Parents expend much energy fretting over their daughter’s clothing. They worry that the outfits are either immodest, inappropriate, or even offensive. These adjectives could also describe some of the outfits that boys wear; however, parents don’t always scrutinize their sons’ clothing to the same degree.
Ever since my son was in kindergarten, I’ve set expectations about the way he dresses because I want him to be cognizant of how he presents himself. I start setting the example of how a man should dress. I wear classic clothing that isn’t too trendy and I encourage my son to do the same. However, I know few 10-year old boys want to dress like their dads. Therefore, I give him at set of parameters and allow him to make his own decisions about what he wears.
But I don’t take a hands-off approach. When it’s time to go clothes shopping, I’m the one who takes him. I try to stay up-to-date with what’s popular with the kids today because I want to keep an open mind while we’re shopping. I realize that I can be a little conservative and I don’t want my inhibitions to cramp his style.
In my years of shopping with my son, I’ve discovered a few tips that help make the experience more enjoyable and efficient:
Set a budget
It’s important to set a budget an stick to it. Before we left, I told my son how much we’d spend on his school clothing. My son remained conscious of the budget as he selected items. There were a few times that he had to decide if he’d buy one higher priced item or two lower priced items. I was proud of how he managed his money.
Discuss what’s appropriate
It’s easier to release the reigns and allow your son to make his own selections if you let him know what type of clothing is appropriate and acceptable. I told my son that he couldn’t purchase any clothing with offensive slogans and all items must fit properly. These guidelines helped him to make good choices.
Allow your child to select items
My son has a clear idea of what he likes to wear – he’s a mix of preppy, skater, and hipster. Therefore, I allow him to make decisions about his wardrobe. During our shopping trip, I only made a few suggestions to help him balance his wardrobe.
Maintain Veto Power
Parents have to have some input into their children’s wardrobe. After my son selected all of his items, I went through them for final approval. I only had to reject one item because I didn’t like the imagery on the shirt.
After my son chose his clothes, we spent the rest of the time trying on the items to make sure they fit. This was the part of the shopping trip that my son hated the most, but he endured the torture and walked away with a back-to-school wardrobe that he and I were proud of.
Join the discussion: How would you describe your son’s style?
Discloser: I received a gift card from Kohl’s. All opinions are my own.