How to Find Age-Appropriate Clothing for Tween Girls

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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

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