Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


Shopping With My Tween Boy

In the last few months, my 5th grade son went from "can totally shop in the kids' section" to "uh ... wait—where the hell do we shop now?"

Archer is tall for his age and going through a growth spurt, as most children at this age do. He put on three inches and 15 pounds since the summer, which, I mean, pants have no chance in this house. One pair of jeans in particular, he only wore once because he grew. Overnight. Literally.

That is a thing that happens to children at this age. You're like, "Good night!" to your little baby boy and in the morning, you wake up to a man with a mustache. (We recently watched "Big" with the kids and I was like, "THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT IT FEELS LIKE LATELY, JOSH!!!")

Anyway, Archer's going to be 11 in May and wears a size 7 shoe and a size "?" in clothes. And, yes, the question mark is legit because we just had to get rid of all of his 11–12 pants because they no longer fit him. When I went to get him size 13s, all of those were too big ... so I ended up getting him MORE size 11–12s because ... well ... what else could I do? Except that I just got rid of his OTHER size 11-12s which didn't fit him and I don't even know what's going on anymore.

RELATED: Rebecca Woolf on Letting Them Fight

I do know that for the last ten years, Archer has been perfectly fine with me purchasing all of his clothes for him. In fact, he's URGED me to please do it for him: "Shopping is the worst, Mom. Come on." And now? He has to:

- come with me.

- try things on.

- say "this is the worst" 678798 times before settling on something that is "FINE. Can we just get out of here?"

Not that I don't want to spend a day shopping with my son. I love shopping. And I love my son. But he does not love shopping. He does not like trying on pants in dressing rooms with music blasting and people knocking on doors and me being like, "DO YOU LIKE THESE? ARE YOU SURE YOU'RE COMFORTABLE? CAN YOU SIT DOWN FOR ME JUST TO MAKE SURE?

Not only that, but in most stores, THEY DON'T EVEN HAVE HIS SIZE. Like, in anything. Where are all the tween boy sizes? Who carries them? Seriously?

RELATED: On Raising Strong, Brave Girls

It isn't just clothing that is virtually impossible to find or fit, it's shoes, too. Archer is between boys' and men's sizes in both shoes AND clothing, so, for example, a few months back, we had to go to five different stores before we could find a shoe that fit him but didn't have a swoosh on the side. (We eventually settled for leather Chucks from Nordstrom. Zara didn't even CARRY shoes in his size. I was actually told he was "between sizes" which ... how is that even a thing? Is that a thing?)

So what gives? How is there a hole when it comes to clothes for tween boys? Surely girls aren't having a hard time finding clothes that fit them at this age. Or are they? (We're not quite there yet so maybe I'm wrong although WHEN I WAS THIS AGE, we had Wet Seal. And Contempo Casuals. And Charlotte Russe. And 5-7-9. And Miller's Outpost. And Rampage. And and and and and ...)

Our go-tos have always been the same: Target, Old Navy, Gap, H&M and Zara. But NONE of those stores have made it easy lately.

None of them. Which leads me to believe that there really is a dearth of tween boy stylings. So, I would love to hear from YOU, ye parents of tween boys. Where do you shop? And are any of you interested in starting a boys' clothing business that caters specifically to tween boys? We'd make a killing, I bet.

More from kids