How to Shop Youth Oriented Stores

The Challenge:

Sure, sure, you've been hearing/reading "Yes!  Shop the teenager stores!", but do you? 
The conventional wisdom would be to buy trends at youth oriented stores so you're not outlaying a lot of cash for something that's here today, gone next week.

My hesitation for shopping these stores is I have four daughters (well, and one son, but he's not included in the math, here).  Can you imagine their embarrassment if I showed up somewhere wearing the same thing they, or a friend of theirs, was wearing?!  Now, I can feel some of you rolling your eyes right through the screen, but I'm sensitive to that.  (Besides, the quality is usually not on par with what I prefer.)  I'm going to share a couple of tips to get us all over any real or imaginary humps for shopping stores that market to the younger crowd.

The Details:

I got pulled into American Eagle Outfitters with one of my girls and found this slit/hi-lo maxi skirt.  Although, stripes are generally too darn still for me (I prefer movement in my prints), I really liked the design lines and fabric.  Also, this skirt was originally a true bright white and, oops, I don't "do" true white either.  Enter a DIY moment or two.  I gave the skirt a quick dye bath in a tan/yellow combination and got this great antique color.  DIY moment two, I used muslin and extended the skirt lining by a few inches (both steps totally optional, of course), as it was a little too short for my liking.  Add some sandals (Note:  I had on a dark brown pair, but they broke on my way to take photos--what the heck??  I never have shoes break!--which I like a little better with the belt/bag/cardigan), a tank, and a "boring" caramel-colored cardigan and a more mature vibe is added.  

The Takeaway:

Take a peek in the fast fashion youthful stores, even if it's walking slowly by the windows, or cruising the website.  Break up the way the items are shown and wear them with something you already own and know works for you.  If you are a DIYer and would like the item better with a little tweak, keep that in mind.  Add an unexpected color (caramel) to a classic combination (red, white and blue) for a contemporary look.

Cardigan:  Joan Vass thrifted (similar) | Tank:  Talbots | Skirt:  American Eagle Outfitters | Shoes:  Nurture (similar) | Belt:  J. Jill (similar)| Necklace, Snow Pine Designs | Handbag: Botkier (similar)

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