What Influences Teen Fashion

By Todd Bowerman
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Teen fashion can change at the drop of a hat. What was popular yesterday could very well be considered unfashionable today, thanks to the rapidly shifting tastes of today’s teen. A number of factors influence the way teens dress, though for many style is still a personal choice. Getting a grasp on why your teen dresses the way she does can help you better understand your teen as a person. At the very least, knowing where fashion comes from will help you better predict what your teen will like tomorrow.

Celebrity 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, notes the Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences. 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 and Fashion

Your teen may 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, according to KidsHealth. 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.

Expressing Yourself

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.