mum, purely because my friends are more open to fashion, whereas my 40-something-year-old mother isn't.

Sorry for the long post, hopes this helps. smile

teenagersarentsobad Fri 06-Sep-13 22:14:57

So sorry, I spent about ten minutes trying to draft a helpful piece of writing on Microsoft Word, then posted to the wrong thread.

Please don't abuse me, I'm new here grin

grin at neon bralet.
Good post.

DD1 wears mostly v short or v long jersey skirts and dresses, with opaque tights. Loves clothes and shopping and can wear and look good in pretty much anything.

DD2 lives in M&S skinnies (she likes them because they are not 'too skinny' she says) and band t-shirts, a denim shirt or a (men's) jumper. She hates clothes, loathes shopping and would live in her PJs if she could. Thinks she's fat but is actually a size 8-10.

Cuddleczar Sat 07-Sep-13 08:08:53

Gosh, MiniMonty, I wish you'd been my mum! Your list is great (going shopping with oldest DD this morning) and it will come in very handy. You don't have such a list for 50+ mums with short legs and not much money do you?

Thank you teenagersarentsobad for the view from the "other side"! I think one of my DD's problems is that despite having a figure many girls would envy, she is still not happy with it or confident about it. And although I do give her pretty much free rein (though I do say no to stuff that imo should be worn only when clubbing) one of the problems is that when we buy something that looks great, it can just stay in her wardrobe all year and she never feels confident enough to wear it. So there is deffo a confidence issue/psychological aspect to all this.

Thank goodness for the start of term, now I will only have to deal with the wail "Mum, what do I wear? I don't have anything to wear!" on the weekends!

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