The world of fashion is often considered to be a realm that’s strictly for adults, but that idea couldn’t be further from the truth. In their adolescent and “tween” years, most girls are looking for ways to outlet their creativity and figure out who they truly are as individuals. Unlike getting a tattoo or making a major life decision, putting together a killer outfit is a fabulously impermanent way to explore their options and express their feelings.
They may be too old to don the Chantilly dresses their mothers put them in as children, but they aren’t quite old enough for adult runways. We searched all over the Web for a variety of outfits that are on-trend but also age-appropriate for young girls. No matter what her personal style may be, any young girl is bound to find something she would love to have in her closet when scrolling through these inspirational pictures.
A jumpsuit is a versatile piece that should belong in every girl’s closet, as it can be worn on its own in the warmer months and used as a layering piece when it’s cool outside. Layer it over a basic white tee and pair it with flat espadrilles for a look that’s fashionable but also realistic for everyday wear.
A patterned tee and colorful skirt are the epitome of femininity. Slip on a leather jacket and pair with black oxfords to add an edge to the look.
The laid-back, loose silhouette of a military jacket contrasts with the slim fit of leggings or skinny jeans. A tee and canvas slip-ons with feminine prints, like the hearts and flowers shown here, perfectly offset the tomboy aesthetic of an anorak.
A skater dress in a flirty, floral print paired with high top sneakers is a fantastic combination for a young punk princess!
A high-low, ruffle-hem sweater and slim-fitting jeans with printed pockets look stellar with knee-high suede boots that add a pop of color to the ensemble.
A comfy t-shirt dress is instantly boho-chic when it’s cinched at the waist with a leather belt and paired with Western-style ankle booties.
An athletic Henley top worn with quirky yoga crops and flip-flops looks amazing when getting active at track and field day or just hanging out at the mall.
Classic meets eccentric when a light chambray button-up top is tucked into a colorful tribal print skirt and capped off with canvas slip-ons.
Sweatshirts and leggings typically create a disheveled look when worn together, but they can be anything but frumpy when worn correctly. Top solid leggings with a printed, fitted sweatshirt and wear with ballet flats instead of old sneakers to create an outfit that’s both cozy and chic.
She may be known for her crystal-clear singing voice, but young star Maisy Stella (one half of the music duo Lennon and Maisy, and star of the hit TV show Nashville) is also a budding style icon. A fit and flare dress in a floral print may be sweet and innocent, but a black fedora and combat boots make it clear that she’s not afraid to take risks when it comes to fashion!
A faux leather sheath dress with a short hemline may be a little too sexy for a tween, but the addition of lace capri leggings and basic flats rather than heels makes this an appropriately modest ensemble for a young girl.
There’s a widespread misconception among many young women that they must show skin in order to look mature, but this layered ensemble debunks such a notion.We adore the contrasting textures of this outfit, as a cable-knit vest and skirt create a sense of elegance when slipped over a casual jersey-knit Henley and tights. A pair of shiny oxfords caps off the look with a collegiate touch.
A dress with a cut-out back in a fun shape, like this heart design, is a fabulous way for young girls to show a little skin without wearing a style that’s too scandalous for their age.
There’s no better way to spend a steamy summer day than in a swingy summer tank with a frayed hem, cut-off denim shorts, and a pair of super cute shades! This American flag print would be perfect to wear for a variety of summer holidays, from Memorial Day to the 4th of July, or to simply don on a day when a girl is feeling particularly patriotic.
Pattern mixing is an amazing way for a girl to play around with fashion. We love how this young lady layered a lightweight skull and crossbones scarf over a leopard print fit-and-flare dress. The key to pulling off a look with mixed patterns is to pick pieces that coordinate in shade and contrast in print.
No one should have to “fit into a box.” A girl may love pink one day and go for skulls and crossbones the next, making it impossible to define her as a tomboy OR a feminine chick. This outfit perfectly epitomizes the idea that she can be a little bit of everything, with an army green military vest layered over a frou-frou chiffon dress and paired with suede booties. Adding a random assortment of bracelets and bangles is a fantastic way for a young girl to express herself with accessories.
Overalls may have been all the rage in the early 1990’s, but they’re officially making their comeback. A tween can modernize the look by wearing them in a dark wash over a Henley tank and colored Birkenstocks.
A crochet vest and matching necklace add a bohemian twist to an otherwise rather preppy dress and cross-body purse, creating an ideal outfit for a young girl who enjoys experimenting with a variety of different styles.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to dress when summer days are filled with stifling heat, but evenings are cool and breezy. A classic denim jacket worn over a lightweight, sleeveless romper is the perfect outfit for days with unpredictable weather patterns or events that may last from morning until evening!
A three-dimensional floral embellishment takes a basic jersey tee from standard to stunning. Wear it with a pleated skirt, cinch the waist with a simple belt, and top it off with colored shades for a movie star look that’s also age-appropriate.
Just because she’s growing up in modern times doesn’t mean that a young teen has to be obsessed with the likes of Taylor Swift and One Direction. An adolescent girl can show off her great taste in fashion and music by rocking an oversized, vintage-style band tee, like this shirt from Hot Topic that features a snippet of lyrics from the timeless John Lennon tune “Imagine,” as well as the famous rocker’s signature penmanship. Pairing a boyfriend-style top with skinny jeans, as pictured here, maintains a fashionable look rather than a frumpy style.
Just because she’s not a baby anymore doesn’t mean a young girl has to totally write off dresses with buttons and frills. Wearing a belted cardigan over a dress and slipping her toes into stylish flats will make any girl look as though she’s shopping the racks of adult stores like Anthropologie and J. Crew rather than retailers like Carter’s or Osh Kosh that are famous for catering to the styles of the very young.
A full-length maxi dress is the perfect go-to outfit for girls of any age when they want to look effortlessly chic at an informal gathering, like a birthday party or a church picnic! We are in love with this maxi from the boutique-exclusive brand Five Loaves Two Fish. Its one-shoulder design stands out amid the masses of scoop-neck dresses in stores, yet it also maintains a conservative sense that’s appropriate for young girls.
Learning how to effectively layer ensures that a young girl’s closet doesn’t need to be sectioned off by season. While this cobalt tee would look outstanding on its own with the multicolored skirt that’s pictured during the summer months, wearing a basic black top with long sleeves underneath it makes it appropriate for early fall. Donning leggings or tights beneath the skirt would make it a perfect look for winter!
A coordinating top and bottom in a classy pattern, like this black and white checkered design, is the perfect choice for a more upscale gathering that isn’t fancy enough to warrant a formal gown. The asymmetrical hem on the skirt in this ensemble from designer Sally Miller adds a splash of youthfulness and prevents the overall look from becoming a dowdy outfit that belongs in a grandmother’s closet.
A pastel varsity jacket adds a punch of playfulness to a girl’s look when layered over a printed sheath and worn with ladylike wedges.