Decide on what style you want to wear, like preppy or bohemian. Knowing your personal style will help you pick clothes that express your personality. Think about your interests, your friend group, or what's currently trendy. If you love clean, polished clothes in linen and pastel colors, you might go with a preppy or traditional style. If you like dark colors and distressed denim, you might go with emo or urban-chic.
Mix and match pieces to create your own style. For example, if you like certain things about the bohemian style and certain things about the sporty style, combine the 2 into your own.
Browse Instagram or Pinterest to find outfit inspiration when you're choosing your new look. The #OOTD hashtag (which stands for “outfit of the day”) is a good place to start to see what fashion bloggers are wearing.
Whatever style you choose, make sure your clothes are neat and clean—wrinkled clothes give the impression that you don't care.
Find clothes that fit your body and aren’t too tight or too baggy. Sleeves that are too long or pants that cut into your waist giving you the dreaded muffin top are not flattering. Buy clothes that fit your body shape and height. You don't want to be constantly pulling at your clothes or completely covering up your figure. If you need to, get your clothes hemmed or tailored to fit.
The most important thing about dressing yourself is wearing what you're comfortable in. You'll feel better and, as a result, look better, too.
For girls, wearing the right-sized bra makes a major difference. Measure yourself using a tape measure or get professionally measured and fitted at a department store.
Don't rely on the size on the label. Sizes vary from brand to brand and store to store. You could be a size 7 in one store but a size 11 in another. Choose your clothes based on fit.
Wear clothes that highlight your best features. Think about what parts of your body you like the most. Then look for pieces that play them up, while concealing the parts you aren't so happy with. For example, if you're a girl who loves her legs but isn't a huge fan of her arms, try a short dress with long, flowy sleeves. Or if you're a guy who loves his shoulders but not his stomach, wear a loose tank top to show off your shoulders while hiding your belly.
If you aren't sure what your best features are, ask your friends or family for their opinions. Take them with you shopping to get feedback.
You don't have to show skin to show off a part of you that you love. For girls, for example, if you like your stomach, a shirt that's cinched at the waist will spotlight your narrow waist without being revealing.
Don't feel self conscious if your body is changing. That's natural when you're going through puberty! Pick clothes that make you feel most comfortable with your new body, whether that means covering up a little more or showing off your new curves if you're a girl.
Follow the dress code at your school. While you may love crop tops or shirts with funny sayings, you might not be allowed to wear them to class. Every school has a different dress code so ask your teacher or principal for a copy before school starts. Make sure everything you wear follows the rules to avoid getting in trouble.
Examples of common dress codes include no strapless shirts or spaghetti straps, no clothing shorter than mid-thigh, no offensive T-shirts, no clothing with chains, etc.
If you show up to school wearing something that's against the rules, you'll often be sent home to change or you'll have to wear something from the lost and found to cover up.
Choose a haircut that flatters your face shape. Figure out what shape your face is (heart, square, round, etc.), too. Oval faces look good with any cut. Round faces require a slimming cut, square faces need a cut that will soften the harsh edges, and heart faces look best with a cut that balances out the whole face.
Consider what kind of hair you have (curly, thin, thick, straight, etc.). Thin hair needs layers for volume while thick hair might need angling and thinning.
There are a lot of different face shapes and hair types. Talk to your hairstylist to find out what they recommend for you. Pick something that you think looks good, no matter what anyone else says.
Take a picture of yourself and upload it to a website or app that lets you try on different hairstyles. This will let you see what looks good on you before you actually go for it. Take different angles and see which one you like the best.
Get your hair cut as often as needed to keep your style looking good. Boys usually go more (like once a month) whereas girls can go 6 to 8 weeks between cuts.
Style your hair every day to look put together. The tangled bedhead look is not what you want to rock. Before school each morning, brush or comb through knots and smooth out frizz before styling your hair. For boys, part it neatly to one side or run some gel or mousse through longer hair for a tousled, edgy style. For girls, wear your hair down or pull it into a ponytail or braid. No matter what style you choose, the important thing is that it’s neat.
Choose a style that’s practical, too. For example, if you hate having your hair in your face, wear it pulled back or tucked behind your ears. Or if you’re someone who oversleeps a lot, pick a style that takes less than 5 minutes like a simple messy bun for girls or a quick combed look for boys.
If you're a girl with glasses, a high bun or loose waves give you that artsy chic vibe. Bangs are also a cute option to pair with bold frames.
Take care of your hair so it’s healthy and shiny. Nothing ruins a look more than split ends or dull hair. Avoid dying it too much, wearing extensions that can pull out your hair, or using too much heat by straightening, blow drying, or curling it. Shampoo and condition your hair regularly and make sure you rinse it thoroughly so you don’t get dandruff or a buildup of product.
Using a deep conditioner once a week in the shower and heat protectant sprays or serums before styling your hair will also keep your strands soft and smooth.
Unless you have very oily hair, you probably don’t need to wash your hair every day. For some people, 3 times a week is enough. Ask your hairdresser what they think for your hair type.
Keep makeup simple and natural if you want to wear it. You can definitely have too much of a good thing when it comes to makeup. Piling on the powder and eyeliner makes you look fake and clownish. A natural look is much more attractive. Start with a light coverage foundation or BB cream as your base. For your eyes, lightly brush on eyeshadow in a neutral color like a soft brown or cream and apply a swipe of mascara. Finish it off with a clear gloss or nude lip color.
Ask your mom or an older sister to help you learn to apply makeup. Avoid heavy powders, bright colors, or too much product. Less is more!
Watch video tutorials online or look on Pinterest for inspiration and guidance. Don’t be afraid to experiment at home to see what looks good on you.
For girls with glasses, focus more on playing up your eyes since they're a little covered by your frames. Some extra mascara will help them stand out behind your lenses.
Wear accessories that make your outfit stand out. This doesn't have to be anything elaborate—a statement necklace, cool eyeglasses, or a lightweight scarf can be all it takes to take your outfit to the next level. Just keep it simple—one or two accessories for an outfit is plenty.
Smile often to brighten up your face. Smiling makes you seem more friendly and approachable. Don’t force it, though. A natural smile, where your eyes crinkle slightly and you show a little teeth (if that’s comfortable for you), is prettiest.
Keep your lips moisturized by putting on chapstick or lip balm often so they aren’t cracked and chapped.
Practice your smile in front of a mirror or by taking selfies. You’ll learn what looks best for you, whether that’s a closed vs. open mouth or a slight vs. wide grin.
Don't be embarrassed to smile if you have braces. Remember it's just temporary and focus on how amazing your teeth are going to look when you get them off!
Stand up straight to look more confident. When you have good posture, you appear more sure of yourself. Fix sloppy slouching by standing with your shoulders back, chest slightly forward, and chin up. Focus on lengthening your spine while you keep your core and abs pulled in tight.
Look at yourself in the mirror to check your posture or download an app like PostureZone that will take a picture of you and evaluate your stance.
Get 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to look refreshed and glowy. If you’re consistently not getting enough sleep, you’re more likely to have acne or under-eye circles or even gain weight. Snoozing at least 8 hours a night refreshes your skin and gets rid of bacteria. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier every day for a week, then another 15 minutes earlier the next week, etc. until you get to the minimum 8 hours.
Stick to a sleep schedule where you go to bed and wake up at around the same times every day, including weekends. As tempting as it is to sleep in, it can make it harder to fall asleep on Sunday night and affect your sleep throughout the week.
If you have trouble sleeping, start a before-bed routine that helps get your body ready for sleep so you drift off faster. Include calming activities like taking a warm shower, reading a book, or drinking a mug of chamomile tea.
Stay away from screens like your phone and the TV at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The blue light they give off messes with your sleep cycles.
Drink at least 7-8 glasses of water a day. Not only is staying hydrated important for your body to work best, it also makes your skin more radiant and clears up pimples. Skin cells are made primarily of water, just like the rest of your body, so if you’re drinking less than 8 glasses a day, those cells will get dehydrated, making your skin flaky and dry. 1 glass equals 8 ounces (230 g).
To make sure you’re getting enough water each day, carry around a reusable water bottle filled with 64 ounces (1,800 g) of water. Once it’s empty, you’ll know you’ve met your requirements for the day.
Your water bottle doesn't have to be plain! Decorate it with fun stickers or draw on it with permanent markers.
There are apps like Daily Water Free for your phone that will track how much water you’re drinking and even send you reminders throughout the day to drink up.
Swap sugary drinks like soda for water. If plain water is too boring for you, add slices of fresh fruit.
Exercise for 60 minutes at least 5 days a week to stay in shape. Being active tones your muscles, keeps your body fit, and prevents unhealthy weight gain. Find a workout or activity that you actually enjoy so that you’re more likely to stick with it. Some examples include running, yoga, hiking, dancing, or playing tennis. Exercise includes any kind of movement, too, like walking or playing volleyball with your friends in the backyard.
Try out for a sports team at school, like soccer or football. Not only is it a great way to stay in shape, you'll make new friends, likely get to travel to different schools, and participate in team events.
If there’s a particular area of your body that you want to tone or change, add exercises into your routine that specifically target that muscle. For example, if you're unhappy with your stomach, do moves like planks, sit-ups, or crunches.
Brush your teeth 2 times a day for a whiter smile. Yellow teeth aren’t a good look on anyone. Brighten your smile by brushing when you wake up and before you go to bed to avoid stains or plaque buildup. Instead of sawing your toothbrush back and forth, use a wiggling motion on your teeth as you move the toothbrush in small strokes to get the bristles between each tooth and remove any pieces of food.
Whitening strips and toothpaste work well but they’re also harsher on your teeth. Ask your dentist before you use one, especially if you have sensitive teeth.
Create your own whitening paste by mixing 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of baking soda with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of hydrogen peroxide. Brush the paste onto your teeth for 2 minutes before rinsing your mouth with water.
If you have braces, brush extra carefully because food can easily get stuck in the wires. Your orthodontist can recommend ways to avoid stains or spots on your teeth when you have braces.
Develop a skincare routine for cleansing and moisturizing your face. For clear skin, wash your face with warm water and a facial cleanser 2 times a day, once in the morning and once at night. After each wash, massage a thin layer of facial moisturizer all over your face. Apply a thicker, heavier duty moisturizer at night to soothe your skin while you sleep. Once a week, use a cleanser with exfoliating beads or a scrub in place of your regular cleanser for a deeper clean.
The type of cleanser that’s best for you depends on your skin type. For oily skin, look for a cleanser that has salicylic acid to dry up excess oil. For dry skin, pick one that has hydrating ingredients like glycerin or essential oils.
Apply toner in between cleansing and moisturizing to remove any extra dirt or oil your cleanser didn’t get.
Protect your skin from sun damage by always using a moisturizer that’s SPF 30 or higher.
Don't pick or pop pimples. It will spread the bacteria around your face, leading to more breakouts, or leave scars.
If you have skin issues like acne, frequent bad breakouts, or super oily or dry skin, make an appointment with a dermatologist. They can prescribe a medicated treatment to help your skin or at least recommend over-the-counter creams.
Trim and shape your nails every 2 weeks to look clean. Long, dirty nails can actually grow bacteria and infections (yuck!). Use nail clippers to keep your fingernails and toenails trimmed short. Smooth out any snags or rough edges with a nail file or emery board.
How you shape your nails is up to you. Some people prefer a rounded nail where others like a more squared-off nail.
Painting your nails is a great way to show off your personality. Just make sure your paint job is pretty and clean, and remove or fix any nail polish that starts chipping off. If you aren’t good at painting your own nails, get a professional manicure at a nail salon.
Don’t bite your nails. It’s an unattractive habit and makes your nails look awful. If you’re having trouble keeping your fingers away from your mouth, brush a coat of bitter-tasting nail polish over your nails.
Keep your eyebrows and facial hair trimmed and groomed. For your brows, use tweezers to pluck stray hairs along your brow line and in between your eyebrows to create a defined shape and avoid a unibrow. Do this weekly or whenever you notice little hairs popping up. Remove out-of-place hair around your mouth and nose hairs with your tweezers, too.
Waxing is another option for removing unwanted facial hair. Do it yourself at home with a kit or go to a salon or spa to have it done professionally.
For boys, if you are already growing facial hair, shave and trim it every day so it looks clean and not patchy. Check with your school to see if they have any rules about facial hair and ask your dad to show you the proper way to shave.