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Chelsea Orozco
Professor Connie Douglas
UWRT 1101
10 November 2014
Teen Fashion
People have their own sense of style, but some purchase clothes due to their class
division. Many people may not realize that clothing plays a major part in everyones lives.
Clothing is used to express style, and in a very practical sense protect you from the climate.
Clothing comes in all shapes and sizes, depending on body types; however, do different people
buy certain brands of clothing due to their age and money status? Clothing brands play a large
part in the clothing industry, and what kind of clothes are most popular. There are big department
stores; such as, Macys, Belk, Nordstrom, Dillards, and JC Penney which is where most people
purchase their clothing. There are also some stores that are very popular but not as big; such as,
American Eagle, Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, and Forever Twenty-One, these stores are
popular among younger people. When people typically think about clothing, they think about
how the piece of clothing would complete an outfit, or match a pair of shoes in their closet.
On October 2, 2014, a researcher found some interesting information regarding how
people shop. Observations took place at the South Park Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina.
During the weekends, malls generally manage to grow in numbers that is exactly what happened
on this Saturday between one and five in the afternoon. There was a clear view of customers
coming in and out of different stores from an open sitting area in the middle of the walkway.
There were many customers of different ages; elderly, middle aged, young adults, and children
with their parents. The observer focused on which stores the different age groups entered . The

information showed many teenagers visiting the four most popular stores: American Eagle,
Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, and Urban Outfitters. While the other older customers were
seen shopping in the larger department stores; such as, Macys, Belk, and Nordstrom. Parents
shopping with their children went more to childrens stores, including the new American Girl
store, which had just opened.
Other information showed that there were rarely any teenage boys or girls shopping with
their parents. When teenage boys and girls shopped, they were in groups of the same gender.
There were some teenage girls shopping with their boyfriends, but mostly with their other
girlfriends. The observations showed that out of all the shoppers at the mall that day, groups of
teenage girls made up a vast majority. When there were groups of boys, most did not shop at the
clothing stores, but at shoe stores; such as, Footlocker, Journeys, Puma and Lids, and the food
One observation was, many teenage girls shopping with their friends would enter a store
and almost all the girls would walk out carrying a bag. It was found that the girls had almost all
bought something, which would happen in stores; such as, Bath and Body Works or Claires, an
accessory store. These girls never went into the department stores. Their only focus was the more
well-known stores and finding a sale was not their priority.
People generally dress in casual clothing every day, while sporty and elegant are worn for
short periods of time. Most teenagers follow celebrity trends or try to wear similar clothing to
what their peers wear to better fit in them. Many teenagers just care about the fashion of the
clothing they wear and what is in style. Most teenagers would not buy clothing that was not
popular or out of style. Social media, film and celebrities all influence a teenagers wardrobe

choices. Many teenagers tend to focus their attention towards the popular stores, to make a
statement, and which the clothing is highly accepted in society.
Popular clothing is one of the major components towards fitting in as a teenager.
American Eagle, Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, Forever Twenty-One are where most
teenagers shop. A typical teenager is not concerned about sales and saving money because they
do not have to worry about bills. They focus on the popularity of the clothing and how they
perceive the clothes would be accepted and look attractive. When teenagers have a new social
gathering they need to go to, the first thing they usually do is go buy a new outfit. Teenagers
choose their clothing to express themselves and usually to express their age. Since teenage girls
are going through puberty, they find themselves in conflict with their bodies and develop
feminine beauty ideals, this makes clothing an important role in their lives (Grimstad 327).
Young teenage girls would agree when other adolescents say that the importance of
fashion depends on which clique you group you participate. What some teenagers find attractive
may not be so attractive to someone else. Several teenagers describe clothing as being in like:
crop tops, yoga pants, leggings, cardigans, and high waisted shorts. The teenagers prefer clothes
from young-adult collections carried by special brand-name shop (Grimstad 331). Young
teenagers girls wear very different clothing when they are at home, compared to what they wear
to school or a social event. They will not dress up in their sweat pants and t-shirts when boys are
involved, they want to impress the opposite sex and sometimes they want to out dress other girls.
People say that the adolescent years are the hardest years to live through. Tara Chittenden
says, part of being a teen is figuring out what your tastes are and how you fit into
society(Chittenden 507). As young teen girls go through body changes, trying to figure out their
style, they resort to fashion to express themselves. Fashion allows teens to try new clothes and

gives them a way to express themselves through different types of fabric styles and accessories.
Teens have the opportunity to try different looks and choose which ones fit into how they want
to be perceived in society. They are also able to experiment and learn through fashion, and find
creative ways to make an impression.
Some teens dream of having that perfect outfit to go on a date. They will buy little things;
such as, hats, bracelets, and scarfs, if they know it matches what they have in their closets. Every
outfit has its own voice and says something about the individual. A dress can go well with a
sweater, but once that perfect leather jacket comes, a teenage must have it to complete the outfit.
Organizing the right outfit is very important because it says who someone is how they choose to
look, and how they want to be viewed in the world. We choose clothes to project an image
(Wilks, 96). This image can include styles; such as, things gothic, elegant, punk, rock, or surfer.
Most young teen girls take their sense of style and fashion seriously, because they do not want to
be portrayed in a different manner than who they want to be portrayed as.
Teen fashion has also been a topic of controversy. Some parents might say, I did not
dress like that when I was a teenager. The recent fashion trends have been risky, and
inappropriate for the targeted age group. Some argue that how teen girls dress shows their sense
of style, confidence, opinions and shows them having fun (Willett 422). Arguments have been
made that teenage girls dress, even questionably sexy dress, is a demonstration of
empowerment (Willett 422). Many believe that young teenage girls are being portrayed as sex
symbols, to both boys their age and older men. Teenage girls are dressing more mature for their
age, wearing makeup, as well as heels and making them look older than they really are.
However, as people continue to see teens dress more sexually provocative, it is because they are
in search of ways to fit in with their friends, and have the latest style.

As you can see, teen fashion has many different aspects associated with teenage life.
Clothing allows teens to express themselves through colors, patterns, and different styles of
fabrics. While teenagers go through puberty, they come into conflict with their bodies. Wearing
and buying clothing gives them the opportunity to make clothing an important role in their life.
Even though it may seem that clothing has a minimal impact on peoples lives especially
teenagers, the influence is greater than expected.

Works Citied
Chittenden, Tara. "Digital Dressing Up: Modelling Female Teen Identity In The Discursive
Spaces Of The Fashion Blogosphere." Journal Of Youth Studies 13.4 (2010): 505-520.
Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2014

Grimstad, Ingun, Klepp Storm-Mathisen, and Ardis Storm-Mathisen. "Reading Fashion As
Age: Teenage Girls' And Grown Women's Accounts Of Clothing As Body And Social
Status." Fashion Theory: The Journal Of Dress, Body & Culture 9.3 (2005): 323-342.
Academic Search Complete. Web. 14 Nov. 2014
Wilks, John. "Clothing." Evangelical Quarterly 86.1 (2014): 95-96. Academic Search
Complete. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.
Willett, Rebekah. "'What You Wear Tells A Lot About You': Girls Dress Up Online." Gender &
Education 20.5 (2008): 421-434. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.