5 Clothing Basics for Teenage Boys
My experience with teenage boys tells me one absolute: they hate to shop. At least mine hates to shop. He'll basically wear anything to cover himself as long as he doesn't have to go to the store and try it on. Or maybe he won't. As much as he hates shopping, if I buy him something that doesn't strike his fancy, it will sit in his drawer forever. So I've learned a few things:
1) He has to come along to buy pants. He's picky, so he's helping.
2) Once I know what he likes I can buy 100 of them and he'll be happy.
Here are the five things my teenage boy wants to wear. Boys are so easy...once you figure them out.
What else? All teenagers live in them. My child (and pretty much every teenage boy I know) prefers slouchy, loose fitting jeans. He doesn't sag them (pull them down so half his underwear is showing) but he wants nothing to do with pants that touch his actual skin. Levi's makes a lot of styles, we can usually find one that suits his mood of the moment. Watch for them to go on sale at JC Penney.
Another obvious staple - but you have to know what to look for. My son has a handful of solid colored tees that he pulls out when he wants to look semi-presentable (he hates polo shirts and refuses to wear them). The rest of his vast collection is made up of event shirts and character shirts.
Every team your child is on will have a tee for each season - buy it. Every time they compete in a special event, there will be a tee, buy that, too. They will wear these things over and over - their activities are part of how they identify themselves. And the shirts are usually pretty cool.
Character shirts are a little trickier. You don't want anything cutesy. Boys don't do cutesy. But they will wear shirts with their favorite TV characters or retro characters or designs that are now cool again. We own this Oscar the Grouch tee and it sees considerable wear.
We live in Wisconsin. It gets cold here. Once fall rolls around, the boy child breaks out the sweatshirts and lives in them until spring. He prefers those that zip all the way up rather than pull over his head (and they must all have hoods) and will wear plain, logo or patterned. As long as he doesn't have to go along buy it, he'll wear it when it comes to sweatshirts. There is no requirement that it match or coordinate in any way with the tee worn beneath it.
Boys have only as many pairs of shoes as they absolutely need. I don't understand it, either, but I'm grateful because once they hit high school their shoes get darn expensive. He has running shoes for Phy. Ed. and other actual athletic activity but he prefers Vans for the regular school day. Black looks decent and they hold up very well. Vans also have enough room to use an additional arch support, which is great since they have no support of their own and some people have children with flat feet. I'm just sayin'...
Couch Potato Wear
What do boys want to wear at home? Fleece pajama pants. Changing into them preserves those jeans so that they can get as many days of wear out of them as possible. My son definitely prefers goofy character pants - Family Guy and Smiley Faces and Superman. You can get these in a variety of weights and fabrics - we have a collection that takes him from early fall through late spring and into early summer.
That Wasn't So Hard!
Once you know what your teenage boy likes, he'll be a snap to shop for. Most boys do not have a list as long as their arm (as do their sisters) of clothing items they haaaaaavve to own. Comfort, durability and the ability to put on any shirt with any pants and any sweatshirt is really all that's required. The worst part is pants shopping, so be sure to avoid high stress times, like, say, daytime or evening. My preference for pants shopping is early morning or as late as the store is open - you'll get less resistance if your teenager is drowsy.
Good luck and may the force be with you.
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