Teen Stars Get the Holiday Dress Drill

Posted November 12, 2007 4:46 p.m. EST
Updated November 13, 2007 1:58 a.m. EST

When it comes to fashion, teenagers know how to push the limits. They've got youth and attitude in their favor, and a risky move may even set a trend.

But what about when they're headed to a family gathering? Untucked shirttails, micro minis and shaggy hair may not score any points around the holiday table.

If some wardrobe adjustment may be in order, consider this wisdom from the stars of two Disney Channel TV shows, who say it is possible to maintain personal style while still pleasing your parents - and grandparents, and great-grandparents.


David Henrie, "Wizards of Waverly Place"

Put aside your day-to-day look and wear a nice sweater, khakis and good shoes for those times when you see all your far-flung relatives, says Henrie, 18.

"I have this huge Italian family. We get together on Thanksgiving and play cards. It's a little more formal than the usual pasta dinner at Nona's house," he says. "But we see each other so often we don't have to dress to impress."

Christmas morning at home with his parents and brother may be loose and casual. But later in the day, when more family gets together, he goes for a clean-cut look.

"I call them my church clothes. I go to church often but I don't usually dress up. But the only time of year that people dress up is Christmas or Easter."

When he's not with family, Henrie still chooses his clothes carefully, likely slim-cut dark jeans and a hoodie, especially one that mimics the layered look with the sleeves of a T-shirt peeking out from a sweater-style body. His style is inspired by skateboarders or fashion-conscious rap stars such as Pharrell and Kanye West, and a carefree attitude.

His mother, Linda, is happy to see her son establish his own look.

"There were many times I didn't care for his clothing choices," she says. But now it's a different story. "He's really coming into his own. He's not following fads and it's a fun, eclectic look."

Of course, they still have their moments, she says: Sometimes she has to remind him to wear a collared shirt to a golf club - or a holiday church service.


Brenda Song, "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody"

London, the teenage diva Song plays on "Suite Life," has a tendency to go way too far over the top, the actress says. "She's a little farfetched."

Instead of sequins and fur, Song says in real life she's more likely to spend the holidays draped in red-and-green novelty print scarves.

"Christmas is the only time you can wear red and green and get away with it. I have an awesome red-and-green plaid scarf. You feel like you're in the spirit when you put it on," Song, 19, says. "All my red dresses get pulled out at Christmas."

Some family gatherings, though, call for more casual clothes.

"We used to get dressed up but the last couple of years we've come to realize you can play and laugh better in jeans. We found a good medium," she says.

She often wears flat-heel boots and cute sweater, too, a look that also pleases her parents.

Not that she hasn't had some extreme moments. There was a Spice Girls phase, and period during which she only wanted to wear clothes that honored the L.A. Lakers.

And a few years ago Song and her co-star Ashley Tisdale dressed as sexy versions of Mrs. Claus, with very short skirts. She wanted to be Mrs. Claus again at a family function but, keeping in mind her 5- and 6-year-old cousins as well as her two younger brothers, she wore black jeans instead.

"Most teenage girls tend to go a little overboard. You have to remember less is more."