Where to Buy Clothes for Teen & Pre-Teen Girls
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Where to Buy Clothes for Teen & Pre-Teen Girls
My daughter will be graduating from 8th grade in June. She does not
want to shop for dresses at department stores or anyplace where her
friends/classmates might also be shopping in order to reduce the risk
of getting the same dress as someone else. Any suggestions? We are in
Walnut Creek, but I am willing to travel anywhere in the Bay Area.
Hi! I'd suggest going into San Francisco and shopping in some of the smaller
boutiques there. I'm thinking the Union St. area in particular -- seems they might
have some dresses you won't find out here (I'm also in WC).
At risk for L7, how about making it herself? Go to one of the many great fabric
stores, pick a pattern, fabric, and if you are all thumbs with that sort of thing, a
seamstress from the book by the register.
You will learn so much about her by the process and it might be as fun as shopping
for ready made?
(Because I learned to follow a pattern & sew, I can make slip covers, draperies..(=$
as a caregiver) it develops critical thinking..transferable skills like carpentry,
all applied mathematics..
How bout used or consignment shops? There's one that advertises on the radio station
my 7th grader listens to - http://www.platoscloset.com/
Buffalo Exchange http://www.buffaloexchange.com/
I think both cater to the younger, hipper demographic.
Try title nine in berkeley for a cute and casual dress.
My daughter is almost 14, and very small for her age (as was I).
She's a scosch under 5 feet tall (with most of her height in her
legs), weighs around 84 pounds, and is early in manifesting
puberty physically. I'd say her body is most like that of
today's 10-11 year olds. She is also quite slender. None of this
is a problem, except that she is tired of dressing like a little
kid. She is rather modest, so she isn't looking to show skin,
just looking for clothes that are cut with a little more
sophistication than those made for the elementary school set.
The only pants we can reliably find which fit her are jeans (she
wears a 12S or 14S), though she doesn't like the ones with a low
rise. She is still too small for sizes 0/1 in misses/juniors -
we tried buying some and taking them in for alterations, but
she's so skinny that they couldn't be altered to fit.
Any thoughts on where to find clothing that fits her? Or brands
that might work? She loves buying clothes second hand, which is
terrific if unreliable. I've even taken her to have a pair of
pants made, though that approach is too expensive for us to rely
upon as the solution.
Petite Skinny-Minny's Mom
Hi there. My child was almost as small. We found that (gulp)
Abercrombie size 0 jeans fit her earlier than any other junior pants.
And Target shirts, which run a little small anyway, were OK in Xtra
small. When we needed a fancy dress for a Bar Mitzvah, we had good
luck at JC Penney's junior department which also runs small.
This too shall pass. My daughter is now a senior in high school and a
There is a second hand store on Valencia between 16th and 15th that has
some clothing from the 60s and earlier -- some of those things run very
small(and/or were intended to be worn with girdles -- so compared to
modern clothes run a size or two down), and she might find something to
fit. My other thoughts were stores that cater to an asian clientele,
maybe in the Richmond (SF) or on the Penninsula; or buying pants in her
size, but buying cute shirts and altering them. Also, Macy's seems to
have clothing aimed at a teenage point-of-view in children's sizes
(which was annoying before my daughter was a teen.) Marianne Henri runs
wonderful sewing classes for teens where they can choose projects, if
your daughter has any interest in making her own clothing.
A great option for small girls who want fashionable clothing is
Abercrombie Kids. It is cheaper than the regular Abercrombie, and the
styling is more modest. They also have periodic sales. I'm not sure
where there is a store nearby (maybe in San Francisco in the Westfield
Mall on Market Street?), but we mainly shopped online. My daughter was
so bummed when she outgrew Abercrombie Kids, because her clothing
allowance went so much farther there than it does for junior and
women's clothing. Good luck!
My youngest daughter at age 14 was 4'10'' and also around 80 some
pounds. She too wanted to look more her age and have clothes that fit
her age. I am not into buying expensive labels but I made an exception
for my then freshman daughter. We went to Abercrombie, which has some
stores that also have a girls' sizes. The clothes in the girls' sizes
are the same style as those in the juniors' section. The girls' size
clothing is cheaper than the clothes next door in the junior
department. Not every Abercrombie has the girls' sizes, though, so call
ahead to find out where you have to go. My daughter got jeans that fit
her well at Abercrombie, with a large selection. She too could not fit
into a size 00 in the juniors. Nordstrom has a girls' section with
T-shirts that are not little girl-like and Hollister's XS would fit my
daughter too, for tops only, not pants- it's cheaper.
Northgate in Marin has stores catering to teens/young adults. My lean
daughter and I found a couple pair of jeans (on sale even) at Macy's.
Don't think all Macy's have teen departments, however. My suggestion
is eat a good breakfast, find a mall with several teen stores, and just
try on jeans for a morning or until you find a pair.
Where do your girls shop for clothes? Our daughter, now 16 1/2,
will be entering her junior year in high school next fall and would
really like to revamp her wardrobe. Shopping is one of her least
favorite pasttimes and has said she doesn't think there's a store
out there for her - she's not especially trendy, mostly jeans and
tshirts -she was a Land's End, LL Bean kind of kid growing up - she
doesn't like Juicy Couture (too trendy), Old Navy (too tacky);
sometimes finds things in Nordstroms and Macy's (but feels they are
a little staid/grown-up). She likes J Jill and Eileen Fisher
sometimes, but they cost a fortune. So we're in a quandry and could
use some suggestions as to where to shop without spending the king's
ransom. Names of stores in Oakland/Berkeley, greater East Bay, SF,
Marin, even the Peninsula(and specific locations if possible) would
be much appreciated.
I don't know if your daughter will like their clothes, but check out
Two Star Dog. It's an outlet, located behind REI in Berkeley, on
10th St., just south of Gilman. They have nice clothes, good prices,
and great sales. Be sure to go all the way to the back of the store
where the bargains are.
hate to shop
One word - SWAY!!!
3 locations - the one in Berkeley, on Telegraph, seems a bit
more ''Berkeley'', and my teen isn't in love w/ the location/feel of
the store. Also, one in Alameda, when you're over that way.
We/she generally shops at the one on Lakeshore Ave, and LOVES LOVES
LOVES it. Jeans, t's, layering tops, *cute* summer dresses, and
some shoes (tho' a lot of them have heels that are not for school...)
Also, nice accessories (earrings, scarves, bags).
Most everything she's brought home has been good quality and
reasonable prices. Nordstrom and McCalou's carry the same brands,
but often charge much more (esp. Nordstrom).
She's also found some cute tops at the resale shop on Lakeshore
(down the street from Sway), but that's hit-or-miss. (I've found
nice things there, too... but then, I'm ''old''....)
Good luck! It's a challenging time.
Mom to a teenage shopper!
Sorry I don't really have particular stores to recommend, but I do
suggest you use this as an opportunity to teach your daughter to get
the clothes she wants w/in a budget.
I like J Jill too, and I stop by whenever I can and look ONLY at the
sales rack. I often find a piece or two, but if not, it is a quick
stop in. I have their credit card (automatically 5% off) and get their
emails, which often have good offers. Once she knows her sizes, she
can check the online sale items regularly and buy that way.
''Thrifting,'' as my friend calls it, is a great way to find good
clothes and can be fun too. It is pretty time-consuming. After she
explores some different second-hand stores, she will have a better
idea which ones she likes and she will get faster at going through the
racks. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Thrift Town are super cheap;
consignment stores like Rockridge Rags less so, but more pleasant and
still cheaper than new. Ross has new clothes but it is about like
going to one of the consignment stores in terms of work and price.
Also, one store that comes to mind that she might like is J Crew (but
prob not cheaper than J Jill).
Bancroft Clothing , on Bancroft in Berkeley, a block up from
Telegraph. Totally sensible clothes ( yet edgy and trendy enough-
Cal's right across the street, so it's got the college vibe) at
totally sensible prices. My 15 year old daughter's similar to yours--
just doesn't care about designers/ names, and is generally a fairly
reluctant shopper. Took her to Bancroft Clothing a couple of weeks ago
and couldn't believe how many things she found... Lots of basic
wardrobe stuff- T- shirts, tank tops, etc ( also has jean skirts and
casual dresses and the like, if you're interested)... And most of what
we bought was priced between $5 and $15, no kidding.
-Good alternative to the Mall
Your daughter sounds a lot like my daughter who's now almost 21. She
likes to shop at Urban Outfitters (Bancroft in Berkeley), Forever 21
(Bay Street or SF), sometimes American Apparel for leggings and tops,
sometimes Bancroft Clothing Company, sometimes the stores on Telegraph
(can't remember the names of them). She, on the other hand, LOVES to
shop, so I don't know if this will help.
Mom of shopaholic
Try Target. I often find when I complement my friends or my daughter's
friends on their clothes they've purchased them at Target. :-) Great
prices, and looks that are stylish but not over-the-top trendy.
When it comes to clothing I call it...
What about Bay Street? There are a few stores I can think of that are
suitable for someone with a ''jeans and t-shirt'' style. Try Gap,
Banana Republic, J Crew to start but there are about six other
clothing stores there that she can try. Many stores that seem trendy
on the outside do have a selection of things that might work for her.
Mother of a Clothes Horse
My teen loves to shop at Forever 21, H&M and wetseal. The styles maybe
to trendy for your daughter,but I would give them a try. You can't
beat the prices at these stores. I don't have to spend much, and my
daughter is sooo happy. We have a great time.Forever 21 is at hilltop
and in S.F. Wetseal is in Berkeley on Telegraph Ave. H&M is on
Baystreet , S.F. and Walnut Creek. I just put all politics aside and
try to have fun. This really has been great for my realationship with
2585 Telegraph Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
They have a lot of different clothes and it is a second hand store so
you can get very well made clothes. It has a very easy atmosphere, she
can sell clothes back - though they are very choicy when it comes to
Also H&M - there is are several in the Bay Area - the clothes are not
that well made, but they are not expensive, and she can try things on.
Also if she still likes LLBean - Lucky Brand has a full line of tops
and jeans. They are more pricey but if you get to know your closest
store they have great sales. The clothes are well made and are sewn to
fit real people so they tend to look great.
Just watch where my daughter shops
Here are some great sources for teen girl clothes (appropriately
modest and at a reasonable cost).
1) The teen department at McCaulou's
in Lafayette. Highly recommended! My daughter and I shop here at least
once a month. There are two keys: shop only the sales racks and ask
the salesgirls for help locating the items you're looking for. The
full-price items are expensive. The sales racks are plentiful and
items seem to be marked down every few weeks. If you find something
but it costs too much, ask the salesgirls when it might go on sale.
2) eBay. We have found some terrific clothes (Abercrombie and Fitch;
American Eagle, etc.) at amazingly low prices. Look at the pictures
and read the descriptions to make sure items are new or gently
used. Make sure the seller has a high rating (I look for 98% or more)
and a reasonable return policy (if none is listed or it is
unreasonable, I pass). The eBay site explains how to join and
purchase items. You also can sell her outgrown or unloved items here.
3) My daughter loves Hot Topic on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. She
shops here with friends and I've approved of everything she's
purchased here. Have fun shopping!
Buffalo Exchange (SF) - affordable; range of styles (secondhand)
Crossroads (Berkeley) - affordable; range of styles (secondhand)
H&M (SF) - prices range from affordable to slightly pricey; can be
very trendy but good for items like blouses, blazers, black skirts,
slacks, & has lots of jewelry
Forever 21 (SF) - affordable; slightly trendy; but very cheap jeans,
t-shirts, & sweaters
Thrift Town (SF) - very affordable; huge selection; range of styles
I have a sturdily-built 12 year-old girl who has absolutely no interest in girly
things, nor, for that matter, boy-ly things, or super jock things, or
''alternative'' looks. She's just kind of gender-neutral at the moment. Our issue
this school year is clothes. She's been happy in the past with Lands End boys'
climber pants--sturdy, great pockets, last forever. (I'd like some myself) but
she's not fitting into the Lands End kids clothing lines anymore, plus she's
tired of them. Online I've found ''tomboy'' clothes for surfer and skater girls
but they all seem to have low-waists down to there, etc. In other words, still
pretty girl-gendered despite being for ''tomboys''. I see nothing on the Target,
Mervyn's, Kohl's, Macy's, Nordstrom's websites either. Unfortunately, with pretty
much all girl's blue jeans being tight-fitting, low-waisted, or covered with,
like, flower embroidery, she has become very anti-bluejean (which rules out the
only alternative I can see). Help. Any ideas for sensible sturdy clothes for the junior set?
Dickies makes some un-ornate (more uniform style) pants for kids.
Here's a link to some: /www.dickies.com/wc2/product_list.asp?cat=103&type=A&cdscr=KidsWear&tdscr=Pants
They also have a DickiesGirl brand, but I think all the pants are
You might try Boden-- http://www.bodenusa.com. They tend to have
more gender-neutral styles and well-made clothes. I have found
that the fit of their pants varies a good bit (some looser fit than
others), but they have customer reviews that often address fit and
I've had good luck finding things to fit my sturdy girl by reading
those comments. Also, it's a bit expensive, but they frequently
have discounts and promotions. I consider it a splurge, but worth
it for good pants.
In a Similar Dilemma
If she's no longer fitting into girls' (or boys') sizes, I'd try
the women's department at places like REI and the Royal Robbins and
North Face outlets, as well as LLBean, Title Nine, Sahalie, and
other places that specialize in outdoor/athletic type casual
clothing. They offer simply styled, at-the-waist, durable,
comfortable-to-move-in pants (often meant for light hiking or rock
climbing) that might work for her. Even Lands End has some women's
styles that are kind of similar to (but perhaps just different
enough from) the kids' Climbers -- check out the ''Outrigger
Also hates low-rise jeans that sparkle
We have reached a bit of a fashion crises and I am looking for
suggestions. Target and Old Navy's children's sections are no longer
of interest to my 11 year old but the adult clothes are still too big,
especially when it comes to pants. Are there any inexpensive places
to shop for tweens???
Try size 1 and 3 in the jr.sizes. My older daughter was
able to find these sizes at Ross and TJ Max. They were
similar to size 10/12 kids, but you might have to hem pants.
My other daughter had the opposite problem. When she had
outgrown kids size 16, jr. dept. clothes didn't fit the same
(they are cut very narrow). so she tried misses sizes. The
cut was different enough that it fit well. Good Luck!
Try the girl's section at JCPenny's. They have regular,
slim and ''plus'' for girls 7-14. The selection is limited to
current styles, so they only have whatever is ''in,'' but they
are affordable and will last long enough for your kid to
--Mom of a tweener too
I had the same problem with my daughter. She's 13 now and
we shop in the junior's section for her. When she was 11
and 12 though, we either settled for paying a little more
at high style kid's clothing stores like justice, limited
too, and Macy's; or were lucky to find their clothes on
sale at great places like TJ maxx and Ross. Good luck!
Jeans for big 8-year-old
I'm looking for jeans for my 8-1/2 year old. She is at the top of
then weight range so slim pants don't do it. Usually pants either
fit in the waist & are much too long or vice versa. Anyone have
success in finding jeans & other pants that are designed for the
non-slim child in mind?
Landsend.com (catalogue-very customer service oriented) has jeans with elastic waists and "plus" sizes for girls. They have "plus" sizes in other pants styles as well.
Rebecca asked about resources for pants for children at the top of their
weight-range. We have had some luck with Old Navy, which carries "Extra
Loose Jeans" in many children's sizes and with the Gap which features jeans
with an elastic waist and a "husky child" category. My daughter likes the
Old Navy kind best because their jeans are light weight and feel more
comfortable. Another resource worth checking out is the Land's End kids
catalog which offers a greater variety of sizes in some of their styles.
Land's End Kids has Girl's Plus sizes in jeans and lots of other pants styles....go to: www.landsend.com/kids to check it out. They are great with quick shipping & cust. svc.
Hope that helps
Clothes for Big Pre-Teen Girl
Does anyone have ideas of stores and/or catalogs to buy stylish young
teen style clothing for a girl with a thick waist? We went shopping
yesterday and nothing she liked fit. My daughter essentially has no
waist although she is not heavy. She has always worn elastic waist
pants and shorts, leggings, or men's jeans and has not cared, but now
she wants girl's bell bottoms with embroidered flowers on the legs
clothes that fit at the waist. We tried some women's clothes since
she is tall, but the proportions were wrong for a young girl. I
want her to be unhappy about her natural body shape, but fashion is
working against me.
I read about the magazine dEliAs (their choice of capitalization not
mine) in a long
article in the New Yorker and ordered a catalog for a young cousin.
I've looked at
a few and they're pretty fun for the 10-16 age set I think.
Modelled on a pre-teen version
of Vogue, with lots of chatter and quasi-advice columns, they have a
range of baggy, hip,
clothes that might work. Their on-line store is at www.delias.com
and you can order a
catalog from that site.
You might look at the Lands' End Childrens catalog. They have what
looks to be attractive and fairly fashionable stuff, which might be
generously cut. You can call them with your daughter's measurements;
their phone staff is very helpful. As a former "late bloomer", I can
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