I have learned over the years that more often than not, when boys are around seven-years-old, they go through the “I only want to wear sweatpants” phase. I know that this can be so frustrating when you want to have your whole family in beautiful outfits, and you end up with a major negotiation just trying to get everyone dressed and out the door.
Here’s the thing: it is so much better to have your child in something that he finds comfortable – even if it wasn’t your first choice – than scowling and tugging at his clothes throughout the shoot. If you can come to a compromise where he wears the outfit you’ve selected for the family shots and changes outfits for the candids, great. If not, here are some options that may not be the cutest outfits in the world, but that will look just fine in photos.
Scenario 1: He will wear jeans, but refuses blazers, wool sweaters, and anything “itchy” or “fancy”.
Solution: Put him in a soft tee shirt in any solid color that goes with the rest of the family’s color scheme. It should be slightly fitted; he’ll look more dressed up in a tee that fits perfectly rather than one that he’s still growing into. J.Crew has both short-sleeve and long-sleeve tees in a variety of colors. If you think he’d layer a sweater over his tee for a few shots, try something like this cotton sweater rather than wool. If he’ll wear a polo, even better! J.Crew has short-sleeve and long-sleeve polos in jersey fabric. Lands’ End has plain cotton polos as well.
Scenario 2: No matter how hard you try, you just can’t get him to wear something other than sweatpants.
Solution: If you have to go with sweatpants, select sweatpants that have a straight-leg cut without logos, stripes on the sides, or elastic at the ankles like these from Under Armour or these from Lands’ End. If he’ll wear soft pants in a non-sweatpant fabric, try these from Lands’ End, these from J.Crew, or these from Under Armour. If he’d prefer shorts, these are soft but look like regular shorts.
It may seem totally weird, but if you can get him to wear a dress shirt with any of these pants, he’ll still feel comfortable, but he will look dressed up in portraits and photos from the waist up. He can change shirts for the candids and action shots.
I hope this is helpful! It may seem strange to put your son in sweats and a dress shirt, or jeans and a plain old tee, but I promise that the happy expressions I’ll be able to capture when he likes what he’s wearing will more than make up for the less-than-ideal outfit.
As with all Weekend Links posts, this post contains affiliate links.