4 Wardrobe Tips to Dress Your Tween Girl This Summer

Teens are hard. Tweens are hard. But they are also wonderful, even if tweens are at the stage where they need to proclaim their independence. My daughter is a tween and it gets interesting trying to balance her desires for how she wants to dress, what I permit her to wear, what I want to spend money on, etc. Here are some tips from a reader for dressing your tween girl.

If you have a tween in the house, you know just how challenging it can be dressing them. They can be a bit choosy, their styles seem to change overnight, their fashion icons are virtually unknown to you, and it’s impossible to stay ahead of the trends and styles that appeal to them. Let’s not even get started on the seasons...how do you swiftly move their style between summer and winter while maintaining some sense of cohesion?

During the summer, your kids are going to have a lot of free time on their hands, and spend time hanging out with friends and enjoying time off school. It can be challenging to come up with outfits for this busy season.

That being said, dressing your tween in summer doesn’t have to be such a difficult experience. You can get really creative and actually turn it into a fun bonding experience where you get to see how your little girl is becoming her own self-determining person in her own unique way. So how do you dress your tween girl well this summer?

Follow these simple tricks, and you might actually enjoy a fun fashion time!

Get Her Involved in the Process

In the pre-teen phase, your daughter is going to become more opinionated about her fashion choices. In many ways, style starts to become part of her personality. She’ll start exploring her own sense of style and self-expression, and want to figure out what she likes to wear. Instead of shopping for her, start shopping with her. Ask her opinion and listen to it, and ask her for photos of looks she might want to try. Make her an active participant and get her buy-in. That way, she’ll love her clothes and feel like she had a voice in building the wardrobe she has.

Introduce Her to Some Retro Trends

By now we know that the fashion trends of yesteryear will always return in a fresh, reimagined way. The fashion looks we’re seeing and wearing right now are a mix of all the great iconic looks of decades past. Bringing these reimagined retro trends into your daughter’s wardrobe is a fun way for them to learn about what fashion used to be and all the cool ways it can be worn in the modern era.

There are tons of ways to bring retro into your tween’s wardrobe. You can get them a nice pair of super wide-leg jeans or treat them to a vibrant one-piece suit that brings the oh-so-cool charm of the 1970s into 2021. The great thing about retro trends is that there’s also always a chance for some great thrifted fashion finds. Your daughter will gain a deep appreciation for the beauty of old school fashion, which she can spruce up with a modern twist.


Summertime is the perfect season for accessories. A bright-colored hair clip here, and a beaded bracelet there can take even the most basic outfit and make it look really fashionable. Accessories are also great for frugal parents. You can find great accessories at very affordable prices, and if your daughter likes crafting, you can even make it a fun activity for her to make her own jewelry. You can buy a jewelry-making kit on Amazon and create a fun activity she can even do with her friends, with a fun fashion payoff.

Oversized Graphic T-Shirts

Graphic tees are all the rage right now, and they are an easy sell for tweens and their parents too! What makes graphics tees so great is that they can work in so many different ways. You can buy a graphic tee with your tween’s favorite musician, artist or just a really cool print that fits their personality.

Graphic tees work with a ton of different looks too. They can be paired with denim shorts, jeans, and skirts. In an oversized look, it’s even better, bringing a very casual but cool vibe to any outfit. Graphic tees are also great thrift store finds, you’ll be able to find some very great pieces that no one else will have without paying an arm and a leg.

Tween fashion can be a little confusing for adults - all the different trends that come and go quickly, the brands that you don’t know much about and keeping up with every little obsession and look. As overwhelming as it can be, it can also be fun if you follow some simple rules. The most important thing: don’t take it too seriously, make it an enjoyable experience for both you and your daughter.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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