In the fall of 1992, I became a teenager. Those years are remembered fondly with friends, high school/college, dating my future husband and much more. However, I also remember mood swings, the “awkward” phase and an overall sense of just trying to find myself. While listening to Boyz II Men in my bedroom, I was also creating my own style (with the help of my mom encouraging the “simple but elegant” motto).
Even though fashion evolves (no more mall bangs… but chokers, jumpers and bodysuits are trending this fall/winter!), the struggle of dressing your teen is still very real. As a parent, you want to give them independence to express their individuality, but also strive for them to make good fashion choices — all while staying within a budget. That’s why Plato’s Closet is Cincinnati’s one-stop shop for teens to dress on trend while staying on budget.
Recently, I had the pleasure of shopping with my favorite teenager at Plato’s Closet. Miss C is definitely my greatest styling challenge — she’s not a fan of shopping! What?!?!?!?!? And she believes that dressing trendy can’t be comfortable. On this night, I was going to prove to her that shopping at the “right” store can be fun; and I was going to find her on-trend, comfortable and age-appropriate styles.
When we arrived at Plato’s Closet, we were greeted by their friendly staff who explained where everything was (the store is set up very intuitively and easy to navigate). After reviewing Miss C’s clothes and shoe sizes, I was off with the cart collecting from each department in the store. In 10 minutes, our cart was overflowing with great gently used brand-name clothing — I did my research on current teen styles before arriving! The Plato’s Closet staff also helped me find accessories and one-of-a-kind pieces. And then it was time for Miss C to start trying on clothes so that I could create outfits that she would love. (A big thank you to her mom for also participating in this evening of fun!)
Teens may be under pressure from peers and the media to dress older thus dressing sexier. Teens need to know that dressing trendy does not mean dressing inappropriately. Dressing appropriate (covering up) is not only more comfortable, but confidence boosting. When you feel good in your clothes, you know it — and you exude confidence. Also, stylists say, “dress for the job you want.” I believe that teens need to follow this advice; it won’t be long before they’re competing for internships and then stepping into the real world of employment, and how you dress will tell your future employer a lot about you.
Miss C was encouraged by this advice; and began really enjoying the styling process. She tried on several pairs of jeans and fell in love with a pair of black destructed skinny jeans. Immediately, I styled those with fur, patterns, plaid, denim and more. Every time she came out of the dressing room, there was a smile on her face. She felt comfortable and looked amazing. As the evening went on, she found even more clothing that she liked including a few dresses and boots. For someone who does not like shopping, she left with two pairs of jeans, two dresses, one pair boots, one sweater, several tops and a hat for under $150.
As we left the store, I asked Miss C if she would ever come back to Plato’s Closet. With an enthusiastic “yes!” she said, “This was easy — everything I need was in one store and I really love my purchases.”
There are several Plato’s Closets throughout the Cincinnati area. Find a store close to you; and help your teen find some fantastic clothing at very reasonable prices. Plus, if your teen or young adult has any gently used brand-name clothing that is no longer used, bring to Plato’s Closet to collect extra cash or another new outfit.
Ainslie Gordon is a St. Louis, Missouri native and graduate of the University of Missouri’s Journalism School. Her career has focused on advertising, public relations and event planning. In 2011, Ainslie and her family moved to Cincinnati; and she became a stay-at-mom and founder of the blog, Modhousewife.
Additionally, she was a fashion/trends contributor on Fox 19 and Fox 2. Currently, Ainslie is the Marketing Director for Game On! Fitness. She is also a Girl Scout leader and enjoys volunteering throughout the community.