Understanding teenager fashion

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Lindsay Lohan
What your teenager sees as fashion might not look like style to you. Think again.
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If you have a teenager, fashion choices are an important topic

Take a look around a teen clothes store or department.  On t-shirts, shoes, jeans, jackets and jewelry, skulls are everywhere now.  A few years ago, the leading names in skateboards were on everything.  Next year something else will be hot in the teenager fashion world. What is a parent to do?

Trying to predict what the next trend will be in teen clothing is nearly impossible, but it is possible to understand teen fashion and help your kids find clothes that will look great and stay in style for more than a few months.

Start with the basics

Jeans, hoodies, t-shirts and sneakers form the basis of most teen wardrobes.  No matter what designs come and go, these staples will remain the mainstays of a teen closet.

Help your teen build a quality selection of these items without the design of the day.  That will be the part of the wardrobe that lasts while trends come and go.

Add the designs of the day

Teenager fashion is all about fitting in, so be sure to allow your teen to accent his or her wardrobe with clothing featuring the popular images or brands.  Unless the trend is absolutely against your family's value and standards, suffering for a few months with designs you may not care for is a small price to pay for your teen's comfort and ability to fit in.

I want to be different, just like everyone else

Creating a new identity separate from that of the family is an essential part of growing up.  And one way teens do this is with their clothes.  From the poodle skirts and bobby socks of the 1950s to the newest images on the tees at Hot Topic, teen fashion is about being different by belonging to a peer group.

Before you dismiss your kids' fashion choices as silly, remember your own fashion statements from the 70s and 80s.  Leg warmers and high heels?  How about multilayered skirts and earrings that reached to the shoulders?  Or polyester shirts in colors nature never intended!  The clothes your teens choose today may be different, but the message is the same.  I'm different. I belong.

Make sure your kids know the family rules

If your family has rules about modesty, allowable images or forbidden words, make sure your teens know that before they shop.  There are lots of choices in every store that will meet the family rules and give your teenagers the fashionable look they crave.  Work together to help them find styles that work for them -- and the family.

When it comes down to it

When I was growing up, a friend's mom gave me some sage advice.  She was the mom of 13 children, and had faced her share of battles over clothing, hair and make-up. Her suggestion?  "If it comes off, washes off or grows out, I don't much worry about it.  I have to pick my battles.  Those things just aren't worth it."

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