Clothes for Teen and Pre-Teen Boys

Parent Q&A

Where to Find Used Big Boy Clothes?? Mar 3, 2019 (6 responses below)
Clothes for large pre-teen boy Jan 2, 2019 (6 responses below)
Pants for very skinny and tall teen Nov 23, 2016 (9 responses below)
  • Where to Find Used Big Boy Clothes??

    (6 replies)

    Serious question! I have a 10 yo boy, and never ever see used boy clothes in big sizes at rummage sales, swap meets, etc., much less at secondhand stores like Chloe's Closet. I am able to stock my younger girl almost entirely secondhand, and end up having to buy boy stuff new. What do parents do with their used boy clothes in sizes 10 and up??? This is past the age where they get all torn up, with ripped knees, etc.!

    I'm pretty sure I've seen tween boy sizes at Goodwill, although it sounds like you've done your research so maybe I'm wrong on that. I take stuff that size to Goodwill or give it away via NextDoor, Freecycle, etc. In fact, I have a box of boy 10-12 stuff ready to donate now - if you're interested in it, please msg me.

    I have a 17-year-old boy.  His clothes are all torn up before he outgrows them, with the possible exception of jackets.

    I suggest connecting with a family who has a boy a few sizes larger than your own and let them know you will happily take any hand-me-downs. I have a teenager who still grows out of clothes (and in excellent shape - some rarely worn!) and I contact a mom of 2 younger boys I know through our old school and she happily takes them. Sometimes you just let to know someone you are interested.

  • Clothes for large pre-teen boy

    (6 replies)

    Our DS takes after one side of the family and had bulked up in anticipation of his growth spurt - he's currently a 34 waist but only 5 feet tall so all pants need to be altered to fit in length...(please no critical comments - he has very large bone structure - hips, knees, ankles, size 10 men's shoes, stays active, eats fairly healthily and is a victim of genetics right now - his parent and uncles were the same - all chubby and big boned in adolescence and then sprouted up).

    I'm looking for style help from other moms of bigger boys - he hates to wear jeans but can't go everywhere in shorts and athletic t-shirts. Any style tips for comfortable pants (especially when it's chilly out) and shirts that cover his waist? I've been buying men's capri style athletic pants to deal with the length issue and he wears a lot of sweat-jackets but I'd prefer a more put together look for him....thanks in advance!

    My son is short and on the heavy side.  He only likes to wear jogging pants.  I found jeans at Uniqlo that feel like sweats but look like jeans.  They are the only ones he'll wear.  Also, at Uniqlo they will hem your pants for free.  I just found this all out when shopping for school clothes.  You can find Uniqlo online or there's one in Sunnvalley mall and possibly in Emeryville although I'm not sure.  Good luck

    Hi, I have the opposite problem for my son. He's also a preteen, but so skinny it has been almost impossible to find pants that would stay up, without serious alterations.  I have had luck with the uniform pants at The Children's Place. I know uniform pants don't sound exciting, but they do have a range of styles. Go to their website (not amazon) and look there. They come in a broad range of sizes, have slim, regular and husky and they have adjustable waists. This is the only place that I have found pants that fit my son. I hope this helps!

    Also try

  • Pants for very skinny and tall teen

    (9 replies)

    Hello everyone.  My 13 yr old son is 5'9" and VERY skinny.  He still wears those pants with elastic waistbands.  Until recently I used to buy him the size 16 for boys pants at Old Navy; but now he has outgrown that.  I don't know where to get him pants as he is very tall but very skinny, so two of him fit in one pair of adult pants.  Any suggestions/recommendations?


    I have had a lot of luck with Uniqlo pants for my very thin teen. It's worth a try, anyway. It's in Bay Street, Emeryville. I have also heard that Costco jeans work for tall, skinny boys, but I have not looked into that myself (so I don't have the exact name, but I assume it's the Kirkland brand). 

    Hooo boy, I hear you. My tall skinny 13 yo is now a 6'6" skinny 21 yo, and it is impossible to find pants. Land's End has boys' elastic waist pants up to size 20. After that, we moved on to Levi's (when he was out of kids' and a bit thin for adult). When my son was in middle school and early high school, the 514 cut worked for him. The 501 runs pretty slim in the waist, too. He wears those now in a 30x36, but they're still a tiny bit short.

    Encourage him to follow a field that pay wells, as he will have to get bespoke pants as an adult. #jokingnotjoking

    Oops. Forgot link. Land's End has slim boy sizes:

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Jeans for ridiculously skinny and tall 18 yo son

May 2013

My ridiculously skinny and tall 18 yo son can no longer find jeans that fit. He has worn Levi's 501s in a 30x36 for a long time, but they are now a bit short on him. He is 6'5' and not even 150 pounds. (He eats a lot and eats well; it is genetic.) Most companies that carry tall sizes do not carry their jeans or pants in a 30 waist. The tall sizes usually start at a 32 or 34 waist. We have tried skinny fit in a larger size, but that hasn't worked out. (For background, we have tried Levi's, Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Nordstrom, Macy's, Zappos, Urban Outfitters, Men's Wearhouse, Rochester Big and Tall.)

Now to my question: Do you know any reputable custom jeans/pants mfgs/tailors in the Bay Area? Will it cost a fortune? IndiDenim is now out of business. I am reluctant to buy from websites like based on reviews of their products. (And even so, I entered the measurements we'd want, and they wouldn't accept the proportions!! And I was just using the 501 measurements.) Levi's started a custom service, but the jeans start at over $200!

Lastly, when I was a kid, I remember men's pants being sold unhemmed. It was very common. I never see that anymore. Are there still shops that sell unhemmed pants?

My Lanky Lad Is Sad in the Pants

I'm pretty sure Lands End offers unhemmed pants -- at least they did a few years ago. They even allow you to return them after you hem them if needed! anon

You may want to try Land's End. My DH is 6'6' tall and we've had good luck with them. If you sign up for their emails, you'll receive plenty of free shipping offers (and returns can be done at Sears). They have basic jeans styles - maybe not exactly what your son would like. Other online places that I've had luck with are Eddie Bauer and the Gap (but only online - that length isn't carried in stores). Similarly situated

I know what you mean. My son has a 28-29 waist, and though not quite as tall as yours, it's a nightmare finding pants for him! Not custom - but LandsEnd does have some jeans (and lots of non-jeans pants) that are available unhemmed. However, in a 30 waist the longest they will hem is 36, so I don't know if unhemmed will let you go much longer than that. You might call them and ask the length of the unhemmed inseam. R.K.

Pants for skinny tall teen

Aug 2012

My teen son is thin - he manages with a size 28 waist, though he could probably fit a 27' - but the longest we have found in ready-made casual pants is 32' (Banana Republic). He isn't super tall, but has long legs, so I think a 33' length would fit him better. Note that he absolutely will not wear jeans, so I am only seeking suggestions for where to find chinos, khakis, etc. in size 28x33. Preferably not more than $40 or so, and 100% cotton. Local or online are both fine.

All my kid's pants come from Old Navy or Gap, but we have to order online. They have tall sizes online, frequently go on sale, and have chinos for $25. They're fairly 'fashionable' by teen standards, and he's now decided he like tall shirts better, too, as they are longer without being bigger around. Makes shopping easier, as he picks out what he likes online, I eliminate half of it, and click the 'purchase' button. Done! Sue

It is fairly impossible to fit tall, skinny boys affordably. My son is 6'5' and wears a 28x36. The only pants that work are Levi's 501s. If your son won't wear jeans, you might want to try a 30 waist in slim/skinny fit pants at The Gap and buy him a belt. Otherwise, you might need to get the pants tailored. If you can find something on clearance, a dry cleaner or tailor might be able to tailor them for a reasonable price.

I'm the original poster, and in case someone searches this in the future, I wanted to post information that another BPNer sent to me directly but didn't post here. It turns out that Lands End's school uniform collection includes a few styles in 'young mens' sizes that come as small as a 27' waist, and they hem to order!!! They also offer a few in the larger 'boys' sizes (cheaper than young mens) that they will hem longer than usual (up to 33 inches for size 20, and 32 inches for size 18). There aren't many style or color choices, but it's the best option I've found so far. By the way - thanks for the suggestion about buying size 30 and a belt - but he won't wear a belt, either (unless he's dressing up). R.K.

Where can I find jeans to fit super slender son?

Feb 2011

Looking for some BTDT advice here... My son is at that super slender all leg stage. This isn't a new problem; since he stopped wearing diapers he's been in 'slim' pants. We are finding that now that he is older/taller they don't make slims in his size and his waist is still too small to buy clothes by measure ment. We tried to solve this solution buy purchasing ''skinny jeans'' but he's so skinny they sag and he has to use a belt to keep them up. Any one have any advice on where I can find jeans that will fit him? He's not to particular about his style yet, though he seems to be drawn to the ''preppy'' look... don't know if that will help or hinder. perplexed

Yup, BTDT! For several years now I have been buying the slimmest waist with longest inseam avaialable and then adding elastic in the back. My son prefers that to a belt or suspenders. I found walmart and penny's had descent selections of boys sizes when he was smaller - I never found more than one or two pairs in stock at a time in the size I was hunting. Land's End also has a pretty good range of sizes, for higher prices. Now I can only find his size online. Carhart used to make jeans in this size but has stopped. Wrangler has one or two styles. Currently, he's 15, and I am ordering 30x38's online and adding elastic. I cut two small openings on the inside of the waist at the back, about 8 or 10 inches apart, and zig-zag stich each end through heavy 1'' elastic threaded inside the waistband (from JoAnn.) This is more comfortable and less vibisible than creating a ''tuck.'' mom of giraffe

My son is also thin with long legs. He likes GAP jeans and I have bought him GAP khakis as well. I have found 30x36 jean sizes at the GAP outlet in Vacaville and these sizes are available at GAP online; sometimes I have even found them on sale! He's in college now, but I remember in middle school I was able to buy 'boys' jeans (much cheaper) with waist sizes of 28 or 29. It might take a trip to the store to figure out what you need that they don't have in his size, then order online? Good luck! sympathetic mom

Try Lands End slim sized jeans. My 16 year old son has been wearing them for years. His most recent pair are size 20 slim. There are s few shades and styles to chose from plus hidden elastic ''adjusters'' to further shrink the waistband. Gap has had some slim sizes online but not in the stores. If all else fails and you need dressy pants, the Nordstrom sales staff are very helpful at fitting growing boys. another mom of a slender boy

We have the same situation. However, we've had great luck with Lands End and Gap carrying a wide selection of ''slim'' pants all the way through the teenage sizes. Gap- not in stores so much but you can get them online. Courtney

Hi Perplexed, So your son does not wish to sag? R E J O I C E !!!!!! If he wants to appear a little fuller than he is with a little beachy swag, Hollister is making some jeans that feel pretty good. My son is amazingly lanky (6.2 140 lbs) and has actually found alot of success in H He was in there while I was shopping with my 17 yr old daughter and tried on some of the mens clothes VOILA!!! Perfect fit. They have several cuts of slacks, jeans, shorts that work really well on the slender guy. Preppie, great tones, whimsicle..tailored. 'Worked for my boy.

As far as Levis are concerned. I think it was 519s.... no that was for me.... just texted him he says 511s that he says in his pretend Jamaican accent '' Make all the gulls be liken me!'' He's in college now.... UCSB. Enjoy this time dear perplexed. It will be over in a turn of the page. Reenie

have him wear a belt... it's a good habit to get son into! i used to have to pay my mom a nickel every time i did not wear a belt. and she allowed me to wear my hair long, wear ripped t-shirts... but, i had to wear a belt. i was skinny and still am -- still slender after all these years

Pants with expandable waistline for husky teen

May 2010

My son's pants fit him just fine EXCEPT around his waistline. He's got his dad's ''husky'' shape and is starting to blow buttons off. I taught him the emergency paperclip trick, but need some other ideas. Can anyone recommend a good brand of pants for growing boys that have expandable or elastic waistbands but don't look too dorky? Or some cool device to get us through to the next size? We're fortunate enough to get good hand-me-downs so I don't really know where to start shopping. K

You don't mention your son's age/size range, but Lands End has pants with a hidden adjustable waist up through size 20. They were great for my son, who is very thin, but might work for your boy when fully ''extended.'' They also carry a reasonable selection of husky size pants through size 20. Check the size charts at their web site. hurray for adjustable waistbands!

The Gap has adjustable waistband pants and they carry lots of different sizes like Husky and Tall. The full array is online, not in stores, so if you can figure out what size to get him, you will find it online!

Hi, my almost 15 year old has been wearing basketball shorts almost daily since middle school. He loves them and they're comfortable, have pockets and no buttons. He's started wearing jeans, low on the hips but with a belt, so not too revealing! Good luck! mother of sylin' teen

Jeans for skinny 11-year old?

March 2008

Can anyone recommend a reasonably priced place to find jeans for a skinny 11-year old boy? We used to buy Old Navy, and the slim jeans worked ok because they had adjustable waists. But the size 12 jeans there don't have this feature and they just fall off. Thanks! Lisa

I get all the pants for my very skinny boy on line from either Lands End or LL Bean. Just about all the pants have adjustable waists, and they last well. The prices are pretty reasonable, I think, but if the regular prices are too high, check the clearance and overstock pages. The LL Ben adjustable waists end at about size 12 or 14, but Lands End has them through size 20! That's what my 14-year-old is wearing now. R.K.

Land's End!! I just discovered the Land's End boy's slim sizes. They are great. My son is super tall, so he's like a skinny 11-y-o, only younger. The slim sizes fit just great. My son likes the climber pants style with elastic waists, but they have lots of styles in slim sizes--jeans and khakis, too. You may need to take a tape measure to your son and check their size charts to find the right size, but I bet you can find it. Carolyn

My husband is skinny/small and I buy him pants through Lands End in the BOYS section. Lands End has clothes with some accomodation for thinner/regular sized folks. Order what you think is his size, the one above and the one below, and hopefully one of them will fit! YOu can return what does not fit and they're all good about it. Wife of Jack Sprat

Boy do I hear ya on the jeans question!! My almost 11 year old boy finally hit 70 pounds a few months ago, yet is in th 95th percentile for height. We really liked the Old Navy brand, but they 12s run wayyyy too big for the boy. I have found that Target's ''Legendary Gold'' store brand jeans seem to fit him okay. They don't have slim sizes above size 10, however they seem to run smaller through the waist, legs and hips, and the size 12 have an adjustable waistbands that works for his small waist without making him look like he's been totally cinched. While they aren't the highest quality denim, they seem to go on sale quite a bit and I usually pick up 2 pair at a time for around $20 total. Good luck. Mom of Tall Skinny Kid

Sportscoat for thin teen

June 2006

I need a sportscoat/or suit for my 5'9'' narrow shouldered teen. We've tried a number of 36'', but none have been narrow enough in the shoulders. I've been told that it's very difficult to do alterations on the shoulder area, so tailoring isn't an option. A 34'' long might work, but I've never even one in the stores. Any ideas where to shop for a decent sportscoat for a thin kid? Jamie

My 15 yr old (also tall and thin) needed a sportcoat last fall. We found what we needed at the Men's Wearhouse - we went to the one at Mariner Square in San Leandro but they are probably all about the same. Some of his classmates got their sportcoats from Land's End although I never researched that myself. Good luck Ellen

Dress Clothes for Pre-Teen Boys


Does anyone have any recommendations on where I can find a good quality boy's suit? I've tried a couple department stores but they just have blue blazer/pant combinations. thanks Karin

Boy's suits - We had good luck finding suits for our son at Burlington Coat Factory in SF, a few years back. Barbara

It seems like I've seen suits in the Lands' End kids' catalog. I am also pretty sure that Brooks Bros. sells childrens' dress clothes. Wendy

Can anyone recommend a source for nice, moderately priced dress clothes for pre-teen boys? My son wears anything from an XL boys (18-20) to a man's M-L. Pants are not a big problem, but shirts for teens tend to be flashy, polyester junk. I tried Macy's and Nordstrom, and found one nice shirt - a black cotton polo shirt with zippers (way cool!). I'm looking for one or two other dressy shirts, suitable for holiday events, bar mitzvahs, etc.

My son and I looked everywhere last year for something appropriate for a theater night out with his aunt. The ONLY place we found with a selection was JC Penney--up at Hilltop Mall. They have sports coats and suits for young men as well as shirts and slacks. Good luck! --Joan

I have a grandson who is in middle school. He is almost 11 and has been taller than me for the last year or so. He also wears a shoe size larger than his father. I received a Lands' End catalog for males that I sent along to his mother. I didn't look through it for shirts because I was more interested in the pants section. You might wish to call 1-800-356-4444 and ask that they send you that catalog. Their website is: Hope this proves to be helpful. Flora

Lands End has nice dress clothes for teens. Kind of preppy, but great for Bar Mitzvot. You can check them out on-line. Also Ross sometimes has great deals. Jamie

Try Mervins California. We've had great luck there. There is one in Pinole just off of Hwy. 80. Julie

Southshore in Alameda has Mervyn's, JC Penny, and Ross in one shopping area. It's easy to shop here because the stores are close together. Stoneridge Shopping Mall in Pleasanton has JC Penny, Sears, Norstrom, Macy's,and GAP Kids. Then there's McCaulou on Medau St. in Monclair Village. They carry Men, Boys, Women, Juniors, Girls, Babys, Shoes and a few other gift items. Happy shopping! Vera

This summer my son had weddings to attend. We went to Nordstroms in Walnut Creek for the jacket and Macy's for the pants. Nordstroms fixed the jacket for free....short arms. Note: We have purchased suits there too. Doreen

Regarding dress clothes: My son (age 14) need to dress for a jazz combo performance. I got him a great pair of wool slacks and a tweed jacket at the Salvation Army on Solano. I spent a total of $15.00. LBrown

I have found the best dress clothes for boys at Goodwill and Salvation Army. They have beautiful sports coats - I've always bought slacks, cords or when my son was younger - shorts at regular department stores because they have a chance of getting more wear. Cheaply priced ( but well known brands) dress shoes can be found at Ross. It stands to reason that sports coats for younger guys are not going to be well worn and people are not going to toss them as they have great sentimental value so they will recycle them. Anonymous