Stories From The Hill

A behind the scenes look into image consulting and personal branding. Hill Image will get you there.
8 Jul 2017

Turning 13

At this point in our lives, we have a full closet.  We may despise everything in it, but that is a personal battle we wage.  We typically don’t worry that others may ridicule us for what we wear.  We may try to hide from others because we want to hide our current body, but we don’t stay home from work and make ourselves ill worrying what others will think of us (maybe only because we now have bills to pay).  Our worst enemy is ourselves.

However, when we were teens we did just that.  We faked sickness to stay home from school.  When we actually talked about our troubles with friends our loved ones would tell us that the kids who teased us were “just jealous”.  They said “don’t listen to them”.  They hugged us and told us how great we were … and to get over it.  And we didn’t hear one word of what they said.  We didn’t hear it because even if they were jealous, it didn’t matter.  What mattered was that we wanted to be accepted, not for who we were, but for how well we fit in with everyone.  We wanted the outfit everyone envied.  We wanted compliments.  We wanted them to want to be like us.

Fall 2017, body suits are back!  Stirrup pants have morphed into skinny jeans.  Side ponytails are now messy buns.  You don’t wear accessories in middle schol!  You’d look like you care (gasp!!)  You wear the “athleisure” look… instead of baggy sweatpants, it’s spandex pants.  No one dresses up to go to church, let alone school.

Athleisure to teenager


Parents to the rescue!

During this client’s Wardrobe Eval, she said to me “Yeah…I guess I like this outfit.  I may wear it to church.  I would not wear this to school.  Look at me holding my books in my arms.  This vest is way too dressy for school.  It just feels weird.  I probably wouldn’t wear the t-shirt with jeans either.  …Maybe.”


So we went shopping.


  • Elevate her school t-shirts to t’s with a fun details
  • Giver her supple vests that do not bulk while carrying books, but cut her body into 3rds
  • Add A-line dresses (in t-shirt materials when possible– won’t feel so dress)
  • Give her other options than just skinny jeans.  She looks best in a bootcut pant.
  • Purchase hip casual shoes (Vans, Converse, Toms, etc)

Now the key is to see if she’ll actually wear these looks to school. 😀  It’s hard to change habits.  I feel so good that she has this knowledge to build upon the rest of her life!


Key take-aways when shopping with tweens:

  • Quality is not everything— their bodies change quickly. As they create their own style, let them play with inexpensive clothes.
    • Goodwill (for great jeans and fun t’s)
    • Plato’s Closet
    • Old Navy
    • Gap Outlet
    • Maurices
  • Dress YOUR body, not your friends’. Their BFF may be 2x smaller than them.  Do not wear the same things.  They’ll look better in items that fit.  (easier said than done, I know)


  • Shoes and hair are their most important accessories.
    • Shoes: They aren’t wearing jewelry yet.  Their shoes will make their outfit.
    • Hair: Though there is a trend to go a week without washing your hair, make sure they understand that their hormones do not understand this.  They can wait a week between washing after puberty is over.


  • Dress for the occasion. Teach them that it is important to dress up to go to a live performance or a class presentation.


  • Bras (dun dun dun dun): Their bodies are changing.  Bras are so neet.  Make sure they have one that fits at ALL TIMES.  Weather it is a training bra or a size D.  They will feel and look better if you go the extra step and get them professionally fitted for a bra.
    • Kohl’s
    • Carson’s
    • Victoria Secret


  • Posture is key. My dad used to hit us in the shoulder every time we slouched.  I am complimented on my posture “for a tall girl” daily.  It affects the way your clothes hang on you.
    • Teach them that standing up straight, shoulders back, while looking in Macy’s mirror is worthless if they don’t do it at school.


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