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The Ultimate Shopping Challenge: Tweens

The years between 10 and 13 are tricky for girls, in all ways. Clothing-wise, they’re wanting to experiment with their own sense of expression and independence…and the push/pull can be hard. We want them to flirt with the coming phase, but not be inappropriate. The brands below allow some creativity and individuality, without crossing the avert-your-eyes line.

Topshop

The English are known for their fearless use of prints and quirky accessories. The offering is unabashedly trendy, perfect if you’ve got a budding street-style star on your hands.

Nordstrom

This department store has an actual vertical devoted to Tweens, making it a great resource for mini-me accessories like purses, shoes, and party clothing. It’s also a solid go-to for school-appropriate jeans, tees, and sweaters.

Aritzia

An awesome line out of Canada, Aritzia is all about trendy pieces: Everything from faux fur coat, to flippy knit dresses.

Boden

According to our Fashion Director, the UK-based Boden looks like the shared closet of Ali McGraw from Love Story and Twiggy. For tweens this means cool, classically well made—not to mention, well-priced—coats, capes, knits, and boots.

Old Navy

Old Navy’s off-beat interpretations of everyday essentials are a favorite around these parts; the amazing price points make buying favorites in triplicate justifiable.

Wildfox

If your kid insists on wearing sweats 24/7, Australian line Wildfox makes ones that aren’t just presentable, but seriously cute, too. The sweatpants, sweatshirts, and tees are perfect, and the accessories—sunglasses, specifically—are surprisingly great.

Zara

In short, Zara’s tween department is where you go for scaled-down versions of grown-up silhouettes.

Benetton

It’s a total blast from the past for grownups, but the assortment of rainbow- colored separates has evolved to include cool military style shirt-dresses, charming ballet flats, and snuggly winter puffers.

Urban Outfitters

At this point, this cheap and cheerful standby is available in a mall near you, making it a convenient destination for anything on-trend.

American Eagle Outfitters

Though it feels like it’s been around forever, AEO does cool, off-duty pieces (military anoraks, easy dresses, jersey tops, and in-between size bras) really well. The best part: most pieces—jeans included—go up to size 18.

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