Lions & Tigers & TWEENS Oh My! | Northern Westchester Moms

Picture this: you wake your daughter up for school. She’s a little cranky but still young enough to give you that big good morning hug. Hot breakfast is waiting on the kitchen table and the bus is arriving in 30 minutes. You’ve planned the morning school routine to the second with plenty of extra time to clean that milk spilled over the counter or any last minute homework that needs correcting. Then you hear the commotion upstairs from her bedroom. Clothes thrown all over the floor, pants scrambled into a pretzel and she’s still not dressed. You check the clock. There’s 10 minutes before the bus arrives. The steam from the breakfast oatmeal has disappeared. She comes down the stairs with 5 min to spare, dressed, although not what you would have picked, and you hand her a granola bar for the road. She waves goodbye from the bus window. Breakfast oatmeal now cold on the kitchen table.

Have any of you mamas experienced something similar? I have. My name is Penny and I am the founder of Jolie Gotique, an online and mobile boutique for girls & women. I have two spunky children, Jolie & Jaden. Jolie, 9 years old, is the model and inspiration behind our girls fashion plus the business is named after her.

We curate a collection of school-cool fashions that are both mom and daughter approved. Hence avoiding the “granola bar” effect!

With some experience under my belt, both personally and professionally, I’m thrilled to be sharing some of my Back to School Style Tips and Mommy Advice:

  1. Lions & Tigers and TWEENS oh my: According to a TWEEN is “a girl aged about 9-14. Too old for toys, but too young for boys.” I am experiencing this age group first hand with my own daughter Jolie. Girls this age are gaining independence, having sleep-overs, feeling peer pressure, and beginning to define themselves as individuals. For many, personal style takes shape. As moms we can provide guidance and set boundaries on appropriate dress codes but it’s important to allow creative freedom. Let your daughter experiment with different colors and textures. Let them have choice. Let them express their individuality through style.
  1. Do your style homework the night before: If your daughter takes a while to pick her outfit then do your homework the night before. My best advice is to provide a few fashion choices before bedtime and let her decide how she wants to style them together. If she does the picking it is more likely she will stick with her outfit the next morning. Again, avoiding the “granola bar” effect.
  1. Pink might be for princesses: When Jolie was a little girl she wore plenty of pink, but she wasn’t all pink and princesses. At seven years old the switch flipped and pink took a back seat. While pink is still very trendy amongst little girls and fashion lines, non-traditional colors like navy, grey and orange are making their way into the girls market more than ever. Once you become a tween, pink is sparse in the girls fashion world. Further, and brace yourself for this one, black fashions begin to appear. My advice, roll with it! While pink is adorable and cute don’t force it upon your mini when she’s had enough. There are plenty of colorful and youthful styles to choose from that are still appropriate.
  1. Trends and more trends: Watch out Womens fashion, the girls lines are watching and know what’s going down! Today girls fashion lines have quick turnaround with production, which means they can observe the trends and create. The trends they are most observing are those of the womens fashion world. Some of these trends include: star shapes, rips, cold shoulder, fringe, raw edges, front ties, faux fur, and rainbow stripes. As moms, we want our daughters to look their age not ours. While I personally wear crop tops with high waist bottoms, I am not yet comfortable with my daughter in this look. That’s a boundary we’ve put in place for now. That being said, girls fashion lines have done an amazing job at taking the trends and making them school cool while keeping the mamas happy too!
  1. Words speak volumes: One of the trends I’d like to highlight is the graphic tee. Again, taking from the womens fashion world, specifically athleisure, graphic tees are everywhere. Similarly, they are popular for girls. Graphic tees are taking on a girlboss attitude expressing the importance of strong girls, which I support wholeheartedly. Expressions like “girl squad” “girl boss” “strong like girls” can be found on many soft and colorful styles. If your daughter is interested in wearing these types of statements, go for it!

Shopping with your daughter can be a fun and enjoyable experience. One that lends itself to some great bonding time together. Remember to take a deep breath, give her choice and freedom while providing guidance and a non-judgemental opinion. Out are the mornings of granola bar breakfasts. You’ve got this mama. I believe in you!


Penny (founder & creative director Jolie Gotique)

Shop these styles and more at

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