It is with some amusement I’ve been researching how teens have been marketed to and written about in the local press over the years. From about 1928 til 1960 they were referred to as teeners. ( Teeners? Really? )
The term teenager was also used from around 1922 onwards, although often spelt teen-ager until after the 1940-50’s. At first all they did was attend dances and dinners wearing nice frocks. Sometimes they went to parties. It was all very jolly. It seemed that due to American influence, they needed their own fashions. Although I can’t see the difference myself, apparently the below styles “show a nice balance between junior and adult styles”. Hmmm. Slacks? Suits? Rayon?
There was trouble brewing, though. In 1951 in the USA a judge charged 3 teen-aged girls with drunkenness, and ordered them to stop wearing dungarees under pain of imprisonment. He warned them against the habit of dressing like men. Scandalous! In 1954 the West Australian newspaper made a plea for parents not to offer alcohol or cigarettes at a teen-age party, even though the damage done, if any, would in most cases be slight. Good idea.