Two Pairs of Pants?!

by Katy on December 6, 2011 · 22 comments

Somehow, my 16-year-old son got himself in the position where he was down to a single pair of pants that he was willing to wear. Sure, he had a few pairs in the closet that probably fit, but they weren’t to his liking. (What, you think you’re too good for vintage Sears Tuffskins?!) As can be imagined, this led to much morning drama, such as “Where are my pants?” and “Mom, why didn’t you wash my pair of pants?” I had given my son a $50 gift card to Buffalo Exchange, (a hipster clothing consignment shop) for his birthday,  but somehow he only bought a single pair of pants, which meant that his other pair immediately developed unmendable tears.

So yesterday, I picked my son son up from school and dropped him off at Buffalo Exchange with instructions to “buy some pants!” And miracle of all miracles, he did.

Now, my son has two, count ’em two pairs of pants — a pair of Levi’s black skinny jeans and a pair of corduroys.

So of course I have to tease him now about how he’s a “Spoiled American pig” and say stuff like “Ohhh . . . two pair of pants, eh? What do you think you are, some kind of crazy wealthy teenager?”

I just love being a parent.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Diedra B December 6, 2011 at 8:16 am

minimalism is in his jeans

(I couldn’t help it. sorry)


Tina B December 6, 2011 at 8:21 am

Oh, that was a good one!


Katy December 6, 2011 at 8:49 am

Nyuk, nuck! 😉



Annie December 6, 2011 at 8:33 am

LOL! Sounds like my Katie. She loves Aeropostale clothing but only had 1 shirt and 1 pair of pants of that brand that she could wear of them to school.

That outfit got worn a LOT. When I noticed the crotch on her favorite pants was starting to give out I surprised her by ordering her another pair online (I found a great deal). They arrived was “just” in time so she is still down to a single pair of her favorite pants.

Fortunately she has a couple of other outfits she will deign to wear but her favorites are that one brand. Guess I’m going to have to sneak and surprise her with another complete outfit of it in the future. I remember what it was like to be a kid..

Annie at


Auntie Karen December 6, 2011 at 9:20 am

Katy, when your son’s cousin (or is it 2nd cousin?) was in 4th grade he had a favorite shirt and jeans that he wanted to wear every day. I told him as long as they were clean, I could live with that. Since I also taught in the same school, there had to be SOME standards. I then taught him how to use the washer and dryer. From that point, if his “favorites” weren’t clean, he did a load of laundry or he settled for something less-than-favorite. He also trailed his parents to the thrift stores and kept an eye out for backup favorites. Thrift store shopping and laundry skills served him well right through college and into nearly 10 years of marriage. Frugality certainly is in the family “jeans”.


Sue December 6, 2011 at 9:33 am

My sons are very spoiled British pigs – they have 3 pairs each. That’s not counting the younger one’s school uniform trousers which naturally he can’t wear outside of school.


Steady Plodder December 6, 2011 at 11:01 am

Thanks for sharing your story! Now I know I’m not the only one. My son has just a couple of sweatshirts that he’ll wear….


Annie December 6, 2011 at 11:43 am

My 10 year old son is in a flannel stage right now. He had one flannel shirt that he would wear 3+ times a week. I finally bought him 2 more, so now the 3 flannel shirts last all week long.

Now my daughter, who goes through 3 outfits a day, is quite another story . . . .


Dogs or Dollars December 6, 2011 at 11:46 am

I’m not sure my husband has ever out grown this phase. He laments having 1 or 2 pairs of jeans at a time, but any more than that and he just won’t wear them. Boys!


Sarah December 6, 2011 at 11:47 am

If he’s old enough to buy his own pants, he’s old enough to do his own laundry 🙂


Katy December 6, 2011 at 3:00 pm

He does . . . sometimes.



Jan December 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I don’t know if you want to tease…. It is an accomplishment to get him into something else!


Madeline December 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Were toughskins the Sears brand where you could bring them in if the knees wore out and get a new pair?? I raised my kid on those..he wore through so many knees before he outgrew the pants and SEARS stood by their offer–I’d bring them in and get him a brand new pair for free!!!!! HAPPY DAY for our meager budget.

My husband and I were poor students living off student loans during this time and every single PENNY meant a GREAT big deal.

We have more wiggle room financially now and my son is all grown up but I will never forget how I loved Sears back then!!!!!! (We lived in Iowa while my DH went to school and my parents BIG GIFT EVERY CHRISTMAS was a new snow suit for our son!! WOO HOO!!!!!! Thank goodness for generous grandparents.. ! )

Enjoy these years, when your kids are youngish, they pass so QUICKLY!!


Katy December 6, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Tell me about it. It seems like just yesterday that they were preschoolers.



Jenn December 6, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Katy, you make me laugh everyday. THANK YOU for keeping up this blog. 🙂


Katy December 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm




Amanda December 6, 2011 at 5:39 pm

This made me smile since I’m going through the two pairs of pants struggle with my husband. He’s actually got many pairs in the closet and they’re all the same manufacturer and same style but he’s decided only two of this stack of identical jeans fit him comfortably.


Megyn @Minimalist Mommi December 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm

You’re giving me a little hope with having boys…forgot that they go through the limited clothes phase. That is unless they end up like their dad, the clothes horse. Rooting for boys like yours 🙂


Practical Parsimony December 6, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Katy, this was a funny post.

My son wore Sears jeans until he discovered other boys wore Levi’s. So, when he was in the second grade, I had to start buying Levi’s, a blow to my budget. It could have been Wrangler jeans for all I know, but they were more expensive than Sears.

When my younger brother, the baby of five, found a shirt he liked when he was 16, my mother had to wash and iron it everysingle day for several weeks. She got tired of that, so she bought him an identical one. That very same day, he decided he did not want to wear the shirt again. The brand new, never-worn-shirt languished in the closet with the old one. He never put either of them on after that day. She was fit to be tied since it was quite an expensive shirt. Oh, I complained to her that he should be doing the washing and ironing if it had to be done every day for him.


Jessica December 7, 2011 at 4:59 am

I only own two pairs of pants (both jeans) and I am a 33 year old woman. I just Hate shopping so I end up waiting until all my clothes are practically unwearable before getting something new.

I wish I liked to shop because then I could go to thrift stores and consignment shops. From reading your blog the secret seems to be to go shopping there often and plan ahead.

I hate it so much I used to pay my sister to shop for me when I was working full time.


HeatherS December 7, 2011 at 7:43 am

I think I was in the same boat as your son till last night! I recently lost 30 pounds and owned only one pair of pants that fit. Finally last night I was able to score two more pairs of pants at Goodwill. I now have 3 pair of pants! I thought losing weight would make shopping easier but it’s still hard to find the right pair of pants!


marie December 7, 2011 at 8:03 am

My weight has fluctuated a lot in the last 5 years so at any one time I’m lucky if I have 2 good pairs of pants. 3 is a luxury. I have actually used iron-on patches inside the crotch of jeans to extend their lives!


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