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Do You Buy Brand Name Clothes for Your Kids?

My son, Jayden, will be turning 14 on August 7th. He also starts high school the day after his birthday (the poor kid!). Aside from the obvious “My baby’s growing up!!!!” type of stuff that I deal with every year at this time, I’ve also been in a total panic about what clothes to buy him for school.

Some Background

For those of you who may not be aware, Jayden has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a form of autism. Basically, he’s extremely intelligent but doesn’t pick up on social cues. For example, in a conversation, he can’t tell when the person he’s talking to is bored or uninterested. Since he gets obsessed with certain topics and likes to talk about them constantly, this is a huge problem!

School has long been a headache for us. I was one of those kids who was motivated by grades and positive feedback from teachers. Jayden, on the other hand, honestly doesn’t care if he passes or fails. He struggles with things like handwriting, organization, and processing verbal instructions, and at this point he’s just counting down the time until graduation. School is not a happy place for kids with Asperger’s, unless one of their obsessions happens to be their grades. (And of course I’m not that lucky.)

The older Jayden gets, the more obvious his social deficits become. Middle school was an absolute nightmare – as the kids in his class hit puberty, they started acting older than they really were (like all kids that age) and breaking off into little cliques. Jayden was left completely behind – first because he has zero interest in pop culture or the latest Justin Bieber song, and second because he’s a full year younger than the other kids in his grade.

The Problem with Clothes

Jayden is going to face a ton of challenges in the next few weeks. He’s moving to a bigger school with many more expectations, a lot more kids, and new teachers who may not understand his diagnosis. More than that, he’ll be in a whole new universe when it comes to the social aspects of being a teenager.

Because of that, I just spent about $300 on new clothes for him to wear to school, all of them brand names like Old Navy, Hollister, and Aeropostale. For the amount I spent, he got 4 pairs of jeans, a pair of sneakers, and 15 shirts. Not much for what I spent, in my opinion!

A friend of mine asked why I bought him such expensive clothes when (1) he doesn’t care what he wears as long as it’s comfortable and (2) he’s outgrowing clothes faster than I can buy them. And I will admit that I have typically bought cheaper stuff for him in the past, especially when he was younger and seemed to rip holes in everything he wore. This year, though, I feel an immense amount of pressure to help him fit in any way I can.

The fact is, my child is nerdy. He loves computer games and Star Wars and still plays with action figures sometimes (don’t tell him I told you that). He’s about a foot shorter than all the other kids at school, and he doesn’t play sports or listen to Top 40 music or have a girlfriend. When kids talk to him, they can tell that he’s really smart but just doesn’t “get” certain things. And some of them seem to take notes on all that stuff so they can tease him mercilessly.

So my thought process was this: If he has the same clothes as everyone else, that’s one less excuse for other kids to make fun of him. I can’t make him socially adept or change his interests, but I can control his outward appearance. And maybe that’s fake or superficial but it’s the only thing I know to do.

I am desperate for Jayden to have a chance to make friends in high school. I don’t want people to judge him as unworthy of friendship before they even get to know him. I don’t want his differences to be as noticeable on the outside as they are on the inside. And while I’m sure I’ll regret spending all that money in a few months when he’s grown 6 inches and needs more clothes, right now I feel much better about the odds of him finding a group where he fits in.

Maybe it makes me a horrible mother to try to influence how my child is perceived by others. Maybe it’s wrong to give in to the rampant consumerism that’s so common among teenagers. Maybe I’m turning Jayden into a brand snob who will start turning his nose up at t-shirts from Target. All I know at this point is that I’m doing it with the best of intentions.

What do you think? Is it wrong to buy kids name brand clothes? Does it teach them poor impulse control or other bad habits? Am I risking passing my former spending problems on to my son?

 

About Andrea Whitmer

Andrea is a freelance web designer and single mom trying to maintain a sense of humor in an otherwise chaotic world. She blogs in hopes of helping others avoid the same mistakes she made in the past. Join in the discussion here on So Over This, or connect on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google Plus. You can also subscribe to new posts via RSS so you never miss out!

Comments

  1. Clothes and kids are funny. When my children were growing up, we had a wealth of hand-me-downs. My sister's daughter was almost a year older, so clothes got shipped back and forth.

    As my children got to be toddlers, I sewed almost everything they wore. They didn't know the meaning of designer.

    Even in high school, designers weren't a big deal. Oh, they liked their favorite stores, but they would basically where whatever. Also, because I like thrift stores, they do, too. In fact, many of their clothes come from there.

    But, they also purchase clothes, especially specialty clothes. My oldest daughter bike commutes to work, so part of her wardrobe reflects that.

    I'm not sure if clothes make the person, but parent's habits are definitely passed down. :)

    • I think that's definitely true. My sister and I wore a mix of brands, hand-me-downs, and clothing from Walmart or Target. I'm still that way – if it fits and I like it, I wear it no matter what name is on the tag. And Jayden has always just worn whatever I handed him to wear. That's why I'm so worried about doing this huge 180 and putting him in a bunch of brand name clothing – I don't want him to become one of those brats who demands Tommy Hilfiger socks and underwear (or whatever is popular now). Knowing Jayden, though, he probably won't even realize he's wearing brand name clothes! He's not really up on all the latest trends or anything.

  2. I think you're spot-on with this.

    I'm the same way. I make sure my guys have enough labels to avoid being made fun of for something as stupid as whether or not they're wearing labels. They don't seem to care what they wear, so I'm not terribly worried about them becoming fashion slaves or anything. :)

    • That's what I'm hoping will happen here. He'll be trendy enough that it shouldn't be an issue, but hopefully still blissfully unaware of the fact that different labels are perceived differently. I just want him to blend into the crowd so his differences *might* be a little less obvious.

  3. Yes, I buy brand name clothes for my kids at garage sales. Also, my older sister has a 5 year old daughter and gives me all of her hand-me-downs. Most of them are brand name and hardly worn. I benefit from her careless spending!
    I'm sure it will be harder to do this once they get older. But since right now they are ages 3 and 1, it's easy to get away with it.

    • I got an awesome deal on some clothes on eBay when Jayden was around 4. I spent $350, but it was an entire wardrobe – fall, winter, spring, AND summer – all brand names with the tags still on. If I had bought all that stuff at retail, I would have spent over $1k. I've never come across a deal like that since, but it was great at the time to get him a ton of nice clothes without spending a lot.

      I miss the days of being able to find cute clothes for him to wear! Once they turn 6 or 7, it's nearly impossible to get clothes that aren't ugly for boys. It makes me sad!

    • I'm with you on this – and TOTALLY agree! You can find some AMAZING name-brand, very popular, upscale clothing at the THRIFT STORES (Goodwill, Salvation Army)! It's amazing! I just bought my niece a load of Justice clothes – and they were all in impeccable condition! I paid $2 a top and $2 bottom So I'd say if you want him to wear the trendier clothing – DO NOT PAY RETAIL!!! Shop thrift or garage sales – seriously. Throwing them in a washer of hot water and a capful of Tide – nobody knows where the heck they came from and you're not spending a fortune!!

  4. I do the same for my son. He was born preemie and socially just isn't there with the rest of his 5th grade class. He is picked on a lot but at least his clothes won't be the reason!

  5. moneybeagle says:

    I don't think the clothes will help him fit in more, but they'll avoid having him fit in less. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. And you said you got a lot of the stuff at Old Navy. Which is pretty affordable compared to some of the alternatives. So I don't think you're doing anything wrong.

    • That first sentence is exactly it – he won't magically become the most popular kid at school, but at least he also won't be "that kid who dresses weird" on top of it. We've always shopped at Old Navy because the clothes are super cheap – that part didn't hurt my feelings. But now that he's in men's sizes, the prices are double and it SUCKS!

  6. When I was in high school my younger sister and I had absolutely no fashions sense. We wore walmart and thrift store jeans and t-shirts and didn't usually do our hair in anything but a ponytail. Heck, I had to hit my twenties before I could figure out how to put make up on without looking completely raccoon-eyed. My baby sister though went to high school AFTER me and my middle sister and she spend almost all her extra cash on clothes. She has great clothes. She had a great sense of style and figured out a hair straightener, mascara wand and accessories way earlier than her two older siblings. Now. With that said, I wouldn't necessarily say that those choices made her better friends.

    To be clear she had MORE friends. But I still have friends from that era of my life that grew with me and who are great people. I was lucky. I can't help but think that it stemmed from being myself, awkward and raccoon-eyed as I was. She's half-way through college now and she calls me all the time complaining about shallow and bullshit drama that her high school friends pull on her mostly because they are the type of people who care more about appearances than the integrity and personality of people. I'm not going to blame it on clothes because that would be general and stupid…but just remember that the outer shell isn't going to change the chocolate and nutting inside filling.

    • Very true, and an excellent point. I definitely don't want him to get in with the crowd that's obsessed with appearances (though I doubt that would be a danger anyway!) and that's part of why I feel guilty about buying all these expensive clothes. But I think in this case it's more a matter of preventing him from sticking out like a sore thumb – at least more than he does already. He's still going to be different and kids will notice that right away, but at least they won't make fun of him for how he looks on top of how he acts. I hope not, anyway!

  7. FarrahMichelle says:

    HI Andrea,
    I am also a single mother of an Asperger's kid.
    My son Alexander, is now 15 and heading in to his 10th grade year. It is also the first year for us in a public school. We have been fortunate enough to have been able to put him in private school thus far and his teachers have been amazing and the students have gotten to know him well. (on a side note We also put him in a social skills group at UC Davis Mind institute, and that did wonders for him. If you haven't already, and are interested, I would look around for groups. The kids in these groups enjoy being around other kids like them, and it makes learning social cues and scenarios a lot easier.)

    * First through third grade we had him in public school and he was tormented by kids and teachers alike, resulting in moving him to a private school.

    This year Alex asked to go to public school, and as a mother I felt that I needed to let him try this experience, so I know exactly how you feel right now. Especially about the bigger group of kids that he will have exposure to, and the fact that they may not treat him kindly because they don't get him. I feel as compelled as you do to do the things that will help him fit in a little better. Alexander will be getting a new haircut by my stylist (who definitely costs more than a supercuts haircut), a brand new droid phone, and of course some new outfits, partly because he needs them, but also because of the social aspect of these things. If Jayden is like Alex, he won't become a brand snob, but if the name brand you buy has the most comfortable texture than chances are your stuck buying that brand!! I've only recently gotten Alex to wear jeans.

    Parents want to protect their kids, and if buying him brand name clothes helps you do that than I say good job!!!

    There are definitely worse things a parent can do, Just saying. :)

    • I'm so glad you commented – it's always amazing to hear from someone who gets it!

      I've posted before about my frustrations with the school system here. There are very few resources in my area, plus the high school seems determined to minimize accommodations "because he's got to get ready for adulthood." Yet this is the time when he needs the most support! I'm so anxious about the first day of school I could die. I feel like he's going to be completely lost.

      I completely understand re: the haircut, phone, etc. I got Jayden an iPhone when he was 12 in an attempt to give him something in common with his peers. (And can I just say that it BLOWS MY MIND that all these kids have smartphones!) I won't say that it made a huge difference, but at least when they ask him what kind of phone he has (and they do) they can't make fun of his answer.

      It's tough! Hopefully our worries are for nothing and both boys will have a good first year of high school (or public high school in your case).

    • thefrugaltoad says:

      I teach Middle School Science and I have to say I am shocked to hear about how your child was treated. As Teachers, we owe each student our best each day. I hope your son has a great year and is able to succeed despite any obstacle that may come his way.

  8. I don't think iit is wrong to buy them for kids but if they get to a point where they demand it it would be an issue. I personally probably wont buy my kid brand name clothes. I didn't wear a ton of brand names in school and I turned out fine. I understand your situation and hope it helps but it has been a while since I've been in high school and every area of the country has their differences… good luck!

    • High school is definitely a lot different now than it was for me. I pass the parking lot and see kids driving cars that are nicer than anything I'll ever have. They all have smartphones and $100 jeans and the latest greatest everything. It's really hard not to play into that while also making sure Jayden blends in with the other kids. It's just astounding how things have changed.

  9. Does Jayden have any interests that might allow him to join a club or become a member of a school group? My son started high school in a new town with schools at least 4 times larger than our prior district, and there was a lot of anxiety about fitting in, making friends. I encouraged him to try cross country, because I thought he'd do well and it seemed like a sport that would have less tendency toward cliques. He'd also done band in middle school, so he chose that again. Those two activities at the start of the year meant he was immediately part of established groups and he did make friends within those groups. As far as the clothing purchase, you're not a horrible mother for desiring your child do well and be comfortable in a new situation. High school is a whole new world, so consider this an experiement. If the clothes don't seem to make that much a difference in increasing Jayden's acceptance and overall contentment, you can always revert to more frugal and cost-effective choices in a few months when he's grown out of what you just purchased.

    • He'll be participating in a club (he hasn't decided which one yet) because it's a requirement. All kids in our district have to be part of at least one activity, which I think is great. I just don't know that it will make a difference for him in terms of having actual friends that he interacts with outside of that club or group. The social issues are just very different for an autistic child – all kids go through it, but not to the extent that he will. It's so heartbreaking to watch.

  10. Andrea Benver says:

    Andrea, after reading your post, I just wanted to hug you. My Jayden doesn’t have Asperger’s but I still understand about having a kinda dorky kid that you want to help in any possible way, and I am totally the same. My kids tend to have nicer clothes (even if they’re GAP purchased secondhand at Goodwill LOL) for school, just because I didn’t have the nicest clothes and I remember being teased. I think that at least it will be one less thing for the kids to torture him about–and kudos to you for that!!

    • I was lucky that I was rarely teased for my clothes (except for a few unfortunate wardrobe decisions in the early 90s) and I'm hoping that the same will be true for him. It has been very different raising a boy, because I always cared about that stuff while he doesn't at all. That said, I showed him the clothes I ordered and he mentioned that several kids he knows wear those brands. Hopefully it will give him just a tiny something in common with someone else and help him make some friends.

  11. You are, of course, a wonderful parent. 14 is hard no matter who you are — it's nice of you to be so loving to try to take away one thing that kids could tease him about.

    • Agreed! I look at pictures of myself at 14 and just crack up at how awkward I was. Luckily I was very social, though, so that made up for a lot of it. Bring in Jayden, who is awkward AND socially awkward, and I just felt like I needed to do something to try to help him. Hopefully it works!

  12. Jesort415 says:

    As a mom to a child also on the spectrum I totally get what you are saying. I feel the same way but T is only going to Kindergarden. He was in a special class for the last 2 years where every kid had an "issue". He will now be going main stream with an aide and I worry him having this aide will make him an outcast and he will get picked on. It doesn't help that we live in an "expensive" neighborhood (I use it lightly because of the people I got to know they are just keeping up with the Jones' with lots of debt) where parents shop for thier kids at Neiman Marcus and Lord & Taylor and everyone has an ipad tablet thingy (sorry I'm not up on technology) per kid! I don't know what JHS and HS will bring if this is just elementary school!

    • Oh, what I would have given for an aide when Jayden was younger! He had a part-time aide last year and it made a huge difference for him. He'll be in co-taught classrooms for math, English, history, and science this year (2 teachers, one of which is a special ed teacher) and I could almost vomit just thinking about the possibility of him being teased for it. It's so hard for people to understand that he's not a special ed student because of low IQ, but because of other difficulties. But after watching him flounder in mainstream classes ever since he hit 2nd or 3rd grade, I'm ready to do whatever I have to. I hope and pray that your son has a better experience than mine did in elementary school – it will set the foundation for the rest of his years in school.

  13. bogofdebt says:

    From what you mentioned and from his post that one time, he seems like a fairly smart kid. I think you had the best intentions on the name brand clothes and taking away an item that they can tease your child about (kids can be SO mean) is absolutly wonderful. And when he grows that 6 inches over night and you have to buy more clothes, you can always see how it worked out.

    • That's true! I have a feeling he won't be dressing quite as nicely in the fall and winter when I have to go buy MORE stuff. I wish there was a magic way to know what sizes he would wear at different points so I could plan ahead better! People always told me that teenage boys do this, but I guess I didn't understand just how true it was.

  14. I don't think its wrong to buy kids some brand name clothes, but perhaps not everything needs to be brand name (from head to toe). Sometimes you can't even tell its brand name unless you look at the tag inside! Jeans look at the same to me. My bf buys jeans from Costco! I totally understand what you mean about trying to get him to fit in. I was a very shy, awkward, nerdy kid in grade school who didn't have a lot of friends. I had more friends in high school, but I went to a Catholic high school, so we had to wear a uniform. Although when it was civvies day, I always stressed about what to wear.

    • Very true. I have a cousin who was raised by my grandparents, and they bought him *everything* name brand. I guess they were trying to make up for the fact that his parents suck. When he was around this age, I remember him throwing a fit because my grandmother bought him plain white socks that weren't Adidas or Nike or Tommy Hilfiger. It was ridiculous! Jayden will have some brand name t-shirts, but his jeans will always come from Old Navy. I'd have to be high to pay $100+ for Hollister jeans like some parents do!

  15. Maybe I do not understand correctly, but if he is paying no mind to the fact the clothes are name-brand then I don't see how you can be teaching him negative values, though I most certainly understand your concern. Having a child with no friends, as I do, has to be the worst feeling in the world. We are barely surviving on a couple hundred bucks a month right now yet I continue to scrounge for pennies to buy my daughter Angry Bird apps and Poptropica memberships just so she can carry on a half-way normal conversation with other children. Being unemployed, I've recently taken on the task of once again sorting through her room and have realized just how far I've overcompensated. Her wall-to-wall collections of Pet Shoppes, Zhu Zhus, Barbies, My Little Ponies, etc., are all in pristine condition because no one ever plays with them. (My child prefers to collect Disney Vacation Resort DVDs, which she orders off the Internet. I’m quite sure we would have to undergo an intense background check if we were ever to book a vacation.) I am only now becoming cognizant of the fact I was sub-consciously attempting to build a toy collection so immense that were a child to ever come over, they would want to return, if only for the toys. What kind of fucked up parenting is that? I suppose it’s the kind of parenting that comes from living in the isolation of being a single mother with a mentally ill child. We just try to do the best we can in a world in which we don’t fit it. If I could buy my child a friend I would do it in an instant. In the meantime, I’ll just make us some popcorn as she snuggles next to me as we listen to a faceless woman extolling the virtues of Castway Key for the nine hundredth time.

    • You're right; he doesn't notice, but I'm scared that if kids are suddenly nicer to him he might start to notice. I just don't want to create a monster!

      Please don't beat yourself up for overcompensating with the stuff. I'm EXACTLY the same way. At one point, Jayden owned a Wii, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, iPhone, his own computer, etc. etc. all at the same time. I'm debating buying him an iPad (though that's mostly for school because he never makes it home with his textbooks) and am already looking for a new computer for Christmas. On the rare occasions that he has a kid over, I want them to have so much fun over here that they keep coming back. I think I would let them spray paint the walls if it meant he would have more friends. The one friend he did have has been very moody this summer and they've fought a lot, so right now he has no one to talk to and no one to come over. It breaks my heart!

  16. My oldest son just turned 13 and I dropped $130 just for a pair of Jordan's he wanted for his birthday. Keep in mind that was the only present he got! Since he was a baby I have always bought clothes for him at Walmart , Target or Meijer and usually they came from the clearance racks. I don't feel bad about spending that money on one pair of shoes. He has been clothed "cheap" for 12 years and I am happy to spend a little "extra" on him :)
    However, if they get tore up in 2 months, then we have a problem..lol. Don't ever feel bad for wanting your child to have better!

    • I'm so glad that Jayden hasn't gotten on the Jordan train… At least not yet. As it is, he has really wide feet and has always required expensive shoes (Stride Rite when he was younger, New Balance now). I've gotten so used to $50 for shoes that fit for 3 months I don't even blink anymore. Other than that, his clothes have always been cheap (except when he was tiny and I could buy cute baby clothes) so I'm not going to beat myself up too much about getting him decent stuff now. :)

  17. I totally understand and if I were in your shoes, I would do the exact same thing.

  18. When I was younger my parents would set a limit on what they would pay for clothing. If we wanted name brand clothes, we had to pay the difference. Your situation is obviously very different than what my parents did when I was growing up. I don't fault you at all for trying to help your son fit in. Does it sound shallow? Sure… but a lot of the people he'll encounter are shallow. I was harassed quite badly when I was a kid, so I understand what you're trying to help him avoid. If spending $300 on clothes rather than $100 on clothes spares him some of that, it'll be an extra $200 well spent.

  19. We shop at TJ Maxx and Ross a lot, so sometimes we have name brand clothes we are wearing, and sometimes it is brands that I've never heard of.

  20. I wonder if the fact that it's now high school will help Jayden any. My daughter found that when switching from 1 grade school among many to the one (consolidated) high school widened the pool of potential friends. In addition, they all have to take a broad range of classes so she was able to ascertain which of the children were potentially interested in things she is.
    I would also offer as a word of encouragement that my girlfriend's boy suffered from the same condition, and he did make it through high school. He had an interest at school – band – and I think that really helped as there was a ready made smaller group of kids bound by purpose.
    If you believe that dressing your boy to not stand out is of benefit to him, I would simply not stress over the cost. It seems to me that his welfare comes first, and I, for one, would be way willing to not eat out a lot to save the money for that goal! Good luck to your boy.

  21. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Being the cheap dude that I am, I never purchased brand name anything until I stopped growing. (Unfortunately it wasn't until recently that I realized I probably stopped growing at 12.)

    Anyway, brands are worth the money if you get quality too. I've noticed a marked increase in quality with a minor outlay. And – as you know – I'm still an outlet + wait for an online coupon kind of deal. If I can snag $70 dress shirts for $23, you better believe I'm going to be all over it. Target still strikes my fancy for cheap jersey shirts, though.

    And of course, there's always the social implications too. Numerous studies have confirmed that people love brands for whatever reason. I remember people being gung-ho about brands in high school. I'd rather have quality without the markings – put that stupid Ralph Lauren massive polo player on something else.

    P.S. I hope you bought him some Sperries. ;)

  22. In your situation, I think it was a good move. I personally by generic shirts because I don't like advertising for someone else. Then I buy a few expensive pieces like shoes and a good watch. That way I can get away with a smaller wardrobe and I look great too. Your son will find the group he fits in with and this won't mater as much next year. Have you thought about a hybrid public school. If school is a struggle socially, this could be a good option.
    Chase

  23. I think youve been smart in your approach. I think in your mind youve armoured him up against all of the other kids…and if im honest im sure I do this to myself sometimes.
    Youre completely right in being concerned but Im sure its heightened knowing it is much harder for him to connect with other kids. I work with children with autism and the most bizzare fascination was tolets…that was awkward! I hope it goes well. I had an allowance as a child, this gave me a lot of indipendance!

    Liz xxx

  24. edwardra3 says:

    Honestly, the last time anyone said anything about my clothes was elementary school. Mostly it was about my shoes. We couldn't afford expensive shoes like Nike and always got no-name stuff. But eventually, people just stopped caring about what brand of sneaker everyone else was wearing.

  25. thefrugaltoad says:

    Nothing wrong with wanting to make things a little easier for your Son Andrea. Making connections with other kids will depend more on Jayden having shared interests with others. As far as passing on spending habits I wouldn't worry about it unless this is common. Knowing how hard you have worked on your finances Andrea I'm sure that won't be a problem. ;)

  26. If kids could only see that high school is not the "end all be all" that it seems at the time, life would be so much better. I think whatever you can do to help him fit in it the right thing. At that age, anything that makes you different is hard, and some kids are just mean. For what it's worth, the "nerdy" kids usually seem to do better later in life because high school was not their crowning achievement and they do better as time goes on. Good luck.

  27. Good luck, 14 is hard. I learned so much from reading this thread. Looking for social success outside of school can help get through school because you know after school you have friends. If a club at school doesn't work perhaps there is a local community of folks that share his interest? You don't need a million friends, you just need two or three. One doesn't solve the problem, one friend makes you worry about what will happen when that friend goes away. Good luck. Regarding the clothes. I think it is fine,if you can afford it. It will probably help at this age.

  28. Every situation is different. You are not “wrong” for trying to make your son fit in a little more with better clothes at all. You are looking out for your child and doing what is best for him. If he was just a spoiled brat, I’d say you were ridiculous but he seems to be going through a tough time and I feel – if you can help out in any way, what parent wouldn’t???

    Also, I don’t think you’re teaching him poor spending habits.

    My mother NEVER got me new clothes when back to school came around and she’d argue with me about the “list” of supplies my teachers would provide me. I later now learned that she was working really hard just to afford the house in a nice school district so I could have a future.

    However, because I never had “nice” clothes – I am now bat$h!t crazy when it comes to shopping and put myself into debt. Hah. So you might be doing the OPPOSITE of what my mom did because your son will be used to the nice stuff and be like, “Yeah, whatever.” while for me, I’ve gone off the deep end and in debt.

    I wish your son the best. I was always the poorly dressed nerd – and I’m now 26 and STILL have action figures.

    Also, when he’s older, he’ll go to Comic Con and find a nice girl who’s dressed up as Slave Leia! :-)

  29. I also never had those "nice" clothes in high school. I would buy myself brand names at thrift stores, but they were always so many seasons old that it was pretty noticeable. So now that I have a little more income now, I tend to buy more expensive clothes, even when I shouldn't, just because I feel like I deserve it because I never had it! Hopefully your son won't be dazzled by the other kids who have the cool clothes like I was, and try to imitate them, like I did. He's just as worthy as they are, and I think your decision to dress him nicely will at least make the playing field equal on that front.

  30. Initially i was thinking if you buy brand names.. he will initially attract kids who are all about the brand names.. which from what i remember are flakey/shallow.. and would be more fallout later.. as opposed to the kids who don't care what you wear and would see another kid who doesn't need/want the brand name flashy things and try to relate to the person.. as opposed to oh cool you have latest shoe or whatever and i'm getting latest thing when it comes out kinda person..
    But then the saying that comes to mind is .. if had your life, and life experiences i would be doing the same life choices as you would.. so with that in mind i think your doing a good thing.. and it never hurts to be well dressed.. i guess i'm just saying looking good in jeans is looking good in jeans regardless of whether they cost $20 or $200..

  31. I would do exactly the same as you have. My son was developmentally delayed until he was about 5. He has sensory issues, and at one point there was discussion of PDD or Asperger's. Now, at 6th grade, he is more just gawky, awkward, and definitely sup-par as far as PE and athletics. (which he has endured some teasing for). He also has a moderate stutter, and now a mouthful of a horrible orthodontic device called a palate expander. And, he is bone-skinny, which makes finding pants and shorts that are long enough a big issue.

    But I would do whatever I could to not buy him dorky clothes. My son kinda rejects the super trendy stuff, but we have found some middle-ground items where he does not stand out either way.

  32. I like name brands because they tend yo be better made. I usually however buy all mine secondhand. They are cheaper and have a better return when you want to resell them later. I keep my kids clothes nice so I can resell them when they are done. My boyfriend and I also do this for his 11yr old daughter he has custody of. Last year I sold all her old clothes from the year before for $150!! People wanted them because they were nice named brands but most were bought thrift or yardsale. Tons of clothes and if we tried harder we could have made more off them but we just wanted them outta the way. I do this all the time sometimes you can even make mkre than youve bought them for. For instance we went to a church sale just as they were closing everything was $1 for as much as you could shove in a bag and i found my son kswiss tennis shoes wiped them down $1 for new laces he wore them til they didnt fit and I sold them for $10.

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