College Boy

I love picking out clothes and putting together outfits for T. I realize the word “outfit” has a shelf life for males. I can probably get away with using that term until he starts picking out all his clothes. Until that time, he wears ensembles I put together. My husband has suspected for a while that I don’t trust him to dress T. appropriately. He’s right. Oh sure, I make it seem casual when I lay clothes out when he is going to dress T. and say something like, “I just put some clothes out for him if you want to use them.” La de dah, I could care less – not.

From the start I put together clothes that convey a sense of style. I have actually talked with T. about this. I have told him fashion goes in and out of favor but style is forever – it’s what sets you apart from anyone else. We were lucky enough one day to catch the film Top Hat on cable and I pointed out that Fred Astaire wearing a tie, as a belt was style and anything Ashton Kutcher wears is fashion – Sad, sad fashion at that.

T. came to us with a bag of clothes and I added to it with hand me downs from my sister-in-law, family friends, consignment stores, shower gifts and Target. I realized I was obsessed with his look when I dressed him in blue jeans, a yellow cotton long sleeve shirt untucked under a blue vest that had a black, blue and mustard stripe across the chest. He looked great. When I picked him up from school his shirt was tucked in. Yuck! The look was British schoolboy, 1966. His hair was longish and shaggy ala Brian Jones. I mean, I really had thought this through. Once we got in the car I asked who tucked his shirt in. He couldn’t really talk at all then but he is a good listener. I explained the look we were going for here and having his shirt tucked in was nuts. I told him that if anyone ever tried to do that again to pull the shirt out – you know, really make it clear this was not going to work for him. The next time I dressed him in that outfit he stood up and pulled hard on the bottom of the shirt. I took it as sign he wouldn’t let anyone change it up on us.

I do sense excitement in T when he has on something new – there is a lot admiring himself. He walks around with his hands in the pockets. I have also noticed a definite sense of style. He loves hats. He has hats that are just for watching TV, hats for playing in the backyard, hats for full on outings. Once he even pulled a striped hoodie sweater off the rack at Target and demanded to put it on. Wow, he looked great. He thought he looked so great we had to go through the check out with him in it. This was his first public tantrum.

A few weeks ago a friend at work told me her daughter was interning at a pre-school and she was talking about this kid who was great dresser. She said everyone thought he was. That’s right, it was T. That same week I found out from one of the teachers at the school that his nickname was “College Boy” because  of the way he dressed. It took every fiber of my being not to say you mean “Prep School Boy”.

This entry was posted in By Notatypicalmom by Kari Wagner-Peck. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She is the author of the memoir Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at CNN, Psychology Today online, The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: Email:

2 thoughts on “College Boy

  1. sometimes it is fun to dress boys. yea sure girls have a lot more choices, but you can make the boys look so cool. glad you are having fun!
    we have school clothes, play clothes, weekend clothes, clothes for parties and then the cool clothes. Dylan is in to lacrosse, so we have clothes for that too. Can’t forget clothes we wear when we see daddy at a concert!

    • why don’t they have costumes for boys – dress up clothes? tons of princess dresses but nothing for the boys. yes – i am being gender stereotypical here.

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