Clothes For Teens, Tweens and Teenagers: Fashion Terms Explained

Fashion Terms Explained

Fashion terms for teens feel a little confusing? We’re here to explain the differences to make both you and your growing girls' and boys’ shopping experience as smooth as possible.

With so many new buzzwords for teenagers scattered around, we’re here to help you sort your ‘tweens’ from your ‘teens’ and to help you know exactly what to look out for.

What is ‘tween’?

Four tween girls model various pieces from the ‘Retro Psychedelia’ by Gen Woo.


Though exact age definitions differ across sources, ‘tweens’ are mostly thought to be young people between the ages of 8 and 13 - a crossover period for child and teenage interests. 

When shopping for this age group, definitions aren’t quite so rigid!

Tween clothing aims to bridge the gap between childhood and adolescence. At Gen Woo, we use the terms ‘teen’ and ‘tween’ to mean largely the same thing: pieces designed with youthfulness in mind, with slightly more grown-up cuts and styles than our ‘Girls’ range.

Teen vs Teenager

Two teenage girls model various pieces from the ‘Y2K Collegiate’ collection by Gen Woo.

Now that we understand the slight difference between teens and tweens, ‘teen’ and ‘teenager' are much simpler to decipher! 

Generally, teenager (or the abbreviated ‘teen’) refers to adolescents from age 13 to 19. But in practice, and in fashion, this is not always the case. 

Most brands turn to the words ‘teen’ or ‘teenager’ to describe the younger end of this group, with ‘teen clothing’ often branching further into the age 11-12 category in some cases. This is likely because older teens have a slightly more mature style, with a need for more adult-sized pieces than those designed for younger teens. Our ‘adult youth’ line perfectly encapsulates this older teenage category!

As a whole, shopping is all about personal choice, taste and style. Whilst your mini fashionistas may not fit into the ‘teenager’ category on paper, they may have outgrown children’s styles. For this reason, our ‘teenage’ clothing is designed to make that transition easier. 

Exploring their identity through clothes

While they're still at school, how your teen dresses has the potential to be a massive factor in navigating an often chaotic social environment. It's important to allow your teen some freedom, whether that be taking them shopping with you, giving them pocket money to shop on their own, or encouraging they get a part-time job for this spending money.

Talk with your teen about what types of clothes they like. This is a great way of showing them you care about their world while also saving money by avoiding purchasing anything they'll refuse to wear.

Teens use their wardrobe to explore parts of their identity that they're still discovering. Give them the room to experiment on their own. 

Shopping for clothes with your teen

Here are some thoughts on how to approach shopping with your teenager: 

- Make sure you have a good look through their current wardrobe to see how you can factor new items in, and what needs to go!

- Browse favourite online stores (such as Gen Woo!) or visit in-store with your teen, or perhaps shop with one of their friends and their mum, too. This gives the added benefit of moral support, and adds a little fun.. 

- Be open to their suggestions - remember, fashion for them is different to what you might like. Be open to them trying some new styles different ideas. Stay supportive and encouraging. 

- Have a laugh! Make it a fun shopping experience, be relaxed about trying new things and just enjoy it - it's a great opportunity to spend some quality time together.

Tween and teen collections at Gen Woo 

With the terms and age categories for teen and tween a little clearer, why not check out our range of clothing for girls and boys? We have all the latest trends covered, so you can choose clothes that are fashionable, but also sustainably made and of great quality. 

Some of the latest trends for teens in 2023 are athleisure, skatewear, and the collegiate or varsity style. You can find all these styles in our girls collections and boys collections. The athleisure trend is perfect for teenagers as it combines comfort and style in a very easy-to-wear look. The influence of skate culture on fashion is as big as ever - think baggy t-shirts, shorts and skorts for a grungy but athletic look. And if that is definitely not their thing, then perhaps the preppy look is for them - our Y2K collegiate collection combines blazers, wide leg trousers, polo tops, and graphic tees for that 90s varsity style. 

Read more about some of these trends in our Trending Clothes for Teenagers blog! 

We hope this clears things up for your next shopping spree! Stay tuned to our regular Shopping Guides for even more tips, tricks and teen shopping guides, or sign up to our regular monthly newsletter for news and exciting offers. 


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