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Uncool dad needs jeans shopping help - Page 2

post #16 of 23
Kids have definite ideas about what is cool and I think you need to listen to that . . .

My 18 year old college soph. (who I'm told by all the girls is very cool) wore Levi's 527's to his job every night all summer at Hollister because he's really slim and thought they fit better, plus he liked the lower rise. He also has a pair of Levi Skinners, but says he likes the 527's better (for $27.99 rather than $90+). He told me he tried on every pair of men's jeans Hollister had, and didn't really like any of them. He WANTED to like them because of his employee discount, but just didn't. He has about 6 pair of the same jeans in different washes. Lucky for him, his day job as a lifeguard didn't require much of a wardrobe investment, a pair of red jammers that say "GUARD" down the side are fairly cheap in comparison to dress clothes or even jeans.

Moral of the story, ask your son what he's looking for (low/high rise, bootcut/straight leg, baggy/slim fit) and then go try on jeans until he finds it. Try to convince him that how he looks will make him cooler than the tag on the back pocket if the "cool" brand doesn't fit. Once you find them, buy a few before they sell out or stop making them, but keep in mind he's growing.

Dark wash is nice, but a lighter wash (as long as it's still consistant across the pant) is okay as an alternative, just don't go "bleached."

As for the rest of his wardrobe, let him choose some cool shoes (whatever the other kids are wearing is cool and he'll know what that is), and some t's that actually fit with a few sweaters and/or zip ups for when it gets colder and he's pretty much set for anything short of needing his blazer/khakis/button down/tie for a semi-formal dance/funeral/wedding/Chrtistmas mass. Kids that age can wear their prep school dress up to anything except the prom, and look good doing it.

Get him a soft shell (Mountain Hardwear or The NorthFace are brands he will recognize along with others) in a dark color or even black to get him through the winter. He'll be willing to wear a knit beanie when it gets cold, but don't even mention gloves or you'll lose all credibility. He also won't wear boots, but hopefully he'll give up the flip flops for shoes once the snow falls.

Good luck, and I hope he appreciates you!
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by j
If you buy him something we think is cool, but isn't what all the popular kids in his school are wearing, is he going to believe you? At that age, most people just want to have what the cool kids are wearing, which is probably (unfortunately) A&F. Basically whatever's popular with the fratboys of the moment. And the "cool fratboys" (ha ha) are wearing stuff that's even more expensive than A&F, like Nudies or PDCs, and since he will grow, that's a bad investment IMO. Does he care more about the look or the label?

Not meaning to impugn your son, just remembering what I and everyone was like at that age.
You missed the point j. I asked this crowd if they had awareness of current teen trends, because I believe this crowd is younger than me, and less far removed. My son mentioned Hollister, for example, which I had never even heard of. I didn't know if it was a store, or a brand carried in other stores.

The results are in: A&F and AE, with a trip to Hollister.

He'll know what he wants when he sees it. I just needed to know where to drive the car.

Thanks for the help all.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fastrunningmom
Kids have definite ideas about what is cool and I think you need to listen to that . . .

Moral of the story, ask your son what he's looking for (low/high rise, bootcut/straight leg, baggy/slim fit) and then go try on jeans until he finds it. Try to convince him that how he looks will make him cooler than the tag on the back pocket if the "cool" brand doesn't fit. Once you find them, buy a few before they sell out or stop making them, but keep in mind he's growing.
Exactly! I'm not dumb enough to try to pick his clothes. As I just poseted, I didn't even know where to drive the car. Now I do. He can make his own final decisions.

Incidentally, I'm constantly at odds with my wife, who shops by picking out clothes that catch HER eye, and asking our son if he likes it. I tell her to stop picking anything, and make him walk through the stores and see what catches HIS eye.
post #19 of 23
All:

Seeing as some of you appear to have teenage children and a bit of difficulty shopping with them, I thought I would offer a few thoughts. I am actually a high school student myself, so I can look back at jmatt's sons thoughts with a bit of a chuckle but also a good deal of understanding.

First off, I applaud you all for trying to give your kids some space in shopping and choosing clothing. My parents say day in and day out that they have no idea where I came from...half of my mother's wardrobe comes from L.L. Bean (which my sister and I have nicknamed "the isles of un-fashion") and most of my father's clothes are literally 10-15 years old and he has no knowledge of fashion save for basic things like tying a tie that are necessary for business formalwear. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to give them near complete freedom to shop. I get $300 per season from my parents to spend on clothing (plus I have some money from my job), and that amount is handed to me in cash. I honestly hate shopping with other people around, whether it's a peer or parent, so that arrangement works well for me. That allows you wonderful parents a well-deserved shopping "spree" of your own.

PLEASE force your kids to shop for themselves. I have no respect for someone who is 13, even 15 years old, and still has their mother/father choosing all their clothes. Sure, give them gifts of clothing once in a while, but they ought to be developing a personal style. Even if they just pick up the basics somewhere for a cheap price it's still forcing self-sufficiency. Girls tend to enjoy shopping, but there's a notion among teenage boys that it's "gay"/unmanly to truly enjoy shopping and indulge in the experience of fashion.

Lastly, though, a word of caution. Just as you don't want children who are entirely conformists, encourage them to look for fashion inspirations beyond what the "popular" kids wear. I'm sure you can remember how much of middle school was dominated by those people, but I managed to dress in actual fashionable clothing and never had a problem with it.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmatt
You missed the point j. I asked this crowd if they had awareness of current teen trends, because I believe this crowd is younger than me, and less far removed. My son mentioned Hollister, for example, which I had never even heard of. I didn't know if it was a store, or a brand carried in other stores.

The results are in: A&F and AE, with a trip to Hollister.

He'll know what he wants when he sees it. I just needed to know where to drive the car.

Thanks for the help all.
Ah, okay. In that case, yeah, Hollister or AE would be best, so he doesn't break the bank. For junior high, I think that's as much cred as any dad needs to pay for. Or drop him at the mall with the money and let him decide for himself.
post #21 of 23
The results are in: A&F and AE, with a trip to Hollister.


Those are all good choices for that age group. Good luck!

Just in case you are still wondering . . .those are all stores who only carry their own brand and those brands can only be found in those stores. A&F and Hollister are both owned by the same company. A&F is a little pricier, but the styles (California beach?) are pretty similar. AE is perhaps a little "Peppier," but that may have changed since the last time I was in there.

Again, good luck, and enjoy the adventure!
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmatt
You missed the point j. I asked this crowd if they had awareness of current teen trends, because I believe this crowd is younger than me, and less far removed. My son mentioned Hollister, for example, which I had never even heard of. I didn't know if it was a store, or a brand carried in other stores.

The results are in: A&F and AE, with a trip to Hollister.

He'll know what he wants when he sees it. I just needed to know where to drive the car.

Thanks for the help all.


I would advise you buying your son Hollister instead of A&F. A&F created the brand Hollister because the targeted demographics (college kids) were upset their younger (jr and high school) siblings were wearing the A&F brand. Hollister was created to give the younger kids something to wear. I know, anyone can wear anything you want, but even if you say "screw target demographics", I think Hollister clothes are cheaper. Also, go for AE too.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmatt
Thanks guys. Helpful. I'm not real price sensitive (but he's not getting $200-$1,000 jeans). What's the current concept? Buy dark jeans, never wash them, and watch them fade? Heck - maybe I'll even buy a pair. To me denim was always denim. Without being real jeans-fashion conscious, what is one looking for in general? (If someone can point me to a "primer" thread, I'll read that. Most of this forum is way over my head) Thanks again.
Up here in Canada, American Eagle has one low-rise straight fit that is in a dark 'one-rinse' raw wash. The fit looks pretty nice. I've been wanting to get a pair for myself, but my local AE doesn't have my size
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