Buying Pants for Skinny Kids

Updated on October 11, 2012
I.X. asks from San Clemente, CA
21 answers

So my two-year-old is third percentile for weight, 15th for height. Needless to say she still wears many 12-18 month old clothes. The problem I am having is jeans. If they fit the waist they are too short, if they fit the length they fall off. She does not like button pants so I wanted to buy her elastic waste denim jeans, but then there is not adjustability. Is this a common problem? Anyone found a brand that fits well on their skinny kid? Seriously we may be stuck wearing stretchy pants and dresses. My kid can't wear pants, even the cute diaper covers on the baby dresses fall off her skinny butt. Suggestions for dressing a skinny kid?

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answers from Chicago on

All of my kids are really skinny, and I've had good luck with Old Navy and Janie and Jack. Osh Kosh Genuine Kids (Target) also tends to run skinny, and they have a few pairs of jeans that have a knit waistband. My kids still can't button their pants, but for any pants with an adjustable waist, they are still able to just pull them on and off. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

My kiddos are on the other end of the spectrum, but I would recommend Old Navy. Their pants are pretty narrow/skinny, and a lot of them have the "adjustable" waist elastic/button combo. I never managed to get their pants past the thighs on my girls....

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Boise on

Overalls are a good compromise, ah let's see, all of mine were big fat chunky babies. My last was the skinny minnie, and I have found buying 'skinny' jeans, instead of regular jeans helps.

If you know someone who can sew, they can bring in the waste a little for you. I had a friend that just hand sewed in a little more elastic at the back of the pants.

Sorry that's all I've got.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I have skinny kids and when I did start buying jeans or button up pants I found brands that have an inside button with adjustable waist.

The adjustable waste bands are pretty much everywhere. Just look inside or ask the store clerks. Some brands do not have it.

Personally, my babies only wanted to wear leggings or stretchy pants probably until school started. I wouldn't sweat it. Buttons are quite uncomfortable on their little soft tummies.

My 10 yr daughter still wears adjustable wasted pants. My 13 yo son now wears a belt.

Oh, almost forgot, another tip, was buy regular jeans that you like and I would tie a ribbon through the back two belt hoops and cinch the pants together.



answers from Washington DC on

Look for T vs months in sizes. And look for the elastic hidden in the waist with the buttons to adjust them. Or buy smaller brands like Gymboree vs Carters.



answers from El Paso on

Jeans with "adjustable waistbands": Levi; OshKosh

Those are the two brands I currently have for my 3 1/2 year old who can still wear 12 month sizes for her waist... :p Look for the adjustable waistbands. It's two little pieces of elastic secured by a button on the inside of the jeans on the hips. You pull the elastic farther out and secure in a farther button hole (almost like a stretchy, built-in belt) and viola!



answers from Dallas on

when my still skinny 27 year old was little, I dressed her in mostly stretchy pants and skipped jeans. My 11 year old son is skinny. He only weighs 70 pounds. I always have to buy him 12S pants that also have the adjustable elastic and buttons on the inside. Just 12 S won't work for his skinny butt. If I'm remembering correctly, those become available at around size 4.



answers from Atlanta on

Have to get her use to buttons to buy the adjustable waist pants. Those were a life saver for me. I don't know what kids they are using for models when they make jeans, but i usually have to pull those inner tabs to the 12th slot.



answers from Savannah on

I would say the adjustable pants, but I have only seen them with a button and zipper. She will either have to learn to wear those once in a while or stick with leggings and dresses. It is your call on which way you go . . . or maybe a combination until she is more comfortable in regular jeans. The only other advice I can give is to learn how to alter the clothes yourself. This should be VERY easy to do for those diaper covers that come with the dresses, and when you get good enough you can try your hand at elastic waisted jeans. I would get some at the thrift store to practice on so you don't ruin her clothes. Google "how to alter kids pants at the waist" and you should be able to find some ideas. Good luck.



answers from Atlanta on

My son is the same way. He's 2 and is the height of a 4 year old. He can still wear his 18 month old clothes but because of his height we have buy a size 4T. We buy the adjustable waste band but his pants are still too big. Only good part about being a boy is that their clothes can be baggy and still look good. In fact I prefer my boys clothes to be a little baggy. But baggy clothes dont look cute on girls. I suggest you start buying clothes size 2T with the adjustable waste band, pull her pants over her stomach and add a belt. My daughter is the complete opposite. She is a bit overweight so we have to buy a size small from the junior section. They fit great BUT they are too long. We get her pants altered



answers from Savannah on

I agree that she'll really just have to learn to wear button pants. Make it a game and button up random things you have around the house to get her used to it. There are some "skinny" fit jeans from Children's Place that snap instead of button though, and it's got those tabs on the inside of the waist so you can cinch it tighter. I hate skinny jeans on boys so we use the "regular" jeans and cinch them tight on the inside, and we also use a belt. The belt helps hide the bunched up waistline, and his shirts don't go above his waist, obviously, so it works just fine. He's broad shouldered, tall, but has thin legs and very thin waist, so that's just what we have to do. He hasn't been able to wear elastic since he was in a diaper and wearing shorts (so he could get away with the length problem a bit easier).


answers from Grand Forks on

My ten year old is super skinny as well. I've always just done the normal button jeans with the adjustable waist, but he usually just pulled them on and off without unbuttoning or zipping. I think he still does this today. He also wore a lot of overalls when he was little, but had to stop when he was potty training.



answers from Los Angeles on

Mini Boden often has jeans with elastic waist. We've had luck with those. A little bit pricey but they last a long time.



answers from Detroit on

once she wears size 4.. you can buy size 4 slim which are cut a bit narrower. until then. overalls dresses leggings childrens place tends to have clothes cut slimmer.

toddler clothes do not come in slim sizes.. I take a tuck in most of my kids pants so they do not fall off their little bodies..



answers from Boca Raton on

I hear you ,I have a skinny two years old too...
I mostly dress her in leggings n skirts or dresses..

But recently I bought few "Jeggings" ... you can try buying those..They come in different colors even in denim..

Happy dressing!!!



answers from Chicago on

I've done a combination of buying the adjustable waist jeans with the elastic in the back and the buttons on the side, and just avoiding jeans all together. There are so many cute pants for girls including cute leggings. Leggings are more comfortable anyway.

If you're handy, you can sew cute cuffs on the bottoms of the pants to give them length. I've done that as well. Some of the patterned fleece and flannel looks so cute! I sewed pink and white polka dot flannel cuffs on the bottom and then added a piece of the matching flannel in a heart shape on the butt. I always got compliments on those and moms kept asking where I got them!

Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

I get adjustable waist pants for my kids. I got them some cute ones at old navy that were really cute. My daughter is 5 and I got her skinny jeans with adjustable waist size 5T. A lot of stores have them too. I think at that age my daughter mostly wore leggins & tights with dresses and skirts, not too many jeans until recently.



answers from Springfield on

My oldest is very slim, also, and the Old Navy skinny jeans fit him well. He wears a 5T now (and he's 6). I think they make the skinny jean in 18 months. I know they make it in 2T. They also have the adjustable waist, which many 12 mo and 18 mo pants do not.


answers from Milwaukee on

Feel your pain - ugg.. Good suggestions listed so far. Gap also makes pants that are cut a little skinner. It will become easier once she is out of toddler sizes that are cut to accommodate a diaper. The larger sizes also come in slims more often. For my son the Jumping Bean pants from Kohls were cut much skinnier than any other elastic waist pant I ever found. Not sure if the girls are the same, but it's worth checking out.


answers from Minneapolis on

find jeans that say slim, and Jeggins worked for mine. Generally I stay away from pants, and thankfully my girl is a Dress queen, and she liked the heavy cotton tights underneath. Even now as a 5 year old she is in 8 Slim/skinnies and still needs a belt to keep em on her waist. She is a bean pole with no hips and just a little butt. If only my 3 year old had that problem, she needs husky size and she cant wear even regulars some times. I also have to go with elastic waistbands or tights. argh.



answers from Dallas on

Buy the 2T with the adjustable waistband and put longer shirts on her to cover the scrunched up waist. We survived that stage with adjustable waists and diaper pins. I'd use the pins to tighten up the waists on elastic pants for my son. He's about to turn seven and this is the first year I've been able to ditch the safety pins...thank goodness for those adjustable pants!

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