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What sort of jackets do your 11/12 year old girls wear?
I actually think dd would really go for a gilet. She often doesn't like the feel of a heavy coat or 'forgets' to take one (yesterday she went out in just her denim jacket!). With a gilet she could wear a hoodie underneath.
No, DD is the same wrt inappropriate coats, she prefers thin jackets and hoodies so the gilet works well for us. With sizing, DD is 11 but wears an adult 8 or (when I can find them) age 14. She's very tall but skinny with no chest yet.
These trends are so localised. DD's label-minded mates are all in Jack Wills gilets. But that's only a small percentage - the rest are in whatever takes their fancy. Local comp don't wear coats at all but then they're all really local and only have to wait 2 minutes for their buses so they're ok in blazers.