Trendy or fun gifts for teenagers
August 3, 2021 3:17 PM   Subscribe

What would you buy for a stylish teenager in your life? I’d like to send some nice back to school gifts to my nieces and nephews. Age range 11-17.

I have previously bought bucket hats, a fanny pack, adidas in a favorite color, and a Pandora bracelet the younger girl requested. What else do you think they might like?
I also love to buy them new versions of things I loved in the 90s, is there anything else from the 80s or 90s in style? Are hyper color shirts around again? I’m thinking of a swatch but I need to ask about that first (my guess is watches aren’t cool? Unless it’s apple and I’m not going there).
Are there fashion brand name or style you recommend? They are adorable kids and super sweet. (I have bought them books and they have a microscope already, mefi, I swear!) I would say their fashion style is more preppy than artistic or grunge, which is where I lean.
What about those square backpacks? Fjallraven did I spell that right? Are those in style? Bonus points if you also have a toy or gift idea for the 11 year old. She doesn’t want clothes, but may want an accessory or something fun she could play with. It’s hard to shop for these kids sometimes because I don’t know what they already have, but picking something stylish or soon to be trendy seems to go over well.
posted by areaperson to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I can't vouch for this particular group of teenagers, but NY Magazine's The Strategist just ran this teen-focused article, 33 Cool Things to Buy
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:07 PM on August 3, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: For the 11 year old, I am loving Target's Mondo Llama craft line of art sets and stuff - they're all reasonably priced, too. I bought several of them for my kids to play with over the summer.

For the older ones, maybe stuff to decorate their rooms if they have the space? I also got my niece and nephew some personalized journals off Etsy and they seemed to really appreciate those.
posted by toastyk at 4:08 PM on August 3, 2021

Best answer: I bought a hypercolor shirt from Kohl's several years ago and loved it. American Apparel had helped re-popularize them with their own version a few years before that. Looks like they're not prevalent at the moment, but Amazon sells some.
posted by Carouselle at 4:13 PM on August 3, 2021

Best answer: Yeah, Fjallraven bags were having a trendy moment for a while. But they are also just nice, functional, sturdy things made in pretty colors. I knew about them from my outdoorsy mountain friends and when I mentioned they were trendy on tiktok or whatever I was met with blank stares. They might already be non-trendy, these things go fast, but they are still tasteful useful bags. They have some cute little wallet and toiletry bags that might work nicely as part of a combo gift instead of a big backpack.

As for 90s things, yeah, they’ve been back for a while. Scrunchies in bright colors, velvety fabrics, and patterns might be good, depending on how they like their hair. Also, gel pens are nicer now and pair great with a fancy grown up coloring book or zentangle book. If either of them are into journaling, you can get really cool journal and scrapbook kits with themes on Etsy, and pair them with a blank journal. Fairy journal kit, cottagecore bullet journal kit, 90s pastel journal sticker set, etc.
posted by Mizu at 4:23 PM on August 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My thirteen year old really likes the clothes and accessories from Shein.
posted by fancyoats at 4:26 PM on August 3, 2021

Best answer: Things the kiddos in my life love:
- Starbucks gift cards
- HydroFlasks
- LED lights for their bedrooms
- Oversized sweatshirts

Way to be a fabulous auntie!
posted by WaspEnterprises at 4:26 PM on August 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Let them customize their own Vans.
posted by vunder at 4:27 PM on August 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As mentioned above - we got our 12 year old these led lights as a birthday or Christmas present - it's really just a super basic 16 or 32 foot strip of LEDs but it has a tape backing and can be controlled from their phone to change lights and flash in patterns etc. Big hit.
posted by true at 4:48 PM on August 3, 2021

Response by poster: Sweetie darling, the article is edifying! I have some claw clips and the ordinary products I can pass along to my niece! I love the LED lights, but I may table that idea for a holiday gift. Someone remind me then.
It’s good to know hyper color shirts were back in style because I really thought I saw them around. My top contenders are the vans, the backpack and Shien or some of the things mentioned in that article. Let’s be honest, I actually want one of each too. Thanks for the help!
posted by areaperson at 5:26 PM on August 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Freestyle Shark watches
posted by Dansaman at 10:55 PM on August 3, 2021

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