January 29, 2013

Men's Department

I completely shop for Rob in the men's department now. He is 5'10". He wears the same shoe size as Paul.

Fit on some things is tricky: he's guy-height, but not necessarily guy-width. He can wear a men's medium or large in t-shirts, but if it's something SHOULDERY like a jacket or a button-down shirt, it can look weird. I found a nice brown hooded jacket at TJ Maxx, but because the material was kind of stiff (leather-like), the jacket looked bizarre on him: it was the right length, but about a foot too wide.

I am not enjoying the waist/inseam pants-measurement thing. He has a drawer full of mixed sizes because I can't figure out what size he should be wearing: 30/31, 30/32, 31/30, 31/31, 31/32. Aiieee. His pants are always needing to be hitched up, not because he's too cool for pants that fit him but because his mother has not yet conquered this challenge. (I have a MEASURING TAPE. Why is that insufficient to determine his size??) (Yes, yes, he could try things on. But most of the time he's not with me when I'm shopping, or I'm ordering online.)

I was wondering why now it seemed weird/gross to buy him underwear, when it didn't used to. I think it's because the wrapper now shows a grown male model looking pleased with himself. Ick.

You know how kid sizes are all weird when you're transitioning from the toddler sizes to the 4-16 sizes? There's some weird overlap, so that some 5T is the same size as 4, and some is bigger and some is smaller, and different brands are all different sizes and use all different size names, so for awhile you have a drawer containing 4-5T, XXL, 5T, 4, 4-5, 4-6, XXS, XS, S, etc. It is similar going from the 4-16 kid sizes into the men's sizes. I had expected to go from size 16 (the highest size in boys) to size S (the smallest size in men's). But no: some brands for boys have 18-20, and some brands for men have XS, and in some things we went right from 16 in boys to M in men's, so there must be some overlap. This new information helped me because William (age 11, size 14 in shirts) wanted more sweaters, and there were some size S men's sweaters on 70% off at Target that I think are going to fit him.

One upside of shopping in the men's department is that the clothing styles continue on pretty much the same as in the boys' department: cargo pants, graphic tees, solid long-sleeved t-shirts. One of my friends tells me that shopping in the women's department for appropriate clothing for a middle-school girl can get a bit more challenging.

25 comments:

Amanda said...

Oh yes I have the same problem with my 11 yo. His chest is the same width as a man's so he needs a size L shirt but sometimes they're too long. He's still only 5'5" but Dad is 6'6" so...any day now he'll grow a foot. I haven't bought the poor child pants in I can't tell you how long because I 1. can't get the waist/inseam thing correct and 2. also have a tape measurer that I haven't thought to use anytime other than when he isn't with me.

This must be a common enough problem that half the world has a simple solution like "take the kid to Target with you" but that seems too easy and ugh getting a cranky adolescent to try on pants sounds like hell. I think I'd rather keep buying and returning.

FWP

Lisa said...

The day both of mine could wear a 30' waist was the best day. FINALLY, I could look for jeans in EVERY store.

(The only place I've found that carries 27/28/29 waist jeans is Aeropostale. Luckily, they're not too high -- almost always on sale for $18 -- and pretty good quality.)

The problem with having skinny boys, as I'm sure you know, is that pants manufacturers seem to think that a small waist means short legs. So I can find 30/30s all day long, but the 30/32s that my kid needs to wear boots with? Don't exist in stores. It's very VERY frustrating.

Sarah Lena said...

And don't even get me started on men's shoes. My stepson (12) is in a size 7.5-8. Which an ENTIRE SUPERSTORE had nothing in. Boys? Goes up to 7. Men? Starts at 8, sometimes 9. Sorry, kid; you're either going to have to be insanely uncomfortable or a trip-hazard until you can pony up another size.

Lisa said...

Sarah - YES. H was born sprouting size 11 feet, but A was stuck at an 8 for what seemed like forEVER. Those were dark days.

Robin said...

"So for awhile you have a drawer containing 4-5T, XXL, 5T, 4, 4-5, 4-6, XXS, XS, S". This is totally my life now! My daughter is 6 but is long wasted. I have to buy her tops in Girls but her bottoms in Kids. It drives me nuts to not just have to go back and forth between sizes, but to walk completely across the store multiple times to match an outfit!

Even stores like Target don't even come close to carrying the same styles of clothing in both sections. They don't even try to match the shades of colors. Argh!!

StephLove said...

I have the opposite problem with my chubby 12 year old. He's about average height and in leg and arm length he should wear a 12, but that size does not fit him in the waist or cover his stomach. Not many brands seem to carry the 12 H, which would be ideal, so he's wearing 14/16 and pushing up his sleeves and tripping over his pants, which he rarely bothers to roll.

HereWeGoAJen said...

When I rule the world, all sizes are going to be STANDARD.

Missy ~ said...

Is there a "juniors" equivalent for boys?

Reading this with interest as my oldest (11) is a girl, but then I have 3 boys. Ugh, clothing them is way more work than I would have imagined. The initial work, yes, but then the ongoing management of what fits who when.

Interestingly enough, I just realized that there is overlap in girls/womens shoe sizes. Is this common knowledge? I wear a women's 8, which is a girls 6. Which means I can buy half price shoes! Girls shoes do have a bit of a narrower fit, but this has changed my shoe buying

Bratling said...

Now you know why I started making Gracie clothes. She's tall. As in, when 2T fit, her butt hung out of the dresses and skirts, and all shirts were belly shirts. Now 4T pants fit, but we've moved her into 6s for length in tops. Finding dresses is a nightmare... which is why I'm still making those. And heaven help us, she's only four years old!

CAQuincy said...

I've blogged a tiny bit about the issues of finding appropriate clothes for girls in that in-between stage. It's an absolute nightmare. Nothing fits right on my 13-yo. The children's x-large are too juvenile for a 7th grader. Women's XS and S AND junior's sizes are too skanky. WHO is wearing this trash? And don't get me started on the issue of finding properly-fitting jeans. They do not exist for teenagers any more than they exist for us grown women. *sigh*

I get to go through this with my son soon. Can't WAIT!

KeraLinnea said...

YES. My son is 5'9, and only runs about 125 pounds. Skinny, skinny kid. I gave up trying to buy things without his presence. He's way too big for boy clothes and too small for most men's clothes.
My 13-year-old daughter is the real challenge. She's 5'5 and 110, but has some curves. So she's woman-sized and woman-shaped, but too young to wear a lot of women's clothing, because I won't let her wear things that are tight or low-cut or short because she's only 13. She already looks a lot older than that, which is the LAST thing you want when you have a teen girl, I don't want her in mature clothing styles, too.

Nicole said...

This is giving me a crisis! The MEN'S DEPARTMENT. I felt this way at Christmas when I purchased my 15 year old nephew a sweater in MEN'S SMALL.

Brenna said...

I FINALLY figured out, after much hang-wringing and teeth-knashing, that I need to buy my 13 y/o daughter's jeans in the petite section. I always figured the petite section was for wee little sprites or something (fairies? Thumbelina?), but apparently not. Something to do with shorter limbs...? Anyway, jeans that fit her 5'3" size 6 frame that aren't 5" too long. Hallelujah!

Tracy said...

Haha - the waist/inseam mixed sizes thing... yep. My son isn't as tall as Rob, but seemingly has the same leg-length because we have the same pants sizes. None of them fit really well. Each pair has its own particular flaw - too loose in the waist, too short, too tight in the butt. How can 29/30 be tight, but 30/32 falls off? Same brand! How? Why?!

Luckily (? LOL) he goes to a school where they wear uniforms. He still fits the boys 18-20 pants, but they are going to look like capri-pants soon. Can we put a hold on the next growth spurt until they're allowed to wear shorts in April, please?

Laura said...

My 14 year old recently borrowed shoes and a button down shirt from my husband for a rare dress-up occasion. It was very weird to see him wearing his dad's clothes. I couldn't quite grasp that my little boy is now adult sized. We now have three full sized people living in this house which is also very strange and makes the kitchen feel a little cramped.

Maureen said...

Finding nice clothes for my middle school daughter was a nightmare. Everything was low cut, and honestly just poorly made. I finally started ordering from Land's End. They had clothes she thought were cute, that were well made and looked age appropriate.

CAQuincy-my daughter was never a big fan of jeans, but when we were shopping for her college clothes this past summer, she decided she wanted some. She really liked the jeans at the Gap, and found a few pair that fit great. I hadn't been to that store in years, and was pleasantly surprised at their selection.

Issas Crazy World said...

This is good to know. Because the girls department makes me INSANE! I miss the cute toddler clothes something fierce. It shouldn't be so hard to find 8 & 11 year olds clothes that a hooker wouldn't wear, but it is.

JCF said...

Okay, this is going to sound weird because everyone is talking about kids, but I have the same problem buying clothes for my husband. He's 5'11" but SERIOUSLY skinny (and he EATS). Anyway, he wears 30/31 in pants, which is not terribly common in a lot of stores. Also, if they carry that size, they frequently only order 1-2, and so they end up gone before we can get to them! For dress clothes for work, shirts and suit jackets that fit well are IMPOSSIBLE to buy. We've realized that he needs to shop at Banana Republic, because their clothes are slimmer cut in general, so a medium t-shirt gives him the right length and isn't so baggy. Also, they make slim fit dress shirts and pants. Also, everything costs a freaking arm and a leg.

Side note: When we went to buy him a suit for a wedding (8 years ago), the sales person in Dillard's laughed when he heard his size and told him to either go to the food court and eat a sandwich or go to the little boys' section. Sweet.

Shalini said...

Still glad I don't have girls. Also, this post makes my heart hurt a little in that Sunrise, Sunset way.

Annelise said...

JCF, I was thinking the exact same thing! My husband (6'2") only weighed about 140 lbs for ages and wore 30/34s. Or even better, 29/34s, which practically don't exist. Small Tall definitely does not exist.

He's finally leveled up to about 155 lbs (it's the beer + late 20s catching up to him) and can fit into 32/34s and Medium Tall. Not great, but better. Also, he finally proved his ability to select his own clothes, so I don't have to worry about it as much.

Doing My Best said...

This is driving me crazy too! I guess we'll get it figured out by the time the last boy comes through, right?

Anonymous said...

Oh, sing it sisters! I have a 13 year old girl and it is murder trying to find appropriate clothes for her. I have a 10 year old boy who is 5' tall and 120lbs - right in that in between boys & men place. And I have a husband who is 7' (really) tall. There are about 2 places I can order clothes that are long enough. No one does really, really tall. No wonder I hate shopping!
My question is... if we all have the same problem, especially with the teen girl skanky fashions, why are the manufacturers and stores still carrying this stuff?

Shalini said...

3 words: private school uniforms!

I hated shopping. Long torsos and smaller legs and no waist are so hard to find clothe for with girls and I have a 1 year old boy wearing 2T and 3T clothes already.

So glad that the "street clothes" are not a daily school issue any more.

Sara said...

I am just now getting in to the 4/5, 4-6, 5t etc crap with Hannah's clothes and it is exhausting. AND she is tall and scrawny while her sister before her was short and stocky, so her hand me down wardrobe is no help.

Same with pants for Eddie- some are 8-10, some are 10-12, some are 12 slim and FORTHELOVEOFGOD can we just regulate it.

saly said...

and what the hellll?? That's me up there--apparently blogger has reverted back to my old sign in.