Back-to-school shopping with a tween — A Tale of Two People

“Mom, you have to buy me cool clothes this year!”
Good-bye sweet, charming, cute boy … and hello pre-teen!
Lord help me this year and every year that follows.
It started with shorts – the ones currently sitting in the dresser are a mere centimeter from being “below the knee.” In the past week, every day, my son complains about the length of his too short shorts. I guess they are … too short?
And it didn’t stop at shorts. Oh no, I have also been buying the wrong shirts for him to wear too. I didn’t know “collared shirts” weren’t in-style. Haven’t polo shirts always been “in?”
“Only if it’s DRESSY day!” a fellow mom of a tween boy shared with me the other day over a glass of wine.
So, now boys are only donning T-shirts. But wait, not just ANY old T-shirt, no I am now being told what brand of T-shirt to buy. Thank you Underarmor … it isn’t enough I have to buy your crap for soccer! No, now you have integrated yourself into my child’s daily clothing ritual.
Finally, there are shoes. Plain and simple sneakers. Nope. The child, who is taller than I am now, wishes to wear high-tops. I am sorry, but didn’t those go OUT of style15 years ago? Who wears those ugly shoes now? We bought him a pair of cheapo high-tops last year and he never wore them. They are currently sitting on the floor in the aforementioned friend’s house.
My soon-to-be middle schooler has also decided I am not allowed to take him back-to-school shopping for clothes. He is enlisting the help of his dad for the “cool” clothes. I should probably not tell him that when I met his father in 1995, he feathered his hair back and cuffed his shorts. I wasn’t rockin’ it out either – the day we met, my hair was permed and I wore a semi-Amish dress that was dark green and purple plaid with white cuffs and black shoes.
Come to think of it … maybe my son needs to seek professional help from a real fashionista. Or, maybe I could just slip him $100 and casually ask my friend to take him shopping instead – that would solve my problem until he grows out of his fall clothes and needs a new wardsrobe in December, just around time of holiday break!

Melissa Linebrink is a part-time reporter with The Chronicle-Telegram. She remembers back-to-school shopping with her grandparents at Midway Mall back in the 1980s. Life is coming full circle now. She can be reached at 329-7243 or mlinebrink@chroniclet.com.

1 thought on “Back-to-school shopping with a tween — A Tale of Two People”

  1. Cuffed shorts? In 1995 I moved to NJ for school. I had in my wardrobe, denim shorts, hiking boots, my “stoner” fur lined Levi’s jacket and at least one vest. My now wife “helped” me realize my fashion errors.

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