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Why Do Teenagers Find Fashion Important?

author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
Why Do Teenagers Find Fashion Important?
Fashion is a way to promote your teen's social standing. Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

If you have just finished another fashion-related argument with your teen -- her skirt is too short; that outfit is too expensive -- you might be ready to throw in the proverbial towel. Style, clothing and fashion can become a touchy subject in the home, especially when your teen is experimenting with new looks or when she is constantly begging for funds to support her fashion habit. By understanding why fashion is so important to your teen, you might learn when to pick your battles and when to stand your ground.


As your teen matures, she will naturally start exploring her independence and image. Fashion is one of the ways that your teen expresses and tells the world about herself. If you notice your teen changing her style and experimenting with different looks, do not be alarmed -- FamilyDoctor.org notes that it is completely normal. Your teen's fashion choices say a lot about her -- and that is just how she wants it to be.

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Independence and Rebellion

While on the cusp of becoming an adult, your teen lacks adult freedoms because she is still living under your roof. While she may not get to decide if she goes to school or how late her curfew is, what to wear are choices she can make herself. Being preoccupied with style means your teen is reaching for her independence by choosing how she presents herself to the world. Of course, this can be a double-edges sword, as she may use fashion as a way to rebel against your rules as a parent.

Social Standing

Your teen's social life often revolves around the clothes she wears and peers definitely influence her style, notes the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension. Her style might define the group of friends she spends time with and might even send a message about her ability to purchase name brand or popular clothes. When you end up in an argument over a pricey top at the mall, there's a good chance your teen wants a certain style so that she can fit in with her friends. While some teens like to go against the norm, others prefer to blend in, using their clothes as a type of social camouflage.

Pop Culture

Do not underestimate the influence that pop culture has on your teen and how she views fashion. Teen queen celebs, popular stars and images in magazines, movies, music videos and TV tell your teen that she needs to dress a certain way to be happy and pretty. Your teen might find fashion important because she views it as a way to attain the lifestyles of her favorite stars. Of course, this is an excellent time to open a dialogue of what is real and what isn't when it comes to pop culture and media.

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