For my list of The Top 10 Best Tween Shopping Sites of 2009-2010, I have listed 5 of the corporate obvious as well as 5 that may be a little off the beaten path.
In every situation of Tween shopping, the styles are more grown up. Girls and Tweens are more keen on what they want and they emulate what the Juniors are wearing. It’s not just little girls in frilly dresses anymore.
1. Forever21 Let’s face it, Forever 21 is perfect for anyone. They keep a steady flow of uber-trendy styles and the prices can’t be beat! The sizes at Forever21 are more for the Juniors, however, the XS sizes can easily acommodate a girl wearing a 10/12-14/16. But if you are truly a Girl or Tween, guess what? They have just launched HTG81, the new line for kids!
2. PacSun Offers a very nice assortment of casual, SoCal style in a variety of brands.
4. Justice for Girls – Justice offers a pretty good basic variety of clothing, though at times I feel as though I am looking at the same style in a hundred different colorways. Being a glorified Old Navy line, the only difference I see here are the prices -which are a little higher than I’d prefer to pay. However, on a good day with 40% off coupon, you can scoop up some pretty good deals.
Looking for an alternative to Justice? Try Ruum
5. Hollister – The beauty of Hollister is, it transcends from later tween to junior sizes. I even find myself purchasing from this store often because even though the styles are considered pretty basic, laid-back southern California, they are super comfy and the brand is very hip. Not to mention, they pay attention to fit. The little extra you pay goes a long way with Hollister. They have greatly established themselves as a brand that can create long-term customer loyalty. The 13 year old girl who is a fan now, will be a fan until she is probably 28.
6. Aeropostale + American Eagle – Aeropostale is like the all-American brand with an insanely great price tag attached. You get everything here: the style of American Eagle (77Kids) and Abercrombie with the price tags of Old Navy. It’s cute, laid back, colorful. Who doesn’t love that?
7. Abercrombie – OK, this is Abercrombie with the lower-case “a” (abercrombie). Pricey? Yes. Great quality garments and ultra hip? Yes. Uses way too much cologne in their stores? YES. But the good news is, you can shop online! Even better when you can take advantage of their Clearances! Again, another one of those brands that grabs the target audience at an early age and transcends all the way into adulthood.
And now, a few top sites a little off the beaten path. These fabulous sites offer a variety of brands and/or a niche market item:
8. Zulily I truly love this site. First, you have to sign up to get the notifications of which brands are coming up. They have featured brands such as Splendid Littles, Ella Moss and C&C California for example. Great prices on garments that are high quality with great fit and classic. Great shopping site for Moms, girls, teen, tween and baby clothing!
9. Berry Jane What a fun line of leggings! Berry Jane is fairly new to the marketplace, however, I have seen this brand in a few magazines already and it seems to be gaining popularity pretty quickly. The website offers mostly leggings and has a huge variety of colors, prints and even hologram styles for the rock star in every girl. The prices are moderate and maybe a little on the high end scale, however, these are made right here in USA and carried by boutiques in Beverly Hills, so it’s no surprise that they are a little pricey.
10. dELiA*s (http://store.delias.com) Buy one get one half off, 80% clearance items, super cute selection of clothes, what girl isn’t attracted to this brand? It’s a lighter version of Forever21 with less selection and higher prices; So be good to your pocketbook and shop the Clearance section! (This online store is now CLOSED) UPDATE: It looks like it’s coming back in Fall 2015!
Other notable mentions: Plato’s Closet (Sorry, this is a brick and mortar store only), Kitson Kids, Billabong, Guess? and Children’s Salon for the variety of stylish designers and brands at this online boutique.
The Top 5 “WORST” Tween Shopping Sites (please bear in mind, these sites do not offer terrible clothing, they are simply not my personal favorites for the girl or tween who likes to be unique and fashionable.
1. Hannah Andersson (www.hannaandersson.com) I like the basics that Hannah Andersson offers. The prices are moderate and the variety is good, however, this is not a line for fashionable, unique Tweens.
2. Old Navy Old Navy is great, if you are looking for a good deal. They understand they are Old Navy and don’t try to get away with pricey tees and jeans. If you don’t care about branding or fit so much as you do price, you can get two pair of jeans for less than $30.
3. WALMART Walmart doesn’t even need much of a statement or introduction. I personally won’t buy any clothing from Wal-Mart. I didn’t like it as a teen and I still don’t as an adult.
Target.. Hello Mossimo! It’s no big secret, Target has done an amazing job at transforming it’s image over the years. They are good about offering “trendy” garments at great prices. The Mossimo brand is affordable and does not have any kind of real negative stigma attached. But in 2009, Target was still a little “off” for me.
4. The Children’s Place (www.thechildrensplace.com) Hello? The whole point of being a Tween is stating the obvious: I am not a little girl anymore! I’m not sure any middle-school aged girl, is going to do ANY kind of shopping at a store called “The Children’s Place”.
5. CWD Kids (www.cwdkids.com) Whoever is designing for this brand must not have a Tween daughter. Great brand and site for little girls, not for the Tweens.