Shopping with Your Teenage Daughter: Have Fun & Work Your List!

You may read the headline of this post, roll your eyes and think, “I’d rather get a bikini wax.” Me too, except I am the loving mother of three daughters, two of whom, I can shop for at will, and one of which is like shopping for a needle in a haystack.  Leigh and Amelia, with a quick visit to Pear & Bears online, Target or TJ Maxx, can usually get me 90% of what they need – 100% of the time.  Lucy, my oldest daughter, is 14, hard to fit and between sizes on everything including her shoes.  For our shopping trip together, I truly needed a master PLAN.

Tina, Lucy and Rebecca – looking gorgeous

My first move was to call the closet organizers, Tina Adams & Rebecca Thompson, to come help pair down Lucy’s closet.  That was pretty darn easy since most of what was in her closet was way too small, out of season or just ragged and tattered.  When I say there was NOTHING left when they left, I mean NADA.  As empty hangers dangled aimlessly, it was time to GO shop.

But, what I really wanted Tina and Rebecca to do (and they do it sooo beautifully) was to give her their sage advice on what looked good on her body type and what didn’t. Taking your Mom’s advice on current fashion do’s  and don’t’s  is kinda like asking your husband if your pants look too tight.  It is a lose-lose proposition.  I was ready to win and I did.

With permission of the closet girls, I am going to share with you their list. It’s a fabulous guide for you and your daughter to stock her closet full of the right and affordable things for spring and summer.  Also, they graciously met us at Green Hills Mall to give a watchful eye as we shopped ’til we dropped!  To all your friends with teenage (or close to it) daughters, make sure you forward the master list to them.  This is gold.

  • shorts (Gap)
  • light rinse jeans (she has a pair of Mossimo from Target that fit great – look for these bootcut jeans in a faded wash)
  • white bootcut jeans
  • tanks (white and other colors)
  • short sleeve scoop neck tees
  • long sleeve white scoop neck tee
  • white camisoles (no lace – try Target’s Merona brand, found in the clothing department
  • white cotton blouse
  • cardigans (try Ann Taylor’s cardigans – she needs a cream colored one)
  • white denim jacket (Ann Taylor Loft or Target – Lucy wasn’t sure if she would wear it, but said she would try it on and see)
  • dresses that can be dressed up or down
  • casual knit dresses (Ann Taylor Loft)
  • casual summer skirts (there are a couple that would be good for Lucy at New York & Co)
  • leather sole metallic flip flops (Gap)
  • solid color wedges – maybe soft metallic
  • cowboy boots
  • shoe to go with the multi-purpose dresses you find

Mission:  Shop ’til U Drop

Shoes and cowboy boots. Lucy has now overtaken me in her shoe size and is approaching an 8 1/2 medium.  Not too tough you’d think, except for her high arch.  For all you high archers out there, you have my sympathy because it is difficult to wear lots of flats, loafers and high heels.  Literally, a foot with a high arch does not even go in many shoes. BTW- for all of you pop who into Target and grab your daughters shoes – Damn.  I am paying lots more my daughter’s shoes than you are.

The best source for cowboy boots in town is Kim Brewer. With hundreds of pairs, she can usually be found at the flea market (in the shed by the rabbit barn) every month, but she also can be found at many malls in Nashville.  I called Kim and she plans to deliver pair of cowboy boots for us to try on.   Cowboy boots work with summer skirts, jeans and cotton dresses.  Kim can be reached at [email protected]t or call her at 615.578.4693.

cute boots!

Next, we popped in Anne Klein which is owned by Nine West.  Anne Klein has tons of darling shoes, especially their flats – they come in oranges, stripes, reds and animal prints.  Anne Klein is consciously keeping their prices low with 20-30% off most styles.

Anne Klein has great flats

Casual Skirts, blouses, jackets. On to New York & Co. for casual skirts, blouses and tops.   I have never set foot in this store and only noted it when Tina told me she was wearing one of their skirts (with a couture Ralph Lauren blouse, I might add).  Lucy loved New York & Co and I did too.  Unlike so many shops that cater to teens, NYCO doesn’t specialize in the vamp-polyester-tramp look, we have all become so accustomed to.  Their selection of summer skirts were all 50% off and they had fun, bright blouses in stripes, florals and solids.  Each blouse has a wee bit of spandex in it so they gave great shape and contour to her body.  We also picked up a great denim blazer to pair with her skirts and white (not yet purchased jeans).

Great Shirts at New York & Co.-all at 50% off

After a quick break for some serious caffeine, we then headed to Ann Taylor Loft for summer dresses and shorts. One thing I will say about J Crew is they have forced other similar retailers to raise the bar.  Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, Banana Republic and the Gap are great examples of this reality thanks to J.Crew.   Ann Taylor Loft’s fabulous inventory of dresses and matching cardigans is fantastic.

Ann Taylor Loft has tons of dresses and cardigans

Jeans and T’s. I don’t think you can beat the Gap for anything Denim.  The prices are unbelievable.  Let’s face it, the Gap is a reliable source for t shirts, shorts, jeans and lots of accessories.

Inexpensive jewelry: I just ran out of time; however, I can say that Pangea and Fire Finch in Hillsboro Village and Francesca’s in HG Hill Center always have great jewelry which is youthful and fun.  Fabu is a great resource on Charlotte and Forever 21 at most big malls, and online, has amazing jewelry.

My last attempt to use my credit card was denied.  I guess when you shop with a teen, the early warning fraud department put up their radar screen big time.

I’d say we had a successful trip.  But next time, Tina and Rebecca get to do the pre-shopping.  Being a professional blogger requires takes more time than you’d think!