Accessories go a long way
Scarves, hats, belts, buckles, and jewelry can be used to accent any outfit and can be mixed and matched to create hundreds if unique looks. Check end-of-season sales at department stores for bargains on these items. Sometimes you can even find cute ones at dollar or discount stores. Our area dollar stores and mall shops usually have these items at a very low cost. Give your tween several styles of each item and in varied colors so she can accessorize accordingly. Consignment shops and thrift stores are another great place to find these items at a low cost.
Add some style to used items
Just because your tween has grown out of something or it's a little worn out doesn't mean its time is up. Alter the item for a better fit. Many pieces of clothing can be let out to expand the size. You can also lengthen pants by taking down the seams and adding similar fabric or fun embellishments to the bottom. Patch up holes with colorful or lacy fabrics. Long pants can also be turned into shorter capri-style pants. Fix up shirts by adding embellishments at the bottom and in stained or holey sections. My daughter likes to slice the bottom half from all her shirts and sew different bottoms on each.
Teach your tween how to mix and match
If your tween's wardrobe is limited, show her how to create different outfits from a small amount of pieces. For instance, scarves and belt buckles can be worn in different ways with various clothing items. It's also better to have more tops than bottoms, as they can be paired with various skirts, pants, and shorts to create different looks. Solid colors are more flexible, but allow your daughter to choose some prints as well.
Give your tween lessons in being creative
Show her how she can create her own designs or make new ones from existing clothing. One of my daughters is always cutting up a piece of fabric or clothing to create something new. Sewing skills can really come in handy when it comes to tween fashion. If you're not skilled enough to teach her yourself, suggest home economics class at school or get her involved in a community class. If sewing just isn't her thing, try interesting ways to tie the clothing.
Watch for bargains all the time
Many department stores offer continuous bargains on simple t-shirts and jeans. End-of-season can be the best time to stock up on low-priced items. With clothing, when the sales season ends, it could still be the appropriate temperature to wear the items. My girls and I have actually found new skirts, dresses, jeans, shirts, shoes, and more for under five bucks each during these sales. Beyond sales, look at consignment shops, thrift stores, and even yard sales. Some people make the mistake of buying an item just because it's on sale. If you are not sure if the item will be used, it's probably not a good deal for you. Stick to items that will actually have a purpose. Otherwise, it isn't really a bargain.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network