teens shopping header


Back in the day (like the 1970’s and 80’s) Back to School shopping was SO much fun, at least that’s how I remember it, of course, back then, I was the child in the scenario. But now, as the mom, it’s become a time I kind of dread (Shhhh!!! Don’t tell!) And, I KNOW I am not alone in this – I can’t tell you how many friends, clients and people I just meet share the same feeling. It’s not because our daughters aren’t lovely, they are! Or that they’re not grateful, because I think they are. It’s because moms and daughters are supposed to butt heads, at least a little during the teen years.  IMHO, I also think it’s because the images today’s girls see in the media are totally skewed as to what draws the right kind of attention and what is becoming – a BIG thank you to Kimmy K and the whole Kardashian family for that, NOT!

I get it, teens don’t want to look like babies. They’re on the brink of adulthood and they want to look more grown up – but we, the parents, don’t want them looking like street walkers in training, right?!?

So, lately I’ve had the pleasure (it actually was – I was being dramatic earlier) of shopping with some young ladies – some I am related to, and some I am not – btw, it’s waaaay easier to shop with someone else’s daughter – the chemical reaction that happens between mothers and daughters is immediately taken out of the equation when it’s not your own. Remember the TV show Wife Swap? Maybe we should have something called Daughter Swap?!? Just kidding (kind of!!)

Anyway – here’s a BTS shopping guide with goodies from each category that stand well on their own, but also play well together to create a complete mix and match wardrobe AND, maybe, more importantly, has the approval of the under 18 crowd:



A great fall jacket in a teen approved neutral – I love the cinched waist because it gives it a little shape.

Nordstrom Army Jacket


An adorbs little bomber AND it comes in 4 colors! Look for a whole post dedicated to my fave bombers coming soon!

Forever 21 Bomber


A classic moto jacket is always in style – this one would look awesome paired with the LBD dress or the sweet blouse below.


GAP motorcycle jacket




An easy t-shirt that can effortlessly transition from summer to fall – and the back detail makes it stand out, in a good way:)


Nordstrom BP t shirt


Another teen/mom approved t-shirt – boxy and just SLIGHTLY cropped – FYI, it looks MUCH shorter on this uber tall model than a real life teen. I found it to skim the button of a mid rise jean.


"Long" crop top


How to “do” plaid without looking like a lumber jack – and bonus, it runs long so it covers the bum when wearing leggings.


Nordstrom plaid tunic


A sweet shirt that’s perfect for a dinner out with the ‘rents.


Tie Neck blouse


This list wouldn’t be complete without a graphic t – and this one is classic teen

Graphic T for teens





A waterfall cardi with a little color and pattern – and it’ll mix nicely with all of these other pieces too.

tjmaxx striped cardi


A throw over everything cardigan – the open weave is what makes it “perfect”, but it also makes it delicate, so, beware of snags.



I adore the lace up neck of this light weight sweater, and the rich blue color looks fabulous back to black (FYI that’s no longer a faux pas)

nordstrom love by design sweater


This sweater offers the perfect mix of slouch and structure – I like how the itlooks over the mock turtleneck dress and over the plaid tunic.



The v-neck nicely highlights a choker necklace – which is at the top of every teens wish list this season…








For those times that they NEEEED to get dressed up and be somewhat covered this dress is it. Note: if your teen is very curvy, this might not be the best dress, it’s pretty clingy.



This dress looks great now with sandals, and will look super cute in fall with the cozy black cardigan and booties.



A little denim dress is an easy go-to


This week on FB, at least a dozen teens were wearing some version of this for their first day of school – no further proof needed that a t-shirt dress is a teen approved staple:)



Everybody needs a LBD party dress and this one feels a little sugar and a little spice…





This cute little skirt looks rocking with a graphic t and sneakers or a sweater with booties.




A great pair of slim boyfriend jeans  is a comfy go to –  and the wash on this pair has that oh, so, good grey undertone.



They look like jeans but feel like leggings – ponte is a “magic” fabric! And these hit at just the right point of the ankle – no hemming required:)


Basic leggings – a wardrobe essential


I love that these joggers zip at the ankle so you can adjust how they sit on your shoe.

H&M jogger



A little black bootie finishes off so many of these outfits – and the ankle cutout means you can start wearing it ASAP.


For when you have to get a little more dressed up, a classic pump – and the price can not be beat!


Right now Famous Footwear is having a BOGO (buy one, get one 1/2 off) so it’s a good time to stock up on a classic pair of Chucks.


While I always love a good bargain, when it comes to winter boots, I don’t like to cut corners – staying warm and dry is a priority – the classic L.L. Bean boot is tried and true.


A choker and a long necklace rolled into one.


A delicate necklace is nice for layering, but this one can stand on it’s own too…



I love this LOVE choker set – and you won’t believe the price!!


I always like having a long necklace in the arsenal – and this one is 36 inches, perfection!


I have to fess up, I went to pick one if these up for a teen and snagged one for myself too. It’s become my signature summer necklace🙂



So I’m curious, can you relate to the angst of BTS shopping with a teen? Did you like any of the pieces here? There are actually quite a few I might be tempted to steal, if my teen had them in her closet…

Anyway – happy Back to School time you guys!

Taking the Stress out of getting dressed – #TheWardrobeConsultant



In the spirit of full disclosure, I sometimes use affiliate links, which means that when you click links and purchase items, in some, but not all cases, I may receive a nominal (meaning pennies NOT dollars) referral commission. You will NEVER pay more when buying a product through my link.
Plus, when you order through my links (or even just click on them), it helps me see what you all are interested in and therefore be more mindful of you, my readers, when thinking about what to highlight in future blog posts.  Thank you in advance for your support!



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Cleveland-based personal stylist and fashion blogger.

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