How to Dress a Husky Boy on a Shoestring

My "husky" son dressed up for Easter
My "husky" son dressed up for Easter

Find nice clothes for "husky" boys can be hard ...

My eldest son has been big his whole life (almost 11 years) and finding clothes that fit him has been difficult. As a toddler it was easy since he loved wearing overalls and sweat pants. However, when he started at an all boys private school with a dress code I found myself buying khaki pants that fit in the waist but dragged on the ground. We ended up taking all of his pants to the dry cleaners to have them shortened, which ended up being expensive.

There is no debate that childhood obesity is on the rise, but I will say that some boys are just born big - i.e. look like line-backers on a football team. My son does love to eat and of course we steer him towards healthier choices and restrict juices, sodas (completely banned in our house), fast food, junk food, and serve small portions of dessert if it ice cream or a few cookies with milk. That being said, due to medication he takes for his mood and a ravenous appetite, he has always had trouble fitting into regular sized boys clothes.

When he started to get teased about his weight at school, I realized that I needed to step in and help find clothes that were more flattering to his mid-section girth. Once we started to help him with clothes that fit and were comfortable to wear, the comments seemed to settle down a bit and his self-confidence went up.

I have found the best luck with a combination of consignment stores, on-line stores, Target and EBay. It is all about "cost per wearing" - i.e. spend more on items that will get worn a great deal and less on those that are worn less frequently.

If your son has a school uniform, lucky you. Once you find the perfect fitting khaki pants buy them in bulk. Husky kids seem to be harder on their clothes and tend to spill more, so you want to have plenty of back-ups so you are not doing laundry every day or having your child walk around looking like "pig-pen". My hands-down favorite for any and all husky sized clothes for boys is Land's End. If you can afford to buy all of their clothes there - you are set. The clothes last, they wash well, the kids like them. They make the best blue blazer for this size, instead of having some oversized jacket swimming on them; these blazers fit without being tight but give a very polished look. My son is wearing on in the picture above. While the blazers do not always go on sale, get on the email list to be alerted for when they are having a sale, I bought dress trousers for my son for $9 and he loved them. Ordering on line is so much better than dragging you to the mall on a hopeless quest to find husky sizes (which are not sold in many stores). Another plus, you can return to Sears’s stores.

Speaking of dressy clothes, my son and daughter both took a ballroom dancing class last fall which required them to be dressed up every Wednesday for 8 weeks. This is where consignment shops come in very handy. Dress shirts, ties, belts, even dress shoes are so cheap. Many people have paid full price for these items, usually done last minute to attend a family wedding, and are hoping to re-coup some of their costs. Since these items have been "gently used" most people (i.e. your son) will be able to tell the difference if wearing "used" clothing is an issue. If you are really lucky, you may even save yourself $75 and find a great blue blazer. To find consignment store look in the Yellow Pages or check out websites on the internet. I have noticed that the Salvation Army style thrifts stores (which are great too) have also been joined by more "upscale" consignment stores which are more selective in terms of what they will accept, however their prices are much less than paying retail.

In addition to trolling the consignment store for dress clothes, they can be a treasure trove for shirts, sweat pants, track pants, sweatshirts, pajama, and even bathing suits. I tend to buy a few pairs of really well made husky sized pants and shorts (since pants and shorts are hard to fit) from a website that sells husky sizes Old Navy, Gap, Lands End, and JC Penny, and fill in the gaps with loads of tee shirts which are very cheap in these stores, so we never have the issue of "nothing to wear" in the morning.  Contrary to most boys' mind-set a pair of jeans can be worn two days in a row. 

Consignment stores can be hit or miss, so here is wear I fill in with Target. There polo shirts are amazing, even the Wall Street Journal compared them to higher priced stores and said they wore well and stay soft the longest. It's a good thing I need to drive about 20 minutes to get to the nearest Target, since I happen to find the store the best source for many, many things and frequently come out with a few "impulse" buys (mainly home furnishings), usually I give it 24 hours and return anything on buyer's remorse. I digress, however, I tend to buy my son at least two pairs of sneakers (encourage him to rotate them in terms of wearing) and one pair of dress shoes. This also goes for baseball pants, soccer shorts, exercise jerseys (made of wicking material) - you are going to pass much less than what you would pay to buy name brands like Under Amour.

Now last but not least, EBay, which is the source of amazing deals and another way to for you to sell your $75 Land's End blazer your husky child grown out of once he has worn it at Christmas/Hanukah, Easter/Passover, a family wedding, a family funeral, and any other event that requires coat and tie. I already have ordered future husky sizes of blazers for my son since we attend church each Sunday and I know he is not turning into a "slim" anytime soon.

Good luck with your shopping.


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Comments 4 comments

marie 6 years ago

Thank you for your information. I have a 7 year old boy who as your son was born big and grew bigger. Its seems that whenschool started this your I couldn't find anything to fit him. He still has no new clothes. Like Isaid he is 7 years going into a size 14 boys and yes I will pray that they fit the waist. Hemming wont be a problem because I sew and he is 4`5" tall and takes a size 5 shoe. Again thank you!


Sheri 5 years ago

If he's 11, get ready for a big growth spurt. My son is the same way - even as a baby he was always off the chart for height and weight. After he turned 12 he had a huge growth spurt. At 12 he is 5'9 with a size 13 shoe.


Cindy 5 years ago

Thanks ladies for the comments here... I am going craaazy trying to find clothes for my son!! He has always been about the tallest one in class, and until recently (he just turned 10), he was relatively slim. But, now he wears shoes bigger than me and I cannot find a pair of pants that will fit him. I too, suspect a growth spurt is imminent... in the past he has grown an inch in 4-5 weeks before! So, I'm hoping the extra 'round' torso (size 14!) and pants that are hopelessly too long are just a phase... I'm only 5'4" and dad's only 5'10" but I have many over-6 footers in my family, and even a couple of 7 foot tall cousins!!! Unfortunately, I think clothing stores in general do not 'understand' that kids can fluctuate so much in their sizes! I'm afraid this is a battle we'll always be fighting! Good luck!


Mia 14 months ago

Thank you so much. This is for my grandson. He was averged sized and then he just blew up in size. He is four and wears an 8 or 10 husky.

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