Your teen can be everything from outgoing and gregarious to shy and awkward, but one thing is constant -- the desire to feel confident among his peers. They say that clothes make the man, and in high school, your teen's wardrobe speaks volumes about his interests, his style and even his identity. Help your teen boy build a wardrobe filled with smart basics, accessories and trends that allow him to project the right image among his peers.
Talk to you teen about the undergarments that he prefers. He might feel awkward talking about his underwear, but he'll probably feel even more embarrassed heading to the store to shop for boxers on his own. Encourage him to try a few different styles and let you know which he prefers so you can grab them the next time you're at the store.
Build a wardrobe based on the basics. All teen boys should have foundational basics like jeans, shorts, T-shirts and sweaters that won't go out of style from season to season. Look for classic cuts -- straight-leg jeans instead of trendier baggy styles -- and clothes that can be used as the basis for an outfit, rather than the focal point.
Add items that bring personality into your teen's wardrobe. This is where he can really let his identity shine through -- by choosing T-shirts that feature his favorite bands or wearing jackets with a noted sports team. Or, if he prefers a more straight-laced wardrobe, adding clothes that are more tailored, such as three-button types and button-up shirts, can help him define his style.
Help your teen shop for footwear that matches his needs throughout the day. Comfy sneakers or canvas shoes work for walking to and from class, but he might need specialty athletic shoes for physical education or sports, along with a pair of dress shoes for special occasions. Your teen might also want accessories such as a sports hat, funky belt or other equipment to round out his wardrobe and to wear in his free time outside of school.
Allow your teen to experiment with his look within reason and your expectations. Fashion is one of the ways your teen tells the world about himself and explores his identity, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Don't be surprised if his style seems to change based on the friends he spends time with, the music he listens to or his after-school activities. With a solid wardrobe already in place, your teen can add and tweak to create a style that's all his own.
- Palo Alto Medical Foundation: Teenage Growth and Development: 15-17 Years
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Raising Boys; Laurie A. Helgoe, Ph.D., Barron M. Helgoe; p.182
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