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