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How to Find Age-Appropriate Clothing for Tween Girls


mochadad kohl's-3

My 12 year old daughter, Nee, is practicing to be a fashionista. She loves putting together outfits and accessories. As a dad, I’m proud of the creativity that she displays while developing her personal style. However, but I’m also a bit concerned about the fashions that are available for girls her age.

When I walk through the department store, I’m bombarded by mannequins dressed in skimpy outfits. While these styles are trendy, they seem to be inappropriate for young girls. I want my daughter to be able to wear current styles, but I also want to make sure that her clothing is not revealing.

mochadad kohl's-5I give my kids leeway to choose their own clothes but they must conform to a few guidelines:

  • Clothing must fit appropriately and cover their bodies without being too tight or too loose.
  • Shorts or skirts must be at least mid thigh.
  • Clothing cannot be see-through unless something appropriate is worn under it.
  • Clothing cannot have offensive or suggestive slogans.

Finding trendy, age-appropriate clothing for tween girls that conforms to these guideline scan be challenging. Fortunately, a few retailers have made a conscious effort to stock clothing that parents and kids can agree on.

With these rules in mind, Nee and my wife, KayEm, went to Kohl’s to buy a few outfits (disclosure: I received a gift card). I would have taken Nee shopping myself, but she’s made it clear that clothes shopping is no place for dads.

Nee and my wife were most concerned about finding some shorts. Given the new shorter than Daisy Dukes trend, staying within the rules with this purchase was going to be challenging. Surprisingly, Nee some outfits, including a pair of shorts. Although the shorts aren’t as long as I’d prefer, they will meet her school – and her mom’s dress code.

After the shopping trip, Nee and KayEm were worn out from the two hours they spent in the store. They learned a few lessons in the process:

mochadad kohl's-1Set Budget

KayEm and Nee had a budget of $150 and they managed to stay within it. Nee was able to buy 3 tops, 1 pair of jeans and 1 pair of shorts for around $125. You can make your money go further with coupons, shopping the clearance rack, and taking advantage of sales and other discounts.

Shopping for a tween takes patience

KayEm and Nee were both frustrated during the trip. Locating styles, matching pieces, and trying on items stretched the limits of their patience. Make sure to schedule enough time and be well rested before you go shopping.

It’s important to try on outfits

When my daughter selected some questionable items, my wife didn’t say a word. Instead she allowed the dressing room mirror to be the final judge. Nee immediately rejected some of the items after trying them on, but others actually fit better than my wife expected them to.

Have Fun

As Nee gets older, her schedule is getting busier. Having one-on-one time to spend together is becoming increasingly rare. Despite the shopping trip’s minor disagreements, KayEm enjoyed having those moments alone with our daughter and Nee got some nice outfits out of the deal.

Stay Strong,

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About Author

Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at or on Twitter at


  1. Peter Schott on

    My wife/daughter attended a couple of “Secret Keeper Girls” events. One of their main focus points is modesty in attire. They have a lot of tips for girls/parents on how to look pretty good, but dress modestly. They also focus a lot on body image – not being so preoccupied with your outward appearance, but what’s really inside. I think that’s a pretty important thing these days for young girls.

    • My daughter attended a similar event called “Girl Gab” where they also discussed self-esteem, body image, and inner beauty. I’m glad to see that other girls are getting these types of positive messages.

  2. That reminds me of a Muhammed Ali story:

    Muhammed Ali was visited by his daughters, who arrived at his home wearing clothes that were immodest. Here is the story as told by one of his daughters:

    “When we arrived, the chauffer escorted my youngest sister, Laila, and me to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. And we exchanged as many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day.

    “My father then took a good look at us. He sat me down in his lap and said something I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said: ‘Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down and in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get them.’

    “He looked at me again with serious eyes and said, ‘Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.’”

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  7. Very nice styling and all the clothes look great! It’s honestly more appealing to me as a guy when I see a girl dressing with modesty and thought, *that* is sexy to me. To be totally truthful there are so many girls/women these days that dress like, or worse, than the hookers that I used to see every day on the streets in bad neighborhoods when I worked down on the docks by the shipping port. Thats a sad telling fact. It’s highly detracting, distracting and very unappealing :/. …and no matter what reason is given for wearing them it instantly will form an opinion in peoples minds as to the morals and character of the person wearing them. It doesn’t matter if she’s a straight A student and an exceedingly good and moral girl, that won’t change soneones first impression of her and will always sit in the mind of the person seeing it. I say that so that it’s understood that judging a book by it’s cover IS wrong, but doesn’t change the fact that the book won’t get picked up anyway, good contents and all, *because* of the cover. I think the ‘clothing’ I dislike seeing worn improperly the most are those spandex shorts/pants that were never intended to be worn as an outer garment. Large numbers of girls don’t even wear panties under them because they would leave panty lines, lol. They are often worse than just parading around in your panties because they are tighter fitting. Lots of guys have taken to calling them “P*ssy Pants” because they are so tight they leave nothing to the imagination and you can see every detail and curve that shouldn’t be on display to begin with. Why parents let their kids wear these out the front door of the house is beyond me! …yet often you see parents fighting for their kids to have the right to wear these and other questionable things to school, hmm, wonder where things went wrong? (Shaking head sadly)