As a mother of growing boys, I feel it is my responsibility to school my sons in certain lessons related to fashion.  After all, if not me, then who?  Their father?? God bless Dave but his idea of dressing up is wearing a collared golf shirt, a defining principle which he has somehow passed onto his sons, despite my best intentions. 

To all you Mothers of Daughters and Metrosexual Boys out there, I know how lucky I am that my boys give a flying you–know-what about what they wear each day.  Their ambivalence has saved me thousands of dollars and hundreds of shopping hours.  For this gift, I am truly grateful.  Yet, while I don’t subscribe to buying high end designer clothes for them, I do like my boys to leave the house looking like there is someone at home who tortures cares about them each day.  And despite their stark differences in personality, their fashion faux pas list is identical, including some of these winners: 

Color Blindness:  Remember Garanimals?  I think a tween appropriate version of Garanimals, clothes that identify matching counterparts on their tags, would sell very well.  Anything that keeps these boys from pairing orange shirts with red shorts is worthy of premium pricing.  They also tend to embrace the monochrome look where they resemble Fruit of the Loom characters. This breach is especially hard to explain when they ask, “What is WRONG??  It’s ALL green!”

Open the Flood Gates:  I’m starting to feel as if this could be a generational thing because every time I point out to my guys that they can’t wear those pants because they’re “floods”, I get a blank stare back.  I then explain (again) what “floods” are and how a kid could get shoved in a locker for wearing them.  Again, the blank stare which suggests to me that “floods” are ok these days.  I still make them change.

Sock Infraction:  It’s hard enough to get the boys to put anything on their feet except their slip-on Vans so when they put on whitesocksdress shoes with white gym socks, I hesitate to make a stink and risk losing the battle and the war.  However, the white sock / flood pants combo is a deal breaker.  But man, it’s as if donning a colored dress sock is equivalent to walking on hot pokers.

Tuck, Everlasting:  grimleyI honestly think they do this one just to bug me.  Whenever an outfit requires a shirt tuck (i.e. with a jacket and tie, baseball pants) they insist upon leaving their shirts out, lamenting about how uncomfortable the tuck is.  Yet, every now and then for no apparent reason, they embrace the tuck as if there is no tomorrow, shoving their shirts WAY down into their pants and bringing the belt up HIGH.  If you thought tucking was uncomfortable, you should hear the pain they articulate to untuck.

Minty Shirts:  I have learned that it is always best for the boys to dress last before leaving the house.  Their shirts are magnets for anything chocolate but they also seem to attract toothpaste spit on a regular basis.  My encouragement to “spit far” has been translated into “spit hard” which causes back splash and unfortunately even more of a mess.  

And so my quest continues.  I know that boys will be boys and minor fashion violations never hurt anyone but there is something called self respect that needs to be acknowledged – even if it’s just mine.

What is on your fashion faux pas list for kids?  Which breaches are you willing to let slide and which ones do you insist be addressed?
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