Kids, Life

Major shopping frustration

I just need to “vent” for a second after a frustrating evening last night!!

So, Asher is performing a drum solo at the local Solo Ensemble competition on Saturday. (I was in orchestra growing up and did not actually realize that “drum solos” were a thing. But I guess they are. Should be lovely to listen to. 😆)

Anyway, yesterday (Thursday) after school we realized that most of his dress clothes don’t really fit. He has some khakis and a nice pair of navy blue pants, but he really wants to wear the traditional white shirt/ black pants musician combo. None of his dressier collared shirts fit anymore, either.

He decided to take the night off from swim and asked if I could take him out shopping to look for a couple new items. He was hoping to pick something out himself to wear. I said we could try, but I wasn’t sure what kind of luck we’d have. Our mall is practically in shambles (even though we live in perfectly large urban area)…. over half the stores are closed/ sitting empty. There are literally no children’s clothing stores there anymore.

There is a Kohl’s Department Store nearby though, so we started there.

Kohl’s boys department was decently stocked with athletic gear and some casual clothes, but there was not one single dressy item for boys. Not one!! I asked two different associates, who checked with the manager, just to make sure I wasn’t missing something. Nope. There were a couple short sleeved casual button downs and that was it. Zero “dress shirts” of any kind. No nicer sweaters, either.

So from there we thought we’d attempt the mall. Well, apparently JcPenney, our only remaining nearby department store at the mall, closes at 7 pm now. And we got there at 7:01.

We went into the main mall entrance, which was still open, thinking maybe we’d find something at H&M….But they were closed already, too. (And I don’t know that we would have been successful there, anyway.)

I couldn’t even think of where else to go. It was so frustrating!! Asher was like, “I don’t get it…where do people buy clothes for their kids??” I had no answer!!

There used to be lots of options- when the boys were little, the mall had a Gap Kids, Carters, The Children’s Place, multiple department stores full of popular brands and dress clothes, Old Navy, Abercrombie, AE and probably others I’m forgetting.

(I forgot about Old Navy this time, so we didn’t check there, but they aren’t really known for dress clothes anyway.)

We decided to run into a few “variety” stores like Marshall’s, TJMaxx, and Ross, just to see if maybe we’d get lucky. NOPE. ALL of their boys departments were absolutely pathetic. Literally one single rack, with a hodge podge of a few random sweatshirts, pants and a couple casual shirts, nothing good at all- and certainly nothing dressy. And extremely limited selection too.

On the way home, thoroughly irritated and exhausted by this point (and COLD, because it was cold and windy out and we had to keep going in and out of the car!!), we threw a hail mary and ran into Target. Where we found one single white button down (and not even a dressy one- more like a stiff flannel type material which wasn’t particularly nice anyway) in a size XS. They had one section of baggy, ugly looking black “dress pants” that I told him to not even bother trying on. Yuck. I could tell by looking they were not right.

On the way out, I said, “UGHHHH!! Let’s go. We are going home!!! I am DONE.”

Asher was very surprised by this whole experience and kept saying, “I just don’t get it. How can there be nowhere to buy clothes???” The whole night was a colossal waste of time and just annoying.

I honestly don’t have the answer. Obviously, I know many/most people buy clothes online these days. We do too I guess….but seriously, not one single place to get some decent kids clothes in person?? We do not live in a remote, rural area! We’re in a major city.

Forget the dress clothes- there wasn’t even much in the way of everyday casual clothing for boys anywhere that we found.

Ivan was looking online to see if Macy’s had anything that he could order and pick up today. (Our local Macy’s has been a place we’ve had good luck getting nicer quality brands and dress clothes in the past, but it’s downtown/ not very convenient. But Ivan works fairly near there so he can stop by easily on his lunch.)

ANYWAY! The whole situation just felt very exasperating. I know online shopping was popular even before the pandemic, but I don’t remember it being this bad. It seems there should be at least somewhere to do some decent shopping in person. There isn’t always time to order things online, deal with size exchanges, etc. What if you suddenly needed outfits for a funeral? Or some other last minute event….LIKE A BAND CONCERT?! (which, really isn’t technically last minute…so I guess it’s our fault for not checking his clothes sooner. But still.) I noticed there was also not a single tie for boys anywhere to be found, either, like if they needed one for a wedding, for example.

Please tell me- where do you buy your kids’ clothes??!! Are you 100% online now for that?

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for FRIDAY! This week went fast and felt like a blur with these late nights from Olympics watching.

6 thoughts on “Major shopping frustration”

  1. Gosh that is so odd!! I can’t believe you struck out at so many places. And that stores at the mall closed that early. I can’t tell you the last time I shopped at a mall, though! Even before the pandemic, I avoided it like the plague! But I hate shopping!

    So we are lucky to have received a lot of hand-me-downs from friends who had boys. My best friend has 2 boys, the younger one is 5 weeks older than Paul, but he grows more typically so hand-me-downs work from them since he’s 1-2 sizes larger than Paul (Paul turns 4 next month and is solidly in 24m pants, 2T/3T tops and 3T pjs). I also had other friends that live far away mail me their kids hand-me-downs and I paid the postage. If I need something we don’t have, I either go to Target or Once Upon a Child. I have had great luck at Once Upon a Child which is a 2nd hand/consignment store. That’s where I got a bunch of Christmas pajamas and I got some nice button down shirts for Paul there this fall. Of course that’s all luck of the draw, though, so if you need something in particular, it’s hit or miss.

    I don’t like shopping, but I don’t like online shopping for myself as the sizes vary so much from store to store and the return process can be super annoying. There was a Banana Republic downtown so when I worked downtown, I would get all of my clothes there and always 50% off or more! But that store has since closed. Womp womp. Your shopping experience does remind me of a time when I tried to find a sweater for Paul to wear for family photos. I went to a bunch of stores downtown and their boy departments were TINY. I could not find a decent sweater anywhere!

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  2. Well, I don’t have kids, so I have ZERO advice, but I definitely feel your frustration. You’d think that you could find a couple of decent things at the mall but the shopping environment has majorly changed, I guess.

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  3. that sounds frustrating. the best is really to buy in person for kids as they grow so fast so hard to get it right online in a rush. sorry you have to go through this experience, hope you can order online next time and avoid this frustration.

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  4. How frustrating!! It’s one of my common rants, how difficult our modern society is making life for people who can’t access the website/app/etc etc.

    A is in adult clothes now. I tend to order her clothes online and pick up from a local store (Next). I’d perhaps browse children’s clothes shops more in the past. I also will grab clothes, for her and me, from supermarkets as I spot any I like.

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  5. What an epic clothes quest! The lack of ties is so… I don’t know. It seems like such a small things that could really have a big impact, so why not stock them?
    My oldest is starting to grow out of the standard sizes that are available in the kids section and I’m not sure what to do next. It seems so much of what is available for the pre-teen/teen set is fast fashion and she is really hard on her clothes. I might have to give up on the idea that I can get her clothes that she can pass down to her siblings.
    We had a similar experience when she needed black pants and top for a school performance. Of course she told me the day before! I ended up at Target but had to buy her pants in the boys section and a top in the women’s section. Target and H&M are my “last minute” shopping places, but mostly because they are close by.
    Mostly for in person shopping (when I can plan ahead) we go to Gap, Old Navy, Uniqlo, or Kid to Kid (a consignment store), but I’m finding that the first three don’t have as wide a variety of kid clothes anymore, at least not compared to what you can find online. So then I just order online and return in person, but that is a huge hassle!

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    1. I’m glad to know at least I’m not alone in this!! Ha! I was feeling so…perplexed! This isn’t a concern/ issue I feel I’ve heard a lot of friends or acquaintances mention, so then I was thinking, What am I missing here?! Does everyone else know the secret and I don’t or something? lol!

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