Off Duty Mom

Thoughts from an exhausted mom who is NEVER really "off duty"

My kids wear pants

In March and April, stores seemed to be bursting with adorable, tiny pink dresses awash in a sea of tulle and lace.  There were daisy-covered fabrics, giant grosgrain bows and white patent leather Mary Janes as far as the eye could see.  My visit to Macy’s children’s clothing department left me in awe of the beautiful items one could purchase for one’s selected springtime-holiday-celebration-or-religious-observation-of-choice.


If, however, you are the proud, heavy-wallet-wielding mother of one (or more) fabulous young boy, you are shit out of luck.  Learn how to sew, sucka.

Certainly, I understand that young men do not care about fashion and don’t beg for the latest accessories like their pre-teen female counterparts might.  But, in the case of  a 3-year old boy, guess who does his shopping?

Thank you to The Children’s Place, the ONE black and white sweater vest you offered was lovely.  And, yes, Macy’s, the 20 square feet of Angry Birds T-shirts were lovely as was the T-shirt with the screen-printed necktie on it, but I was hoping for something a little more appropriate for pictures in my mother’s garden.  Perhaps if the little girls’ section hadn’t been at least SIX TIMES the size of the “Boys 2-7” section, there might have been room for something other than racks upon racks of basketball shorts and one three-piece suit in a size 6.

I can't be the only one who thinks this is cute...

Let me expand my rant to include non-special-occasion clothing as well.  My boys (ages 3 years, and 10 months), do NOT run around solely in wrinkled camo cargo shorts and Phinneas and Ferb tees.  I buy (with MONEY — just like moms of girls) khakis, polos, sweaters, jeans, vests, dress pants, oxfords and ties (if I can find them).  On a daily basis, my older son looks mostly like a Gap ad.  Though, it would be freaking nice if Target started carrying more of these items as the Gap bill isn’t something I love.  I’ve bought lovely things for my preschooler at Janie and Jack, The Gap, Old Navy (but their sizes run so small and their cuts are so wonky), J Crew, and so on.  I am sick of it.  My kid’s sweater shouldn’t cost more than my pumps.  But, I also shouldn’t have to settle for putting him in Garanimals, either.

My sister-in-law once asked if my children owned sweatpants.  They do not.  They play and get dirty in anything they are wearing because kids play and get dirty — period.  No biggie.  That’s why God invented washing machines.

But, is the retail industry trying to tell me that girls don’t play and get dirty?  Ummm…I’ve BEEN a little girl and I can say that we DO.  So, 14 racks of frilly dresses are no more useful for girl moms than the 3 total racks of all of the very limited boys’ clothes in the same store.

I also have yet to come across a single all-boys clothing store.  Yet, I can think of at least five all-girls’ clothing stores within 10 miles of my house.  What’s up with that?

Again, I reject the argument that girls are just more into clothes than boys are.  With children under 7, I do all of the shopping, anyway, and my kids would wear what I buy no matter what their gender would have been.  Shouldn’t stores be catering to mothers, not the kids, anyway?  I have the purse, people.  And, even if my boy never cares about clothes, I always will.  Don’t you want my money?

So, my kids wear pants.  Not dresses.  Does this mean I am doomed to roam aimlessly back and forth along the 4 feet of wall space devoted to boys’ clothing in a department store?


If you are the mother of an adorable little boy and you appreciate outfits, perhaps one day you will be able to shop in my affordably-priced, boys-only clothing emporium where we will carry beautiful things for mothers to buy for their children.  I haven’t invented it yet, but when I do, at least I know that I will have the corner market.

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17 thoughts on “My kids wear pants

  1. It’s the sad truth isn’t it? My boys are now 12 & 14 and it’s true, it’s the same style FOREVER! So depressing.

    • It is depressing. And, even kids your sons’ ages are capable of wearing something other than navy blue sweatpants and a T-shirt. And, at that age, they might be starting to care that the ladies might appreciate a put-together guy!!!

  2. My little boy is still tiny, but that’s why I love yard sales. He has nicer clothes than me, and I paid at most $1 for them!

  3. I am shocked that Macy’s didn’t carry some decent Easter attire for boys that age. I swear I have seen that kind of clothing as I was out and about…I hate to say this but it may have been at Kmart….

    • Macy’s was a total waste. Though, to be fair, the one I went to was at a very small, struggling mall near my home. A larger one might have yielded better results, but I just don’t think it should be that difficult!! Maybe K-Mart is going to be my new place!

  4. KimB on said:

    You are so right! Unfortunately yard sales and good hand me downs and the clearance rack have kept my boys from looking like crap. Love to pick something up that I know cost 5 or 10 times the amount I’m paying. Also good quality clothing will last through several boys, just saying, I’m working on the third with some things!

  5. Jennifer Butler Basile on said:

    You already have the corner on humorous (and often wonderfully irreverent) takes on parenting. That’s why I’d like to nominate you for The Versatile Blogger Award. Visit my blog if you need more info. Thanks for good reads!

  6. Not sure where you live, but a lot of cities have thrift stores that aren’t Goodwill and that is where I get a lot of my kids’ clothes (son – 7 years old, daughter – 3 years old). They typically have *much* better prices than chain thrift stores and not-so-much 70s funky velvet jumpsuits. 🙂 Really enjoyed this! Also, H&M sells very affordably-priced outfit-type clothing for baby boys all the way through manhood.


  7. kateluthner79 on said:

    I used to feel bad for boys growing up for their tiny clothing section. I’m very glad to have girls and your right, they play in dresses and I rejected all the ‘super fancy’ dresses because I knew they would want to wear them all the time and they don’t wash well. (I know A LOT about dress washing now…). Like the others have said, a Once Upon a Child is a great option because they offer a better selection then most dept stores. I go there all the time because there are usually only 3 options in ‘play’ dress range at a normal store and I know I’ll see them on every other girl in her class. Good luck to you!

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  9. It’s so frustrating how there’s nothing to buy for boys! My only regret when I found out the second was a boy, was that I would be relegated to the drab “boy” corners in the clothing stores forever – obviously a minor issue in the big scheme of things, but still!

  10. workingmommawithababy on said:

    Amen to this! I go into Target/Carter’s/Input Baby clothes store name here and all the girls clothes are dresses or tutus and the boys have 3 pairs of shorts and 5 tshirts to choose from. Seriously not fantastic. Although…I do obsess over boys shoes. OMG. My son isn’t even 1 yet and he has the best shoes. LOVE baby shoes. My poor bank account haha.

  11. pileofbabies on said:

    I have a boy and a girl. 4 year old twins. I was nodding my head in this post so much I got whip lash. Which I shall bill you for.

  12. Atlantic~mama on said:

    Yes yes yes. So agree. This terribly annoying and has been since I became a parent 4 years ago and discovered that all stores are disappointingly lacking. I just had a little girl a few months ago and am still overwhelmed not only by options of where to shop, but of all the ridiculous things to buy. It’s completely insane. And still annoying. Thanks for the laugh 🙂

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