How To Shop for Picky Tweens

How To Shop for Picky Tweens

If you have a tween in your life that you need to buy clothing for, you might have already started to notice differences in their style preferences. Sometimes their fashion choices are more about what they think is cool than about what they actually like. So you may notice that their affinity toward toy trains and princesses starts to fade, and they may no longer approve of having cute characters on their clothes.

Choosing between their personal interests and what’s trending can be a bit stressful for kids between ages 9 and 12. And although they may never admit it, your help in choosing the right clothing may be the breath of fresh air that they need. When shopping for picky tweens, we have a handful of helpful tips for parents.

Oversized Tops

Oversized tops are super trendy these days, and tween girls and boys are no exception to this trend. Whether it’s an oversized girl's or boy's sweatshirt or long-sleeved T-shirt, the extra room it provides is comfortable and stylish—plus, you don’t have to worry about them growing out of it in a year. Let them in on the process of choosing the style and color of the hoodie or T-shirt so you can ensure they actually wear it instead of shoving it to the back of their closet. After all, your daughter may have once loved the color pink, but her preferences may have changed. So letting them choose ensures you don’t waste any money.

Skirts and Dresses

If you have a tween daughter to shop for, dresses and skirts may or may not be part of their ideal wardrobe. As difficult as it might be for you to say goodbye to the ruffly little girls' dresses and cute dress shoes, there isn’t much you can do about it if she suddenly leans toward jeans and leggings. However, you may find that during the summertime especially, there are certain dresses she might find appealing. Take T-shirt dresses, for example. They can still be dressed up for formal occasions and provide more comfort than a pair of long pants would in extreme heat. Plus, you can easily pair them with cute sneakers or flats for a look that’s more laid-back and fits her new sense of style.


Swimsuits for juniors are typically easier to buy for tween boys than tween girls. Once girls start to reach the teen years, they might prefer bikinis, though that style move might not be agreeable for some parents. If you prefer your tween to wear a more modest suit, you may find a tankini to be a good compromise. It offers sufficient coverage and comes in lots of fashionable colors and patterns. Alternatively, you could compromise on a one-piece swimsuit with stylish accents, such as a single strap on a diagonal as an alternative to a typical double-strap one-piece.


If you have tweens, the cute nightgowns and one-piece footed PJs are likely not welcome anymore. Although your daughter may still like nightgowns, your son is more likely to prefer shorts or sweatpants than one-piece boy's pajamas. Tween pajamas can still be cute and fun, though. Expect your teen to choose two-piece pajama sets that are more like loungewear than actual pajamas. They may enjoy trendy sayings printed on them as well—regardless of whether they make sense to us adults or not.


Shopping for boys' and girls' outerwear may seem like an annual event for parents of growing children. Thankfully, the tween years are a little bit easier to shop for because they may still fit in last year’s styles. However, they may no longer prefer the same color or design. If their coats and jackets no longer fit, remember to size up as much as possible and invest in outerwear that they’ll be happy with for at least a couple of years. If they find one they like and that you approve of, it may help to make them promise not to change their mind about the color or design until they grow out of it.

Shopping for tweens may be different than in past years, but you can make it fun for both of you. Shop online together or take them to the store to shop in-person, and perhaps treat them to a special lunch or dinner date afterward. Have fun shopping before they grow out of this in-between stage!


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