Dressing well is one of the most important lessons you should impart to your daughter as she grows older. After all, clothes are not mere body coverings but essential pieces that can significantly impact her confidence and self-esteem. When she wears an outfit that radiates her personality and makes her look her best, it can help her feel good about herself and be more confident when interacting with others.
It’s worth pointing out that helping your daughter develop a fashion sense doesn’t mean putting together outfits yourself and letting your tween or teen wear them. Instead, it’s about guiding her to discover her unique style, the colors that flatter her best, and the most appropriate clothing pieces for every occasion. If you’re looking for tips on how you can help your young daughter improve her ability to dress well, below are several you may want to consider:
Provide Wardrobe Staples
One of the most effective ways to help your daughter discover her personal style is by providing her with a collection of wardrobe staples. These are versatile clothing pieces that she can readily mix and match to create different looks that suit her mood and preferences. Solid-colored and graphic t-shirts, casual tops, sweaters, printed dresses, denim jeans and skirts, shorts, and several pairs of quality tights and leggings are a few examples of must-have items.
With such staple pieces in her closet, it would be easier for your daughter to put together outfits according to her taste. Perhaps you can offer a few suggestions on how to combine different garments to create stylish ensembles at the outset. Provide several options and let her decide which outfit she prefers. If she wants to mix and match herself, let her. By giving her the freedom to choose what she wants to wear, you’re helping her discover her fashion style and, at the same time, building her confidence.
Help Her to Look for Fashion Inspiration
Developing one’s sense of style requires time, effort, and the right fashion resources. As such, you may want to sit down with your daughter to browse through age-appropriate fashion magazines and the social media pages of celebrities her age to find fashion inspiration. When you go shopping for clothes, encourage her to pay attention to how mannequins are styled to learn some techniques for mixing and matching or layering different pieces. You can also watch teen movies or runway shows online for more ideas.
Perhaps you two can gather everything you found and create a fashion mood board—a collage of images that reflect the style preferences of your daughter. With a mood board, your tween or teen has a ready-made fashion reference that she can look through for inspiration whenever she gets dressed.
Let Your Daughter Experiment with Different Looks
Give your daughter leeway when it comes to her fashion choices. Remember, fashion is a form of self-expression. So, let her experiment with different looks and learn to respect the outfits she enjoys wearing—even if you dislike some of them. Your daughter may need to explore various clothing pieces and fashion styles to eventually find the ones that can make her feel and look her best.
Nevertheless, as a parent, you may want to draw the line between acceptable and inappropriate outfits. If your daughter is wearing something that’s too tight, overly revealing, or highly inappropriate, explain calmly how such clothing styles can send the wrong message. Avoid criticizing or telling her off to avoid misunderstanding or hurting her confidence. After a rational discussion, help your daughter put together a more suitable outfit for the occasion.
Allow Her to Shop for Clothes She Likes
If you want your daughter to discover her personal style, it’s essential that you let her shop for clothes that she likes instead of pushing what you want. When you give her some autonomy, she will feel empowered to trust her style instincts and gradually build confidence in her fashion choices.
However, you may want to set specific ground rules before going clothes shopping. Make it clear that while your daughter is free to choose what she wants, there are still certain limitations. Have a gentle conversation about clothing styles that suit her age and those that may be inappropriate. That way, you can avoid disagreements and enjoy your shopping escapade.
Boost Her Confidence
Never get tired of complimenting your daughter’s fashion choices, especially if it’s obvious how much she loves creating different looks. Praise how she combines clothing pieces, uses colors, or plays with accessories. When you keep your interactions about clothes more positive, your daughter will probably become more confident and excited to dress up and put together lovely ensembles.
Helping your daughter find her unique style is like guiding her toward self-discovery. As you empower her to select what clothes to wear that make her look and feel her best, she’s gradually learning bits and pieces about her personality as well as her likes and dislikes. That’s why you should focus on assisting your daughter in her fashion journey—not pushing your ideas and choices on her. Otherwise, you will miss the opportunity to develop your daughter’s self-esteem and help her become her own person.
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