When you walk through the mall, you may notice that some stores have adolescent girls going in and out of them. A closer examination will show scantily clad mannequins wearing low rise jeans and tops cut off at the midriff. These are the clothing stores that were specifically designed with teenaged girls in mind.
In the early 80s, junior clothing stores began to spring up as clothing manufacturer and designers realized how much money teenagers spent on their clothes. Many of these teens used their own money from jobs that they had and often went shopping without their parents, choosing instead to pick out their own clothes. This trend started with stores such as 5.7.9 and has gone on to include Wet Seal, Charlotte Russe and The Buckle. There are also unisex theme stores that cater to the hard rock and Goth crowd, such as Hot Topic. In these stores you can find leather and lace combinations as well as trendy stockings and outer garments. The decor of junior clothing stores add to the appeal for their younger clientele. The music that is played in them includes rock and other popular genres favored by the young crowd. Many of the salespeople are teens themselves and proudly sport piercings, tattoos and the hair color du jour.
The owners of junior clothing stores know that the prices have to be affordable for teens, so the clothes that they carry usually cost less than what adults would have to pay for theirs. They also recognize that teens are fickle and constantly change their opinions on what is in fashion, so the emphasis is more on style than actual quality. Most of these clothes are cut to fit the smaller bodies that teenaged girls have, but many of the stores realize that not all teens have tiny waists, so they include sections for those teens that are considered “plus” sized. This adds extra appeal because now groups of teens can shop together instead of having to split up to allow the larger sized group to shop at stores that cater mainly to adults. There are also stores such as Torrid that cater to plus sized teenagers, offering them the same styles as their slimmer counter parts that they may not be able to find in the regular junior clothing stores.
Teens are a clothing manufacturer’s dream, spending an estimated 172 billion dollars a year. In recognition of that fact, department stores now offer large areas that are dedicated to juniors. They too play music designed to lure them into that section and feature trendy and stylish clothes and jewelry that they think will appeal to their younger audience. Lane Bryant, a store that specializes in plus sized clothing for adults, have added younger looking lines of garments, as have others. For the teens that desire a more classic look, stores such as Abercrombie offer clothing lines that will appeal to this type of shopper.