Clothes are an essential part of every teenager's life. Teen girls, most especially, spend a lot of time in front of the mirror trying on clothes and making sure they look good. They buy fashion magazines and look for the latest trends. Teenage boys are no different. They may not ogle at or swoon over the latest fashion, but they do take time in making sure they look good (or impressive for some).
As a parent, it is important to go with the action and understand what teen clothing is all about – without being bossy or interfering with you daughter or son's choices. You don't have to tell them what to wear and what not to put on; you simply need to understand their fashion sense.
Teenage Clothing and Fashion
Teens are often fussy with the clothes they wear. Remember, this is the stage where they're trying to discover more about themselves; the time when they're working on their identity and confidence. Therefore, looking good is important. When they look good, they feel good (about themselves).
Your teenage girl picks her clothes according to what she sees: on TV, in magazines and in the malls. What she sees other teen girls are wearing, she will also want to wear, especially if it's a celebrity you're talking about. So if your teen goes out wearing shorts and a tank top, it's more likely because she saw these clothes on someone else. It's not your fault.
But not all teenage girls are like this. Some, especially the more independent ones, prefer to create their own style. They don't need someone to tell them how they want to look like. They wear anything that makes them feel comfortable. Some prefer to wear jeans and shirt all the time, while others may be more comfortable wearing simple sundresses. Others love wearing plain t-shirt and shorts. They wear what they want and do not really care if it's the "in thing" in fashion or not.
Teenage boys have fashion heroes, too. Not just the rock stars and matinee idols. There are others out there, like sports personalities and young models, who influence teen boys. When these personalities campaign for a certain clothing brand or style, your teenager might want to get one for himself, especially if he likes the way it looks on the celebrity he admires the most.
Like teenage girls, there are also teen boys who prefer to make their own fashion statement. These are young boys who know what they want and understand what they need – the independent and more mature thinking ones.
Working With Your Teen
If you want to be sure that your teenager does not overdo things by "not looking his or her age", work with them. You really don't need to dictate what they can and cannot wear; just show them options. Schedule a regular time for assessing your teen's closet. Do this together with your daughter or son. At the same time, you should also assess your own wardrobe. Is there something inappropriate, too flashy or too revealing and provocative? You should rethink your wardrobe, too, because your teenager will often use you as an example – a role model.
Tell your daughter or son about the importance of respect when it comes to clothing. Let them know that it is possible to look good and respectable without being out-of-fashion. Do this by asking your teenager to describe what a respectable male or female looks like to him or her.
Talk to your teen about comfort, too. If a person is not comfortable with the clothes he or she is wearing, then it should not even be inside the closet.
Finally, go out and shop with your teen. Aside from giving you the chance to discover your son or daughter's fashion sense, this will also allow you to bond.