Shopping Tips From a Teenager
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Our British teen correspondent Manvir Dobb is back for round two of Ask a Teen. This week’s annoying questions are all about shopping! And Manvir, being beyond the good sport that she is, put up all of my “what are the kids up to these days” prodding. Nod if you’re a teen and agree, tell us in the comments if you’re a teen and it’s different in your neck of the woods and if you’re out of teen-hood/just here to have your mind blown, well by all means, join in.

Where do you shop more, online or in stores?

I think that in general, teens shop more online because:
a) There are shops like ASOS which cater to a ton of different personal styles.
b) It’s always fun to open up the packaging.
c) The clothes won’t have makeup marks on them.
d) It’s easier to shop online if you need something specific because nothing is more painful than going to a shop and not finding what you want.

I keep online shopping to a minimum, but when it does happen, in those beautiful moments of joy, my parents will enter their credit card details themselves. They don’t trust me yet which I think is outrageous, yet understandable.

My mom has been against online shopping ever since I was 11 and bought a dress from eBay which looked fine in the picture, but was just so wrong in real life. She’s warming up to it a bit [to online shopping] now; she just bought me a Gandalf costume online for World Book Day, which she really couldn’t get from the high street.

What’s the coolest store? The place where everyone seems to shop?

It would have to be between Zara and Topshop. No one wants to be part of the mainstream and have the same top as another person, but there is a reason why everyone shops at those places.

What used to be cool but feels too young for you now?

Definitely Hollister. Whenever I hear its name, I have horrific memories of being twelve and everyone wearing tiny flowery Hollister skirts to the disco. Yes, a disco, with flickering lights and about 80 girls on sugar highs dancing to “Apple Bottom Jeans.”

What’s really trendy right for you and your friends now?

Since we’re in the midst of winter, big furry coats are a staple item in our wardrobes right now. And to show our hopes and dreams for warmer days, we can’t get enough of leather A-line skirts, which seem to come in a rainbow of colors. Bright red for me.

What about for guys? What does it seem like “every guy” wears?

Bomber jackets are everywhere. I don’t mind the bomber jacket — it just hurts me when they all wear it the same way. It’s like a uniform outside of school.

What do you think teens spend the most money on when shopping?

At the moment, my bet is on shoes. It can vary from boots (ankle, knee, thigh — take your pick) to trainers with a logo (e.g. Stan Smiths). I’m guilty of buying a pair of ankle boots that came at a hefty price, but I NEEDED them, even though I didn’t. It’s like dessert: sweet but detrimental to your health/purse.

What trends do parents/teachers seem to hate or dislike or discourage the most?

With my parents, it’s wearing short trousers that reveal my hairy legs (the debates about this can get heated). With teachers, it’s ripped jeans and strappy tops that reveal too much skin, because heaven forbid we get a sufficient amount of vitamin D (although I am grateful that we can wear our own clothes instead of school uniform).

Who are the main teen style icons?

Teens will always look up to models like Alexa Chung and Kate Moss for inspiration because it’s a given that whatever they wear, they’ll look good in. I also admire people like Susie Lao, the Man Repeller ladies (of course) and Pandora Sykes because they’re not afraid to break the rules and add fun twists that show personality in their style. More personally, my friends and I inspire one another with what we wear because we each have our individual style.

If you had all the money in the world what would you buy?

Since this article is about fashion and trends: a coat from Shrimps would be nice, a Gucci jumper too, and I’m still waiting on that ballgown from Zac Posen I mentioned in the last article.

What do you see adults buy that you can’t ever imagine yourself caring about?

Anti-aging cream. I think wrinkles and gray hair will be fun but my mom told me that when she was younger she thought the same, and now she’s converted.

Since every one of our Teens tells me to ask other teens this: What do you care about most right now?

Well, this week I had to go to a wedding which, being Indian, spanned the course of many days. So my main concerns have been: Can I do my homework in time? It’s been good knowing you, sleep. Can I walk in a straight line wearing both heels and a sari? How does makeup work? And finally, Emma Watson can be a feminist and show off her boobs.

Follow Manvir on Instagram @ManvirDobb. Illustration by Meghann Stephenson, follow her on Instagram @meghannfinley.

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