Clothes for Teen and Pre-Teen Boys
Advice, discussions, and reviews from the
Parents of Teens weekly email newsletter.
Berkeley Parents Network >
Teens, Preteens, & Young Adults >
Clothes for Teen and Pre-Teen Boys
My ridiculously skinny and tall 18 yo son can no longer find
jeans that fit. He has worn Levi's 501s in a 30x36 for a
long time, but they are now a bit short on him. He is 6'5'
and not even 150 pounds. (He eats a lot and eats well; it is
genetic.) Most companies that carry tall sizes do not carry
their jeans or pants in a 30 waist. The tall sizes usually
start at a 32 or 34 waist. We have tried skinny fit in a
larger size, but that hasn't worked out. (For background, we
have tried Levi's, Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy,
Nordstrom, Macy's, Zappos, Urban Outfitters, Men's
Wearhouse, Rochester Big and Tall.)
Now to my question: Do you know any reputable custom
jeans/pants mfgs/tailors in the Bay Area? Will it cost a
fortune? IndiDenim is now out of business. I am reluctant to
buy from websites like makeyourownjeans.com based on reviews
of their products. (And even so, I entered the measurements
we'd want, and they wouldn't accept the proportions!! And I
was just using the 501 measurements.) Levi's started a
custom service, but the jeans start at over $200!
Lastly, when I was a kid, I remember men's pants being sold
unhemmed. It was very common. I never see that anymore. Are
there still shops that sell unhemmed pants?
My Lanky Lad Is Sad in the Pants
I'm pretty sure Lands End offers unhemmed pants -- at least
they did a few years ago. They even allow you to return
them after you hem them if needed! anon
You may want to try Land's End. My DH is 6'6' tall and we've
had good luck with them. If you sign up for their emails,
you'll receive plenty of free shipping offers (and returns
can be done at Sears). They have basic jeans styles - maybe
not exactly what your son would like. Other online places
that I've had luck with are Eddie Bauer and the Gap (but
only online - that length isn't carried in stores).
I know what you mean. My son has a 28-29 waist, and though
not quite as tall as yours, it's a nightmare finding pants
for him! Not custom - but LandsEnd does have some jeans (and
lots of non-jeans pants) that are available unhemmed.
However, in a 30 waist the longest they will hem is 36, so I
don't know if unhemmed will let you go much longer than
that. You might call them and ask the length of the
unhemmed inseam. R.K.
My teen son is thin - he manages with a size 28 waist,
though he could probably fit a 27' - but the longest we have
found in ready-made casual pants is 32' (Banana Republic).
He isn't super tall, but has long legs, so I think a 33'
length would fit him better. Note that he absolutely will
not wear jeans, so I am only seeking suggestions for where
to find chinos, khakis, etc. in size 28x33. Preferably not
more than $40 or so, and 100% cotton. Local or online are
All my kid's pants come from Old Navy or Gap, but we have to
order online. They have tall sizes online, frequently go on
sale, and have chinos for $25. They're fairly 'fashionable'
by teen standards, and he's now decided he like tall shirts
better, too, as they are longer without being bigger around.
Makes shopping easier, as he picks out what he likes online,
I eliminate half of it, and click the 'purchase' button.
It is fairly impossible to fit tall, skinny boys
affordably. My son is 6'5' and wears a 28x36. The only
pants that work are Levi's 501s. If your son won't wear
jeans, you might want to try a 30 waist in slim/skinny fit
pants at The Gap and buy him a belt. Otherwise, you might
need to get the pants tailored. If you can find something on
clearance, a dry cleaner or tailor might be able to tailor
them for a reasonable price.
I'm the original poster, and in case someone searches this
in the future, I wanted to post information that another
BPNer sent to me directly but didn't post here. It turns
out that Lands End's school uniform collection includes a
few styles in 'young mens' sizes that come as small as a 27'
waist, and they hem to order!!! They also offer a few in
the larger 'boys' sizes (cheaper than young mens) that they
will hem longer than usual (up to 33 inches for size 20, and
32 inches for size 18). There aren't many style or color
choices, but it's the best option I've found so far. By the
way - thanks for the suggestion about buying size 30 and a
belt - but he won't wear a belt, either (unless he's
dressing up). R.K.
Looking for some BTDT advice here... My son is at that super
slender all leg stage. This isn't a new problem; since he
stopped wearing diapers he's been in 'slim' pants. We are
finding that now that he is older/taller they don't make slims
in his size and his waist is still too small to buy clothes by
measure ment. We tried to solve this solution buy purchasing
''skinny jeans'' but he's so skinny they sag and he has to use
a belt to keep them up. Any one have any advice on where I can
find jeans that will fit him? He's not to particular about his
style yet, though he seems to be drawn to the ''preppy''
look... don't know if that will help or hinder.
Yup, BTDT! For several years now I have been buying the slimmest
waist with longest inseam avaialable and then adding elastic in the
back. My son prefers that to a belt or suspenders. I found walmart
and penny's had descent selections of boys sizes when he was smaller
- I never found more than one or two pairs in stock at a time in the
size I was hunting. Land's End also has a pretty good range of
sizes, for higher prices. Now I can only find his size online.
Carhart used to make jeans in this size but has stopped. Wrangler
has one or two styles. Currently, he's 15, and I am ordering 30x38's
online and adding elastic. I cut two small openings on the inside of
the waist at the back, about 8 or 10 inches apart, and zig-zag stich
each end through heavy 1'' elastic threaded inside the waistband
(from JoAnn.) This is more comfortable and less vibisible than
creating a ''tuck.''
mom of giraffe
My son is also thin with long legs. He likes GAP jeans and I have
bought him GAP khakis as well. I have found 30x36 jean sizes at the
GAP outlet in Vacaville and these sizes are available at GAP online;
sometimes I have even found them on sale! He's in college now, but I
remember in middle school I was able to buy 'boys' jeans (much
cheaper) with waist sizes of 28 or 29. It might take a trip to the
store to figure out what you need that they don't have in his size,
then order online? Good luck!
Try Lands End slim sized jeans. My 16 year old son has been wearing
them for years. His most recent pair are size 20 slim. There are s
few shades and styles to chose from plus hidden elastic
''adjusters'' to further shrink the waistband. Gap has had some
slim sizes online but not in the stores. If all else fails and you
need dressy pants, the Nordstrom sales staff are very helpful at
fitting growing boys.
another mom of a slender boy
We have the same situation. However, we've had great luck with
Lands End and Gap carrying a wide selection of ''slim'' pants all
the way through the teenage sizes. Gap- not in stores so much but
you can get them online.
So your son does not wish to sag? R E J O I C E !!!!!!
If he wants to appear a little fuller than he is with a little
beachy swag, Hollister is making some jeans that feel pretty good.
My son is amazingly lanky (6.2 140 lbs) and has actually found alot
of success in H&M. He was in there while I was shopping with my 17
yr old daughter and tried on some of the mens clothes VOILA!!!
Perfect fit. They have several cuts of slacks, jeans, shorts that
work really well on the slender guy. Preppie, great tones,
whimsicle..tailored. 'Worked for my boy.
As far as Levis are concerned. I think it was 519s.... no that was
for me.... just texted him he says 511s that he says in his pretend
Jamaican accent '' Make all the gulls be liken me!''
He's in college now.... UCSB. Enjoy this time dear perplexed. It
will be over in a turn of the page.
have him wear a belt... it's a good habit to get son into!
i used to have to pay my mom a nickel every time i did not wear a
belt. and she allowed me to wear my hair long, wear ripped
t-shirts... but, i had to wear a belt.
i was skinny and still am
-- still slender after all these years
My son's pants fit him just fine EXCEPT around his waistline. He's got
his dad's ''husky'' shape and is starting to blow buttons off. I taught
him the emergency paperclip trick, but need some other ideas.
Can anyone recommend a good brand of pants for growing boys that have
expandable or elastic waistbands but don't look too dorky? Or some
cool device to get us through to the next size? We're fortunate enough
to get good hand-me-downs so I don't really know where to start shopping.
You don't mention your son's age/size range, but Lands End has pants
with a hidden adjustable waist up through size 20. They were great for
my son, who is very thin, but might work for your boy when fully
''extended.'' They also carry a reasonable selection of husky size
pants through size 20. Check the size charts at their web site.
hurray for adjustable waistbands!
The Gap has adjustable waistband pants and they carry lots of
different sizes like Husky and Tall. The full array is online,
not in stores, so if you can figure out what size to get him,
you will find it online!
Hi, my almost 15 year old has been wearing basketball shorts almost
daily since middle school. He loves them and they're comfortable,
have pockets and no buttons. He's started wearing jeans, low on the
hips but with a belt, so not too revealing! Good luck!
mother of sylin' teen
Can anyone recommend a reasonably priced place to find jeans for a
skinny 11-year old boy? We used to buy Old Navy, and the slim jeans
worked ok because they had adjustable waists. But the size 12 jeans
there don't have this feature and they just fall off.
I get all the pants for my very skinny boy on line from either
Lands End or LL Bean. Just about all the pants have
adjustable waists, and they last well. The prices are pretty
reasonable, I think, but if the regular prices are too high,
check the clearance and overstock pages. The LL Ben adjustable
waists end at about size 12 or 14, but Lands End has them
through size 20! That's what my 14-year-old is wearing now.
Land's End!! I just discovered the Land's End boy's slim
sizes. They are great. My son is super tall, so he's like a
skinny 11-y-o, only younger. The slim sizes fit just great.
My son likes the climber pants style with elastic waists, but
they have lots of styles in slim sizes--jeans and khakis, too.
You may need to take a tape measure to your son and check
their size charts to find the right size, but I bet you can
My husband is skinny/small and I buy him pants through Lands
End in the BOYS section. Lands End has clothes with some
accomodation for thinner/regular sized folks. Order what you
think is his size, the one above and the one below, and
hopefully one of them will fit! YOu can return what does not
fit and they're all good about it.
Wife of Jack Sprat
Boy do I hear ya on the jeans question!! My almost 11 year
old boy finally hit 70 pounds a few months ago, yet is in th
95th percentile for height.
We really liked the Old Navy brand, but they 12s run wayyyy
too big for the boy. I have found that Target's ''Legendary
Gold'' store brand jeans seem to fit him okay. They don't
have slim sizes above size 10, however they seem to run
smaller through the waist, legs and hips, and the size 12
have an adjustable waistbands that works for his small waist
without making him look like he's been totally cinched.
While they aren't the highest quality denim, they seem to go
on sale quite a bit and I usually pick up 2 pair at a time
for around $20 total.
Mom of Tall Skinny Kid
I need a sportscoat/or suit for my 5'9'' narrow shouldered
teen. We've tried a number of 36'', but none have been narrow
enough in the shoulders. I've been told that it's very
difficult to do alterations on the shoulder area, so
tailoring isn't an option. A 34'' long might work, but I've
never even one in the stores. Any ideas where to shop for a
decent sportscoat for a thin kid?
My 15 yr old (also tall and thin) needed a sportcoat last
fall. We found what we needed at the Men's Wearhouse - we
went to the one at Mariner Square in San Leandro but they
are probably all about the same. Some of his classmates got
their sportcoats from Land's End although I never researched
Dress Clothes for Pre-Teen Boys
Does anyone have any recommendations on where I can find a good quality boy's suit?
I've tried a couple department stores but they just have blue blazer/pant combinations.
Boy's suits - We had good luck finding suits for our son at Burlington Coat
Factory in SF, a few years back.
It seems like I've seen suits in the Lands' End
kids' catalog. I am also
pretty sure that Brooks Bros. sells childrens' dress clothes.
Can anyone recommend a source for nice, moderately priced dress
clothes for pre-teen boys? My son wears anything from an XL boys
(18-20) to a man's M-L. Pants are not a big problem, but shirts for
teens tend to be flashy, polyester junk. I tried Macy's and
Nordstrom, and found one nice shirt - a black cotton polo shirt with
zippers (way cool!). I'm looking for one or two other dressy shirts,
suitable for holiday events, bar mitzvahs, etc.
My son and I looked everywhere last year for something appropriate for a
theater night out with his aunt. The ONLY place we found with a selection
was JC Penney--up at Hilltop Mall. They have sports coats and suits for
young men as well as shirts and slacks. Good luck!
I have a grandson who is in middle school. He is almost 11 and has been
taller than me for the last year or so. He also wears a shoe size larger
than his father. I received a Lands' End catalog for males that I sent
along to his mother. I didn't look through it for shirts because I was
more interested in the pants section. You might wish to call
1-800-356-4444 and ask that they send you that catalog. Their website is:
Hope this proves to be helpful.
Lands End has nice dress clothes for teens. Kind of preppy, but great for
Bar Mitzvot. You can check them out on-line. Also Ross sometimes has great
Try Mervins California. We've had great luck there.
There is one in Pinole just off of Hwy. 80.
Southshore in Alameda has Mervyn's, JC Penny, and Ross in one shopping
area. It's easy to shop here because the stores are close together.
Stoneridge Shopping Mall in Pleasanton has JC Penny, Sears, Norstrom,
Macy's,and GAP Kids. Then there's McCaulou on Medau St. in Monclair
Village. They carry Men, Boys, Women, Juniors, Girls, Babys, Shoes and a
few other gift items. Happy shopping!
This summer my son had weddings to attend. We went to Nordstroms in Walnut
Creek for the jacket and Macy's for the pants. Nordstroms fixed the
jacket for free....short arms.
Note: We have purchased suits there too.
Regarding dress clothes: My son (age 14) need to dress for a jazz combo
performance. I got him a great pair of wool slacks and a tweed jacket at the
Salvation Army on Solano. I spent a total of $15.00.
I have found the best dress clothes for boys at Goodwill and
Salvation Army. They have beautiful sports coats - I've always
bought slacks, cords or when my son was younger - shorts at regular
department stores because they have a chance of getting more wear.
Cheaply priced ( but well known brands) dress shoes can be found at
Ross. It stands to reason that sports coats for younger guys are
not going to be well worn and people are not going to toss them as
they have great sentimental value so they will recycle them.
this page was last updated: Mar 19, 2014
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network