What Influences Teen Fashion
Music and movie celebrities are trendsetters in the adult world, so it is no surprise that many teens seek to emulate the fashions of their favorite stars. Pop singers, superhero alter egos and other mainstream entertainment figures can have a big impact on how your teens dress. Add in the fact that many celebrities have their own fashion lines and you will quickly see that celebrities can have a massive impact on what is popular with teens. Friends
Your teen will make many fashion decisions based on what his friends wear. As teens fracture into various social groups, a certain style of dress will be one of the things that demonstrates the group to which they belong. Torn jeans, expensive shirts, or certain hairstyles all have their own individual place in the hierarchy of teen fashion. It is okay for your teen to want to fit in, but you should be aware of any pressures that may be making him uncomfortable. Parents and Environment
As much as some teens hate to admit it, they get a lot of their fashion sense from their parents. Additionally, some of the more outrageous fashion decisions your teen makes may be made as the result of a desire to rebel against you. This is typically true for scandalous clothing or piercings. The environment has a lot to do with how teens dress — teens from rural areas will wear far different clothes than those who live in inner cities. Fashion is a highly localized phenomenon and teens are subject to the same variations from place to place. Expression
Many teens see their personal fashion as one of the few ways in which they can express themselves at school and at home. Your teen will likely form a unique fashion identity that is a rough combination of a variety of factors. Teens will choose one or two identifying elements and stick with them. For instance, one teen may elect to collect charms on a charm bracelet, while another may develop an obsession with shoes. Teens will find ways to express themselves within their current fashion confines. Musical Tastes
Your teen’s favorite bands or singers have a large influence on his fashion
choices. As the Disney Family website points out, it’s your teen’s connection to a band’s lyrics that fuel his connection to his overall look. He might also display his musical interests and tastes to others by wearing a band T-shirt or dressing like his favorite singer. That, in turn, notifies other teens of a shared interest, which can become a bonding factor in a group of friends.
Celebrity and Pop Culture
Celebrities — and particularly teen celebs — seem to live charmed lives. With fame, wealth and of course, famous relationships, it’s no wonder that pop culture icons and favorite celebrities play a role in how your teen wants to dress. Emulating a famous and successful star can help give your teen an ego boost. The bad news here is that teens often have a hard time deciphering between real life and what’s painted to look like real life via movies and television shows. You might notice your teen dressing the way her favorite teen queen dresses for the roles she plays on the big or small screen — and not the way the celebrity dresses in real life.
Advertisements often specifically target teens — specifically teen girls, who show addictive behavior when emulating the looks and brands they see in commercials. This makes them especially valuable consumers to brands and the target of advertising and marketing campaigns. A December 2006 research article in the journal, “Pediatrics” indicates that brands allocate about $15 billion annually to market to teens and adolescents.
While it can seem that your teen’s fashion influences are external, you can help create intrinsic motivation to dress a certain way or uphold certain boundaries based on your family values. A teen that has guidelines for fashion — modest hemlines or shirts without offensive logos, for example — can learn to express herself within those guidelines. By talking to your
teen about what’s real and what isn’t in the media, you can help her make better choices about her outward appearance.