Do you have a tween girl who loves clothes? or would like to be a fashion designer, at least for a day? Looking for a fun alternative to the mall for back to school clothes shopping?
I answer "yes" to all of those. And I don't think I'm alone, based on the popularity of FashionPlaytes.com, also known as FPGirl. The website caters to girl ages 5 to 12 (with sizes 6-14) and allows them to design their own clothes and order their designs.
My tween had been lamenting that she didn't want little girl clothes that she'd seen recently but knew that I would insist on appropriate clothing. I really liked that the items on FPGirl were appropriate, and she liked, well, everything. She spent hours and hours designing dozens of pieces of clothing. The website starts with a basic item, such as a t-shirt or dress, and then walks girls through the designing process, starting with size and color and then moving through various detail options. Girls can choose from all kinds of embellishments from images on the front to rhinestones around the neck to ruffles on the sleeves or hem.
My tween spent a long time just playing with the endless possibilities and combinations. It gave her a chance to be creative with clothing and to get in touch with her inner fashion designer. She really enjoyed having some control and trying out new combinations. There is a social media component that girls can use to share their designs, but we have not explored that. I did have to work at keeping my mouth shut about the design process. The designing was fun, and I was curious about a few combinations myself. I also had to set a time limit because she could play on the site for days.
The website says to allow4-5 weeks for manufacturing and shipping of garments. Ours took far less time, arriving 12 days after we placed our order.
Each item starts at a flat price and each additional design element is an additional cost. The flat prices are pretty reasonable, most under $20. The cost can add up quickly, and my tween had to make decisions about what would fit within the budget. It is easy to see just how much each addition costs, which was helpful. Narrowing down the choices was tough.
We were happy to find lots of items in the clearance section that appealed to my tween, which allowed her to get more items than if she had gone with the full price items. For $100, she was able to get a long sleeve t-shirt, a short-sleeve t-shirt, a dress, capri pants, and a fashion design notebook.
Shipping is $3-$8.
The sleeves and hems of tops and dresses had raw edges, and I wish that they had been finished. I worry about them rolling or fraying up to The site does offer a Love It Guarantee.
One item we ordered was way too big. The site wisely advises ordering a size up if unsure of size, and my daughter is an 11, which the site, like many others, does not have. Most of our size 12 items from the site were a little big but doable, with the exception of one dress. We had no problem returning it and the customer service was great. They were responsive and speedy.
The Design Studio portion of the site was easy to use, and my tween had no problem navigating it herself.
Overall tween review
"This site is awesome!"
Overall mom review
We had a very positive experience with the site and it was a fun experience for both of us. I'd happily let my tween do it again. I think this could be a fun suggestion for relatives who want to give a gift card. This is a more memorable experience and makes far more use of a girl's creativity than just a trip to the store.
Disclosure: FashionPlaytes.com provided me with a gift certificate to purchase designs so that my tween and I could experience the site firsthand to decide if we liked it. We did, and wanted to share it and our own opinions with you. We were not compensated for this review.