13 year old DD constantly scruffy, won't dress appropriately

(191 Posts)
bewilderedfish Thu 09-Jun-16 19:12:17

My 13 year old DD is a nightmare with clothes, always has been. She will dress purely for comfort and has no interest in looking nice. Her wardrobe consists of all grey and black tops, black leggings and pretty much nothing else.

I take her shopping most weekends but she will flounce through all the lovely, pretty clothes and go straight to the make up that she seems obsessed with. She will spend ages looking at this, choosing lipsticks, nail polishes etc yet will be wearing scruffy black leggings, often with a dubious stain on, shapeless t shirts and lace up plimsolls. If I pick up clothes she won't even look at them properly and if I can get her into the changing room she will discard every item as 'she doesn't like it' even if it looks lovely on her.

She's an adult size 12 and 5ft tall so can fit into most adult clothes and there's so many lovely summer bits out there at the moment but she won't have anything. Refuses to wear a dress, won't wear skinny jeans and a blouse, won't wear summer colours.

I've bought loads of nice things over the last few months but they've hung in the wardrobe unworn until they don't fit her any more, the amount of money ive wasted is ridiculous. She will choose to wear the same old scruffy tops and leggings day in day out.

She won't wear a proper bra despite starting her periods last month and having a b cup bust. She will only wear pull on crop tops. Tonight thing have come to a head as she's been invited to a party tomorrow in a restaurant with friends who now go to another school. I offered to take her shopping tonight as I know she'll be feeling embarrassed if she gets there and the others are dressed up but the trip has been a nightmare as everything I suggested was brushed off and what she did try on (under sufferance) was discarded for reasons on wrong colour, too plain, too bright, too cheap looking, on and on....

She's come home and is now stamping about and crying as she's got nothing to wear. I'm standing firm and am thinking tough, you've had loads of opportunity to have pretty much anything she liked.

Anyone else with a daughter like this? She'll trowel the make up on then go out looking like a bag lady, I've explained that however nicely you make up your face you'll still look dreadful in scruffy clothes. Give me strength I can't come with another 5 years of this!

WhereTheFuckIsMyCunt Thu 09-Jun-16 19:14:55

She has to want to wear "nicer" clothes and at the moment she doesn't. It may come later on or she may turn into a goth and live in black leggings and tshirts for ever. Let her be.

SocksRock Thu 09-Jun-16 19:16:33

I'm 38 and I live in black leggings and t-shirts. My sisters both wear designer stuff. We despair of each other. I would just let her be for now.

MadisonMontgomery Thu 09-Jun-16 19:19:31

So she isn't happy wearing scruffy clothes, i.e. she's getting upset because she doesn't have anything to wear? Is it that she doesn't find clothes she likes, or that she isn't sure how to put outfits together?

mummytime Thu 09-Jun-16 19:20:00

You sound like a bit of a nightmare mother. Sorry just let her do her own thing. What does she want to do at weekends? I bet it's not shopping.
Let her make her own decisions and develop her own style. Bearing the consequences of her own actions. If she wants to shop give her some money and let her go with a friend.

(Is this a reverse?)

fuckincuntbuggerinarse Thu 09-Jun-16 19:20:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jellymaker Thu 09-Jun-16 19:20:32

Honestly, I think there are are bigger battles to fight than how she dresses.
Girls this age are just exploring who they are, what they like etc. The more you press her, the more she will react against you. You should try dropping it all together and do other stuff with her on the weekends - like take her and some friends to the cinema. She will come round to her own personal style in time and may be it will be completely different to yours. Try respecting her for that. I would put more energy into worrying about her social media life or whether she is struggling with school. Please don't keep perpetuating the myth that girls can only be judged by what they look like. Surely it is how she behaves that is more important. Character not coat!

pouncehill Thu 09-Jun-16 19:20:39

I remember when I was her age I dressed purely for comfort (but also thought I looked cool I didn't).
I always felt a bit "odd" and didn't really want to wear dresses or skirts etc etc. Jeans also just felt like I was wearing cardboard. I grew out of it and now am totally comfortable wearing "nice" clothes.

I wouldn't hassle her too much. Especially if she's just started her period she'll probably be really self conscious about her body

fuckincuntbuggerinarse Thu 09-Jun-16 19:21:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bewilderedfish Thu 09-Jun-16 19:22:16

Thanks, I understand she is her own person and will want to wear what she wants. It frustrating in this hot weather when she's moaning she's hot then she's wearing black leggings, thick socks and lace up plimsolls. She won't wear sandals.

God help her on holiday abroad next month when all she's got is baggy primark t shirts and black or grey shorts ( and her lace up shoes), nothing nice to go out at night at all.

All the lovely, light cool summer clothes and that what she wants to take. I despair.

Lottielou7 Thu 09-Jun-16 19:23:07

Just leave her - I think you have to let her do what she wants. If you buy her clothes she feels uncomfortable in then that will affect her self esteem.

longdiling Thu 09-Jun-16 19:25:42

This is purely anecdotal but I have noticed that often teen girls with very well-groomed mums (which I'm assuming you are from your op) rebel against it or try and find their own unique style by going the opposite way. Back off and leave her be and she may find a way of doing this that isn't just leggings and tops you feel are scruffy

Sissyinthesummertime Thu 09-Jun-16 19:25:59

My 12 year old daughter is exactly the same. I could have written your post. Will only wear black leggings and grey t shirts. Same ones over and over again. Even when dirty.

I despair. She would look so lovely in nice summer clothes. I've fought and lost the battle.

I'm sorry to say that if there is a special occasion I make her dress up or she doesn't go. I've stayed home with her before as she wouldn't change out of her leggings and trainers.

So I feel your pain. No help but I empathise with you.

It does help to try and just accept her for who she is, it's hard and sometimes I flip, but mostly I let her go about the way she wants and hope she'll change.

bittapitta Thu 09-Jun-16 19:26:41

I agree you have to leave her to find her own path, whether she's interested or not in dressing "nice" in future she'll get there, and she is clearly rebelling against your pushing of this issue!

But (and please don't flame) size 12 at age 13 and 5ft... she sounds overweight? Is she trying to hide under the baggy stuff to be invisible? Is this a discussion worth opening? Forgive me if I'm wrong.

lovelilies Thu 09-Jun-16 19:27:17

Leave her alone!
My DD is happy in leggings and tshirts. So what? Stop 'wasting' money on stuff she doesn't even want, that's just ridiculous. Don't try and turn her into someone she isn't sad
I'm sure she will change when she's ready.
FWIW my DD also isn't keen on proper bras but likes to wear sports bras, more support than a crop top.

Just an idea, but if she's an adult size 12 I imagine she's a bit overweight for her age and may be feeling self conscious about that?

LuckySantangelo1 Thu 09-Jun-16 19:27:48

Is she overweight? You say she's size 12 & 5 foot so I assume this may be the case? If so she is probably feeling awfully self conscious about her body (teenagers do at the best of times) and the dark clothes, baggy t shirts etc are her way of trying to cover up and draw attention away from herself.

purplebud Thu 09-Jun-16 19:28:13

Just leave her be. It might be that she feels safer dressing to be a bit shrouded and anonymous at the moment. The young teens round here seem to dress mainly in leggings and a funky type t-shirt whatever the weather with converse in various colours.

Sissyinthesummertime Thu 09-Jun-16 19:28:40

Ditto the holiday. We must be living parallel lives. We go next month and I have visions of her on the beach in her scruffy primark t shirt, black leggings and trainers!

bittapitta Thu 09-Jun-16 19:28:51

Reading your latest post it seems you're worried her appearance reflects on you somehow? Don't. She is a kid yet choosing what she wants to wear, no one judges you for it.

CodyKing Thu 09-Jun-16 19:28:52

You sound like a bit of a nightmare mother.

This in bucket loads - my own 13 year old dresses like this and I never comment that she's scruffy! Lots of kids dress the same - nine of her friend wear dresses or Sandels or fitted pretty tops

Give her some mo ey and space and take her to some of the more funky markets rather than "nice" shops

bewilderedfish Thu 09-Jun-16 19:28:56

Ive given her money to go with her friends shopping before. She bought a long sleeved sweatshirt (winter wear) and another pile of makeup, nothing tidy to wear at all.

She stamping about crying because it my fault apparently that she has nothing to wear tomorrow - now she's decided to wear lighter blue jeggings and a white cold shoulder top - previously she's refused to wear it. I think the other girls will probably will wear dresses or more dressy things as it quite an upmarket restaurant. I just don't want her to feel embarrassed or out of place.

Wolfiefan Thu 09-Jun-16 19:30:06

You have your idea of nice and lovely. She has hers. She will just see it as controlling if you try and influence her away from what she wants to wear. (Bigger battles to fight!) Don't say her clothes are scruffy or similar. A teen will take that as a criticism.
Re holiday or special nights out. Treat yourselves to a personal shopper. She might well take advice if it comes from elsewhere! wink

fuckincuntbuggerinarse Thu 09-Jun-16 19:31:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PiePiePie Thu 09-Jun-16 19:33:20

Please don't do this. My mum did this to me and honestly it made me feel like shit. You bring up a girl for years and years to think she's a great person just as she is, and then the moment she hits puberty suddenly she needs to look a certain way? Honestly, think about how fucked up that is.

My mum meant well, but her tastes were just (naturally) not the same as mine and also not the same as what the cool, nicely dressed girls at school were wearing, and I could tell that. I instinctively knew her suggestions were no good, but even more than that I really resented her implication that I wasn't good enough in the clothes I preferred at that time to wear. It's making me cross thinking about it now. I now love clothes and have (I think) great taste and know what suits me, but I got there on my own, and I could have well done without those damaging few years being told I looked "scruffy" or "dingy" or "miserable". What is the point of hurling that kind of stuff at a young teen just when they're at their most confused/vulnerable?

Mooingcow Thu 09-Jun-16 19:34:05

Reading between the lines, it sounds like she's trying to hide her body (perfectly normal at that age).

She's interested in makeup so not totally uncaring about her appearance.

I'd honestly just let her wear what she likes, AND I'd tell her that she looks fabulous, cool, had a great style, whatever.

It's far more important that she's comfortable in her skin than confirms to your idea of what she should wear.

She likes dark and unstructured, you want light and pretty.

No wonder she's thumping about.'all she's hearing is the negative message you're sending.

Concentrate on her choices not yours and build the poor child some self-esteem.

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