Shopping for clothes with small or not-so-small boys can be a hassle. Still, there are times you can’t avoid it, especially just before the start of school, a change of season, or a formal occasion. He may not think he needs anything new, but you know he does, so it’s time to bite the bullet.
After raising one boy to adulthood — I’m still working on another — I have some tips for clothes shopping with one:
- Do it quickly. Males are wired for hunting, not gathering. They may also have trouble filtering out the background sounds in a busy place. Either way, they tend not to enjoy shopping, so get him in and out as fast as possible.
- Give him some incentive: Promise to go by the games store or whatever AFTER his new clothes are bought.
- Don’t try for the perfect look. He probably doesn’t care about it either. Settle for something that’s decent and suits the purpose it’s bought for. It should also fit, but . . .
- Don’t worry about a perfect fit, as long as it’s not too small. Anything can be shortened — if you use iron-on tape, you don’t even have to sew. If trying the clothes on would wear out the boy’s patience, skip it. Shoes, of course, are the exception.
- Give him choices. A whole rack of shirts can be so overwhelming he doesn’t even want to look through them. Grab a couple and ask him to pick out one.
- Revisit clothes he’s said he didn’t like — they may look better after he’s seen the other merchandise.
- Finally, before you head to the games store, get him something he actually wants. Just don’t be surprised if it’s a hat like the ones his grandfather used to wear before the Beatles were famous. Yes, fedoras are back.