I am very proud of my daughter. She is a fabulous little individual, who very much knows her own mind and expresses opinions left, right and centre, but usually with a good dose of respect and understanding. I’ve spoken before how I am so very proud that subliminally, she is very much a feminist (just check out her playlist – all about the feisty women doing it their way!), but thing that has foxed me as she has got older is that her changing tastes in fashion can sometimes find me wanting to quell this assertiveness.
It’s an age-old problem: How the older generations perceive that the younger generation should dress. And let’s face it, there is a barrage of media at my daughter’s fingertips that open her into a world that she’s probably too young to enter, but that’s another blog post. But nonetheless, the rise of social media has certainly meant she’s aspiring to fashion tastes way beyond her years. Long gone are the years I would order from a catalogue or go shopping for her and she would squeal with delight at the latest pretty, floral dress I’d selected for her. Instead, the catalogues are carefully thumbed through, with circles around the leggings and slogan tees. And of course, her peers are all dressed in this uniform, with very few appearing in anything vaguely different.
I understand, she wants to be cool, not ‘little girly’ anymore. Even though I’m ‘old school’, I still remember kicking out at the sailor collared dress (this was the 80s!) my mother bought me at a similar age, and the creeping in of black items only.
But where do we draw the line of what she is happy with and what I am too? We want clothes which are trendy without being trashy. And this sentiment will extend past these tween years …
I’m not a fan of slogan tees – particularly ones that overly sexualise or indeed are disguised sexism (I saw one tee with I only date superheroes. For an 8 year old?!) and the crop top trend with leggings isn’t a look I go wild for. She knows this, but similarly, I am not going to buy items that just sit in her wardrobe unworn.
Recently, Boohoo Clothes* got in touch and asked my tween to select an outfit. Boohoo is certainly a fashion line that sits at the trendier end. However, in the newly-launched kids’ range there isn’t a glut of too-short skirts or crop tops ending before their rib cages, and even the slogan tees talk about wanting to be a unicorn as oppose to dating some tween idol. Similarly, the dresses were decent lengths, and there were more colours than just black! Of course, I wasn’t wild about everything in the range, but given it’s aimed at girls aged 5 to 12, there was plenty which both I and the tween approved of.
Even though she liked the look of a floral skater dress (on the Christmas list), inevitably she did pick a black skater dress, with the added cold shoulder detail. She teamed this with floral on-trend bomber jacker – totally lifts the black, and we’re back to florals! It can still work, even when you’re 11! Lastly, she picked out a pair of black (reoccurring theme) shiny sandals, with the much required heel so they were not totally ‘babyish’. She looked cool, but certainly not beyond her 11 years. She could easily wear the bomber with leggings (better when you are in a cartwheely mood), and the dress looks ‘totally cool’ with her much-adored Nike trainers.
I’d love to know how you are handling the wardrobe dilemmas of your tweens and where you find clothes that both they and you like and find appropriate, and also how you’ve drawn up a good solution to clear boundaries to dressing like a tween, and not a member of a girl band!
* We were given credit for items from Boohoo clothing, but all views, opinions and pictures are my own
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