25 answers

Clothing Options... Pants Are Too Long & Hates Tights

Hi Moms,

My daughter CANNOT stand the feeling of clothes around her waist area. So she always wants to get the next size up so she does not feel the elastic band on her pants. But... that leads into problems... 1st-- the pants are way to long because she is already petite and with her wearing a bigger size... it leads to the pants extending her feet and beyond. 2nd-- the waist band isn't tight enough for her waist and they fall down. She hates jeans and any other pants that are not extremely soft, belts and tights too. It takes so long for her to get dressed in the morning that it leads into other problems such as squeezing in time for other neccessities such as eating, brushing teeth, etc... I have wasted money on underwear too since she says many don't feel right. Then there's this.... she says certain underwear feel okay with certain pants. She will put on the underwear and then the pants, then take off the pants and underwear and say they don't feel right together.

She will wear dresses as long as there is no band/design around the waist, and if it is not confining in any way. However... she cannot stand wearing tights and I told her she needs to now with the weather getting colder. I have stressed what "beautiful tights" the girls in her kindergarten class are wearing on any given day. She replies... "Mom, you know I can't stand those things!" I've tried leggings with socks and she still says it bother hers (the feeling of the leggings touching her legs.) I don't think this is a phase for her. Even as a toddler she has had difficulties with sensory issues regarding clothing. She loves her pjs because she wears them loose and without underwear. I do allow a pj day once in awhile if we are staying in for the day.

So if you have any suggestions for making our mornings a bit smoother around here, I'd love to hear from you! Thanks

Oh.. she will wear socks but that takes forever too. One day a certain pair of socks feel good and then 2 days later that particular style drives her crazy. So... go figure!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My sons both had problems with clothes. I do as an adult. I have lymphedma and other digestive problems. waist lines are hell for me. My sons are big clothes for their problems.

Will she ware overalls??? I would get dress that go to her ankles. Tights compress her leggs and middle. I think she does have a real medical problem that is not diagnosed yet.

I know it is frustrating. I cannot stand the seat belt and pants with a waist band. I have had terrible panic attaches where I had to stop the car and get out. I hope that never happens to her.

I know you will find a solution.

1 mom found this helpful

I have to agree with the last comment. I would try overalls. I have the problem of needing longer pants for my kids, but then the waist is too big. There is no band in the middle to bother her, and they can be adjusted for length. I know I have had them in pants, shorts, and dresses. It might be worth a shot. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

J.,

Good for you for listening to your daughter and trying to make her comfortable. I also have pain when I wear certain items of clothing, and I simply cannot stand the pain.

My daughter does not have this issue and doesn't mind tights, but she still likes the fashionable look of knee socks. We're wearing them with most of her dresses and skirts this year, and she looks adorable.

You might also try leg warmers. I found an adorable pair at gap.com that my daughter wears with her ballet outfit.

A friend of mine has a daughter with the same issue with socks. She purchased special socks for diabetics that have no seams in the middle. They don't always work, but they seem to have helped some. I don't know if they make knee socks, but it might be worth a look!

The most comfortable girls' clothes I've found are called Keedo. I have only been to one store in Overland Park, Kansas, but I haven't been able to find them online or in this area. It seems they are based in Africa! I did see some outfits on eBay - new ones, too.

Good luck to you, and you are such a good mom for helping your daughter to accept who she is and how to make herself comfortable.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi J.!
My son has been like this his whole life. He's now 6, but we noticed it with pajamas (no footies) and then socks (the seams bothered him). So we found footless pajamas and made sure the socks didn't have large seams on the inside. The shirts couldn't have anything sewn on the front or he could feel it on the inside and don't get me started on the tags! I hated cutting them off so I couldn't see the size, but I did it anyway. What has worked for us was that I took him out shopping and prepared for a long day. We tried on lots of pants, shirts and anything else that he thought he would like. (For boys they had sweat pants, sports pants and fleece pants as other options to jeans and pants. You may even try leggings instead of tights. Sometimes they are soft.) It took a long time but he found clothes that felt "right" and that helped me for future reference. Now I know the types of clothes he will wear and avoid the ones I know he won't. Now his closet doesn't have any of the clothes I know he wouldn't wear. He still is particular about what he wears so it really helps to bring him along whenever I do get anything just to make sure. I hope you find some peace - I know how frustrating it is!

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with the other posters that she has a sensory issue (although the possibility of an underlying medical issue is also a case.) I would talk about it to your pediatrician. My daughter received speech, PT and OT services at Easter Seals and I know they do work with kids who have sensory processing problems. They have ways to gradually work with the kids to help them deal with the sensory input and make the problems more comfortable. Fortunately, your daughter is able to articulate what she doesn't like, which helps a lot, even though it seems like a real pain when you are buying clothes! I had a friend whose daughter couldn't stand the feeling of wind on her skin. She didn't want to play outside at all, ever. She didn't even like going to the car if it was in the driveway. But, she couldn't explain what the problem was, she just screamed about it for years until finally she learned to express herself. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Get her long dresses that dont need to fit around waists. For leggs we get which just covers around teh leg no foot no bands. We got it at Carsons, they are in same secton as leggies.

We also have a thread going through seam and you can tight and loosen as much as you want. So we used to tie them loose, just short enough not to fall off her butt.

Best of Luck!! There are options, just little difficult to find.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,
Boy you really do have a delima on your hands. Have you tried really cute sweat pants or outfits for your daughter. Also in the sock department try ankle socks with very little elastic on the ankle they really have some cute ones for girls now. My name is G. and I also have a 5yr old in kindergarden. The only problem I have with her is she doesn't like for her pants to be high on her waist she likes them right at her underware line. Hope this helps a little. Have a great day! G.

1 mom found this helpful

Wow! You sure have your hands full. What about letting her dress with no tights and having her wear snow pants to school and during outside play. You could get the kind that don't touch the waist but that hang on the shoulders. Alternatively, and I know this isn't ideal, but you could convince her that she doesn't have to wear underwear if she wears tights. This way she doesn't have both on her waist. If you choose this option though, I would make her teachers aware of the situation so they don't wonder about why and then work in baby steps to get her wearing both. Alternatively, you could just buy the outfits that are all one piece. I think they are called jumpers or rompers. They are the shirt and pant combo. Since your daughter is petite, you might be able to find them in her size. Hope this helps. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I have to agree with the last comment. I would try overalls. I have the problem of needing longer pants for my kids, but then the waist is too big. There is no band in the middle to bother her, and they can be adjusted for length. I know I have had them in pants, shorts, and dresses. It might be worth a shot. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Wow, this pretty much describes my 7 year old to a T. She never had a problem with clothes until the beginning of 1st grade, she is now in 2nd grade. She picks out her clothes at night and I still fight with her in the morning about socks and underwear. She hates socks and underwear!!! She will not wear jeans, skirts or dresses. She needs me to cut tags out of some shirts - which I do not like doing, but I am not going to start a fight on this one.

She will only wear what I call 'comfy pants'. I am lucky to live close to Gurnee Mills. They have the Children's Place outlet and I have been getting her comfy pants there on clearance for $3.00 each. They are not tight in the waist and they fit pretty well. I know they have comfy pants at full price for this seasons style. I am not sure if you have a Children's place near you or if they have the pants online.

My daughter also hates wearing shoes that are worn. She likes to wear gym shoes without socks and she will wear them out inside and she hates the way it feels. I keep telling her she needs to wear socks.

Is she in a gymnastics class? My daughter is in gymnastics and she likes to wear her leotard to school with pants over it. It is tight, but of course not in the waist. Maybe she could wear a leotard to get used to the feeling of having something on that is form fitting.

I don't think the girls are too picky as a previous post stated. The girls obviously do not like something about the clothing. It is a pain, but hopefully it will get better.

Sorry I don't have any real advice, I am hoping it will pass. If I come up with anything, I will let you know.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't have any advice that hasn't been offered. I just want to say good for you for working with her on this! My dd seems to have some sensory issues mostly with sound and smells, but clothing has to be "just right" or she'll refuse to wear it, it has to do more with the type of fabric. Hope you find something that helps you!

1 mom found this helpful

I second the comment that says good for you on being mature, responsible and considerate in deciding to work WITH her on this concern. The last thing you should be telling ANYONE (adult or child)is do it because I say so or because I am the parent. Being officious, patronizing and callous will get you nowhere in the long run and is ultimately destructive not constructive. Most of the posts are worth trying. I just want to add that I, personally, really can't stand much of anything that isn't 97% to 100% cotton,cashmere, or better quality worsted wool next to my skin. Cheap Wool, polyester, lycra, synthetics are scratchy and irritating. I just buy fewer clothes and ones that have the qualities I prefer.

1 mom found this helpful

Have you talked to her doctor? I know it sounds silly to say, but I think you should.
My son has OCD and that and socks was one of his biggest issues at first. He couldn't have things touching his tummy and would go balistic if it did and the seams of his socks had to sit just right.

1 mom found this helpful

The first thing I thought of is OCD. My neighbors daughter has this and has always had a problem with clothes feeling too restricive and tight. She still wears mostly dresses. Talk to your pediatrician.

1 mom found this helpful

I see that you have gotten tons of advice, but I just had to weigh in on this issue. It is entirely possible that your daughter does have a sensory issue. I would talk to her pediatrician and see what he/she has to say. It may be necessary for her to see some type of therapist. I don't think this type of this is really all that abnormal. I imagine most parent just think it's their kids being picky. Bravo for you! You're working with your daughter, not against her. I think that's wonderful!

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried pants with the adjustable waist? Gap sells them, as well as Gymboree and Target. They have stretchy pull tabs that you button into just the right spot to adjust for your childs waist size and or comfort level in your case. I find i have to do this for my 3 yr old son, because he is also on the petite size, so to have pants fit him in the waist perfect, usually means they are too short! So, i have found these adjustable waist pants to be great! I can get fit at the top with no belts, and the length is perfect!

I also have 3 daughters who have never really cared for tights just because they DO feel consrticting! I personally hate pantyhose for that reason. My 8 yr. old has a love-hate relationship with tights...she loves the way they look, but isn't comfortable wearing them any length of time. Just think of the name "Tights", they named them that for a reason! LOL! As far as socks go, make sure they are'nt too tight at the top. If the band is too tight, it usually digs into the skin at the calf and leaves a red ring. I am a redhead, and that bothers me, because redheads are known to have sensitive skin. Is she redheaded by chance?

Anyways, your daughter could legitimately have very sensitive skin. I sometimes get these brief 'episodes' where anything rubbing against my legs is very annoying, irritating, and almost painful. Especially jeans. It's not an everyday thing, maybe once a month and out-of-the-blue, but it does occur... and it does have something to do with nerve sensation and/or pinched nerves. I've read books on fibromyalgia, because my mom suffers from it, and that is one symptom out of many. They say if you have a family member with fibromyalga, chances are a relative will also get it. If you are a sufferer, and you have children, 50% of your children will inherit it at some point in their life. Also, i think RLS sufferers (Restless Leg Syndrome) have the same sensory problems in their legs. I'm not saying she has any of these conditions, but is worth taking her to a doctor and asking "Why?". I do not believe it is all in her head, or it is because she's being overly picky about her wardrobe. Could also be symptoms of OCD. Let us know if you find anything definitive out in the future. Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

This may sound strange at first, but it is a fairly uncommon if not rare condition.. I have it and had since I was a child and injured myself doing gymnastics, it can happen without injury too.

It is called meralgia parasthetica, and involves numbness on the outer/thighs, legs/hip areas and stems from a nerve being pinched on one or both sides of the hipbone/groin area. It's a subtle thing if there is no pain involved, but the brain knows it shouldn't be numb and it just feels wrong or overly constricting. Sometimes there is pain (mild to very severe) involved but not often unless the person is overweight or has pregnancy or wears heavy belts like workbelts. I didn't know what mine was til I was an adult and became pregnant.

Mom could never understand why I hated pants, especially jeans and I wore skirts all my life. I actually made her buy me a garter belt in high school ( a nice matronly sturdy one mind you, not a sexy one haha!!) because I couldn't STAND the feeling of nylons across my thighs/hips.

I know it's a stretch but try to ask her WHY they feel weird, ask if she gets pins & needles on her upper legs or if they don't feel the same as the rest of her leg in those areas I mentioned. Or try to find out why she doesn't want the waist constriction. If it is just a "I don't like it" kind of thing, then don't worry, but maybe mention it at your next doctor's appointment just in case. I hate to worry you unnecessarily but if it such an obscure little condition but affected me my whole life. It's much more well known now than in the early 70s.

If there is no medical or sensory issue and is just her not liking them, what about longer skirts with drawstring waists? Those can be very comfortable.

I am 41 and STILL wear only skirts , usually to lower calf almost ankle length, and never wear tights or nylons :)

I hate to say it mom, but maybe she just hates the feeling. So long as she isn't complaining about her legs being cold then maybe just let her be comfy.

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried bib-over-alls? They will cover her legs to keep her warm and there are ones that are loose all over, including the waist.

1 mom found this helpful

My sons both had problems with clothes. I do as an adult. I have lymphedma and other digestive problems. waist lines are hell for me. My sons are big clothes for their problems.

Will she ware overalls??? I would get dress that go to her ankles. Tights compress her leggs and middle. I think she does have a real medical problem that is not diagnosed yet.

I know it is frustrating. I cannot stand the seat belt and pants with a waist band. I have had terrible panic attaches where I had to stop the car and get out. I hope that never happens to her.

I know you will find a solution.

1 mom found this helpful

I have an idea. If certain undies are comfortable with certain pants, mark them. If one set of undies goes with two sets of pants, mark the undies 'A' and the mark the pants 'A' as well. You can use a fabric marker on the tags. That way, she can always know what goes with what and she doesn't have the frustration.

I don't think she spoiled. It does sound like a sensory issue. Have you talked to her pediatrition about this? Maybe she has a mild form of autism? I think you need to schedule an appointment with her pediatrition to make sure that everything is ok. And if she does need some sort of sensory counseling, then she can gets the help she needs.

And if not, maybe her pediatrition can help give you some good pointers.

My daughter has issues like this with pants & underwear being too high on her belly and also with the sock seam not be perfectly lined up on her foot. She freaks out and starts kicking and screaming. It's some sort of sensory issue. A friend of mine's daughter has similar issues and has had home therapy sessions with some sort of sensory couselor who has really helped her gain control of how this makes her feel. I think they only had to meet with her a couple time and it was in their home. Unfortunetly, they live in Arizona so I can't recommend anyone.

But, with socks you could try turning them inside out. With underwear I buy lower rise panties now that my daughter fits into them (she's 4). We have not had a single problem since switching to the low rise. I'm having a problem now with layering long sleeve shirts with jackets and the sleeves being too long, so I have to roll everything up. it's very frustrating. I'm starting to tell her she needs to work it out on her own walking away to let her take care of the problem. Maybe you could try buying her tall boots and let her wear longer dresses as long as its not too cold.

Honestly it seems like she is being extremely picky.

I know several kids with similar sensory issues. I don't think it's a huge deal - it gets easier for them over time and they are able to wear more stuff. But I think it's good that you are trying to find solutions. (My son has sensory issues relating to noise and odors, and people don't realize how the over-stimulus can be almost like pain.)

Try different brands and pay attention to the fabrics and tags. I'd try to look for the pajama-type styles she likes in solid colors she can wear outside. A friend of mine who has a boy who is very sensitive to clothing has had great luck with Hanna Anderson clothing (cotton, very soft, no rough threads or unfinished edges.)

Or take a look at these clothing sites:

http://www.sensorycomfort.com/Clothing.htm

http://www.softclothing.net/index_files/intropage.htm

p.s. - I just took a look at the Hanna Anderson site, and they have a lot of soft, loose-looking leggings and pants in pretty colors.

I know it's easier said than done sometimes but sometimes, this is your option and that is what your wearing because I am the mom. My daughter also does not like anything/pants over her belly button. So, I don't buy pants in a bigger size because she will wear them pushed down anyhow and hemming up or rolling pants doesn't always work the best. Especially if there is something your daughter will wear one day and then another day I would remind her that two days ago, this was fine and limit her options, drastically if necessary. This may sound mean but sometimes kids have too many options and don't listen just because. I am guilty of this too at times but trying as well. Good luck!

this might sound weird but see if she wants to wear medieval clothing, the advantage is that she can wear double layer of the full length skirts/dresses so that she stays warm. if you want, email me & I can show you pictures of the ones that I have. they are made to grow with the kids for a couple years since in the old times they were made by hand & took longer to make.

I'm not sure if you are aware, there is a sensory disorder that may be the root problem here. Both my sister and nephew have this. For instance my sister cannot stand the feel of a peach. It will drive her crazy! My nephew has many more problems than herself. Such as food textures, certain foods he will not eat, due to the texture. Types of fabric will set him off. It has some sypmtoms of autism as well. I would talk to your doctor. My nephew goes to counsiling for helping to manage it. He is now 9. I hope that helps.

I would love an answer to this as well! My son has the same issues I have bought clothing bigger we have to deal with the sock issue with what shoes feel right, that his jeans are long enough, that his underwear are too tigh even though we've bought them a size bigger, we've tried boxers but then they get " crinkled" inside his jeans. It is a never ending battle and we cry alot. And our mornings are never smooth:( I want to do everything I can to help my son.

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