Remember the song "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" by Britney Spears? Yesterday's client brought me back to this song. If you're thinking it's crazy for a pre-teen/teen to have a Stylist... THINK AGAIN. This age is tough as nails when it comes to shopping.
A few things to consider
(whether you have a daughter or not, this will start to make sense...)
From about 11 to 14, girls vary dramatically in terms of how quickly they "develop." I for one was short as a stump until summer after 8th grade when I shot up to 5'7 over night. I gravitated toward things that my mom wore at the time: classy but not very exciting and certainly not based on my personality. My hair stayed the same way all through high school. No piercings other than ears and certainly no high lights. I was pretty white bread in appearance (but never personality, let's be clear about that). And I was teased. Teased for my braces -- which I had twice and didn't get off until the end of Junior year (ugh), teased about my flat chest and shapeless bottom -- no seriously, some asshole wrote a "rap" about all the cheerleaders and that was my claim to fame: having the body of a stick figure or a little boy. I remember wearing a padded bra under my cheerleading uniform, even when cheering -- I'm talking an underwire, padded, push up bra -- just to give me a hint of boob-age. And most humiliating and painful of all, I was teased MERCILESSLY for my "prominent" nose -- which I have since grown to accept and love.
By Senior year, I'd gotten a little more proportionate -- although those arms are still long as ever. And while I was happy with my appearance, next to these CURVY BABES, my high school besties, I really was a total dude in figure.
There I am, far right, gangly as all get out.
I know what you're thinking... Lillian, you were skinny! Shut up!
But when you're a pre-teen/teenager you live in teenage-brain-world and it's allllllll about YOU alllll the time. The comparison trap is wicked real. And flat girls ain' the only ones who be strugglin. The short girls can't wear the uber long prom gowns without having four feet cut off the bottom and they look about four years younger than everyone else, the busty girls are taping their boobs down before P.E., the crazy tall girls are just trying to blend in in group pictures. Lawd help us. Being female ain' easy. Welcome to the club, Caitlyn Jenner -- lucky you, you missed out on ever having period cramps in algebra.
Shopping can be a NIGHTMARE.
Not quite the right height or bust size for women's clothes, the juniors departments are hit or miss with shanty quality of clothing, kids' clothes are a no-go at this point and then you've got the whole "keep it conservative, sweetie" mentality from the parental units. If you've ever seen a mom and daughter shop, you've probably seem some arguing about the level of "appropriateness" of one garment or another.
Sending a professional shopping with your (not so) little girl is as much a treat for you -- skipping the headache of finding something you can both agree upon -- as it is for her. Just yesterday I shopped with a fourteen year old who was maximum 4'9 and certainly not willing to shop in kids' department! It took locating the right brands, even some stores with petites and then discussing ways to make her pieces super versatile -- teenagers always want something new!
In addition to learning ways to elevate and accentuate her petite frame, this little lady discovered the colors and shapes of dresses that work best on her. I was able to find several pieces that were SMALL enough for her little body but didn't look like kitty clothes because of the cut. See? Everybody wins!
I'd love to work with you and your pre-teen/teen. Setting your daughter up for success in the department of self esteem is invaluable. Let's connect.