Buying clothes for someone else is always a gamble. Their tastes are usually somewhat different from your own. Their size is not always a sure thing. The true extent of their wardrobe is a mystery. But still, there is something so truly appreciated about a well-chosen and just perfect gift of clothing that makes it such a joy to give and receive.
Probably one of the hardest group of people to buy for is plus-sized teenagers. The clothing industry, in general, has been slow to produce stylish and fashionable plus-sized items for any age group.
Teenagers have historically been touch critics as well; influenced heavily by pop culture and current trends, they have an ever-changing sense of what is cool to wear and which items are yesterday’s news. However, the key to shopping for stylish, usable plus-sized clothing for teens is to focus on items that are classic, well-fitting, and easy to transform.
Plus-sized clothing stores are probably the best place to begin shopping. Though well-established and large department stores will often have a plus-size clothing section, the offerings of the department tend to focus more on older age groups. Specialty stores may also focus on older age groups, but they tend to have more contemporary and casual styles as well.
Teens tend to have fairly laidback and urban styles; blue jeans and denim items, cotton shirts, and athletic styles can all have a timeless and classic look while still being attractive and up-to-date. Look for items that do not have added embellishments or embroidery to make clothing more versatile. Also, check online for teen-specific plus-sized clothing boutiques.
There are a number of websites that focus entirely on creating up-to-date and flattering clothing for plus-sized teens; mail-order catalogs are also available from many of them for those who prefer to shop via mail.
The fit of the clothing is something that any fashion-conscious teenager will be particular about. Some like their pants to be baggy; others prefer a slim cut that flares out closer to the knee. The best way to determine the style of the teen you are shopping for is to ask. Talk about what styles they like (baggy or tight, bright or neutral tones, etc.) before going to shop for them; also look at the outfits they wear most often.
You do not need to duplicate their style exactly, but the items you provide should be able to work well with the clothing they already have. Generally speaking, there are two different schools of thought regarding plus-sized clothing and its proper fit: the loose-is-better camp and its rival, the fitted-is better. Many think that looser clothing can help to mask the shape of plus-sized people who do not like their bodies; others agree that baggy clothing just adds more bulk and fails to emphasize the beauty of the human body regardless of its shape.
Though the latter (fitted clothing) does provide more contemporary, stylish options than the former, make sure that you respect the wishes of the teenager you shop for; disregarding his or her desires will only result in unworn items.
Finally, with a classic and timeless, comfortable wardrobe, teenagers can alter their styles and stay up-to-date by accessorizing. As long as their basic pieces (tops and bottoms) tend to be trend-free, their styles can be determined by added jewelry, hats, make-up, and other accessories.
The occasional trendy item can be worn with any other items in the wardrobe and the overall effect will be ideal.The occasional