One of the nicest things about teen apparel (and of being a teenager in general) is the freedom to experiment. Even the simplest outfit of jeans and a t-shirt can be an expression of the wearer’s personality. Jeans now come in an array of colours. Some have decorative rivets, while others display fancy embroidered designs. Even the way the pockets are arranged can be a decorative element.

A t-shirt can be a plain solid colour with a round neck or a v-neck. It can be striped or patterned. It can display a message, either for or against a cause, showing off its manufacturer or just saying something amusing. Thus, the t-shirt can be a fashion statement, a personal statement or a political statement – you choose.

But the biggest part of the teen apparel experiment comes through accessories. These can be found in department stores and clothing shops as well as in speciality stores that carry nothing else. When selecting shoes, fit and comfort may be sacrificed to style. This may not be a good tradeoff depending on what activities you plan to pursue while wearing them. Be sure to try on both shoes as most people have one foot that is slightly larger than the other.

Shoes can be made of leather, imitation leather, cloth and other materials. Leather shoes are usually the most expensive, but they last the longest. Before making a big investment in shoes, think about how long you believe they will suit your taste, style and wardrobe and how long you might want to keep wearing them.

The handbag or purse is another great accessory. Modern style gurus no longer require matching your purse to your shoes, so go wild. Get a giant bag or a mini-backpack for everyday wear so you can carry all of your stuff. Pick a tiny, shiny bag for that night on the town. As long as it’s big enough for your keys, lipstick, money and cellphone, it will work.

If you plan an active day, forget the bag and go for a belt pouch. No longer just for athletes, these come in an array of styles and colours like other purses. And when you’re ready to get fancy, remember that you can add jewellery, gloves, hats, scarves and more to personalise your look completely.

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