Shopping: Focus on Youth - The Young Newcomer's Guide to Shopping

Tiyana is 11 years old. She is interested in becoming a writer for her career path and wrote this specifically for Canadian Newcomer Magazine. Her parents and grand parents migrated to Canada from Guyana and Trinidad.

So, you're new to Canada and you think "What do I do now?" Well, how about doing one my favorite things… shopping! It gives you the opportunity to meet other Canadians - possibly new ones like yourself - and to learn about what's fresh in fashion here.

A popular boy store is West 49. It's all about the skater boy look. If you don't like the skater boy look then you can try Old Navy. Stores like Wal-Mart, Zellers, American Eagle Outfitters and Old Navy are all popular with the boys because of their fashion and prices. Of course that's not all of them, just some of the most well-liked.

One of the most popular clothing stores is La Senza Girl (yes it is only for girls). They're always up to date with the latest trendy fashions. If you have seen other people wearing clothes from La Senza Girl and go looking for it only to find out it's no longer available, it's because their styles change so often. Every month or so there is a new line of clothes. The best part is that the clothes aren't that expensive. Another in-style girl clothing store is Siblings. They're a lot like La Senza Girl. But of course their clothes aren't the same. They might be a little more expensive but it's worth it.

Enough about clothes, if you girls want hair accessories and jewelery, then try Ardenes and Claire's. If you are looking for some cool, colourful pillows and a purse, Claire's is the perfect place to go. For perfume and some cute earrings then you can go to Ardenes.

Stores don't always have to be in plazas. They can be in malls too. The biggest mall in Ontario is Vaughn Mills Mall. There are more than 100 stores! It's fun because they divided the mall up in neighbourhoods according to the style of the clothes in the stores. There are six different neighbourhoods. Don't worry if Vaughn Mills Mall isn't near you. There's probably a mall in every city and town. A great way to save money is to go shopping when a sale is on The biggest sale is usually on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas. You might not have Boxing Day in the country you used to live in, but here in Canada there are sales in every store, most of them last a week or two. Prices are marked down from 10 to 60 percent. You can get electronics, clothes and jewelry for great prices! Don't think that you have to look like the stars on TV - because you don't. One of the greatest pieces of advice is, "You should never let your clothes define who you are. You are a good person no matter what your clothes look like." Maybe you can even make your own clothes. Draw some designs and give them to a tailor or seamstress to create your masterpiece. You may think people at school might make fun of your clothes because they think they are wearing something better, but you know what? They might be saying it because they like your clothes better!

If you want to stick to your religious clothing, you can find a few stores in plazas in most major cities.

If you're looking for electronics then you might want to try Best Buy or Future Shop. They have the best things like DVDs and CDs and iPods. You can buy some of your favourite TV series at electronic stores. I wish I could tell you that these things were cheap, but you know…they are electronics. They're not the most expensive things in the world but they are not that cheap either. If you're down in the dumps about money then you can try secondhand stores. These sometimes offer really nice clothing, toys and accessories, and the bonus is, it's always cheap!

Remember, "No matter what your clothes look like, always be yourself" and, "It doesn't have to be expensive to be fashionable!"

CNM