First of all, keep reading through the end of this post as there is a coupon for Snap Kids attached.  This is good for all their clothes: girls ages newborn to tween & for boys newborn to size 8.

My oldest daughter is turning 11 this month. Elizabeth has a 14 year old and thus I have been hearing for a couple years how hard it is to find clothes for this age group.  Many lines that cater to tweens are simply making smaller versions of their full-on teen lines, which can be way too old and, I’ve got to say it, too trashy for this age. Alternatively, these tweens are too big and too fashion forward for the typical children’s shop.  We are talking about THE dilemma of tween girl clothing.  Boys are just always easier when it comes to clothes: as long as you can make sure they are clean. Both the boy and the clothes that is (I have a boy also, so I can say this!).

image from Snap Kids.

So, the eternal question of what to buy and where to shop has gotten a little easier on the 9 – 12 year old front with Snap Kid’s recent refocusing on this age of girl. Snap Kids has locations is Nashville (Hill Center Green Hills), Chattanooga and Birmingham.  The clothes are bit more high-end than typically found around town — think mini-me labels of Ella Moss, Splendid, Seven and T-bags. The best thing about Snap is that your daughter will LOVE the clothes. AND, you will love, I promise, the philosophy behind how owner, Leah Bently, buys her collections: “If we even hesitate wondering if its too suggestive (at market), it is immediately eliminated.  Snap Tween apparel is the perfect compromise for the tweens wanting to be fashion forward & parents and grandparents not ready for them to dress “too” maturely. We handpick apparel that is current and modern but also still age appropriate and classic.  We also strive to find the most comfortably made pieces so the tweens will live in their Snap clothing.”

I went into Snap Kids on Saturday, January 2nd, with my nearly 11 year old daughter (sigh…when did this happen?), Mary Blake, and one of her dearest friends, Jordyn Lesh, who is 11 1/2. Pictures throughout this post reflect our shopping trip.  The store is currently about 1/3 tween, but look for the inventory to expand to about 1/2 tween in the upcoming months as more product arrives.  Click on Snap Kids to see addresses for all three locations.

Mary Blake instantly loved this combination: Ella Moss dress: $53, San Diego Hat Co. Hat: $22; Fry boots $135

Mary Blake instantly loved this combination: Ella Moss dress: $50, San Diego Hat Co. Hat: $22; Fry boots $130

Mary Blake Graves and Jordyn Lesh arrive at Snap Kids, in their own clothes, ready to see what they like.  Mary Blake, on the left, is wearing a Splendid vest and Ella Moss top, both from Snap.  Both were bought big to last a couple of years. Jordyn is wearing her L.A. Kiddie jacket, a brand sold at Snap.  They are both modeling some of the most current trends in footwear for girls: Uggs and lace-up Converse (they zip in the back so you don't have to tie those up!)

Mary Blake Graves and Jordyn Lesh arrive at Snap Kids, in their own clothes, ready to see what they like. Mary Blake, on the left, is wearing a Splendid vest and Ella Moss dress/top, both from Snap.  Jordyn is wearing her L.A. Kiddie jacket, a brand sold at Snap. They are both modeling some of the most current trends in footwear for girls: Uggs and lace-up Converse (they zip in the back so you don’t have to tie those up!)

How great is that?  Eliminate fighting that fight.   I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a talk about how much I’m willing to spend on the front-end than explain why an item is inappropriate and too suggestive to wear.  Thank you, Leah!  Most pieces are in the $30 – 70 range.  If you just buy a few things for this age daughter, make sure they are things she loves and that you are OK with.  What’s the point of complaining about what she is wearing when YOU bought it for her? (Is it just me or do I regret 95% of ALL purchases from Justice – Just for Girls?  A perfect example of “my daughter loves all that stuff but I complain when she wears it…sooooooo WHY AM I BUYING IT?) Ella Moss for kids is my daughter’s favorite as it makes her feel stylish and cool but is firmly in my approval box.  I buy big in this brand and have gotten two years of wear out of our purchases, while they look cute the whole time.  Plus, the fabrics are super soft ensuring that they are reached for time and time again.

While we loved this dress, we found that if you have hit ANY signs of puberty, the thin tight knit top part of the dress would not work. However, I do think that with a racer back tank, this dress would be darling….or just put it on a 9 or 10 year old as is: $79.50.  Do check out all the leggings at Snap, seen here in the right side of the picture.

Believe me, a pair of skinny jeans and cords, a big sweatshirt from a favorite college or destination, a few fun tops, a long cardigan, a vest, a pair of cropped leggings and a pair of long leggings, a pair of Uggs, Converse, and ballet flats and she is set.  And do take special care of your sweet girls right now.  Take a GOOD long look at her weekly.  She’ll go from never needing a tank top under her clothes, to always needing one, to really needing that first bra for occasional use to suddenly needing it daily.  It happens quickly.  It’s your job to help her through this stage and notice these changes.  Consider this when buying tops:  Billowy tops, or tops with designs and ruffles across the chest may make her – and you – more comfortable right now.  Those little buds are hard to deal with but don’t pretend they don’t exist.  Stock up on tank tops.

Both girls were big fans of this T-bags orange top, $58. I thought I would hate it, but these cuties proved me wrong.  A pair of white jeans and sandals and they would be dang cute in late Spring and Summer.

Snap Kids is very open to your needs and wants as they navigate this new direction of their store. If you have an idea of a void in tween shopping, tell them.  They are getting in a shipment of IT and Tractor jeans soon and this is solely based on customer requests for a $40 – $50 range for jeans.  So, if you want something, ask!

These were Jordyn’s and Mary Blake’s two favorite tops. Jordyn, on the left, is wearing a top by Splendid, $58. Mary Blake is wearing a top by her perennial favorite Ella Moss, $52.

I know, I promised a coupon and here you have i t- more like a deal as you don’t have to print anything out- Mention StyleBlueprint at any Snap Kids location and get 15% your purchase price from today through January 16th, 2010.  Happy Shopping!

I showed you their favorite tops. Now, I get to show you MY favorite tops. (They both liked these a lot as well.) This blouse, which comes in these two colors, is $62 and by Ella Moss. The girls, and this surprised me, both went nuts over these headbands. They LOVED them. They are $28 and by Hello Robertson.

Did you like this post?  If so, let us know and we’ll try to include a couple more this year on tween and young teen fashion.

Lastly, a couple books to read if you have a girl this age:

All You Need to Know about Raising Girls by Melissa Trevathan and Sissy Goff

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know by Meg Meeker

Missed a post earlier this week?

  • Monday: Summer Camps
  • Tuesday: Turks and Caicos, a dream vacation
  • Wednesday: Simplify and Organize your Jewelry