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Shopping for Preteen Clothes: What to Do When You Can't Agree

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Shopping for Preteen Clothes: What to Do When You Can't Agree
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As your daughter enters her preteen years, it can become more and more difficult to find a common ground when shopping for her clothes. She's getting older, and she wants to express herself through clothing. Unfortunately for you, you might not agree with her new-found taste in fashion.

Get a feel for what kids her age are wearing.
Pay attention to what other kids her age are wearing. Remember how important image was when you were in school? Well, these days, kids take image more seriously than ever. Get a general sense for what kids are wearing at her school. Are the children dressed in high-end labels? Are they very trendy? You shouldn't encourage your child to dress like everyone else or use clothing and labels as a status symbol, but you should dress your child appropriately for her environment.

Establish reasonable rules before you shop.
Set limits and make them clear before you go shopping. She should know in advance what is definitely out. Some rules you might consider are:
  • All clothes must fit in with the school's dress code
  • No skirts shorter than 2-3 inches above the knee
  • No shirts with offensive logos, graphics, words or phrases

Don’t say no right away.
Shop together and with an open mind (that goes for both of you). Don't instantly dismiss anything she chooses, so long as it fits in with the rules. Agree with her ahead of time that she will have to try on an item that you've chosen before refusing it. If she absolutely insists on an item that you dislike, agree to look for something similar but more in-line with what you think is appropriate. If at the end of the day, you still haven't found an alternative, you'll have to look for a compromise. Consider letting her buy it with her own money, or purchase it for her under the condition that she wears it on weekends only.

Compromise and get creative when creating outfits.
You should encourage her to embrace and develop her own personal style. But, what if the style she is after churns your stomach? You'll have to compromise. Get creative when pairing up items. Mix items that one of you isn't crazy about with an item that balances it out. For example, if she thinks the top you chose is too conservative, pair it with some funky jeans. If she really wants a too-short skirt, have her wear it with opaque tights.
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