How to Shop for your Tween

The girls are laughing and always do when we put them back to back. Lexi (on the left) is 6 months younger than Berkeley (on the right)!


Unfortunately, the girls often look like what we've called "shrubs"! They love dancing and spend most of their time at the dance studio, but that means that they don't really know how to put a nice outfit together!














We both have 12 year old daughters, but they are on the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of height and how mature they look. Berkeley is Pam’s daughter.  She is actually 6 months older than Alexis, who is Laurel’s daughter. Berkeley is 4’9” and Alexis is 5’5”..that’s an 8″ difference!  The challenge comes in how to dress both girls age appropriately.  What fits Berkeley are clothes that she feels are “too baby-ish”, and what Alexis can nicely fit into makes her look much too mature.

We are always up for a challenge and recently, we took the girls shopping to find them clothes that are age appropriate, but still on trend.

Berkeley cringes when I suggest we go into the kids section of stores, but the fact of the matter is that what fits her best.  She still can wear a size 9-10, so clothes at many of the stores geared to tweens and teens just don’t fit her.  So the challenge for Berkeley is to find her clothes in the kids’ section of stores that have more mature styles or junior stores that carry size XXS. Recently, we had really good luck at Zara Kids.  I loved that they had the clothes merchandised by colour groupings.  Most styles were “mature” enough for Berkeley….I think that I only heard her say, “That’s too baby-ish!” once.  Also, because the cuts are European she actually fit into an 11-12 in most styles. Unfortunately, you cannot purchase Zara Kids online, but you can view their styles and prices online at

Another place that we found styles that suited and fit Berkeley was H&M Kids.  Again, you cannot purchase online, but you can view what is available at  They have a lot of good basics as well.  Crewcuts (by J Crew) also has some great stuff for tweens, but some of the styles are a bit too juvenile.  They ship to Canada and  shipping is $9.95.  I do wait and shop their sales.

Artizia and TNA work well for both Berkeley and Alexis.  They carry size XXS and their sizes are on the small side.  TNA has great basics like tanks, T’s, and leggings.  Aritizia is a lot more expensive, but you can find the odd piece that works and is fairly reasonable.  We paid $40 for a stretchy black skirt with a floral pattern for Berkeley.  I love it that she can wear black leggings under it….leggings are a mom’s best friend!  Neither of these stores has a great website and they both don’t offer online shopping.

I also love Ella Moss Girl and Splendid for tweens.  It’s not easy to come by in Canada, but they do have great websites.  They are on the pricier side, but the quality is great and the styles are very appropriate. The Cabazon Outlets just west of Palm Springs has a Splendid and it sometimes has Ella Moss items as well (Splendid, Ella Moss and Seven for All Mankind are all related brands). Nordstrom and Bloomingdales also carry some Ella Moss Girl and Splendid.

We also just took the girls to Target and we were pleasantly surprised at what we found them there.  The best surprise is that some of their junior lines (Mossimo) start at size 1.  Perfect for Berkeley!  Both Berkeley and Lexi scored coloured jeans …one of the hottest trends for this spring, for $22.99

Mossimo Supply Co. coloured denim for $22.99












Shoes are another story!  Berkeley is a size 3.5 in children’s and a 5.5 in womens.  Children’s shoes are generally not mature enough style wise, but it’s not easy to find a lot of women’s shoes in a size 5.5.  For casual wear, TOMS are great and they are becoming more and more readily available.  In fact, TOMS are about the same price in Canada as they are in the US…bonus!!  You can order TOMS online and they ship very quickly.

Here are a few outfits that WE helped put together for the girls!

Alexis is wearing a cardi from Target, jeans from the Boathouse (Abby) and scarf from Ripcurl














Cream cardi by Ella Moss, dress from Target, Roxy boots and hat from American Eagle





























Jeans and sweater are from Target, toque from Forever 21 and boots by Steve Madden























Vest by Zara Kids, jeans by Seven for All Mankind, boots by Dirty Laundry. Berkeley unfortunately did not like this outfit when I laid it out for her the first time and changed immediately. But today she actually liked it!























Berkeley in a boyfriend blazer from Children's Place, skirt from Aritzia, tights from H&M, shirt from The Bay and boots by Steve Madden




















Berks is wearing a tunic and leggings from H&M, boots from Steve Madden























Berkeley in a jean dress from Crewcuts, tights from Ivivva and shoes by Dirty Laundy