Ah, the life of a preteen going to middle school. It’s a time in life that’s absolutely unforgettable—not to mention one of the best times for your girls to learn about their personal style. It’s no secret that preteen girls are very choosy abut the fashions they pick for their school lives. 

The question is, how do you find cute fall fashions for preteen girls that are affordable, chic, and still appropriate for school? It can be a hassle, but we at Meant2Be Kids really know how to help a parent out. We’ll give you shopping tips and more, all in one handy blog post. 

Of course, we all know that preteen girs can be hard to please. In fact, shopping with them can be scarier than a Halloween night! Before we begin showing the coolest fashion trends, let’s take a closer look at how you can make the most of your shopping experience. 

Before we begin, let’s talk about shopping with preteen girls.

Do you remember being a preteen? It’s that tender age where you’re not quite a teenager, not quite a child. It’s a time when girls are often trying to figure out whether they should shake the childish clothing they wear or keep it. 

Oh, and it’s also a time when they get totally obsessed with fashion. Fall fashions for preteen girls can change from age to age, and even location to location. In most cases, your daughter will want to wear exactly what her friends are wearing—or something cooler.

These tips below can help you make the most of your shopping trip:

  • You might want to pick a size up. Preteens are amazingly fast growers. You don’t want her to outgrow that sweater or pair of slacks in a week. While it’s not as bad as the toddler age, a little extra movement can often help make a piece last through the season. 
  • Layers are (always) in. The fall season is notoriously fickle. One day, you might think it’s July. The next, it’ll feel like December. Layers are the way to dress so that your daughter can stay as warm (or cool) as she wants. Don’t be afraid to stock up, because you can repurpose a lot of those layered items in summer and spring. 
  • Try to come up with a color palette that she likes. It’s way easier to match clothing when your clothes for a season tend to be centered around the same colors. Pick two to three colors, then fill the rest of the wardrobe with neutrals. Neutrals go with everything, making a cinch to go matchy-matchy. 
  • Keep an eye on what other girls are wearing at her school. Though every girl is different, the truth is that this is an age where fitting in matters a lot. Most preteens want to be seen wearing the same clothing as the “in crowd,” if not the clothes their teen idols wear. It’s okay to keep abreast of what’s “cool” this time of year, or to just ask your daughter what people are wearing. It will help you pick out clothes that work for her. 
  • Read up on your school’s dress code. You may want to keep your kiddo trendy, but the truth is that school rules trump that issue. If you want your daughter to wear those clothes in class, you need to know what’s okay and what isn’t. You don’t want to get that embarrassing call from your principal. 
  • Always pick high quality clothing from well-known brands. Cheaply made shirts are not a good investment, no matter how cheap they are. They will warp, stretch, and pill up at the drop of a hat. You want to make sure you have clothing that lasts. That happens when you invest in well-known, highly-regarded brands that are famous for investing in quality materials and design. 
  • Avoid white bottoms. Those preteen years are usually the first years a girl meets Aunt Flo. White bottoms usually can’t handle too many repeat stains, even if they are high quality. This is more of a logistics issue than anything, but it’s a good issue to keep in mind. 
  • Remember to accessorize with lip balm. This is not a season known for being kind to skin. Chapped lips can hurt. Give your daughter some lip balm to make sure her lips don’t crack. She’ll thank you once the colder winds start to hit. 
  • At the end of the day, remember that it’s your daughter wearing these clothes—not you. We all know how many parents have butted heads with their kid over clothing styles. The truth is, we can’t control what our kids like and don’t like. If you want to make sure that your child is happy to wear those clothes, ask them what they want to wear. 

  • What are the hottest trends in fall fashion for preteen girls?

    Great question. The truth is that the top trends all depend on which clique your daughter hangs out with. However, we have a good idea of what parents should consider across the board. 

    Layers, Layers, Layers!

    Rule number one of fall fashion for preteen girls: you need to layer your clothing. This means that you should have some staples in a neutral color that are light enough to wear during the summer, but easy enough to style during the winter. 

    We suggest getting some white tank tops to layer underneath a shirt or coat. The Katie J Emmy tank is a great example of a simple basic tank top that will work wonderfully as a layered piece. You can also use a conservative sweater like the one from Vintage Havana to layer for a thicker feel. 

    Matching Hoodie + Sweat Sets

    Let’s be honest for a moment: every kid is going to need to have something to wear during gym. Even when they aren’t gymming it up, they are going to want to have something warm and cozy to lounge around in. Hoodie and sweat sets are the go-to for this. 

    You can go for a plain, single color duo like the ones from Tweenstyle if you want to keep things basic. If you want to get a little more involved in the design, you might want to pick up some sweats and a matching hoodie (sold separately) from Californian Vintage. Either way, coords make a lot of sense these days. 

    Oil Slick

    In the mid-2010’s, oil slick clothing and hair was a microtrend in the underground arts scene. Now, it’s coming back with a vengeance. As the name suggests, this is clothing that has a black base color but has a rainbow iridescence to it that resembles an oil slick. 

    Oil slick clothing steals the show, which is why buying this stuff is often relegated to statement pieces. Even so, you won’t see your daughter complaining if she’s already getting into punk rock. T2Love has an amazing pair of pants that suit this trend beautifully. 

    NY/Cali Clothing

    This is not so much a trend as it is a common theme we’ve seen throughout several decades. For some reason, having a California name (like Malibu) or the name of New York City makes a shirt automatically cooler. It may just be a thing that fashionistas decided without telling anyone. 

    Either way, having a shirt that claims to be from New York or California adds a veneer of coolness. The important thing to remember is that this doesn’t really hold true if you’re from New York City or California. You have to pick something far from your hometown to get that effect for some reason. 

    Want to show that your daughter is a Cali girl whose style reflects New York? Prince Peter has a cool pullover with New York City’s biggest landmarks. 

    Feather Accent Party Dresses

    Do you remember how popular feather/maribou accent dresses were during the Y2K period? We at Meant2Be Kids remember. It was everywhere back in the day. Unsurprisingly, people remember that when it comes to the nostalgia-enhanced rose-tinted glasses of today. 

    Feather accent dresses are great for a party, especially if your daughter just discovered the magic of watching Mean Girls for the first time. Katie J Tween has an amazing dress known as the Christy Dress in both pink and blue. Is that not perfect for a bat mitzvah?

    Fabulous Flannel

    Flannel never really goes out of style, but there are some years where it’s trendier than others. For preteens, flannel offers a fine walk between the trendy and the classically preppy. On one hand, flannel can look like it’s fresh off a 90s grunge look. On the other, it can also look like it belongs in a classic country girl’s wardrobe. 

    Flannel is a smart move because you can always dress it up or down. We suggest getting some cute flannels from a designer like Katie J. That fashion house makes extra warm and snuggly flannels perfect for a younger teen. 

    Vintage Print Tees

    Continuing on with the heavy focus on nostalgia is the trend of vintage print tees. These tees are not actually vintage, but are meant to help bring up that same mood that parents have when they look at old yearbooks. Vintage prints are meant to harken back to the 90s and 80s…or even earlier. 

    The cool thing about vintage print tees is that they never really go out of style. They also can be worn year round—though you may need to layer them with a cool jacket or coat. Dori Creations has a cool example of this trend, if your child is interested in it. 

    Tailored Pleather Blazers

    Pleather blazers are in, big time. They offer all the cool look of leather with less of the weight that traditional leather would have. Preteens are also more likely to care about an item being vegan or sustainable, too. 

    However, you can’t just have a cheap pleather jacket and hope for the best. You need to have one that suits your daughter’s body a bit. That’s where tailored and cinched blazers come into play. The Victoria Blazer from Katie J is a great choice for this. 

    Simple Knit Sweaters

    Is it possible to have an article about fall fashion for preteens without including the obvious? We think not. If you’re in the Northern hemisphere, then you are going to have chilly days during the fall—especially as you get closer to December. 

    Sometimes, the trendiest and smartest piece of clothing you can buy is also the simplest. A simple knit sweater is a great example of this. You can snag one from Flowers by Zoe, and trust us, it’ll become one of your go-to pieces.


    The Barbie movie became one of the biggest hits in recent history, with sales exceeding a billion dollars after its release. Unsurprisingly, a lot of girls resonate with it. One of the more common trends across the board is the use of Barbie as an emblem. 

    Girls love Barbie, and they love the #girlpower it offers. You can grab a Barbie tank from Penelope Wildberry. Or, if your daughter is more low-key, you can just get her some Barbie stationery for school. Either way, chances are that she won’t argue. 

    Need help finding fall fashion for preteens?

    Trust us when we say we understand the struggle. It seems like preteens have a very unique “make or break” taste that can be very difficult to cater to. Thankfully, parents don’t have to go it alone. 

    At Meant2Be Kids, we make a point of being experts in the world of trendy preteen clothing. Our goal is to help you make your child one of the best dressed on the playground. Whether you need a party dress, daily basics, or even a new pair of pajamas, our store is built for you. 

    Need to learn about sizing or just want to get something fast? Reach out to us. Our helpful staff is here to make sure that your shopping experience is one of the best you’ll ever have.