54 answers

Holes in Knees of pants...patch or Buy New?

I am curious how other moms handle this situation. My little boy plays on the floor all the time, hardwood and carpets. My situtaion seems that a pair of pants lasts him 1 month and there is a big gapping hole in his knees.
Do you patch?? Or buy new ones??
I guess I just get frustrated that I just bought him 4 new pairs of pants before Christmas and he comes home again yesterday from school with a tear in one knee and a huge rip in the other...they are completely unwearable now.

What are your thoughts?

4 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone for the advice. I will be heading out to buy some patches to repair/save some of his pants. The problem I was seeing was they were name brand (Gap, Izod, Levi's) pants and I thought they should be holding up longer than this. Even is the patched pants are for weekends only, at least that will save his non-holed pants for school.
Thanks

Featured Answers

Jackie Chan's Mom,
I was a foster parent of a yound boy. When he came to live with us I was told he had been severely punished for wearing holes in his pants. The punishment was to crawl on the rough rug with bare knees until he was crying and his knees were damaged.
I immediately went to the store and bought jeans with the strongest weave and built in patches and then placed patches over them. He NEVER again had a problem but he was able to be a BOY. It sounds like you have a fantastic boy who loves to be active. I would buy clothing to match his lifestyle.

A little about me: I fostered 7 children of various ages and raised one girl. She is expecting my first grandchild.

2 moms found this helpful

OK, so I am slow...but oh well. Sears does in fact have a replacement program. If you buy any brand they sell they will replace them free of charge, they must be the same brand and same price. with receipt. However if you buy the Sears brand..."toughskins" then you do not need a receipt. you can exchange them in about 2 minutes. they have never given me a problem and never even so much as asked my name...I will always buy toughskins...they have saved me 100's of dollars.

1 mom found this helpful

I have found that the pants that are stone washed, or any wash other than new blue, wear a lot faster and get holes in them faster, so I try to avoid those. In some pants if the hole isn't too bad, I patch it (from inside the pants) and let him keep wearing them to school. The bad ones become his play clothes for the rest of the winter, and then I cut them off and hem them (at the holes) for summer shorts.

1 mom found this helpful

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Didn't see your request until now, but Sears will REALLY give you a BRAND NEW PAIR OF TOUGHSKIN jeans if your son puts a hole in them. You just have to sign up for their kidvantage program --which is FREE!! Over the years we had to trade jeans in for so many new pairs!!!! As long as you are trading for the same size, you are good to go!
Can't beat that deal!

2 moms found this helpful

Jackie Chan's Mom,
I was a foster parent of a yound boy. When he came to live with us I was told he had been severely punished for wearing holes in his pants. The punishment was to crawl on the rough rug with bare knees until he was crying and his knees were damaged.
I immediately went to the store and bought jeans with the strongest weave and built in patches and then placed patches over them. He NEVER again had a problem but he was able to be a BOY. It sounds like you have a fantastic boy who loves to be active. I would buy clothing to match his lifestyle.

A little about me: I fostered 7 children of various ages and raised one girl. She is expecting my first grandchild.

2 moms found this helpful

Patch what you have and then when you do buy new got the Lee jeans at Kohl's that have reinforced knees. I'm not a big fan of the reinforced look but at least it's not a hole! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I also have a little boy who ruins knees. He is not a rough-playing kid but spends hours on the floor playing with cars, skateboards, anything with wheels! I have started buying ALL his jeans and I do mean all at Sears. (He wears mostly jeans, just likes them best.) I loved the double-knee toughskins although I can't remember now if I was able to find them when I went to replace them a couple of months ago. You do not need your receipt to replace toughskin clothes but you do to replace other things and make sure you do enroll in the Kidvantage program. They will take Levis and Lee with receipts; I never can seem to find mine UGH.

:) Good luck. Little boys are so much fun!

1 mom found this helpful

Check out Bruzwear pants! They are AMAZING!!

1 mom found this helpful

OK, so I am slow...but oh well. Sears does in fact have a replacement program. If you buy any brand they sell they will replace them free of charge, they must be the same brand and same price. with receipt. However if you buy the Sears brand..."toughskins" then you do not need a receipt. you can exchange them in about 2 minutes. they have never given me a problem and never even so much as asked my name...I will always buy toughskins...they have saved me 100's of dollars.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J. R,

Did you know that Sears has a kids club program and if you buy the "tough skins" brand they gauarentee the knees! Yes that's right, if the knees where out before you need a new size you just take them back to the store with your receipt pick out the same size new and they will exchange them no questions asked. They do the same thing with shoes! I have 3 boys and I totally understand the knee issue. The only negative is they don't go past size 7.

1 mom found this helpful

My son is in the 8th grade and cared about what he wore to school this year, so we bought American Eagle and Aeropostle jeans vs Old Navy, etc. They didn't last as long before getting "bigger" holes...yes, I can't believe I paid what I did for jeans that already had holes in them. Once the holes were big enough that you could see his skin, the school advised he couldn't wear them that way any longer. I did purchase patches at JoAnn's and "fixed" the jeans...adding the iron-on patches from inside so you couldn't even tell thare was a patch. He was happy and so was I...much cheaper than new jeans! One pair actually has two patches on each leg...American Eagle jeans are worthless in my opinion!

1 mom found this helpful

The funny thing is that you are all talking about your boys and holes in the knees. I have a seven year old daughter who has the same problem. She plays hard at school. Luckily, they don't have a policy about no holes. I couldn't keep her in pants. I wish I had known about the Sears program years ago. I also wish I had known about the reinforced knees years ago.

Thank you for all of your suggestions that I can use for my daughter.

God bless you all.

1 mom found this helpful

I have found that the pants that are stone washed, or any wash other than new blue, wear a lot faster and get holes in them faster, so I try to avoid those. In some pants if the hole isn't too bad, I patch it (from inside the pants) and let him keep wearing them to school. The bad ones become his play clothes for the rest of the winter, and then I cut them off and hem them (at the holes) for summer shorts.

1 mom found this helpful

J.,

Something you can do to prevent holes in the knees is as soon as you buy new jeans, turn them inside out and apply a patch to the knees on the inside of the jeans. Turn them rightside out and you now have a double thickness that they need to wear through before it turns into a hole. But the patch doesn't show, so no one knows its there.

1 mom found this helpful

I patch until it could be said that my boys wear "patch pants" :-) Boys are hard on clothes and unless the zipper or snaps are broken, there is still a lot of wear in them. Pants with rips are stylish, but I also think they look sloppy. Pants with patches are in style also. You could spend $30. on a pair of patched pants or pre ripped jeans. Your playful boy is stylin AND saving you money.:-)

Another option would be to "prepatch" the pants with pieces of leather like material, it would give just a bit more padding in the knees but would probably have to be replaced.

1 mom found this helpful

Did you ever try Tough skins from Searss. They have a patch built right into the knee area.

You can also get iron on patches from JoAnn Fabrics, and if all else fails he can just look popular like the older kids who are wearing torn jeans from Abercrombie and you won't have to fork out $70. bucks LOL.

1 mom found this helpful

Hey J.,

Your post has been a wonderful help to me. Thanks to all other moms who posted their responses. I actually don't have any boys, but I have 2 extremely active little girls who have worn holes in their knees too...and it's always the same knee. Actually, one is just a little clumsy, and falls often, so I can understand why hers rip. :o) My younger one is so big,though, that she just began to share pants with her older sister, so a whole slew of holes have appeared on pants that never had them before. I was at a loss, then lo and behold, your wonderful post. I agree, the pants are in great condition (and they're beautiful pants) except for the holey knees. It's simply too cold out there for my girls to have to wear holey pants. I'd been having them wear thermal pants underneath, but I don't want the holes to get bigger. Anyway, I'm just so glad you posted, and that your post rendered some great ideas. :o)

Take care,

Mari

1 mom found this helpful

Okay, as a Mom of two boys and lots of holes!!!

I buy my children's jeans from Sears. They have Toughskins brand jeans. If they get a hole in them you may return it for a new pair, the same size. My kids always wore new jeans throughout their little years. The jeans are reasonable... $14.99 to $11.99 on sale.

Tell the cashier you want to join "Kids Advantage" and they will sign you up for FREE.
Also, look on the back of your reciepts. Sears often has a discount coupon on kids clothes too.

As for the holes in jeans now? Cut them off and make shorts. Those patches are hard to sew on and they come off evenutally with the fabric glue.. what a mess.

1 mom found this helpful

I can so relate! If you can patch them to get more use, do so. In the future I would highly recommend Osh Kosh and Landsend. Those brands are the only ones I have found that stand up to my boys. I have stopped buying second hand (altho I buy tons of other second hand clothes, just not pants for boys) unless they seem in prefect shape b.c the first boy has already seemed to wear out most of the knee bf my ds gets to them and they tear almost instantly. If you hit the good school starting sales or the clearance area you can get them at a really decent price and will end up saving you money b.c they tend to last 2x or more longer. Landsend is really, really good with returns too. If you have a pair that wore out before you think its appropriate they will take care of it for you and get you replacements.
Happy patching: K. H.

1 mom found this helpful

Buy new jeans at Sears on their Kid Advantage program. It's free - you just have to sign up for it and give them your phone number when you make a purchase. Then - when you son wears a hole in his pants you can exchange them for a brand new pair of the same brand and same size.

One of my boys played inline hockey and a pair of jeans would generally be exchanged six or seven times before he outgrew them. Name brands are a dollar or two more at Sears - but it's well worth it to be able to exchange the holy jeans for new ones.

1 mom found this helpful

J.,
Thanks .. I have three boys and I just gave up -- every pany has a hole .. I mean Each and Every One .. I never knew about Sears program or the patching .. I am on it ..Thanks for asking .. I go to Sears and buy the pants from Sears itself .. but I did not know it .. How many pants I have gone through .. Unbelievable ..
At last .. the light at the end of the tunnel ..
Take Care
S.

Glad to hear that other people have the same problems I have with both of my boys (ages 12 and 8)Luckily int he past year my oldest has slowed down a little on how quickly he goes through his jeans. My youngest seems to put holes in his pants all the time. It doesn't seem to matter what type of pants they are! Walmart, Sears, Gap... they all wear out in the same spot-- the knees. I had been looking for the brand that JCPenney's or Sears used to carry with the re-inforced knees but was told they are no longer carried. I will try Kohls as one of the mom's suggested. Best of luck to you, but remember it will stop as they get older, it last for about 7 years!! $$$$$

I know you have gotten many responses, but I wanted to share too. I remember that we had clothes for play and clothes for school when I was little. So I think its a great idea to use the patched jeans for play!
I know Sears guarantees their kids clothing, or at least used to. Just an idea, you may want to check into that. As long as they are purchased there you can trade the ruined clothing for new.

Where so you buy his pants. Sears has a great program for kids. As I remeber you can replace clothing that is ripped or worn out as long as you have the reciept and he is still in the same size. You might want to check it out. I know I will. I have 3 boys ages 10, 5,4,

Try the Sears Kidvantage program. You can return worn out clothing for a replacement in the same size!

I am the grandmother of a 7-year-old boy. We are rearing him, and since we had 3 daughters, I was unfamiliar with pants wearing out so quickly in the knees. However, we send him to a private school that requires uniforms. The pants have "double" knees. They look just like any other pants, but on the inside they have an extra layer. We order them online from French Toast. They have several styles and colors to choose from. He is beginning his third year of wearing these pants, and he outgrows them before they wear out. Hope they'll solve your problem.

I patch them... I am way too frugal to buy new all the time. I figure pre-school is playtime so patched pants are okay. Church is obviously a diff. story. I haven't met a mom yet whose boys didn't rip a hole in all their jeans! I have also patched from the inside so it's less visible... you can still see the rip but it looks less dorky than having a patch on the outside!

~L.

PS...regarding the brands...in my house all of our floors are tile and hardwood (with only area rugs)... hence the worn out knees! ;)

Uggghhhhh, I hate this also. My son gets holes in his jeans so quickly. I just don't get it. (he is 7 yr.)
I for sure use patches. I like to get the fun ones you can get at the craft stores. I have used American Flag patches, patches in camoflauge color, patches that look like soccer balls, basketballs, etc.
The key is to catch the hole right when it is starting and put the patch on it then. Even though most of them are iron ons, I still have to sew them on also. The drier seems to make the iron ons lift up.
good luck.
M.

My 9 yr old son likes the holes in his knees! He won't let me patch or buy new until I can't stand it anymore. Eventually, I'll buy new ones to wear to "nice places", but he still likes the torn ones for school.

Hi, I have a little different perspective on this issue. My 11-year-old does the exact same thing. I can never figure out what is going on at recess that makes him come home with these giant ragged holes in the knees! However, since he is getting older, I have decided to just let them be. Quite honestly, he is getting to the age where I think patches would make him look dorky; the look now with Abercombrie and Hollister is jeans with holes. So I have tried to lighten up and just let him wear them. I do try to tell him to have him wear the jeans that don't have holes to school and save the rest for after school and weekends. At your son's age, it might be worth investing in the patches, but I think once he's older you might want to rethink that and just let it go! Good luck!

J., while I had forgotten about Sears' replacement guarantee, I was going to let you know that Levi Strauss, the originator of the clothing replacement guaranteed, will also replace any pair of their original work jeans at any time if they wear out due to normal wear (this, of course, bars a knife or other sharp object being run through them). The problem with that is you have to send them off to Levi Strauss in order to get them replaced. The good part of that is they will replace them even after years and years of wear. When I lived in San Francisco, home of Levi Strauss & Co., I had a friend there who was a builder and, when the claw end of a hammer went through his Levis, he took them back to the company and received a new pair, even though the jeans were about eight years old and obviously well worn! So, while you may want to keep your son in Sears toughskins for now (in all cases - Sears or Levi's - they must be replaced with the same size jeans) when your son hits high school and stops growing out of his clothes every 8 months to a year, you might want to look into Levis. And when your son graduates from college and his jeans get a hole in them, he can just ship them back to Levi Strauss for a replacement. And he may never need to buy a pair of jeans again!

And for now, until I read someone else's note on preservation techniques, I was also going to tell you about iron-on patches on the insides of your son's jeans. They will make them last longer than when he outgrows them. With my mom's brood of seven kids, we learned every trick in the book - and I mean EVERY trick - to stretch a dollar. Which meant, of course, that I, not being first in line, wore a lot of hand-me-downs. And pants always looked as healthy for the third and fourth and fifth kids in line as they did for the first wearer.

Shopko has that toughness guarantee too.

have not read all of your responses but i will throw this in--try the iron on patches before they get the holes. buy new, iron the patches on the inside of the knees and let the child wear - see if they will make them last longer. thanks for letting me expound my umpteen years of raising boys. jr.

Having raised 2 boys who were always on their knees, and could go through a pair of pants in a week I found this method added extra life with out stiffness or bulk. Go to the fabric store and purchase fusible interfacing-in heavy fabrics I used cotton, in lite weight fabric use knit interfacing. Fuse a strip on the inside of each leg following manufactures instructions.

Sorry to be later than everyone else.. but I have a HORRIBLE time with my 10 yr old for the same reason. He is required to wear uniform pants to school and they are thin and don't even last as long as cheap jeans do. What I have begun doing is ironing in a patch on the INSIDE of the pants BEFORE he puts a hole there. Let him wear them just once and you'll know exactly where the patch should be!

Seems to be working okay for now...

Buy his pants at Sears and sign up for Kidvantage; if they get holes in the knees, bring them back with the receipt and exchange them for new ones in the same size!

I didn't read your responses (and I don't think I saw the original request). I have 2 (grown) boys. One played on his kneed CONSTANTLY, the other hardly ever did. After one washing I ironed patches INSIDE the knees (a little BELOW the middle of the leg to allow for where the bent knee actually hits the floor). Helped a LOT.

I did read the newest response about Sears' warranty/guarantee. Sounds good to me!!

check at sears on the levi's, i heard that levi's will (at least used to)replace jeans with holes but i'm not sure what age or size. might be worth checking out

I'm SO glad you asked this question, because now I know my 7y/o son is not the only one with holes in the knees of his jeans! We did not know about the Sears' replacement policy-- will try it, but the only style that fits his tiny bottom is 7 slim Wranglers, do they have those? Never tried the patches, because on the outside they do look dorky, but will try them on the inside. I hope they have patches in khaki, too, because I noticed a new tiny hole starting in his church pants! I'll add one more thing: Immediately after school, I've started having my son take off his "school jeans" and put on either his "play jeans" or shorts. So instead of holey knees after only a few weeks, he has one Xmas pair that has hardly a rub mark, and one (2nd best) pair from about Nov. only has a little rub mark on the knees! The 3rd and most embarrassing pair are DEFINITELY his play jeans and are getting too short, thank goodness, because the holes now go FROM SEAM TO SEAM on each leg and the knees are completely exposed! And he likes it that way! (You've seen us in Walmart and HEB, haven't you?) They are about to be cut into shorts for the summer... Good luck to us all and here's to no more holely knees!

I don't think there is anything wrong with patching a few pairs of pants. I'm a little curious what brand of clothing you are buying. My son is almost 5 and he plays hard all day long and we have never ripped or torn a pair of pants. If you are buying inexpensive clothes...you may be more satisifed with buying something a little more expensive, but higher quality. I love Osh Kosh, Gap jeans, gymboree and Janie and Jack. I've never had these brands wear out before we out grown them.

I completely understand. I have a 5 year old boy and jeans only lasts us about 2 to 3 month. And it is so hard to find jeans to fit him because he is so thin. Thank you everyone for your great ideas.

Hi,

I'm just seeing your post for the firt time now. I have 2 boys who play very rough, but I haven't acutally had a problem with hioles in the knees with jeans or cargos yet. I'm sure it's coming! I get most of my boys clothes from Gap, Old Navy, Children's Place, Gymboree, Land's End and LL Bean. If you are paying good money for good clothes, the company should stnad behind it's product. If it has only been a month or so, I would suggest trying to return them. In the past, the Gap has been really good about replacing for the same item or issuing store credit for the current price. LL Bean and Land's End have always been good about this.

Does Sears still carry those Toughskins jeans? My brothers lived in those during the 80s. No rips ever! And we were rough-and-tumble kids on a farm. The only downside was that the pants were so industrial-strength, they could stand on their own.

I have this problem with my husband, actually. We only buy him Dickies brand. I wonder if those come in children's sizes?

We have tile floors - all of our socks and the knees of my son's pants especially get worn out every 3 months.
I've started getting his pants at Ross or Goodwill so I'm not upset when they get ruined.
However- almost all clothing manufacturers regardless of brand are made in China & the economy in the U.S. caused most of the U.S. fabric mills to go bankrupt about 18 months ago so everyone is forced to go to inferior quality mills in India and China just to have SOMETHING to sew clothing and upholstery.
You could save the pockets off the old jeans to use as knee patches - it would look really cute!
Summer is coming and they will play outside in shorts, so you'll get a little break from needlework.
;)

Land's End reinforced knees are the ONLY way to go. You can order whatever length you want so they will last a while if you order then a few inches longer and roll them up. They're not cheap but I feel like it is saving me in the long run. Sometimes his school uniform pants wouldn't even make it a week before I started investing in these.

I've had the extact same problem. And its even worse when they have to wear uniform pants to school. What I have found to work is the patch idea, but we iron them on on the inside. Then the patches are not obvious and the the knees hold up longer. Good luck.

J.,
I believe some children's brand companies have a guarentee on their pants, if the knees wear out due to wear and tear they will replace them. Good luck I am right there with you on kids being hard on their clothes, my 6 year old is the worst!

I have found that I can find new or very gently used jeans at consignment stores, thrift stores and garage sales. Often, they're no more expensive than the patches!

I did not get a chance to read through all the responses. Sorry if this is a duplicate.

If you decide to get new or pre-worn pants, what you could do is buy patches and iron them on the inside. This way the pants will have a longer life.

M.

I would not buy him new pants.. I would go to kid resale shops or salvation army or mom to mom sales to buy him pants.

That way if he wears them out in a week or a month it is not a big deal..

I buy most of my kids clothes used..

Sears has a program called KidVantage. If you buy your kid's jeans there and they get worn out before he outgrows them, they will let you bring them back and exchange them. But you have to still have the receipt. So make sure you keep the receipts filed. My BF has a little boy that makes holes in all his jeans. And KidVantage helps her a lot! You just sign up for it at the register and its free. And they send you coupons in the mail. Its awesome!

I'm thinking knee pads :)
A. H

J., I just remembered something (I was one of the patch the knees responses). My mom and then I used to get jeans at JC Penny for my brother and my DS years ago. They carried a brand of their own that had double knee fabric all ready in them. They did hold up a lot longer than the other brands. I don't know if they still carry them, but it is something to check out the next time you need to purchase new jeans.

Buy the patches and start putting them on before he wears them! That way, he will have several layers to GO through, yOU MIGHT TRY the thrift SHOPS FOR GOOD USED ONES AND then patch PRIOR TO wearing, TRY CONSIGNMENT STORES ETC. Start buying reg ones at Target where they are not so expensive.

Another option is Shopko, I haven't had to do it but they will exchange their kids jeans if they wear out before your son outgrows them. The pants I bought their had reinforced knees so they never wore out but I know they have several brands. I had a neighbor that did this with all of her boys.
Unfortunately my oldest son was very particular about brand and only liked the jeans from Mervyn's. Luckily he wasn't too rough but my younger son is starting through this so when he runs out of pants I think I'm going to try Shopko again.

I do like the idea of putting patches inside the pants it's like having the ones with the reinforced knees.

Not sure if anyone said anything about putting a few stitches around the patch or not. But, if you don't, the patch will eventually peal. I put some around the ones that I have, not a ton, but it did wonders!

I have the same problem with my son. I did buy some patches to make them play pants. But At Sear's they sell Toughskins, rember them from our childhood. Well they are still around and We have had them for about a month an so far I haven't seena hint of a hole, knock on wood. I got them on sale for 9.99 and 14.99 depending on the style. I figure I was Buying the others for $7.00 on sale and then they had holes so a big waste of money. For a little more they are working so far. Good luck.
C.

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