Spring Capsule Wardrobe For a 13-Year-Old

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Raines has always been tricky to dress, but in the past, the issue has been only about comfort. Specifically: pants. But as he’s gotten older, The Great Pants War has died down simply because we’ve found a couple of pants that worked…and I simply buy the same pairs over and over again.

That said…Raines has been — up until recently — pretty easy to shop for. For many years, he’d basically wear whatever the heck I bought, including, for one glorious summer, these adorable (and hilarious) Mini Boden Swim Trunks.

Granted, that only lasted the one summer, but still.

Lately, however, I’ve been coming up with more misses than hits. Despite that fact that my job is literally determining what is cool in the world of fashion…according to Raines, I know nothing.

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.

Tween Fashion: Spring Capsule Wardrobe For A 13-Year-Old

So when he grew out of everything, seemingly overnight, we had to get serious. The poor kid literally woke up one morning in suddenly too-short pajamas, couldn’t fit into his shoes (that I swear he wore the day before), and pulled on a t-shirt that was starting to look more like a crop top. But clearly I couldn’t just…order whatever. His 13-year-old-self now has opinions.

So I sat down, searched the internets, opened a zillion tabs on my browser, and started building a collage — just like we do for articles here at The Mom Edit. And then we discussed, clicked around, and finally…ordered. And? After all of that work? He loved ALL of it. It was a 100%, total success.

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.

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1 | Abercrombie & Fitch Paint Splatter Hoodie

Raines typically goes for black or gray…but there was something that intrigued him about this hoodie. I could tell he was a little nervous to branch out (this age can be brutal, ya know?) but in the end, I think he liked having something a little exciting.

Side note: This hoodie works, in part, because it IS mostly black-and-white. So it feels exciting, but wears very neutral.

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.
Image Source: Abercrombie & Fitch

2 | Abercrombie & Fitch Paint Splatter Joggers

Truth be told, Raines has worn the joggers MUCH more than the hoodie. He’s busted them out as a set a few times, but…he’s not totally convinced. “I’m just not a matching guy, Mom.”

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.
Image Source: Abercrombie & Fitch

3 | Abercrombie & Fitch AC/DC Graphic Tee

He’s so into music right now and just about DIED when he saw this shirt. Done.

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.
Image Source: Abercrombie & Fitch

4 | Patagonia Down Sweater

Raines is equally as annoying about winter jackets as he is about pants. Too puffy? No. Too warm? No. Too colorful? No. But this uber-lightweight jacket has been the ONE jacket he’s willing to wear. He layers it over thick sweaters in the winter, but it’s light enough (and comfortable enough) to wear on a chilly spring evening, too. Highly recommend. (Actually…this was the only jacket I could get him to wear as a baby, too.)

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.
Image Source: Patagonia

5 | J.Crew Aviator Blue-light Glasses

We LOVED these. The glasses that came are a little too small for his face, but it was close. Worth a shot, anyway. If your kid also has a big head, Raines has been wearing these blue-light glasses instead.

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.
Image Source: J.Crew

6 | Chisholm For President T-Shirt

Raines had learned about Shirley Chisholm in school, and was totally blown away. At first he wanted to know if I had “voted for her” (ME: OMG DO THE MATH, RAINES), but was even more impressed when he realized how long ago she had actually run for president. He was pretty pumped when I showed him this tee. (Side note: it runs a little long and narrow.)

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.
Image Source: Philadelphia Print Works

7 | J.Crew Pocket T-Shirt

These have been Raines’ favorite tees for YEARS. They are still the most well-made tees I’ve found: they last forever, are totally durable, and one of the few items of clothing I can actually pass down to Pax.

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.
Image Source: J.Crew

8 | Stance Ramones Crew Socks

Stance socks are on the pricey side, but they’re the best. Hands down. Another piece that lasts forever (and I love the little pop of personality they add to his outfits).

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.
Image Source: Zappos

9 | Abercrombie & Fitch Boxer Briefs

If you thought this kid was picky about pants…underwear is freaking NEXT LEVEL. But he likes these.

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.
Image Source: Abercrombie

10 | Adidas Superstar Shoes

He keeps trying different sneakers…but these are the most comfortable (and durable). He was getting bored with the original three stripes, but is super into these. (I love these little twists-on-classics that Adidas is doing right now.)

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.
Image Source: Adidas

11 | J.Crew Garment-dyed Pocket T-shirt

Another J.Crew tee we’ve been buying for years. You really can’t go wrong with these.

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.
Image Source: J.Crew

12 | Jackalo Lined Ash Pants

These pants from sustainable small business Jackalo is a new favorite. So much so that I recently featured this pair (and an adorable striped pair on Pax) in the article, Cool Clothes For Active Kids? Try These Two Small Businesses.

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.
Image Source: Jackalo

13 | Adidas 3-Stripes Shorts

Not my favorites, but R has insisted that these shorts are non-negotiable. OK.

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.
Image Source: Adidas

14 | Stance Haunted Hula Crew Socks

Another pair of fun statement socks from Stance. Raines is a men’s size 6 in shoes, so this was his first pair of men’s socks. The kids’ size XL still fits a little better.

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.
Image Source: Zappos

15 | Abercrombie & Fitch Sweatpant Straight Jeans

These are the jeans that we tend to buy year after year after year. Super comfortable, and he’ll happily wear them on the daily. I wish more brands would make jeans like this for kids.

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.
Image Source: Abercrombie & Fitch

xo,

S

Oh hey, Pinners…

And while my job IS fashion, to this 13-year-old I know nothing about clothes & he has strong opinions. But this tween capsule wardrobe works — 100%.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Hey there lovely TME folks – I suspect you meant “shirt” in the line “He’s so into music right now and just about DIED when he saw this shit.” I made me giggle and works either way but thought I’d alert you to what I suspect is a typo. 🙂

  2. Thank you for this post! My son is picky as well and I have not found comfy jeans for him as of yet. We shall see if these pass the test.

  3. My 12 year old has been wearing those jcrew tees since forever, the fit is perfect for him. We may try the jeans. He has been asking for a comfortable pant that is not a sweatpant, and maybe these will make the cut.

  4. I was just coming here to say that! It’s so hard to find good stores for 13yo girls! Plus now there are a zillion “aesthetics” to ascribe to! My daughter describes herself as having a mix of “dark academia” with a smidge of VSCO girl. I was thinking she should create a subcategory blog for TME called TheDaughterEdit. 😀

  5. Those sweatpant jeans made the cut for my guy. The only jeans he will wear. I bought three pairs the next size up in prep for the next growth spurt!

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