Help! How Do I Find Cute Clothes for Kids that Aren't Babyish?

February 2019

When your girl becomes a tweenager (ages 8 to 12), finding cute clothes can suddenly become a whole lot trickier. The places you used to shop at either don’t stock the right sizes, don’t fit your girl’s shape, or just aren’t the right style.  

After all, she’s just not a baby anymore – and she wants everyone to know it! That means dressing in cute clothes that are a bit more grown-up (but not too grown up) and clothes that she feels comfortable in because they match her personality.  

Here at kidpik, we’re really experienced with styling tweensso we thought we’d share a few insights with you. Let’s talk a bit more about the challenges you face when dressing your tween girl and how you can find cute clothes she’ll love that aren’t babyish, but still totally age appropriate. 

Challenges with Finding Clothes for Tweens 

If you’ve been struggling to get clothes for your tween, it’s not just you. It really can be challenging! Here are 9 reasons why: 

1. She Might Be Stuck Between Sizes 

So many cute clothes for girls end at size 10, which is too small for many tweens! But just because your girl doesn’t fit a children’s size 10 anymore, doesn’t mean she can go straight into adult sizes. Many tweens will find themselves stuck between kids’ clothes and adult sizing for up to 3 years. 

2. Tweens Are Tricky to Fit 

If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. Sizing and fit are problems mentioned by many moms of pre-teen kids. From around age 8 to age 12, there’s so much variety in shapes and sizestall, slender, short, straight and the list goes on. And unfortunately, not enough clothing labels take on the challenge of creating clothes that fit tweens properly. 

3. Older Clothes Aren’t Age Appropriate 

Your girl might already fit in some juniors sizes (she might even fit in some of YOUR clothes soon)But that doesn’t mean they’re suitable for her to wearYour girl probably won’t feel comfortable in a low-cut top for quite a few more years, and her hip-to-waist ratio will mean she probably won’t fit juniors jeans or pants yet, either. 

4. Younger Clothes Are Too Babyish 

Your girl probably doesn’t want to look like a baby. And yet so many tween clothing lines include the exact same styles as the toddler and baby section. You can get cute clothes for babies and cute clothes for tweens – and your girl will be able to tell the difference. 

5. She Might Want to Look Trendy 

Your girl might suddenly become aware of how the way she dresses can impact other peopleYou should always encourage her to dress for what makes her feel good, not to impress other peopleBut if she wants to look on-trendit’s worth investing in a few new pieces so she can update her wardrobe. 

6. She’s Figuring Out Her Style

Your girl has always had bucketloads of personalityBut now she’s starting to figure out what that personality might look like in clothing form. She’s ready to learn about fashion and what kinds of clothes she loves most – let the fun begin! 

7. Tween Bodies Grow and Change Fast 

Being a tween is a bit awkward at times. Your girl is probably growing faster than ever before – up and out! And out of her old clothes! So, it’s really important to consider these changes and try to choose cute clothes that she’ll feel comfortable wearing. 

8. She Might Want to Try Designer Labels

Not all tweens will know or care about designers, but many will as they start to consume more media and talk to their friends about fashion, so it’s something to be aware of. 

Tip: she might want to try the latest designer wear, but she’ll probably be happy with something more affordable if it’s trendy, fashionable, and unique. 

9. She Still Relies on YOU for Clothing 

Finally, as the parent, you’re still the one responsible for buying your girl’s clothesIt can be frustrating for both of you as she wants to make her own choices about her style, but you want to make sure she picks something that’s on-budget and good value for your moneyIt’s quite the challenge, but luckily, there is a solution! 

How to Find Cute Clothes for Tweens 

Find Brands That Specialize

The best way to avoid babyish clothes for your tween is to boycott brands who don’t seem to “get” tweensSome brands (like kidpik) specially choose clothing for your girl’s age group. And while there’s some crossover between sizes, we always think carefully about what’s on-trend for tweens and never ever include anything remotely babyish in a subscription box for tweens! 

Shop Online 

Your local department store is unlikely to impress your tween very muchShe wants something uniquely her – not something everyone else is wearingIf you shop online, you’ll find there are a lot more choices, more boutique options, and it’s more convenient than scouring the mall for cute clothes.  

Tip: Every brand and label will have different sizing (especially for tweens) so make sure there’s a good return policy so you can easily return anything that doesn’t fit. 

Think Outside the Box 

When your girl’s between sizes, sometimes you’ve got to get creative. So, choose clothes with some stretch or with adjustable features (like an elastic waist) so she can make it work for longer. And try styles she hasn’t worn before – she might be surprised to find a new favorite. Finally, help her be open to trying different sizing, because it’s more important to wear clothes that fit, not necessarily clothes that are in her usual size 

Figure Out Your Tween’s Style 

Now’s the perfect time for your girl to experiment and have fun with her clothes, and you can help her do it. Think about what makes your girl special, unique, and differentWhat does she love to do? What’s her favorite color? What does she care about? Then translate that into style!  

Try kidpik’s Clothing Subscription Box

The best solution is always going to be a subscription box. kidpik can keep your girl looking stylish and feeling confident with monthly fashion boxes to explore.  It’s the perfect way for your tween to… 

  • Experiment 
  • Try different styles 
  • Get professional styling with none of the fees 
  • See what fits 
  • Mix and match to get more outfits from less 
  • Upgrade her wardrobe as she grows 

It really is the best way to find cute clothes for your tween! 

Get Cute Clothes For Your Tween with kidpik! 

It’s time to get your teen sorted with a wardrobe of cute clothing that fits her and makes her feel amazing. So, sign her up for a kidpik clothing subscription box! With free shipping and returns, you only pay for the clothes your girl fits and loves. So, it’s totally risk-free. And because we do up to size 16 girls’ clothes, your tween girl is covered for the next few years, until she’s ready to wear ladies’ clothes. 

Here’s how you can get started: 

  1. Sign up and take our super fun style personality quiz to find out your tween’s unique style preferences (is she girly, sporty, trendy, or classic?) 
  2. Choose your frequency – either 4, 8, or 12 boxes per year and you can start, pause, or cancel at any time 
  3. Our stylists will get to work customizing a box with 3 mix-and-match outfits just for her 
  4. Get ready because your girl’s subscription box is headed to your door, so she can try on all the cute clothes at home  
  5. Decide what she wants to keep and then send the rest back (for free!) 

It by far the easiest way to dress your girl and help her discover her new favorite styles over the next few years. 

What Are Your Tween’s Go-To Outfits?

Before we sign off, we’d love to know – what’s your tween’s favorite outfit right now? And how often does she wear it? Let us know your answer in the comments below!