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Teen boys clothing, what's cool what's Not?

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My partners son has come to live with us. He's 14.

He came with the school clothes he had on his back and we are gradually trying to fill his wardrobe (we already had a few bits and bobs)

He's had a pretty rough few years, struggling with Autism, not fitting in his previous family home or into society in general as he's always seen as 'different' and bullied terribly at school.

So I'm after some advice on 'What's cool, and what's not.'

I don't want to go out buying things that's going to fuel the bullies with more ammunition.

Where do you shop for your teen boy?

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Hi bizzy-lizzy.

Clothing for teenage boys is a minefield!! At the mo my son is favouring north face. As this is what his peers deem to be 'in'

We always buy him trainers of his choice which is usually Nike if you go to the outlet at parkgate in Rotherham you can pick up a decent pair with a good discount. His last pair cost us £25 instead of £52.

We very rarely buy anything without him being around to choose it, his favourite shop is JD. If you have an idea of what your looking for you can get some bargains online with M and M. Good luck with everything. I hope he settles in and has a more positive time.

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Hi Bizzy-Lizzy, my son works in retain in Meadow Hell, has to wear the latest

trends to advertise the cloth's, the shop River Island, never yet seen him in shirt and tie it's always top's and tee shirts, :cool:

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dont deal with bullies by buying top named clothes for a start

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Thank you for your replies, it's much appreciated. We've been shopping together and bought a few bits, yes we got some school trainers from the NIKE shop at Rotherham retail it was the only place we could find plain black trainers.

I will have a look in river island and at the north face stuff too. It's pretty much all new to us, my child is still young enough to wear clothing from where ever without anyone saying anything but teenagers can be so cruel at times and are well aware 'What's in and what's not'

I know I shouldn't be buying top brands just to shut the bullies up but if it gives him a break for a short while just to get settled in and a fresh start, then I'm prepared to do anything.

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I'm not sure having brands will stop bullies, they'll find another reason. Buy him what makes him feel comfortable. North Face has become the latest brand well sought by youth gangs in less affluent areas. Other places and subcultures will have different fashion trends which maybe less 'street' based.

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Hi Bizzy_Lizzy

 

Is it a non-school uniform school he's in? If they do wear school uniform, at least he'll get a break in that respect. I'd have thought something like a Nike bag would be a safe bet.

 

If he has Autism, my guess is he is very good at noticing some details. Maybe set him a task of noticing what the brands are that most kids in school wear. That way you'll have more of a chance of getting him stuff that fits in.Ideally, get him to take note of the brands that the groups that he likes wear

 

Most schools have lots of different groups and the clothes they wear will vary according to what group they are in. So your best bet is to find who he wants to fit in with and buy accordingly.

 

Grand is right - it shouldn't be about having to buy clothes to make him fit in. But it sounds like he's been up against him so if a few labels give him a good start then i think it's worth it. It may also be worth talking to his Head of Year of Learning Mentor - they may well be able to link him up with a "friendship group." A good school will take the time to do all they can in every respect to help him fit in.

 

Feel free to PM me if you want - I work in several schools as a youth counsellor

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His school has a uniform, which is good however they still seem to pick up on other non uniform items such as the bag, the shoes, PE kit, coat etc, all things he's been teased about in the past. Making friendship groups being Autistic is very difficult, he has little understanding for emotions and can sometimes come across quite abrupt and uncaring with things he may say, so although he does make friends they don't tend to hang around for too long.

 

We are trying to encourage him to be more social, it's a catch 22 situation. He wasn't allowed out at his previous home simply because he was bullied and can not be left unattended for lengths of time due to his lack of understanding of the world around him. This clearly did not work, he and his family were very unhappy so he's come to us to perhaps try a different way of living, we are more social people and are trying to encourage that by letting him out with other children for short periods of time, (he must check back in at home on a hourly basis) however this leaves him in a pretty open situation for the bullies to attack. We just hope if he has an opportunity to make some friends, He's better off in a group than alone.

 

It's very difficult, the clothing situation may or may not help, but it's a start. If he looks like he may fit in then there's a better chance for him to do so. (Wrong I know, but that's reality with children)

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If it seems like he has a thoughtful teacher at school, could you ask him or her for advice on fashions at that particular school?

 

Your stepson sounds like he has a loving family putting a lot of thought into his wellbeing.

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Have you had any help with his Autism? You can get a referral to the mental health service from your doctor. I know they run groups and the like.

 

Can I also recommend one of the best, most positive books I've ever read about Autism: "Appreciating Asperger Syndrome" by Brenda Boyd. I wanted to cheer when I read it!

 

She's also written other excellent, very approachable books on the subject.

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Bizzy_Lizzy you might want to check this out if you are in Rotherham. I know there are groups for young people with ASD in Sheffield too. I have heard good things about both groups and a good source of support for those looking to support them.

 

http://www.autismeducationtrust.org.uk/good-practice/case%20studies/rotherham%20outreach.aspx#yg6

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Firstly, well done for asking.

 

I wasn't sure this would be the place to ask but you've got some really constructive answers.

 

Autism's a really broad spectrum so how relevant advice is depends on your boy and how he presents.

 

Whether him looking and paying attention to brands is a good idea might depend on how well he is able to do this discreetly. If he's going to stare, this might not be such a good idea unless you ate black and white about being subtle (a hard thing for some kids with ASD to do). On balance its probably a fabulous idea but you know the lad so you make that call.

 

Ask the school about what support they have for children on the autism spectrum. The Special needs coordinator is in charge but don't be afraid to ask them who the best person to speak to about it is as the Senco may be too busy whereas her deputy might be a gem.

 

It's worth sharing your lad's background with the school. They may not do much but if they don't know, then they definitely can't look out for issues. Some schools have areas that vulnerable kids can do to during break and lunches.

 

Finally, groups often form round common interests so for example include musical types (e.g guitar), skateboarders, mountain biking, football, computer geeks and so on. His interests might affect the group and so dress sense.

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