Hip Mom: Where the Young and Hip Shop

I am afraid to let you in on a terrible secret, dear readers. As a mother of six pushing age 40, I am about as far from hip as Duluth is from Paris. And in racking my brains for a new source of hipness, I find myself (almost!) wishing I had a teenage daughter who would let me glimpse into her hip dominion. Alas, at ages 4, 2, and four months, my daughters are really useless. They have definite opinions on what to wear; Sylvie has been known to sport underwear on her head (although my 4-year-old has shown a discerning taste in footwear on the Nordstrom iPad app. Hallelujah!)  So I do what any old mom desperate for a bit of hip-spriation does: I go crawling to my girlfriends, and ask to raid their daughters’ brains.

First, I talk to Sophie H., a very with-it 10-year-old, whose patented mix of pixie dust and je ne sais quoi reels everyone in to her aura. Where does Sophie, who wants to be a clothing designer, shop?  “Justice.  And Abercrombie and Fitch.”  Well, alas, these venues are definitely for the young and petite set. Still, there is plenty of fodder from which to steal: the knit chevron dresses featured at Justice look good on any age. At Abercrombie, both the kids’ and adults’ stores feature – oh, shudder – jeggings; I’m just not sure anyone who was alive in the ‘80s should get near a jegging, no matter how many hours she logs at the gym. But Abercrombie also features an efflorescence of skinny jeans in fetching colors such as ruby red and jewel pink; if you’re feeling daring, I think these are a great way to update your fall wardrobe. Get out of a denim blue rut, and try something new! Thanks, Sophie! (PS – I asked Sophie if she has a phone yet. “Nope. Maybe when I turn 11.” Duly noted!).

Johna P. is an eighth grader at Centennial Middle School. She shops at Holister, Pac Sun, Forever 21, Wet Seal, Abercrombie and Plato’s Closet in Broken Arrow. Hmm – that last one is new to me. Plato’s Closet is a secondhand clothing store, but “not your typical secondhand clothing store.”  Plato’s Closet in Broken Arrow only buys gently used clothing and accessories that are “top name brands, cool, hip, trendy, clean and in good condition.”  The store buys items that have been in the retail stores within the past year and are current styles still seen in the mall.  Sizes run from 0 to 16. Current brands at the store include Charlotte Russe, Citizens of Humanity, Rampage, Roxy, Steve Madden and Miss Me jeans – per Johna, a favorite of eighth graders in both the boot cut and skinny varietals. I pop in and am amazed at the variety of jeans – I snag a pair of Citizens of Humanity Jeans in perfect condition for $30! More than anything this fall, Johna wants Ugg Boots (and maybe an iPhone – she only has a cell phone, and, take note, Johna’s Mom – is a “deprived child.”  The tussles I have to anticipate!)

Then I talk to Amanda W., a junior at Jenks High School, who likes Forever 21, American Eagle and Urban Outfitters. The rock-bottom prices of, say, a blingy, clingy cocktail dress at Forever 21 might make it worth checking out if you have a holiday party coming up and are feeling confident (and skinny!).  Amanda swears by Bare Minerals Makeup. She also shops for more unique pieces on Etsy, the website where sellers offer up homemade and/or vintage items. There’s even an Etsy app for vintage shoppers on the go. I ask Amanda how she keeps in touch with her friends: “Texting. And Facetime.” I don’t think teenagers even look at their email anymore; in “researching” my article, I didn’t get any responses from emails I sent.

Ally P.  is an effervescent Jenks High student, bubbling with smiles and enthusiasm. Ally finds a lot of comely pieces at Francesca’s at Woodland Hills Mall.  This little boutique is charming; one of the big trends featured is cobalt blue. Again, while I couldn’t shop here for all my wardrobe needs, it’s perfect for the trendy accent or funky bag. Ally also loves J. Crew. How timely! My weekly-ish “goop” email from my dear friend Gwyneth Paltrow extols the wonders of J. Crew TOO. Oh, J. Crew is lovely – beautifully tailored clothes, high quality, classic lines – but what Gwyneth considers to be at a “great price point” is probably not as great for those of us with more earthbound incomes. But I suspect your teenager will love you if you pick up a few investment pieces at J. Crew – and maybe some trousers, a purse, or a trench coat for yourself! Ally also likes Aldo for fun, trendy shoes. She buys her cosmetics at Ulta. All of her friends have iPhones, and they text, tweet and use Instagram a lot. Ah, Instagram: I’ve heard about that, and now I see why:  it’s so easy to share pictures, and apply artsy fartsy effects to them – how fun!

Allie S. is a Jenks High School senior, pondering enviable school choices such as Yale, Harvard and Texas A&M. She loves a little boutique called Abelina’s on 52nd and Sheridan. It’s actually a bridal boutique, but they also have prom and party dresses. Another favorite? Glamour Gowns and More, in Broken Arrow; this wonderful little secret sells prom and  cocktail dresses, and even resells new-ish (less than three years old) frocks in excellent condition. I suppose most of us moms won’t need a bridal dress or a super gorgeous cocktail dress anytime soon – but very important female knowledge, just in case.

Finally, I talk to Jacy W., who is an elementary education student at NSU. Jacy is a bargain hunter and loves TJ Maxx.  She also shops at Anthropologie and a spot I’ve never heard of — The Dainty Hooligan boutique at 101st and Sheridan. This little spot is a revelation:  it is a “chain” – the owner relocated from Newport Beach, CA, back to Oklahoma. Now she has four stores: Newport Beach, Norman, Stillwater, and Tulsa. The clothes are trendy and really cute – as an oldish mom, you probably can’t buy the bulk of your wardrobe here, but you can find a hip top, colorful jeans, or a cute cocktail dress you’ll wear once or twice. It’s a lot of fun, and if I find myself with the delectable problem of having a last-minute invitation to a cocktail party – this is where I would go!

So there you go: where the achingly young, beautiful and hip girls of Tulsa County are shopping. Next up? I’m going to talk to older moms — women of a certain age, if you will – on their favorite shops and items of clothing over the years. These women, after all, have children who have been potty trained for many, many years – clear evidence they know what they’re talking about.