The Top 20 BEST Tween, Teen Brands and Stores of 2016 – Plus the 8 WORST!

The Top 20 BEST Tween, Teen Brands and Stores of 2016 – Plus the 8 WORST!

Where do Teens and Tweens Shop?

Most importantly, where do they WANT to shop? Moms and Tweens don’t always agree on fashion, styles or stores. Tween style and fashion trends have become more defined by the 12-15 age range. Many stores are still marketing the same styles in a 7-14/16 year age range, but what I’m seeing is a huge shift in what used to be defined as “tween”, now lending itself to a more sophisticated grown-up Teen style. The two have definitely split, and now the Girls Clothing market and the Tween-Teen Clothing Market are two very separate ranges.

Since 2016 is almost over, it’s time to do the best of 2016.

What are the hottest Teen and Tween Brands?  What are the best sites, where are Tweens shopping and what brands are out of fashion? Every year I do my research and compile my ‘Best and Worst List of Tween and Teen Brands and Stores’


The Top 10 BEST Tween Shopping Sites – Plus the 5 WORST! (2009-2010)

Top 10 of the BEST Tween Shopping Sites of 2013 – PLUS the Worst!

Here are my 2016 Picks:

These lists are based on financial market trends, brand growth, market share, deep research using social media (yes, this is a very valid tool) and Piper Jaffray research analyst reports.

The Top 20 BEST Tween and Teen Stores and Brands of 2016:

  1. Nike
  2. American Eagle
  3. Brandy Melville (last I read, Brandy had surpassed American Eagle in sales. What??)
  4. Forever21
  5. Adidas (namely, Classic Adidas)
  6. Ralph Lauren
  7. Hollister
  8. H&M
  9. TopShop
  10. Mango
  11. Zara
  12. PacSun
  13. Urban Outfitters
  14. Free People
  15. Victoria’s Secret (PINK)
  16. Vineyard Vines
  17. Nordstrom
  18. Junk Food Clothing Tees
  19. Aeropostale
  20. Converse and Vans (these are tied)

Bonus: Where else are teens shopping?

TJ Maxx



Plato’s Closet

New, and up-and-coming brands to watch for:

Maddie  This line by Maddie Zeigler is off to a cute start. Let’s see what happens in the upcoming months and seasons. I reached out to the creative team regarding their denim offering. (Waiting to hear back)

Izzy Be  More than just feel good graphic tees and cropped tops, Izzy Be has a powerful message and a commitment to giving back. Their outreach has created a huge following in just ONE YEAR!

Laurel Canyon Laurel Canyon is the latest teen brand out of LA on the market with fresh, classic styles influenced by the coolest vibes of SoCal and young European bon vivants.

Lovesick  A new brand for curvy teens was launched by the same team behind Torrid. The brand is the free-spirit little sister of Torrid.

Lisakai  Lisakai is a California Brand devoted to producing in the USA. Inspirations for the collection inspiring from the Sunflower Fields, Water Lilies, Venice Beach to Venice, Italy. Lisakai is focused each season by bringing the latest trends to your fun and flirty girl. (If you love Brandy, you will probably love Lisakai)

The WORST Tween/Teen Brands: Based on overall consumer trends, research and Piper Jaffray Research

JCPenney -No matter what happens, this department store can’t seem to bring in it’s younger crowd of teens to shop.

Abercrombie & Fitch – Sadly, A&F is no longer a big player in Teen clothing (but Hollister is!) Now, ladies my age are the object of their affection.

Wet Seal -**Closing shops. It’s too bad. I remember shopping here once upon a time. Wet Seal and other mall-based, teen-focused peers such as Abercrombie & Fitch ANF -1.68% and American Eagle AEO 0.95% have faced challenges as mall traffic has weakened in recent years.

dELiA*s – What’s the Deal-ias? I thought this eshop was poised for a mad relaunch, but it seems they are lacking something. Last post on Instagram was 2 weeks ago and no one is responding to messages; very few comments, and almost no #deliasgirl hashtags.  According to a recent interview with EVP Patricia Johnson, she describes the vibe as similar to Brandy Melville, without the exclusive one-size-only products”.  I’m not seeing it, sorry.  Girls love BM because of style and quality. A lot of BM is made in Italy and USA, not China.

Deb Shops – Sadly, Deb Shops filed chapter 11 bankruptcy and are closing.

Justice – Or, uh, Limited Too.  The brand that doesn’t know what it’s name is or who owns it. Last I read Ascena Retail Group manages it as a parent company. It doesn’t know who it’s designing for, either. According to the financial reports, “Tween Brands’ stores target girls aged 7 to 14”. Did you say 7 to 14?  This is a pretty huuuuge difference, dontcha think? 

Cotton On – This is a brand that makes you go ‘Hmmm’.  Is this one open for discussion if you’re a Tween? Their tees are strange to me. They look like bigger versions of Gymboree. The offering in Australia is different than it is here in USA, there is a Teen category there that we don’t have here in US. :/ Please share your comments. 

Children’s Place – They have gotten better. And the jeans are pretty OK.  But they go up to size 16.  16 is for tweens and teenageers, right? I can almost fit in their size 16, but obviously, I’d just. not.

-the sound of a mic dropping-

Girls, sound off!  I want your feedback! 🙂 

*Sources: Our Best of / Worst of Teen and Tween Stores and Brands List is based on independent research with our audience, Piper Jaffray Research, Fortune, CSNBC and Business Insider

** Sources: CNBC: Teen Stores Going out of Fashion , Wet Seal Closes 3/4 of Stores


8 thoughts on “The Top 20 BEST Tween, Teen Brands and Stores of 2016 – Plus the 8 WORST!”

  • cotton on is more accessible to people living in australia, and it is an easy way for people in the usa to get a different* style without paying the boutique price. like joe fresh, I guess.

    also, you should check out American apparel clothing since you like made-in-usa. They are not bankrupt yet. as well Soprano clothing (found at Nordstrom) is also made in the Usa and more affordable than other american-made brands.

    *different can be good

    • I absolutely love Aéropostale so much! They have sort of high prices, but really good sales. Overall, it is sort of like Forever21 but for a bit younger generation.

  • Children’s Place – check the stock, this kid’s retailer is blowing up. Why? Because they offer trendy age-appropriate, kid-friendly fashion at great price points. The larger sizes do not indicate older ages, but rather an extended size range for children. They are size-inclusive, which any smart retailer would be in this era.

    Aeropostale has declared bankruptcy – maybe scratch that off of your list? Under incompetent management they lost their identity and failed to offer fashion that teens wanted.

    • Aréopostale actually just reopened and it is better than ever! And, Children’s Place doesn’t even have my size and I’m 10 years old. Even TARGET is better than Children’s Place. And that’s saying a lot.

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