Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Shorts Conundrum.

I've always been a practical girl.  I do remember wanting to wear brand-name clothing, though.  Do you?  In my day it was JCrew, Gap, Esprit, and Swatch.  My mom always bought us back to school clothing and she enjoyed treating us to brand names. My mom was generous with us.  When she was younger her parents were very tight-fisted with money.  She still remembers wanting Capezios and never getting them. 

Fast forward 34 years later and now I have a teenager.  Josh went shopping with my mom yesterday, armed with a $50 credit to American Eagle.  He came home with $45 shorts.  I seriously almost had a heart attack. My first response was, "First thing tomorrow morning those shorts will be returned".

I buy most of my clothing at Target and a discount clothing store (Gabriel Brothers, to be specific).  I recently purchased a pair of Lucky Jeans at Gabe's for $12.99.   I do still try to buy brand names, but I can't justify paying full retail price.  I do like quality things - price isn't always the determining factor. 

But I can promise you that I've never purchased nor worn a pair of $45 shorts.  Ever. 

Then this morning my mom called to advocate for Josh.  She and her neighbor talked it over (this just cracks me up, I have to admit) and think I'm being too hard on him.  They said I need to remember what it's like being a 13 yr-old, heading in to 8th grade.  I think my mom was immediately thinking back to the Capezios. 

Here's the thing.  I want Josh to respect how hard his dad works for our money.  But, I don't want to be stingy.  There is such a hard balance between being responsible and being cheap.  I don't want to be cheap.  It's only money.  But, it's money that is hard-earned. 

Part of me realizes that it was money that Josh could choose how to spend.  So, I went to TJMaxx and found two pairs of shorts and three shirts for close to the $45 total.  I'm going to give him the choice.  I don't want him to get sucked into the trap of only wearing what everyone else is wearing, but I'll understand if he just simply likes those $45 shorts. 

I'll let you know what he decides. 


  1. I recall when Miss P thought money grew on trees and that $130 jackets were her God given right. I had never owned a jacket worth that much in my life. It's right up there with a thirty dollar pair of thongs (the kind you wear on your feet - not the other kind )I will confess I have bought myself a pair of those since. (The foot kind not the other kind )

    I think expensive and brand name is OK every so often as long as kids understand that they don't need brand name to be part of the in crowd or as part of their inner identity. I also think they appreciate those things more when they don't have a wardrobe full of them!

  2. That's a pretty good idea Kirsten. And by the way, he's one cute guy!

  3. All I can say is, be very grateful you don't live here. I'd kill to find a pair of jeans at $12.99.
    I've been through all that, and my angel is not necessarily into brand names but she sure likes to spend her money on clothes. Since she has been working she is more likely to search out a bargain when she is spending her own money. When she is trying to spend mine it's a whole different ball game, sigh!

  4. Your idea is great, Kirsten! My kids are not into name brand clothes, but they are with their shoes. It's those darn Sketchers' ads on TV! LOL The rule is they can have the expensive shoes if they want to contribute part of the money. I'll pay half.

    I think the only name brand I ever bought as a teenager was Guess jeans. ☺ Oh to have a pair of acid wash jeans with a triangle tag on the back pocket. LOL