Q&A with the associate fashion editor of Girls’ Life Magazine

Being a teen girl today is complicated stuff. Balancing school, family, extra curricular activities, friends, a social life, boys…

Sometimes a girl needs a little guidance.

Girls’ Life  can help teens face the world (and all its glorious challenges) in style.

Read this Q&A with the associate fashion editor of Girls’ Life magazine, Jessica D’argenio Waller to get the inside scoop on teen fashion, body image, and following today’s trends.

Q: Where do teens get their inspiration from in terms of fashion?

A: Teens often look to celebs and entertainment icons for fashion inspiration, rather than runways or hard-to-emulate editorials. Of course, older sisters and friends are a major source, too, but a lot of our readers also love real-life style and street style blogs, which they use as inspiration to create new outfits from things already in their closet.

Q: How do most teens rate their sense of style?

I think most teens wouldn’t consider themselves extremely stylish—when you’re getting ready for school in the morning, it’s hard not to fall into the jeans-and-tee rut, or if you have to wear a uniform, there’s hardly any room for creativity there. At Girls’ Life (GL), we try to publish really relatable stories, like how to update your weekend wardrobe, or how to make that jeans-and-tee feel fresh.

Q: What is the most important thing that makes them feel stylish?

A: When you’re a teen, it’s not always about the brands you’re wearing—your body is going through all these changes, and it’s hard to get used to that. Our ‘Love Your Bod’ section in the magazine is dedicated to dressing for your shape, whether you’re a ruler, apple, pear, hourglass, curvy, etc. Feeling good and looking good go hand-in-hand!

Q: How can teens follow the latest fashion trends while staying age-appropriate?

A: This is something I’m very conscious about! I want to showcase the latest trends, but they have to be accessible and age-appropriate. I’ll refuse to include teeny tiny bikinis or 5-inch platform peep-toe stilettos in our issues, because I don’t think our readers (ages 10-17) need to be wearing those. I’m also sensitive to hem length and skimpy clothes—we want to make sure that girls are respecting their bodies (along with parents’ wishes).

Q: Do you think it’s important for teens to be aware of the latest trends?

A: I think if a teen is interested in fashion, it can be quite fun to keep up with the latest trends. But we always tell GL readers to splurge on classics and key wardrobe pieces, and save on trends that won’t last more than a couple seasons. Plus at that age, you’re likely to still be growing! So we mostly focus on fun trends that have staying power and are flattering to different body shapes, like wide-legged flares or peplum skirts.

Q: How can teens create a unique look while still feeling like they fit in with their peers?

A: When you’re a teen, there’s so much pressure to fit in and look like everyone else! We try to encourage girls to push their style boundaries a bit by standing out, whether that’s by going thrift shopping, holding a clothing swap, mixing prints or embracing a new trend.

I also love to encourage girls to try creative layering. You can still wear your basic pieces, but try something new with them—whether you pop on a chunky sweater with denim cutoffs and tights or a throw a tee-shirt under a sundress, it’s little changes like that which can help a teen stand out from the crowd while still fitting in.

Q: Who are some of the celebrities that teens look up to in terms of fashion? Which teen celebrity do you think has the best style?

A: Our girls love Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Victoria Justice, among other starlets. I think they all have great style, but I’m partial to Taylor’s. I love how she goes for a dress or floaty skirt and sweet heels, even on her off days!

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