I love shopping.
What I don’t usually love is shopping with The Dudes.
I mean, of course my sons don’t enjoy dragging around the mall with me all day while I try on shoes and sundresses.
To be expected. It’s exhausting –sometimes I even exhaust myself.
But, they don’t even like going to buy things for themselves.
These people will wear too small shoes for weeks to avoid the utter horror of having to go to the store to try on shoes.
They care so little about fashion and style, I’d question their DNA if they hadn’t all ripped so aggressively out of my body.
Aside from shoes, they all seem to be obsessed with sneakers, but beyond that their drawers are generally filled with stacks on stacks of the same outfit that they wear on repeat: some dry fit type top with a brand logo or game related trash talk slogan across it, basketball shorts, tall sock, sneakers.
Every. Single. Day.
The have zero fashion diversity.
When the weather dips down to freezing they will reluctantly throw on some joggers, but only because I made up a story a few years ago about it being against school rules to wear shorts when it’s below freezing.
On the bright side, I believe puberty changes things slightly. Dude 1 has recently decided he’s okay with jeans and button up shirts –but not daily, and only if they are as comfortable as they are cool looking, but there is hope.
A hope Wrangler recently helped spark in my younger children too.
TBH, when they initially reached out and asked us if we’d like to check out their back-to-school shopping trends, I was reluctant.
The Dudes won’t wear jeans, and of course, when one thinks of Wrangler, jeans, followed closely by cowboys are the first words that come to mind.
Only, after I got a chance to peruse their back to school shopping look book, I realized I was entirely wrong –Wrangler isn’t just about cowboys and their jeans.
Of course they have jeans still, duh, but they are so much more than the dark washed, bootcuts we’ve all come to know them for.
They have slim fitting pants and jeans, and shorts too!
The Dudes and I picked out a few pairs of Wrangler shorts (and even a couple pairs of jeans) for them try out and they were pleasantly surprised.
It is rare that we see eye to eye on clothing, but they agreed that not only do they look super cool, but they also feel pretty amazing. Thanks to the new 4-way flex technology, the Wrangler pants and shorts allow for a comfortable, smooth fit that doesn’t get in the way of The Dudes’ active lifestyle.
Which basically means, yes, they can still flying jump kick off of things without any hindrance whatsoever.
This is the year we break the cycle, mamas!
We’re saying no to back to school shopping carts filled with basic basketball shorts this school year.
And yes to something more!
Don’t Be Basic: Go Beyond the Basketball Shorts for Back to School Shopping
Let them be involved.
Kids like choices. Everyone does. And, even if they don’t seem to have much of a care about fashion and style, or, if they’re like Dude 3, rocking a style all their own, most kids still care a ton about fit and feeling of the clothes they wear. We’ve all been flabbergasted by a child who wouldn’t wear something because it was too itchy or scratchy or sticky or hot. Insist they select one pair of pants and then let them choose which ones they want, even if they pick the hideous ones with the sunglasses wearing monkeys on them. Listen to those gripes and everyone will be less miserable when the school hustle gets underway.
I have taught my Dudes the fine art of online shopping. It means we rarely get stuck arguing in dressing rooms and I don’t have to waste a ton of time returning unwanted items. I can just pull up a few photos for them to choose what they like from the various stores we frequent, add it to my cart, and wait until it arrives. You can shop the Wrangler back-to-school looks at Target, Walmart, and K-Mart or online here: Wrangler.
Invest in things that are most important.
Like a sturdy backpack, a nice pair of jeans, and well made, comfortable shoes. Cheap graphic tees aren’t going to be something you can really keep for years to come –kids stretch the necks, stain them, and washing wears them out quickly. But, you can invest in a strong backpack that can last them several years. Every one needs a great pair of jeans, even the kids who only wear shorts. And, having supportive, well made footwear is important.
Don’t buy it all at once.
We usually start the school year pretty light in terms of new wardrobe. We know the season will change soon and, with kids that are growing inches every other month or so, most of what I buy at the beginning of the year won’t fit come Christmas. We make sure each boy has a few nice, clean, stain free shirts and shorts to go back to school with, then we stock up on essentials –underwear, socks, backpack (if they need a new one), and shoes. We can leave the you-will-wear-pants-when-it’s-cold discussion for a few months.
Think about next season.
We also look for items that can worn when the temps start to shift from blazing to chilly. Things that are a good fall color or that can be layered nicely are always added to my cart. A few Henleys mean you can still wear those graphic tees with a cozy base layer when the mornings start to chill in the fall. And, my Dudes have discovered the beauty of the athletic leggings –they layer them under their shorts for year round wear. Not super stylish, but when it comes to below freezing temps and my desire to argue before 8am, they are kind of amazing.