Boulder Image Consultant Marian Rothschild
is interviewed by Camera staff Monday, August 6, 2007
Less than two weeks remain before school officially starts for thousands of students in the Boulder Valley School District — and back-to-school shopping already has begun in earnest.
Parents of elementary-age kids are busy with crayons and glue, while parents of high school students often simply supply the funding for their students’ already established style choices. Meanwhile, parents of middle-schoolers are working through their kids’ newfound interest in fashion trends and social circles.
Marian Rothschild is a personal stylist who advises clients on how to dress for their body type, coloring and lifestyle. After reviewing a sample of local middle school dress codes, Rothschild offers her advice to middle-school parents about how to help their students find personal styles without violating dress codes, making a fashion faux pas or breaking budget limits.
1. What are some current fashions for young teens and pre-teens that are age-appropriate, trendy and follow dress codes?
For girls, the big stuff is plaids, pleated skirts, long cardigan sweaters and V-neck argyle sweaters with a complimentary color T-shirt under it. Empire waist A-line tunics are in, but to fit the dress codes, wear a short-sleeve or sleeveless T-shirt in a coordinating color. Handbags and accessories are in, but don’t overdo it.
For boys, slouchy grunge is out, clothes that fit are in. Jeans are at most one or two sizes too big and T-shirts actually fit. A stripe up on the upper chest will broaden shoulders.
2. How can a parent keep a decent school-shopping budget while also keeping their budding fashion plate happy?
Go through the closet with them, figure out what basics they need. Set a budget. If they want to go over their budget they should use their own baby-sitting or lawn-mowing money. Target, Kohl’s and Sam’s Club are good for stocking up on basic coordinates.
There’s also consignment shops. Rags to Riches is a fun place to shop. Teen girls can get together for fashion-swap parties.
3. Kids in this age group are just starting to find their personal “style.” What’s the best way for a parent to help guide their child to find an appropriate style without sounding judgmental or controlling?
Talk to them about what they like and give them your opinion on what you like without telling them what to do or wear. Just give your opinion.
Buy them some magazines or check them out at the library. Have them show you styles they would like to work toward. Acknowledge their tastes without judgment.
4. Form, fashion and function — what about backpacks, slings or messenger bags?
Before you buy your kid a backpack or messenger bag, have them go to the store to look at them, try them on. See how they feel. They shouldn’t buy it just because their best friend has one. Make sure it’s the best one for your student. Make sure it’s right for them. Make sure they know this is the book bag they’re going to have all year long.
5. What are some of the worst of the current teen fashion trends, things parents should be on the lookout for?
School is not a nightclub. Leave the party clothes for weekends or the beach. Communicate that to your students; don’t let them think anything goes.
— Arwyn Rice, for the Camera
Boulder Image Consultant Marian Rothschild coaches teens and adults to achieve a put-together appearance with commanding communication skills for school, work, and weekends. See services page, then call for your free 20 min. phone consultation: 720-933-9247.