Shopping with your teen for work clothes: adventures at The Gap

My daughter Olivia recently got hired at our local Publix and is going for her all-day orientation this Saturday.

I am very excited for her because she will now hopefully learn how to multi-task/balance school, sports, work and her social life and earn her own $.

Publix, of course, has a dress code for their employees. Olivia needed to buy appropriate attire for her orientation. We needed to buy Black Khaki pants and button-down top. For most of us this would have been easy. Well, for a 14, soon to be 15-year -old teenager, this was not easy at all….NO!

I told Olivia we would go to The Gap to get her her pants and top. What an adventure that was!

First, we go into the store and she tries to tell me that they are “allowed” to wear tights black Khaki pants. I said, “”No, that is not work appropriate.” When I showed her some of the pants, I knew she would not go for what she calls “baggy” look. I let her peruse the store with the generous help of the store attendant. I said NOTHING during her adventure. I let her pick pants to try on and whichever one she liked she would come out and show me. I told her not to worry about the length, that we could hem it.

Well, she came out with one pair and to me it was not as loose as I would want it but, it was appropriate for her job. Meeting her half way was fine. When I looked at the price of the pants- $60, I was shocked!  Should I really pay $60 for a pair of khakis for work? I told her we would buy more pants but not there. We would need to check other stores. She was specific on which stores NOT to go into of course. We went to Macy’s, Aeropostale and of course my favorite store as you know..Hollister (please note, I did NOT buy anything for myself at Hollister). Can you believe none of these stores had black pants for a teen? Only jeans and very casual cotton pants/capris. Can you believe there wasn’t any other stores that we could buy more pants other than The Gap?

I told Olivia, that I was going on the JC Penny website and I was sure they would have pants for her less than $60. To my surprise, she said nothing. I’ll take that as a “Yes, thank you very much.”

When we were in Hollister, we bought this really cute preppy long sleeve shirt that I could not believe she liked. There is hope for us yet! I am very proud that we did not fight every step of the shopping trip. Was it because we were limited in our store selection or that she’s maturing and realizing what is “work appropriate” or both?

So, parents, have you gone work clothes shopping with your teen? Was it a fun experience or a fiasco?

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    1. mominthesprings March 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm

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  4. Mandi June 12, 2012 at 12:43 am

    I am actually a teen myself- I just got a job at Publix and I have orientation this Saturday!!! Funny enough- I have been having the worst time trying to find a pair of black khakis for my work. Any tips?! Where did you find work-appropriate wear for your daughter? Thanks!!! 🙂

    1. mominthesprings June 13, 2012 at 12:35 am


      Congrats on your new job at Publix!! That is wonderful!! You will love it.
      I found black khakis at THE GAP. They are not cheap- $65 but they last a long time and look great. You may also get a coupon online.
      Good luck and let me know how you are doing!!


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