Individual Looks Emerge When Twin Fashionistas Style Basic Girls T-Shirts
[This T-shirt] says do your homework and don’t think it’s boring. It can be fun. And doing your homework is good for you. It helps you learn and be a smarter person.
— Chloe, age 8
[This T-shirt] means that even though you’re pretty, you’re still smart. And, it tells you that even though homework can be hard, it can help you learn a lot.
— Emma, age 8
Twins Emma and Chloe, age 8, were given this assignment: create your favorite look around a girls T-shirt. Each twin was given the same shirt. What emerged were two distinct looks. Each had its own attitude and each defined Girl Fashion.
The girls T-shirt at the heart of the assignment: Truth Begins with a Tee from Pretty Brainy, created expressly for preteens as part of our Girl Fashion Collection. The girls were eager to wear their shirts to school after completing the assignment. Chloe was sure her teacher, Mrs. Borra, would love it.
Emma’s Style Choices
Hair Accessory: large flower headband in pink and yellow. At home the girls have rows of bows from which to choose.
Paired with the Girls T-shirt: jean skirt with frayed hem and pink panda bear tights. Pandas are Emma’s favorite icon.
Chloe’s Style Choices
Hair Accessory: pink ribbon with daisies. Chloe asked her mom to fix her hair in a “messy bun.”
Paired with the Girls T-shirt: boot-leg jeans.
Twin Picks in Girls’ Accessories
Bright pink patent leather clogs.
A long-sleeve white T layered under the hot pink girls T-shirt.
Lace-top bobby socks.
Black suede draw-string purses.
Why Emma and Chloe Were Asked to Do This “Make-It-Your-Own” Assignment
I wanted to see how a unisex-styled girls T-shirt would be worn by style-conscious girls. I confess: this is not my favorite in the Girl Fashion Collection of Pretty Brainy girls T-shirts, and I wanted to see how it could be transformed by real girls with energy and style.1
Hot Pink: A Deliberate Choice
As much as critics may want girls to choose any color but pink, we have to consider at least two things:
1. Girls like pink. Gendered colors notwithstanding, if girls want pink, I’ll design in pink.
2. Nature gives the world fabulous shades of pink to replicate in fashion. Hot pink is hot.
Pink, by the way, is the twins’ favorite color.
Navy Blue: Popular & Serious
Navy is a top color for spring 2012. I paired it with the hot pink to bend the overall look of the girls T-shirt toward the sophisticated and to give seriousness to the message, “I’m too Pretty Brainy not to do my homework.” When it comes to girls clothing in hot pink, navy lends credibility that black can’t pull off.
Visit Pantone for more on this year’s top picks in color for fashion and home decor.
Heidi Olinger is the founder and CEO of Pretty Brainy, Inc. “Being pretty brainy — being smart,” she writes, “isn’t about a grades, for example. Ask any smart girl or woman: intelligence is about believing in your capabilities and locating the determination to act on your ambitions.” She lives in Fort Collins, CO, where Pretty Brainy is located.
Photos: Ashleigh Smith. Photographed at Harmony Library, Fort Collins, Colorado.
1I created the message on this girls T-shirt out of reaction to the fall 2011 JC Penney product, “I’m too pretty to do my homework so my brother does it for me,” pulled from the market in the wake of consumer protest.