Middle school is a crucial time for growing kids in their development. Most are entering puberty and are between the ages of ten to fourteen, also known as the tween years. Social acceptance is of the utmost importance, as well as the need to fit in with the cool crowd. One of the ways to express individuality and at the same time gain social acceptance is learning dress cool.
Different generations and schools have various interpretations of what it means to be cool. Depending on where you live and the overall social economic class of the kids that go to your school, being cool can mean different things. Here’s what to keep in mind if you want to dress cool for middle school.
- Check the dress code. Before you go out and buy a bunch of clothes, you need to find out what guidelines you have to follow that your school enforces. As a general rule of thumb, clothes have to be somewhat conservative, so avoid short skirts and shorts and nothing too revealing. Some schools may have a ban on makeup or other high end clothing items and accessories. Check with the school handbook first.
- Be aware of the unspoken dress code. It’s not written anywhere but all the kids will know what you can and cannot wear. Some items are just deemed unacceptable at school, based on what the cool kids have declared or some other random basis. Also, be mindful if certain colors can’t be worn in your middle school because you may be associated with gang activity.
- Observe what the in kids are wearing. What are the popular kids wearing? Try to imitate their style if it’s something that agrees with you. This is a safe way to dress cool and fit in. The popular kids are usually the trend setters in the school.
- Try to dress like a star. Think of pop icons that you can copy. Hannah Montana, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and other tween stars can be emulated in terms of their style.
- Give it your own twist. Making a style your own is what being cool is all about. For example, if a certain brand of shoes is all the rage, put your own mark in it to personalize it. Take Lady Gaga for example. She may not be in middle school, but she’s able to wear trends with her own flair. She studded her designer bag in keeping with her personality. This is what you should do as well.
- Go designer. Going branded is a safe bet to look cool. If you’re wearing 7 for Mankind jeans with a FUBU top, you’re pretty much in. Know what designer brands are admired in your school and see if you can get it. However, don’t wear fakes or knock-offs. Faux is not cool. This can get costly, but if you consider that you’ll wear the items for at least a year, you may be able to get some good mileage out of your clothes.
As a final note, keep in mind that aside from looking the part, you have to feel it! Develop your self-esteem and confidence and don’t rely on your clothes and accessories to define you as a person. You can be the best dressed person in school, but if your personality sucks and you don’t use your brain for school, then that’s not cool. Remember, you have to be a total package.