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Popular clothing brands for middle school girls

Original post made by Parent, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 7, 2011

What are the clothing brands that are most popular with middle school girls right now?

I know that wearing the right clothes won't make a girl fit in, but it can prevent her from sticking out as much. (Please skip the parenting lectures.)

Comments (41)

Posted by Mom
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Jun 8, 2011 at 12:33 am

Abercrombie & Fitch.

Posted by momof2
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2011 at 7:18 am

Our schools should put uniform issue into consideration like Japanese schools b/c it will decrease the issue of popularity.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Jun 8, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Girls wear American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister (offshoot of A&F), PacSun, UGGs, Converse All-Star sneakers, skinny jeans.

Uniforms would never occur in public schools here. United States is the land of freedom of expression. Besides, Castilleja girls school has uniforms but girls can wear accessories, style their hair, wear their choice of closed-toed shoes, and it is still glaringly obvious who is popular and who is not. It just makes dressing everyday easier.

A factor in popularity is also personality, not just clothing.

Posted by momof2
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm

uniform means uniform shoes,clothings,accessories,everything.the clothing is the single biggest item,uniform rules.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Jun 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm

@momof2: [Portion removed.] If a child has a great personality, no one cares what she wears. In fact, a girl could wear all the right clothing and still not be popular. America is a democracy, not dictatorship.

Posted by momof2
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Shallowness
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 8, 2011 at 1:02 pm

How about not worrying about such superficial things.

Posted by momof2
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2011 at 1:23 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Resident
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Jun 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by mom of middle school girl
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm


What is most popular changes for every grade. What was popular in 6th grade three years ago is not necessarily what's popular in 6th grade now. There was the "uniform" Hollister and A&F t-shirts, a few years ago, but you'll probably not see 8th graders wearing A&F or Hollister... they have moved on to Forever 21.

I would recommend you go to Nordstroms. That's where many people go to, and it would be a pretty "safe" place to shop. I think it's smart to ask, but I also would not worry about brands too much, but instead focus on things that fit, last, and are not over the top.

Posted by Parent of boys
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Jun 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm

I just ask that you teach your girls to dress modestly, particularly outside school hours for middle schoolers and at school in high school years.

And, if you can teach some fashion sense, to some of the boys too, that would be a great help.

I always wait until the second week of school to go back to school clothes shopping so that they can see what their friends are wearing. This way at least we buy what they will wear!

Posted by FreeUniformChoices
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Jun 9, 2011 at 11:26 am

momof2 has a good point about school uniforms. But I would alter this, being that this is America - for all it's good & bad - to instead institute a code for public schools that many private schools use. That is to say, add some restrictions/limitations. Limit the colors and general type of clothes, perhaps, but allow for freedom otherwise. More like what they do with "uniforms" at your local Safeway, etc. This way, we could be sure that the boys are wearing holy jeans that hang down below their waist and the girls aren't wearing inappropriately tight or low-cut tops or short skirts. Clothes can be an expression of individuality. We shouldn't lose that completely. But what should set kids apart in school is their grades, their other achievements and their personalities.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I'm not sure how this thread derailed into a discussion about uniforms.

Thank you, Mom, Resident, and mom of middle school girl for staying on topic and citing specific brands.

Does anyone else have any brand or store suggestions? This girl is too small for Hollister clothes, but A&F Kids will work.

Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Parent - What as always worked for my now HS daughter, was a couple really nice bottoms (jeans and shorts from Abercrombie kids, Nordstroms), hen inexpensive tops from places such as Target.

As far as uniforms - most elementary and middle schools have dress codes which include long enough shorts and skirts, not low cut tops, no sagging pants,etc. While clothes shouldn't be more important than achievements or personality, fitting in is important to most preteens and teen, as sometimes clothes can just be fun.

Momof2, you can send your child to a private school if uniforms are so important. Even then, I don't know of any US school that has uniform shoes and accessories in addition to the basics of skirts, shirts, and pants.

Posted by mom of middle school girl
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 10, 2011 at 9:34 am


Just to clarify,

"Uniforms" are not really really uniforms

They are just a popular outfit, and the colors and brands vary.

An example of a 6th grade "uniform"= "what all the girls are wearing" used to be...not sure now....

Skinny jeans, brand t-shirt, fashionable hoodie or school hoodie when it's cold. &

Shortest shorts possible that barely pass dress code, with tank top when it's hot.

Maybe in 6th grade brands add something; however, after 6th grade, if something is cute nobody really cares about the brand anymore.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Jun 10, 2011 at 9:47 am

You all are just being silly. A uniform is a stated outfit that a child is mandated to wear to school. Jordan does have rules about clothing. Freedom and opportunity is why the rest of the world wants to come to America. You all ought to learn to live and let live instead of trying to change others.

Posted by mom of middle school girl
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm


Spare us the lecture, wanting to fit in, in 6th grade or middle school is not a sin. It's normal.

Using the term uniform to describe popular clothing is tongue-in-cheek, not to be taken seriously.

Posted by PA mom
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jun 13, 2011 at 8:55 am

I find this thread very interesting.

@parent, Great Mall at Milpitas has number of pre-teen/teen clothing outlets: Forever 21, Abercrombie, and Aeropostale. We would set a limit for my girls before school starts with a budget. Then, they'll shop at these outlet stores. It worked well for us.
Hope this helps. BTW, personally I am all for uniforms!!

Posted by JIm
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 14, 2011 at 6:41 am

My son was in a uniform until 8 grade. 5 shirts, 5 long pants, 3 short pants, 1 jacket, 1 sweater each year. It was great.

Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 14, 2011 at 10:30 am

Hey, I thought this was a great question. Because yes, in middle school fitting in does matter, we can talk all about how it shouldn't. My perspective (which might not be completely on target, my girl is in high school now post-jordan, and my jordan kid is a boy)--a few years ago, it was all about the brand, Abercrombie being number one. Then, when the economic collapse hit the kids consciousness, there was a phase of wearing these kind of "designer" clothes became distinctively not-cool, ostentatious in economically troubled times. They now are neither cool nor uncool.

But for the basic "uniform" (and yes, it may not be official, but these kids know what is in or out): go with skinny jeans (pac sun or H&M are good bets), Uggs or Fuggs (Fake-Uggs, there are lots of reasonably priced brands) for cool weather, converse for warm. For tops, these styles change more rapidly, but it's always layers--solid camis or tanks are the basic bottom layer, over it, thin, loose shirts that skim the top of the jeans (the cami hides the tummy) in the summer, long sleeved, tighter (but still pretty tissue thin, you need that cami underneath) in the winter. At least that's what I'm seeing.

Short story--don't spend a lot on the tops, these are faddish. The skinny jeans, uggs, and converse have been in style a long time and will likely stay that way.

Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 14, 2011 at 10:33 am

Oh, re stores for smaller kid, Pac Sun has 00s and XS that run small, H&M tops come in 2 which is pretty small in adult section, jeans in kid section come in larger sizes which work as well.

Posted by Don't Sexualize our Kids
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Abercrombie and Fitch would be the last place I would shop for my daughter based on the sexualizing of children in their large display photos and advertising. I get very repulsed when I walk by the store windows and see that they are selling sex at every opportunity. The models may be over 18 but many of them are deliberately made up to look you younger. I would not support any company that sexualized children. I used to have the same reaction to Calvin Klein; haven't seen any of their ads recently. As parents we don't have to bow to the demands of our children in order for them to "fit in" if it means compromising our principles and values. Take a look at those ads Mom the next time you take your daughter in A and F and if you agree with me you can vote with your wallet and not patronize that store or others that sexualize our kids. Enough is enough. I am glad I no longer have to make decisions about clothing for my kids but I guarantee that my boys were perfectly happy with Costco shirts and other inexpensive, good value clothing. Self-esteem can't be purchased on a hanger.

Posted by Alex
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 18, 2011 at 10:14 am

Abercrombie, Aeropostal, American Eagle, Juicy Coutoure, Pink, Hollister, Pac Sun, Forever 21, Abercrombie & Fitch, and H&M. All of these stores are expensive so what I do is go to Khols and JCPenny and go into the Junior Section, pick out some clothes that are on sale (and cute) and drop by a few of these stores to get a few things. All you need are:
7 jeans
14 shirts
5 tank-tops
alot of bras and undies (get bras by 5th grade)
a different variety of shoes
makeup (nothing dramatic)
and acceseries ex. Purses, scarfs, belts ect.

Posted by Sunshine Mom
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 19, 2011 at 2:43 pm

My daughter has just started 6th grade, and again, yes, the designer label is much more important now. Justice clothing has become not so "cool"...we love Aeropostale, very affordable, Abrecombie and Hollister for the t-shirts and hoodies, sweat pants too...the dressy flowy blouses, Charlotte Russe, Deb, any will do fine, w/camis underneath...we also like Pink brand hoodies and t-shirts, even though they are alittle large, even in the XS size...def, not to worried about the brand of jeans, as long as they are skinny jeans..converse of course, in lots of colors, and even plaids, and boots, and 1 or 2 pair of really neat, neon colored mixed tennis should be all set, and a few cool bras and underwear, seem to be very important now...Good luck..I've been shopping til I drop....and yes, it is important...I don't care what anyone says, it does matter what we look like, as well as what we are on the inside, but unfortunatley, no one in the 6th grade is going to take alot of time to get to know you if you don't look "cool" first...

Posted by Genericmom
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Wow. No wonder it's called Shallow Alto. Sorry, but if your seriously looking for which name brands are "like totally hip" as a method to help your daughter feel comfortable with her peers then your doing her a disservice. What happens if all the coolest clothing doesn't grant her entrance to the "right" clique? Go shopping again?
Seriously- I hope you have a plan B.

Posted by a true middle school girl
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Oct 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, and American Eagle, Pink

Posted by nina
a resident of Duveneck School
on Oct 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm


Posted by crazygurl
a resident of another community
on Nov 26, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Aeropostale, Forever 21, Fitch and Abercombrie. Try to keep ur Justice clothes at a minimum. The style-at my middle school anyway-is camis under shirts with the top shirt tied up in the back, hoodies, skinny jeans, and short shorts even in winter (but I don't follow that one). Good luck and keep smiling ;)!

Posted by Parent with 2 college girls
a resident of another community
on Dec 15, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Definitively avoid Justice when you are in Middle school. We loved Wet Seal...sensibly priced and very fashionable. The parents that don't feel it is important to fit in were most likely the ones that did not fit in when they were in school. Yes, you can be successful without fitting in... but why not try to let your daughter have a chance at it. My daughters were always dressed nice...not sloppy and it helped with their confidence.

Posted by Lola
a resident of Woodside
on Mar 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Tops & jeans: Forever 21, wetseal, abercrombie & fitch, hollister, pacsun, aerostale, urban outfitters, american eagle, victoria's secret,

Shoes: aeries( i think thats how they' re spelt) moccasins from uggs, toms, vans, jordans, converse, rebook zigtech ( i take track so...) and you can get flats and sandals from pacsun or forever.

Posted by Lilly
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm

clothes:delia's, American Eagle, Hollister, Forever 21, Abercrombie and Fitch, Aero, Papaya, Wetseal, tilly's, l.e.i, pink, H&M, Charlotte Russe, Urban Outfitters

Shoes: Keds, Uggs, Converse, Vans, Toms

Posted by Bee
a resident of another community
on May 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I am an incoming sixth grade girl and I love shopping at Aeropostale because the clothes are cheap but fashionable.

Posted by GUSTI
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I'm from Greenwich CT. Us Greenwich girls have a great sence of style so trust me i know what I'm talking about!!! here's my list...
· Nordstrom, Barney's
· Kate Spade
· Michael Kors
· Marc Jacobs
· Free people
· Juicy Couture
· American Eagle
· Hollister
· Abercrombie and Fitch
· Forever 21
· Gap
· Aeropostale
· Old Navy
· Rue21
· H&M
· Urban Outfitters
· HotTopic
· Wetseal
· Old Navy
· Khols
· Macys
· JCPennys
· Delia's
· Justice
· J.Crew

Posted by Cottencandygirl101
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2012 at 7:09 am

I am the most popular girl in 6th and the stores that I mainly shop at are: Forever 21: My favorite! it has clothes,shoes,jewelry,you name it! There website is really awesome because you get really good deals!,Aeropestale: EVERY ONE who is anyone owns at LEAST one of thier signature shirts! Plus I get some of my jeans from their. H&M: They always have all the trendy clothes their, Pac sun: every time I enter that store I find exactly what I want, Old Navy and Gap: If you need basic camisoles or tanks or even jeans shop at one of these stores!, Wetseal: they have very cute, affordable, and just plain out right AWESOME clothes!,Abercrombie & Fitch: The most popular clothes for middle schoolers you can find here, Nordstroms: a HUGE selection so it can be overwhelming but they have pretty much everything, and If you dont want to spend much I suggest the juniors sections of Sears/JCpenny/Target. A few other cool places are Urban Outfitters, Hollister, Rue21, Delia's,Hot Topic, and Pink (if you have the money to spend 40 bucks for yoga pants.

Posted by Hannah
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 3, 2012 at 7:33 pm

i say aeropostale im going to 6th grade and i def... know there style. Rue 21 is awesome new hip clothes on sale!!! Heres some fun info... to know now aeropostale is going wild with hoodies for 10$ and shirts for 5$ so go to the mall and stock up.For your kids if they are starting middle school heres some tips if ur going to southwestern randolph middle school shirt traps has to at least be as long as an index card and shorts must go below the knee. Also no holes in jeans because they will call your parents and make u go home and change. American eagle is another one peps love to shap there but its expensiv but if ur rich go there because they got cool hip stuff thts all i know hope my info.. was good enough for u peace out ;)

Posted by uniform
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 4, 2012 at 9:48 am

It is better to require uniforms in schools

Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 4, 2012 at 10:03 am

Uniform - if you want your kid to wear a uniform, send them to a school that requires them.

Posted by lucy
a resident of Fletcher Middle School
on Jul 19, 2012 at 9:52 am

If you are going into middle school i suggest rue 21, forever 21, abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, pacsun, and zumiez. hope this helped. :)

Posted by chris
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Aug 17, 2012 at 9:40 am

this thread stinks. What I thought was a decent thread on smart attire for 7th-9th graders is all about psycho moms ranting about being popular and calling names or telling people which country to move to. Seriously ladies, you make a very poor role model.

Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 17, 2012 at 9:57 am

Anyone have suggestions for place to buy shorts that meet the middle school dress code - shorts must be longer than your fingertips when your arms are at your side. All the shorts that fit are too short!

Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Palo Alto Mom, Old Navy has 5" shorts and Bermuda shorts.

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