Buying Gifts For Teenage Girls

“I am off to a young cousin’s birthday festivity this weekend with no clue of what to get her for her 14th birthday. She is an aspiring and adorable trendsetter, with stacks of Vogue and dress sketches around her young room. However, in the ever competitive world of high school it can be difficult to make a mark with your own fashion.
What could I buy her that she would appreciate, adore and wear? I would like her to step away from the name brands and explore the endless world of personal fashion… but at such a young age how can I help?”

She sounds super-cute! It makes me smile that you say, “at such a young age” — 14 year old girls don’t consider themselves young by any means! They only seem young in retrospect. The most important thing is that you treat her like an equal — this will be a great birthday gift in itself, since most adults will just treat her like a kid.

Okay so, onto the present stuff! While it would be nice to buy her a pair of pants & be done with it, I suggest going for something that will last a little bit longer.

Does she wear make-up yet? If not, is this because her parents object or just because she hasn’t gotten around to it yet? She would probably absolutely LOVE to go & get a makeover at M.A.C. (or similar). You would need to book it in advance, but when you call to do this, I’d stress her age, & say you would like the artist to give her as much information as possible, so she can recreate it herself. I’d also give her some money towards cosmetics, maybe $150 or so (though of course it will depend on your budget). $150 is a pretty good amount though, she will probably be able to get some foundation, concealer, mascara & eyeshadow for that much.

I know it sounds cheesy, but education is a great gift too. I don’t mean boring education — I’m talking about the good stuff! If she loves Vogue so much, why not get her a yearly subscription? (How about getting her a subscription to FRUiTS or Street too, just to balance things out a bit? This might help steer her away from all the name-brand craziness.) Or you could give her copies of your 5 favourite movies. Another thing she might like is a subscription to a film club or something like that. I know that here in Melbourne, you can join the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) for about $90 & then rent anything you like — amazing foreign films, documentaries, the lot. A CD of some of your favourite songs might be good too.

However, if you’re really hung up (hee hee!) on getting her something to wear, I suggest going for something sizeless & easy. How about vintage costume jewellery? Also, cool stockings or legwarmers are always a great gift. When I was a teenager my mother used to buy me amazing legwear (along with bucketloads of M.A.C.) & it made the best present. If you’re not sure, though, you can always offer to take her shopping. Tell her how much you have to spend & then go shopping together. This will be a good lesson for her in terms of spending money wisely & you can also give her your Professional Older & Therefore Cooler opinion!

Tell her “happy birthday” from me!