The Marketing of Clothes/Fashion - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 03-23-2006, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I heard a Mom talking about how excited her daughter was to receive a phone call from a girls clothing shop (think big chain store) about a sale they were having (I never asked her how the store go their number). I don't have daughters, and can only guess that if I did my feelings upon hearing this would have been the same.

In our local public elementary school (k-5) I already see a lot of kids putting emphasis on clothes, mostly the girls - who is wearing what and which company made it. I know that this is nothing new, yet it seems the stakes have been raised. The clothes are expensive, the styles mature, and the kids seem to be worrying about this at a much younger age.

Emerging awareness of what kinds of clothes one likes to wear, or how they want to wear their hair I can understand. What saddens me is the marketing of certain clothing, shoes, etc. towards young people who are trying to figure out who they are.

I understand parents play a big role in this too, and find that disheartening as well.
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#2 of 15 Old 03-23-2006, 04:29 PM
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(They probably got her phone number from a credit card transaction at the store).

I have a teenage daughter and we've been through the whole, "I've gotta buy this brand of clothes" obsession. It went on for years. Honestly, I think there is no way of escaping it unless one moves to a third world country (and they probably have their own version of 'gotta-haves' there too).

As for the role parenting plays in it? I think when our children reach a certain age, their peers rise in esteem so drastically and so quick, that we as parents can only step back and cross our fingers in many respects. I'm saying that with complete love and respect for both the parents and children who go through this; it's just that there are some things that are beyond our control and we simply have to trust that the parenting we've done up to this point has created a foundation of grounded values that will emerge intact when they complete these tumultuous pre-teen/ teen years.

My philsophy with my daughter has been that it's my job to provide her with clothing and I will purchase clothes for her that are reasonably priced, modest, and appropriate for her age. However, if she has her own money (from allowance, jobs, etc.) she may buy whatever clothing she wants to buy with her own money. Clothing that *I* buy for her, must get my stamp of approval first. That way, she understands what our family values or and when clothing meets or does not meet those standards. At the same time, she has free will and the freedom to go against my recommendations, on *her* dime. If she wants to spend unnecessarily large sums of her own money to buy name brand status symbols, she has that ability.

One of the hardest things of being a parent of a teen is watching them make mistakes.
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#3 of 15 Old 03-23-2006, 05:44 PM
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I'm not a fashion freak. I wear clothes that are sturdy, brightly colored and fit well. My kids, so far, have followed suit.

At the beginning of the school year, I check the papers for "what's in". I discard the unacceptable stuff, like anything too sexy, and then make a list. That list goes with us to the thrift store. Their peers have not caught on yet.

I will have to modify at some point if the clothing bug catches my kids, but I will not completely give in. I intend to make less of a footprint on the planet than most and thrift store clothing is the recycle and reuse tool I choose to help.
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#4 of 15 Old 03-23-2006, 06:46 PM
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My daughter cares about what she wears, but she's never been into certain brand names... she likes certain styles, like low rise jeans with flared bottoms or full, floral skirts, but the brand name has never been an issue... except for Converse Chucks, but since her feet are messed up and she's in physical therapy because of it they're pretty much off-limits now. She wears jeans or jazz pants or yoga pants and T shirts, mostly from Broadway shows or musical groups. Most of her clothes are thrifted. She's 13 and none of her friends seem to care much about current styles, either.

I think being unschooled helps a lot, and also maybe the fact that I rarely go out and buy new, hip clothes, and the fact that we don't have a lot of money. She does use her own money to buy cklothes sometimes, and she did have a period of wearing stuff I thought was too tight, but it passed...


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#5 of 15 Old 03-31-2006, 11:24 AM
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dd is 7. she is not into this in style thing. she goes to a catholic school so it is a uniform everyday. soon though she'll be in a public school. she'd wear sweats and t shirts everyday..............and she does when she is not at school
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#6 of 15 Old 03-31-2006, 11:35 AM
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like a pp said my dd does like certain styles but not brands per se. she is 6 1/2. I can see the brand conciousness thing coming though.

I will not buy certain items for her though. If it is too short, too tight or just something that is age innapropriate I will not be buying it.

Sshe recieves a fairly generous allowance (or will be soon, we discontinued it for a little while due to finances) and if she eventually chooses to spend it on clothes that will be okay by me but I will still have final say over what she wears out of the house.

I agree that the marketing of brands to children is disgusting! The whole concept of "cradle to the grave" consumer marketing is absolutely appaling!

I can't say i don't have my favorites though. I really like MUDD Jeans. WHy? The cut fits. And they sell bell bottoms. Aalthough the really big 24" flares are hard to find. Sometimes its worth the price for the convinience. (20 bucks at the mall vs. days of searching at goodwill)
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#7 of 15 Old 03-31-2006, 11:48 AM
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Like PP's have said, my kids like certain styles but not certain brands. They could care less.
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#8 of 15 Old 03-31-2006, 03:38 PM
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I think I mist be living on some secluded minnesotan island. I've never heard any brand talk from my daughter's elementary school AT ALL. Well, wait.....her friend asked where she bought her shoes from and my daughter told her they were by skechers and bought from zappos.

Aside from that.....let's hope it stays like that after we've moved to CA.

But she does care about what she wears, regardless of brand.
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#9 of 15 Old 04-03-2006, 07:01 AM
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I don't buy things just for the brand but I like sturdy, well-made clothes that will last a while. I will admit that I like clothes (it's a recent thing for me) and I like putting together outfits. My daughter, 7, unschooled, likes to help put together outfits for me to wear when I meet my girlfriends for coffee. My 16yo daughter attends school and isn't obsessed with labels, thank goodness. And from what I can gather, none of her friends are either. (And she lives in CA! LOL)
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#10 of 15 Old 04-03-2006, 09:11 AM
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the stores ask for your phone number when you're checking out.

*Did you find everything you were looking for today? Can I have your phone number with your area code first, please??*

We always say no. I think some customers don't know that refusing to give out that info is an option.

My dd, 12 and also unschooled, likes a variety of clothes, but isn't consumed by what she wears or who is wearing what. I think one of the greatest lessons she has learned is from having her own spending money (thru paper routes and a fit model job, ironically with this company ) she has learned the value of a dollar. She gets her cash, goes into these designer places and says-holy cow, I can get a pair of jeans, a purse-whatever-cheaper at Target and that's what she does. Now and then we'll splurge on something from one of the designer stores, but most of the time dd would rather go to the second-hand funky clothing store with her mama.

I'm so glad.
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#11 of 15 Old 04-03-2006, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Susana
the stores ask for your phone number when you're checking out.

*Did you find everything you were looking for today? Can I have your phone number with your area code first, please??*

We always say no. I think some customers don't know that refusing to give out that info is an option.
I say no too.
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#12 of 15 Old 04-05-2006, 03:55 AM
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It seems that isnt it *cool* now to wear grundgy looking thrift store clothes anyway? It seems the style to me! All these jeans with holes in them and old *retro* t shirts are everywhere!! My son sadly has now *gotta*have brands like animal, billabong, etc and I cant afford it. He can buy it with his birthday money or whatever. I go to wal mart or target thats about it. I try to teach him brands and status are not appropriate in life, but its so much pressure i guess. but when i was in school people really didnt care. I wore and still do wear thrift store only I just cant fathom paying all that money or something when I think of other things i can spend my money on(like fun things!)

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#13 of 15 Old 04-05-2006, 05:49 PM
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My dd doesn't care about brands for the sake of the brand. What she has found is that it can be useful to know brands by how well they fit her, how long they last and what comes from the same company that matched up. She seems to only care if her clothes fit her right and look good. Another ting that I am happy to say is she avoids logos smattered across her stuff. She laughs and says if they want her to be a walking billboard, they're going to have to pay her . I think what really helps her is she goes to a school has uniforms. Ds- lol, for as long as it doesn't involve zippers, he's a happy boy. Matching clothes are unknown to him. I try to suggest clothes that don't clash too badly but ya know, he really doesn't care! And brand name aren't even on his radar! But alas, we live in such a hyper-marketing, commercial saturate society it is hard to keep a little of it from rubbing off on the kids
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#14 of 15 Old 04-05-2006, 11:19 PM
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Hey--I own a resale store. I just wanted to let you know that many consignment stores nowdays carry very modern fashion conscious clothing for far less than going to the mall.

Plus you get to recycle. I have lots of teens that love to shop at my store because I have the expensive mall brands at prices that are less than Target, etc.

Just try to check some of yours out--it's not all old ugly grunge!
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#15 of 15 Old 04-05-2006, 11:33 PM
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I live in CA too, but I'm much closer to Oregon than Los Angeles.

My kids are/were homeschooled, low-income, and weren't bitten much by the clothing bug; I'm very lucky. My 14yods is perfectly content in a pair of thrift shop jeans and a plain black T shirt. My dd had some problems at that age which I didn't exactly understand; I thought that she was refusing to wear thrift store clothes for fashion reasons and it turned out that the thrift stores simply didn't have sturdy, practical inexpensive clothing in Junior size 1 and 3.

She had already begun buying her own clothes from Ross, Sears etc. with her birthday and xmas checks and babysitting money before I caught on. The clothing was poorly made and too revealing, but the designers are appealing to women/girls who have been on extremely stringent diets to get down to small sizes, not to young preteens/teens who haven't finished growing yet.

It's such a relief now that she can wear a 5 and not swim in it; I'll need to fatten her up a bit more to find thrift store clothing for her, but at least she can find decent styles.

She did not communicate this well enough at thirteen or fourteen for me to understand or else I was too stuck on the stereotype of clothing obsessed teenaged girls to listen.

Another incident I want to share that might give you some perspective happened to me as an adult:

I prefer to wear my hair long and untrimmed, do not wear make-up, and don't enjoy spending money on clothes for myself. Most of my existing clothing is older, fairly high quality, very modest, and rather "classic", because these are the styles my mother prefers and she likes to give me clothing for presents.

I was completely unaware of the fact until recently that people's first impression when they see me is that I "look like a Pentacostal". No offense to Pentacostals intended, but I'm not and I don't want people perceiving me that way! I fancy myself to be more of the "aging hippie" type and would probably have less trouble making like-minded friends and staying out of unpleasant political discussions with people of opposing viewpoints if my appearance were not so misleading.

Perhaps the different brands have similar social connotations at your child's school.

Or perhaps I am being an idiot and don't have a clue how lucky I am to have such undemanding teens when it comes to clothing and fashion.
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