Europe’s Tween Scene Shines with Style


Tweens hold a lot of buying power. With so many clothing lines, television shows, movies and music directed at tweens, most American adults are pretty confident that they’re aware of what tween culture looks like and what products kids of this age range prefer. While American “tweendom” is the most familiar type, Europe recognizes the tween years as a distinct developmental phase as well, and it is home to companies that target that demographic.

Many of these companies are similar to their American counterparts, but have some unique traits inherent to European fashion and culture. Some American retailers have noticed that European-made products are big sellers, so they keep an eye on designers from across the pond to learn who’s who and what’s trending. Barbour, Caracoteen, molo and Mini Vanilla are among the hot companies that deserve a closer look.

Barbour Bundles Up for Tweens

When kids are little, dressing them for the weather is fairly simple. Cuddly snowsuits, toasty gloves and cute hats with animal faces carry them through the winters while bright, printed raincoats and boots keep them dry on stormy days. It’s around 5th or 6th grade when things usually change; this is often the time when parents notice their kids trying to get away with not wearing their warm clothes or raincoats.

Older kids, while they may be too small to fit into adult sizes, often feel too mature to be wearing children’s rain gear and jackets, and don’t want to be seen as a “baby” by their friends. There are a few good choices in transitional weather clothing for kids, but if classic style with a high-end look is what you want, Barbour may be the answer.

Barbour is a clothing-maker that’s best-known for its motorcycle jackets; what could be cooler than that? The pieces are durable and fashionable in a bare bones, functional way that doesn’t scream “kids clothes.” Waxed jackets and quilted coats will keep chilly, damp weather at bay, while 100% cotton long or short sleeve tees are great for layering underneath.

To learn more about this international brand, visit

Caracoteen Supports Girls’ First French Undergarments

A girl’s first bra is an important marker of her transition from child to young woman. In previous generations, buying the first bra was a mother-daughter bonding activity that included the girl being measured for a proper fit. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for a girl to get her first bra from a mall or discount store based on its appearance or price alone, thus ending up with a bra that’s not quite right for her body. This can lead not only to discomfort and body issues, but to money wasted on bras that don’t look or feel good.

Caracoteen is a French company that specializes in undergarments for pre-teen and teen girls. The high-quality bras feature a “little red strap” that adds a dash of bold style as well as the ability to adjust the garments to suit the wearer’s growing body. Delicate lace and soft, forgiving materials give Caracoteen bras and panties an elegant yet youthful look and feel.

Designer and owner Iris Mizrahi launched her company on the idea that foundation wear for girls should be comfortable, functional and have a touch of class. She wanted to create a line that made a girl feel grown-up while still enjoying the fun and innocence of adolescence.

For more information, visit

molo Offers Scandinavian Styles

The tween years are all about growing children expressing their own personality and style; that’s why fashion becomes so important during this phase. After years of having parents make the clothing choices, emerging teens start feeling the need to exercise their creativity and establish their own unique look, while still fitting in with their peers.

molo makes clothing that’s perfect for the carefree tween age range. The choices have enough variety in prints, colors and styles to keep things interesting, but not too revealing or over-the-top. Based in Copenhagen and sold through retailers around the world, molo stays true to its Scandinavian roots by sporting clean lines, but jazzes up pieces with fun details. molo’s style book shows some good examples of creative vision: printed tops are paired with tailored black jackets; a bright daisy-printed smock is worn with grey varsity socks for an unexpected tomboy twist.

These are clothes a kid can wear while out and about and know they will look undeniably cool but not in a cookie cutter way. Another plus about molo clothing is that it’s made to be comfortable and suited to an active kid’s lifestyle because being a tween doesn’t mean you still don’t want to swing on the monkey bars now and then!

For more information, visit

Mini Vanilla PJs Make for Sweet Dreams

Mini Vanilla
Nighttime takes on a different vibe as children get older and more independent. When the days of cuddles and bedtime stories fade into the past, kids establish their own routines to relax and unwind for sleep. They start retreating to their bedrooms to study, listen to music, chat with friends and daydream. Their rooms become their sanctuaries and they fiercely guard their privacy and personal space.

Tweens’ interest in fashion even influences their sleepwear choices. Even if they’re just chilling out around the house they still want to look good. But like everyone else, they want to be comfortable at bedtime as well. Whether a tween is going to a friend’s house for a sleepover party or hanging out at home with a good book, Mini Vanilla has something to offer. The English clothing company specializes in comfy, cozy pajamas for kids of all ages, from tiny delicate dressing gowns for babies and toddlers to more mature offerings for older children.

Tween girls will love their Vanilla Park collection, which is made just for older kids. Loose-fitting lounge pants, cute printed tees and super-soft Sherpa fleece tops will make them feel pampered and luxurious.

For more information, visit

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