The Chic Tween {Navy Base}

Macy Berry is The Chic Tween! Crewcuts Sweater, Lands End Shirt & Target Skirt

I am officially naming my 9 year old daughters style and coining the phrase “The Chic Tween”.   Macy definitely has her own modern yet classic style, she’s Chic.  We have always experimented with her fashion, towing the line between cutesy and mini-me.  I cant help but live vicariously through her clothes since its hers that need replenished more often than my own.  We have always loved some outfits more than others but recently I think she has come into her own style and it seems that we have been able to curate a collection rather than single outfits. I’m proud to say that after years of denying her character sneakers, sweat pants, hoodies and over styled graphic t-shirts, she can pull together a classy outfit without our assistance and with our beaming approval because we have figured out that its not about quantity of items she has, its about the quality and the style we carefully help her choose .

The Chic Tween - Target Dress & Sweater

A tween is a girl that is between a teenager and child, its a new term for girls that are younger than pre-teens.  The age of a tween is subjective, but basically around 7-11.  A tween’s clothing size is in the section for 7-14 year olds and we have yet to understand what a 7 year old and a 14 year old have in common in fashion or lifestyle.  Dressing Macy became hard a few years ago when she no longer fit in children’s size 6 and we were forced to scrape together age appropriate clothing out of clothing sections that frankly look like tramp starter kits.  The past year Macy has found a love for navy as a wardrobe base, (and I have too!)  It spans the gap between colors like no black or brown can and always looks spot on, whether dressed down with Converse or up with sailor stripes.

The Chic Tween - Crewcuts Dress & Necklace

The Chick Tween - Lands End Shirt & Shorts

Its my goal this year to document Macy’s outfits and clothing collections more regularly to share and inspire other moms to have fun with their daughters wardrobes.  Keeping a Chic Tween in fashion doesn’t mean always shopping at Bloomingdale’s or Crewcuts but definitely check out their sales and clearances for great items.   Most of Macy’s clothes come from Target, Lands End and Zara, catch their sales and it costs next to nothing!  From our experience pulling together a clothing collection doesnt happen in one trip.  Some parents do one shopping trip for the start of school, then maybe for winter season and then summer season.  But in reality, buying new clothes really never has an ending with kids, I mean they are kids, growing out of clothes, ruining them and losing them.  Their wardrobe is never complete and always in need.  We are constantly picking up a new piece here or there, to replace or add to Macy’s wardrobe.  We have limits and regrets and after 10 years have learned that we have to really love the item to get it(high or low priced) and I will never pay $100 for crewcuts ballet shoes.  A couple of other good rules to go by: Don’t jump too early for over priced items, they will go on sale.  Don’t settle for the wrong item, if it doesn’t work or your daughter says so wont wear it, she wont and its a waste no matter how inexpensive you get it.   And know when to just get it, even if its a swim suit in January, because its sad to come back and find that perfect piece is gone.

The Chic Tween - Navy Base Collection

 The very heart of Macy’s wardobe is currently styled around navy basics.  We feel using navy as her neutral has allowed us to use color as layers, not as the canvas and we have been able to buy better pieces because we’ve kept the quantity she needs lower.
Here is how Macy’s {Navy Base} comes together:
Shoes – A riding boot, a ballet flat, a sneaker and a special occasion.
If you stay away from the department store shoe sections you can actually find REAL leather boots for girls that cost half as much.  Gap always has a leather riding boot and this brown one is from Zara $36.
You can pick a ballet flat almost anywhere, this navy one with toe cap is Zara $20
Converse is the most versatile tennis shoe for girls, it looks great with jeans or a dress.  Gym day doesnt have to mean a no style day.  All converse are not created equal.  We prefer Jack Purcells, they are made better than Chucks and they stay looking great longer.  They cost more but are worth it for the look, longivity and comfort. A basic blue is always available but Macy has rocked them in watermellon before too.  You can find them online at Zappos or Piperlime, J Crew carries them also, $50
I say special occasion but what little girl doesnt try to wear her sparkly shoes with every outfit?  Being a dancer, Macy especially appreciates this jazz shoe style from Zara $25 
Dresses – A long sleeve and a short sleeve
The style is up to you and whats on the market but we have been very happy with a nautical stripe cream and navy dress similar to this navy and white stripe from Crewcuts $43
A great collection going on right now is the Harajuku Mini at Target designed by Gwen Stefani, it has a nautical theme and many pieces are navy.  This vintage looking dress is  from Target and only $24 ! 
The reason I say a long sleeve and a short sleeve is because by adding tights and a cardigan either of the dresses can be worn in the middle of winter.  And as long as the fabric isnt a winter weight (corduroy, velvet or wool) the long sleeve can be worn with sandals on transitional spring and fall days.
 Skirt – a pleated full or apron style
A five pocket denim skirt is a standard, but try stepping out of the crowd with a chambray apron style skirt, it was a steal from Target $12.
If you dont find any this style you can always get the standard school uniform skirt, nearly all the stores carry them every season now.  Choose the one that is cotton instead of the cheap polyester.  Macy has never had to wear a school uniform but has wanted a navy jumper and the pleated skirt every year (to accessories with pins and colorful knee socks and cardigans).
Cardigan Sweaters – these you really cant have too much of
Jackie O, Boyfriend, Cropped, Wrapped and Embellished, there are SO MANY styles continuously on the market.  This is where you add your color layer so don’t buy navy.  Macy is really into this apricot color, she identifies it with “J Crew” but other stores are picking up on the color, this one is Crewcuts (and on sale) $24  Yellow always looks perfect with Navy too, Gap $30.  Other favorite colors of the past have been Kelly Green and Raspberry.
Shirts – Striped and Graphic
A striped boatneck shirt will never go out of style for you or for your daughter.  Look for a 3/4th sleeve for greatest versatility.  Lands End has a great one every year, Macy is pictured in it above.  This one is from Crewcuts (and a more than I would pay) $50. 
There is a fine line between good and bad graphic tees.  More than often they are over the top and just ugly in my eyes.  We look for simple graphics and little works of art. Some words are okay but never brands or logos  Sometimes they are from gap, sometimes like this heart one are from crewcuts $20.
Skinny Jeans and JODHPURS
I still love flare and boot cut jeans, but they just arent in style or on the market at the moment.  Skinny Jeans – Yes.  Jeggings – NO!  I didnt even picture jeans, we all know that they are a navy basic, they always have been.  Just wanted to hate on Jeggings for a moment.  So jodhpurs are classic ridding pants…that go great with ….riding boots!  But the style has jumped the ring and doesnt necessarily read equestrian anymore.  Instead of stretchy leggings look for a thicker knit pant, they arent always refered to as jodhpurs or have the patch at the inside of the knee but they keep their shape better, are warmer and arent skin tight.  Ralph Lauren stocks them at department stores, Gap ususally has them and these are Crewcuts $38
 
Trench coat – your mini me daughter!
How cute are little girls dressed in trench and pea coats?  Macy rocks this classic from Zara $40 in navy.  Many stores carried them this fall and I suspect will still next year, look for a fall clearance one now to wear in the spring.
Accessories – Belts and Jewelry
Macy loves belts, in fact I think she’s becoming obsessed.  It started when one of her dresses came with a skinny navy belt.  We added it over the cardigan layer and BAM!  realized that she could do this in so many outfits.  Now she has started shopping in my closet, this braided leather one from Zara $10  wraps around a couple of times and fits any size because the pin goes through the braid.   Keeping her happy in sparkles, a glitter belt like this one is like the glitter dance shoe, it goes with everything too, Zara $10
 I’m not a huge jewelry person, I like my basic silver pieces but I try to help Macy not get in a rut like I think I am.  Plus being a little girl she can have more fun with her pieces than me.  J Crew’s woman’s jewelry is over priced, period.  But their Crewcuts pieces are reasonable and sized to fit.   Macy usually gets a piece of  jewelry for her birthday and we have seen that Crewcuts lasts longer than something from Clares.  We also love to add to her charm bracelet with the Charm It collection at the Gap checkout counter.  The necklaces and bracelets pictured above are from Crewcuts $10-16.
So thats it!  If you look at the collection board above you can see that everything will work together, the outfits are endless and its only a handful of pieces!  Macy is pictured in several of the pieces above but when she looked at this board she started getting excited, “oh this will go with this, and that goes with that”  I think she put together a few new outfits!  I honestly cant say that this is really all the clothes she has, she has a few other shoes and clothing that is not navy but one day we realized that we were gravitating toward navy more and more and then it felt like her mornings became easier to get ready.  I hope my examples can help you build a collection with your daughter, whether its with navy or her favorite color its really not hard to make the right pieces go a long way.
 
Close on on Macy’s kitten heels is my 4 year old niece emma, here she is in a sweet Harajuku Mini dress, “waiting for the boys to come home” in Fort Bragg, NC.  Photographed by my sister CapturedbyJes
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