It’s no secret that mothers and daughters don’t always agree on style. My daughter is only 6 and already we have our creative differences! However, with moms and teenagers in particular, fighting about clothes is no doubt one of their biggest battles.
Our girls are experiencing puberty younger and younger and often physically look like women long before they are emotionally mature. What she finds appropriate for her age, you may find too provocative. It’s a difficult dance helping guide your daughter toward womanhood while also preserving her innocence.
My advice? Choose your battles. Your daughter’s clothing choices may not be your taste or preference, but as long as it’s appropriate, let it go. Teens need to experiment with personal style in order to express themselves. A few years from now she may laugh at the choices she made, but she’ll be glad you let her make them.
As far as appropriateness, I stand by the advice I give all my clients: keep things balanced and show one thing but not another. For example, for prom, a strapless gown that is floor length may show a bit of cleavage but cover up the legs. The same balancing act applies to makeup application - emphasize the eyes OR the lips, but not both. I highly recommend a lesson with a professional makeup artist – it’s a fun mother-daughter activity (and you’ll both learn something!)
If your daughter is blissfully unaware of what is appropriate and what is not, ask this simple question to get her to stop and think: “What do you think that outfit/makeup tells people about who you are?”
If you and your teen are at a style stalemate, you’re not alone. Teenaged girls tend to take out their frustration and anger on their mothers because they are the nearest (and safest) targets. As a result, she may not want to hear anything you have to say, and it could be time to outsource the problem! Enlist an aunt, friend, or other trusted adult to take your daughter shopping and provide a fresh perspective.
Do you need a “style mediator” to help navigate your daughter’s style during her teen years? Contact Jill for help at email@example.com.
Jill Marinelli is a style & beauty expert who appears regularly on WPRI’s The Rhode Show and 92 Pro-FM radio. Her passion is helping everyday women look and feel great. To learn more about Jill, visit www.jmstylist.com.