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Please help my teen dd - clothing crisis

(27 Posts)
Dancergirl Mon 28-Mar-16 21:52:46

Wasn't sure whether to post here or in Teenagers!

Anyway, dd is 14 (15 in May). She is VERY low on weekend clothes and has been for some time. She's been living in jeans, leggings and a couple of tops and a Hollister hoodie. In the last year I have taken her shopping several times and bought things online, all have been met with a no. Shopping has been very difficult as she becomes very uncommunicative, I suggest things for her, she shrugs, I suggest she looks round alone, she agrees but still can't find anything. We look in the usual shops - H&M, River Island, New Look etc.

This weekend we were all out together and had a look in H&M. Middle dd who is 13 helped her pick out some things which dd1 really liked so I left them to it to browse. There wasn't enough time to try everything on so I suggested to dd we bought everything and tried on at home at her leisure and I would return anything unwanted. We bought about £100 worth of clothes - tops, a few dresses, jeans and jumpers.

Dd tried everything at home, said no to everything and spent the evening sobbing sad I admit some things didn't really suit her but some did but she just didn't like herself wearing them.

She is about 5'2" size 8-10 with a very nice well proportioned hourglass figure. I know teenage girls are very self conscious about their bodies and I know she would like a smaller bust (bra shopping is a big no no at the moment), but I just want to help her feel good about herself. But in spite of that, she still prefers fitted clothes rather than baggy.

Other than this she is a happy girl with nice friends and doing well at school.

I really felt sorry for her, dragging two bags of clothes home and then not liking anything. I told her next time we would go when we have more time and make sure she tries everything on first.

Where can I go with her, are there any other shops we could try? I think she would like to look a bit more girly, she mentioned skirts and dresses...but no floral prints!

Any advice please?

botemp Mon 28-Mar-16 22:51:43

Try Comptoir des Cotonniers, they're one of the few brands that I can think of now that bridge that gap of mid teens into adulthood with a decent fit (I assume Uniqlo, Zara, Mango, Bershka, etc. resulted in nothing). It used to be marketed as a mother and (teenage) daughter brand and uniquely they are clothes both generations want to wear (and ones I wore happily as a teenager). It's feminine without being too out there or overtly girly made out of quality materials, but it is pricey so more a place to find one or two nice things like a dress or blouse than to stock up an entire wardrobe.

Saying that, it's such a difficult age and while she may have an enviable figure in your eyes in her worldview anyone without a boyish figure who can still fit their waist between their hands is considered 'fat'. It's really difficult to tackle that skewed image by finding the 'right' clothes when she just isn't feeling comfortable in her own skin. It's hard to come to grasp for someone that everyone else is not as obsessed with how she looks as she is or sees the same 'flaws'. Simply telling her it isn't true doesn't make it true for her. How you as her mother view your own body has a huge impact. If it's something you struggle(d) with too, psychologically that's the pattern she'll follow. Consider speaking to her about it when not in a shop/fitting situation since that only adds to the already (for her) humiliating experience. Most likely she won't want to talk about herself at all, it's frustrating enough as it is, but it shouldn't stop you from speaking about yourself and your insecurities now or when you were that age.

YoScience Mon 28-Mar-16 22:59:26

My DD is 15 too and really fussy with clothes. She is quite tall and a size 6 but hates the way everything looks on her. She thinks she's too skinny whereas I mostly think she looks great. So I feel your pain.

She has started to shop in forever 21 there is a big one near us but they also have a website. She also likes urban outfitters and H&M for jeans.

Duckdeamon Mon 28-Mar-16 23:21:04

Rather than shopping she might benefit from some help with her self confidence, eg a private, qualified counsellor with experience with teens.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Mon 28-Mar-16 23:24:07

Comptoir is ridiculously expensive - cheapest skirt is £56 in the sale!
Have you tried New Look, Dottie P's, Topshop? DD is now 18, but I do remember the shopping sessions of trailing round and coming home empty-handed, so you have my sympathy.

Keeptrudging Mon 28-Mar-16 23:28:31

DSD buys a lot of pretty tops/girly clothes from hollister and Jack wills - a lot of them aren't floral but are still feminine.

Jaimx86 Mon 28-Mar-16 23:31:09

Have you looked at teen style blogs? Find a blogger/style you like and then recreate the look at shops in your budget.

FernetBranca Mon 28-Mar-16 23:31:32

I feel your pain as I had a bit of a similar experience this weekend. Can you get your Dd to look at some websites before hand to try and get an idea of what she wants? I've suggested to Dd that we work out what we are looking for - so a bit more specific than "weekend clothes" say, more like "two skirts you can wear during the day and two pairs of trousers - one of which might be jeans- plus a hoodie or jumper or both".

I think if they can do a bit of directed looking beforehand it makes it much easier and less frustrating. Also, I strongly recommend having a look on Pinterest for some outfit ideas - it's a great way to get your eye in. Not necessarily specifics but you start to see colours and looks being repeated and get a bit of an eye for what goes together.

MissSmiley Mon 28-Mar-16 23:42:51

I agree it's not to do with the clothes it's how she feels about herself. She might also be not that interested in fashion. Not everyone is.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Mon 28-Mar-16 23:48:48


15yo dd came home with some nice dresses from there the other week.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Mon 28-Mar-16 23:49:47

And some vloggers do good up to date haul YouTube videos which may be worth a watch.

MentalLentil Mon 28-Mar-16 23:53:11

Can you try out a personal shopper service? I was about the same size and shape as your DD growing up, and I had an awful time with clothes. I never looked good in anything, because it's not actually easy to dress an hourglass shape, especially in casual clothes. I still hate shopping even now, and I end up getting a free personal shopper in a department store to do all the work for me. I'm always happy with the things I choose to buy after the session, because the expert shows me how to combine everything into a complete 'look'.

OrangeSquashTallGlass Tue 29-Mar-16 00:06:13

I used to look through the catalogues as a teenager. La Redoute in particular I think. Is that an option?

Helenluvsrob Tue 29-Mar-16 00:22:10

Mn cliche I know but what ever her bra size she will look better in a bra that fits. And she'll be happier about clothes then. That doesn't mean " here come the girls" cleavage or anything. It might mean a properly supportive moulded cup smooth outline t shirt bra in plain white / nude.

Youngest is tiny but has been bravissimo sized since 11. She is hourglass shaped and lives in swing vest tops from primark and sainsburys Jeggings at the weekend - or H&m dresses. The key is not to get hung up on sizes - she wears anything from an 8 to a 12!

houseeveryweekend Tue 29-Mar-16 00:48:15

I remember how awful shopping was when I was a teenager! Ur just basically surrounded by loads of pics of models and then have to stare at yourself red faced and sweaty in a succession of mirrors trying on ill fitting clothes! Not good for anyone with low confidence...and you feel under pressure to be enjoying it and know what you want!
Maybe she needs to go completely on her own or with a close friend and not you or her family? I think its something that you have to grow into yourself and you need time and space to do it.
As for shop ideas... Urban Outfitters has some interesting stuff? Theres a shop called Joy round here that I think is a chain that has some really good stuff. Also for online theres always ASOS. Cath Kidston is great for hour glass figures..? I used to shop at Miss Selfridge at that age but i dont know if thats cool any more haha! xx

GuinefortGrey Tue 29-Mar-16 01:05:46

Following this thread closely as I have a 13 year old daughter with clothing "issues". Mine has no interest in clothes (from a fashion point of view) but has very strict rules about what is "comfy" - she likes the feel of polo shirts but will only wear them buttoned right up at the neck hmm. She will not wear dresses, skirts, jeans or tailored style trousers. Lives in jodhpurs or tracksuit bottoms & the buttoned up polo shirts!! We have been shopping together - she chooses some nice things (with encouragement!) and then they sit in her wardrobe unworn until they are outgrown!

hettie Tue 29-Mar-16 10:06:36

Umme, why not let her buy her own stuff. And if she only wants 2 baggy hoodies and some leggings that's just fine.
My mum and I had totally different ideas about clothes at that age. She wanted me to look 'nice'. I too had a slim figure but (thanks to a one off comment by Mum) was convinced I had a large bum and thighs... I wore boys jeans 2 sizes too big and checked shirts (I was a tomboy too). I hated skirts, tops etc, she was desperate for me to wear a dress for family events etc. It caused no end of problems and upset. One day in a fit of frustration she declared she was never going shopping again with me and that she would just give me an allowance.
Worked out much better. I found my own style (less Laura Ashley, more Kate Moss grin) and no more tears...

cosmicglittergirl Tue 29-Mar-16 10:13:30

Could she order stuff from ASOS, try on at home, then send back what's not right? I used to get my clothes from a catalogue (Littlewoods/Kays/Grattan) when I was a teenager.

Dancergirl Tue 29-Mar-16 11:39:37

Thanks for all your replies, glad I'm not alone!

hettie perhaps you should read my OP again. I have no desire for her to dress in a certain way, I want her to dress however SHE feels comfortable and feel good about herself. She doesn't like baggy clothes and has said she would like more skirts and dresses.

botemp thank you for your very helpful post. I am very conscious of the whole body image thing. We don't talk about diets etc at home, I am actually quite happy about my body and like clothes and fashion so hopefully she is getting a good positive vibe. However I do remember hating my clothes when I was a teen and going through phases when I couldn't find anything I liked to wear so I do understand to some degree how she feels.

Forgot about Hollister and Jack Wills, maybe will try there. And Top Shop.

helen I'm leaving the bra issue for now as she's uncomfortable about the whole thing. She only likes very plain bras, no lace and no under wiring. She's probably around a 30F but is squeezing herself into her old DD ones. I've bought her some plain moulded 30F bras and left them in her drawers, that's all I can do at the moment.

parissont Tue 29-Mar-16 11:44:08

Being 13 and having f cup boobs is no fun.

I would do everything in my power to get her to bravissimo

parissont Tue 29-Mar-16 11:44:21

Sorry 14

Dancergirl Tue 29-Mar-16 11:45:06

paris yes in theory, but she refuses to go so what can I do?

SavoyCabbage Tue 29-Mar-16 11:45:29

Can you take both dd's back to the shops and let them go off together again? It sounds like it was going ok at the end but you ran out of time.

RevealTheHiddenBeach Tue 29-Mar-16 11:53:30

Can you get older dd to take her bra shopping, in a way that is not coming from you?

I was a big boobed teen and got very frustrated that clothes on me didn't look like they did on all the skinny, tall, boobless models. I went baggy too! Layering was my answer in the end - long strap tops underneath something more pretty that didn't have to be done all the way up. But the bra needs to work first!

parissont Tue 29-Mar-16 11:55:19

I'd bribe my dd.

No more clothes money until she gets the boobs sorted then some thing super nice and more ££ than normal

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