My 14 year old daughter has no sense of style

Tracey - posted on 09/04/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My daughter is going into high school this year and I am worried because she has always had a hard time making friends. She has one best friend that she spends all her time with and that is great but it hurts her a lot when other people don't accept her. It's even more important now because she has started liking boys. She is very pretty but really self conscious about her body and wears huge shirts and mix matches shirts together in strange ways. For instance today she had on a long sleeve shirt with a tee shirt with words on under it and it just didn't look right. I said it was going to be warm today and maybe she should just wear the t - shirt but she was set with what she was wearing so I told her she looked great. This concerns me because girls at school say she dresses badly (dorky) and I know that hurts her feelings. I'm just not sure what I can or should do without making the situation worse.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/04/2012

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You need to (rather than tell her she's dorky) help her develop her personal style!



What's wrong with a tshirt under a longer sleeved shirt? I wear 'em all the time! Tanks under button down blouses, open to see the tank, etc. She obviously doesn't want to dress like a tramp, which (in my opinion) most girls do these days.



Help her pick out some quirky t's with matching long sleeves. Cute, quirky shoes (VANS come in almost all different colors now), maybe a cute fedora style hat or something to top it off.



What better time to teach your beautiful young lady that she's an individual, and how to embrace that? At the same time, giving her the confidence in herself (because if you tell her constantly that she dresses like a dork, really, how do you think she feels? YOu're her MOM after all, and if YOU aren't supporting her, how do you expect her to fell confident?)

Swlkr50 - posted on 09/04/2012

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My daughter is 12 and she has a "unique" sense of style. She will wear neon pink tights, a random t-shirt and some off the wall pair of shoes. At this age they are trying to find themselves and if the worst she can do is dress interesting then I am all for it. She will come into her own sense of style in the meantime just be supportive of her fashion sense.

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Julie - posted on 09/20/2012

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Tracey,

I'm sorry if you thought I was saying you were calling your daughter...any name, dork, geek, etc. What I was saying is mother's concern comes out in even, for sake of a better word, vibes. It's hard seeing your child experiencing anything but the most positive of "things" especially if you too have gone through similar. I talk from experience. You know what that hurt feels like and the last thing you want is your child to know those same feelings. As far as your daughter's style, like I said, just be patient and just let it go. She will come to you if she wants help and then it's time for magazines and style watching/studying. Maybe at THAT time, you get her a subscription of Seventeen mag or something like that. There are also tween style mags out there; not many but some.



As far as the economic status thing, I too live in an affluent community in Southern California where multi-million dollar homes are up the road. We don't live in, what my son used to call, "castles". This is where the parking lot of our high school is loaded with Mercedes, BMW's, and Land Rovers. I've always told my kids there will always be people that will be richer, thinner, smarter, and better looking than them. It's all perspective. You have a roof over your kids' heads, clean clothes on their backs, and food in their stomachs. You provide a good example of dedication (also taking care of your grandmother) to family and that is what really matters. Those are the lessons that you are providing to your kids. If you don't think they see them, specifically verbalize those lessons to them. Take them to shelters and food banks to volunteer so that they can appreciate what they have, not that they don't but perspective is a wonderful thing. That perspective may give them strength to endure the teen years with mean girls. FYI, I really like to find designer labels at consignment stores for cheap. We make it a treasure hunt and see who can get the best deal. You'd be surprised at what you can get there.



For now, try and find the things that your girls are good at and like to do and pump up their confidence. Confident kids seem to feel safer doing things that they are not familiar with in other areas. With your support and love, your girls will be fine. Actually, we'll all make it out of this teen thing with love and support. Don't be too hard on yourself especially. As people always say, kids don't come with a manual. But DAMN if someone can't come up with something that always works soon! Lol! Hang in there.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/14/2012

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Tracey, you could live in my town! LOL...No, trailer parks aren't always trashy, I live in one myself, own my home (and it's a newer model). The neighborhood is nice, as far as that goes, we do have a lot of hotels, and a "travel center" close, but still not trashy. (There are a couple in town that fit the "trashy" decription, but its the older trailers, not necessarily the residents themselves) The housing here is outrageous due to the University driving up prices, but the flip side is that we have events that really bring diversity to our town, and the boys really enjoy the summer programs that the University has for kids.



Just encourage your girls to be themselves. I'm thinking maybe (like you think), the 12 YO is realizing that maybe she's starting to show, but embarrassed about asking you to help her pick out a bra. now, I'm a "white cotton" girl myself, but they have LOTS of really cute bras now, so maybe that would help? If you, in an offhand way when you're shopping next time, say "Hey, look at those, they're cute, maybe I'll try one on...do you want to as well?" i was so mortified when I started developing, my mom didn't believe I needed a bra, but I could tell that I did, and I wore jackets all the time.



As for the style thing, would they make good choices on their own shopping? Maybe send them out for a sister shopping day? Oh, and trust me, even the "rich" kids dress like slobs...the richer, the sloppier, in my area. I see kids dressed like slobs, or pants hanging down to their knees, or trampy, trashy clothing, and I can't help but think "I know some of those kids, and they're not as trashy as they look", but I can't help having a poor opinion of them. My kids dress "nerdy" in my estimation, button down shirts, slacks (for my eldest) and cargos or jeans. My younger one does wear the tshirts/overshirts, but neither are considered "in style". I was worried that they would be affected by other kids comments, but their personalities shined through. Even though some of their friends still need to learn how to pull up their pants, they're all good kids.



Yours will find their niche. These teen years can be tough, though.

Tracey - posted on 09/14/2012

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I appreciate all of your advice. To explain, I wouldn't ever call my daughter a dork, that is just what kids at school say. I agree she is unique and I want her to be able to explore her own personal identity. That is very important and I couldn't agree more. She doesn't want me to pick out anything for her and so I don't. If she was dressing provocatively however, I would definitely step in and not allow it. I agree transfering my worries to her would not help her confidence. It does help however to hear from other moms about it. I know for sure there hasn't been any abuse but that was a good suggestion. My girls (I have two) have only ever been left with people that I also was with as a child. I watch them like a hawk and there isn't an issue with communication between us. I did notice today however that my other daughter age 12 was also insisting on wearing a jacket today over her t shirt. She refuses to wear a bra, but I haven't pushed it too much because it's not really too noticable just yet. All summer she didn't have an issue with wearing a jacket but it's still hot out and she is refusing to take it off at school. I am thinking I need to talk to her again about the bra. Neither of them like talking about girlie things at all so that is going to be difficult. Part of the problem with my girls is the town we live in. It is a small safe town with great schools. I grew up here and want to stay because my family is here, but over the years it has been taken over by rich people. You can't get a house here now for less than 300,000. We live in a new mobile home in a small park. We are by no means poor but middle class and I have the money for my girls to have nice clothes but I'm worried the way they dress doesn't reflict that, not that we should care. I feel like they are bring down my daughter's confidence with the nasty things they say to them. Not all of them, but it's the bad comments they remember most. These people don't like the trailer park. They even went so far as to vote against another park out of fear of more "trailer trash." There is nothing trashy at all about this park. Just good hardworking middle class people in a very small park of new mobile homes. I have to say I was shocked when my girls started telling me about this. I even had a mother once call because her daughter was going to come over and then she asked where we lived and when I told her she came up with an excuse to not come. I like it here and it's the only way I can afford to stay here and I want my kids to have the benefits of this school district. On the other hand the other kids have been taught by their parents to treat my kids bad. They didnt' learn it on their own. There were some rich kids when I was in school but I didn't have this problem mostly because my family owned a house and many of the kids at school were still middle class. Now everyone I went to school with has moved away because they couldn't afford to live here. I have been torn over the years about pulling them out of these school and moving, but I am not about to be run out of the town my familhy has lived in for generations. Plus my grandmother is sick and needs me close by.

Ail - posted on 09/13/2012

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My daughter went thru that phase last year, but is really into style, now. I do think they are very uncomfortable with their changing bodies, but eventually get over it and embrace their new curves.



I would make sure (not to scare you to the unlikely possibility) but just be sure the covering up is not to hide self-inflicted injury (cutting, needles, etc.) or in response to being violated in any physical way. If so, I'd get professional help, immediately.

Julie - posted on 09/12/2012

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Don't worry. Transferring your concern onto your daughter will make her feel even worse. She'll sense your stress. She'll figure it out or she'll ask for help. Until then, just be supportive.

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