Clothing & Dressing Tips for Teens

By Marie-Pier Rochon

When you're a teenager, looking fashionable and following popular trends are vital aspects of your social life. You want to show that you know what the latest trends are, but on a teenager's budget, it can be difficult to change your wardrobe every season to look like your favorite fashion icon. Fear not: You can look like your favorite celebrities without emptying your piggy bank with a few tips.

Teen fashion is much more casual than adult styles.

Start With Basics

The first trick to ensure your wardrobe will be the envy of your friends, season after season, is to invest is key pieces that you will wear no matter what the latest trend is. Add the following in your wardrobe: a pair of jeans in a normal wash, a pair of black pants, a few solid color T-shirts and some tank tops. For shoes, stick with an open-toed pair, a close-toed version and a pair of sneakers. All your shoes should be in colors neutral enough to fit with any outfit, such as brown, black, grey or white. These basic key pieces can be worn year-round and will come back no matter what the flavor of the month is. Make sure they are well-fitted and of good quality.

Add Accessories

This is where the fun starts. An inexpensive way to spruce up any outfit is to play around with accessories. Because accessories change with the seasons, buy your jewelry, hats, scarves and hair accessories at discount stores. You might want to spend a bit more money on your purse or school bag if you often find yourself carrying many books. Bring some color into your wardrobe by choosing bright colors for your accessories. If neon pink is the color of the month, try to find sunglasses with neon pink rims, a neon pink purse and maybe neon pink earrings. Be careful not to overdo it and stick to a maximum of three items that are in style at the moment.

Find Vintage Pieces

Check thrift stores for vintage accessories, small clutches, purses and a few pieces of clothing. The latest trends often pick up on styles from past decades, and you might be able to find these in your local thrift store. Make sure you wash your thrift store purchases well to remove any dirt and make them smell like new. Asking your parents if they have kept some of their older clothes is also a good way to find items that are both trendy and vintage all at once. Chances are very high that no one else will have the same pieces as you, which makes going vintage a sure fire way to add your own signature to your look.

Plan Your Outfits

Once you have all the pieces you need, basics, accessories and a few vintage pieces, plan your outfits. Decide what clothing you feel most comfortable in and create outfits for different types of occasions such as school, weekends, outdoor activities and special occasions. Have fun with your friends and create a mini fashion show to get their help in deciding which outfit looks best on you. Take pictures of your favorite outfits so that you can refer to them on days when it seems you don't know what to wear.

Be Yourself

The most important tip when dressing up is to know what you love and be yourself. If fashion magazines say the latest trend are zebra prints, but you just cannot stand them, don't buy it just to fit in. Not every fashion trend looks good on everyone, and it also is OK not to like some of these styles. Fashion trend come and go and once gone, others that might fit your personality better will come around.