Oct 22 09
by admin
at 5:15 PM
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Pants for Skinny Kids

The Littlest Apple is definitely a challenge in the clothing department, and it is getting worse as he continues to get taller without gaining much weight.  As I’ve mentioned before, at almost 27 months, he’s around 20% for height (33 inches) and still not on the charts for weight (21 pounds).  In the summer, it’s easy to buy shirts the right size (12-18 months) and shorts that fit his tiny little waist (6-12 months…sad, I know).  Now that pants season is finally hitting Texas (at least for a few days), things start to get tricky because his length becomes a factor.  We’ve moved up to 12-18 month pants, even though he’s actually a bit too long for these according to the tag.  Since he’s skinny, they tend to hang longer on him.  The next size up would completely swallow him up, weight wise.  But even the 12-18 month pants are way too large around the waist (even if the waist is elastic).  In the past, I’ve solved this problem by using safety pins or doing a quick stitch on the sides to take them in, but last month, I ran across the answer to my problems.

Adjustable waist pants from Baby Gap!  They are just what we need, and the first pants I’ve seen like this for kids.  (Most of the pants I’ve seen that have drawstrings aren’t actually functional drawstrings).

Check out how they work:  There is a piece of elastic inside the waistband that has button holes in it.  If you want the pants tighter, you just pull on the elastic and fasten the hidden buttons farther down.  Brilliant!

adjustable waistWe have the Slub Cargo Pants ($29.99), like these:

Cargo Pants

I didn’t see any other styles at the store here (2 months ago), but according to the website there are lots of other options, including five pocket corduroy (in 5 colors), twill cargo pants, rugged cargo jeans, stripe lined jeans, micro fleece lined jeans, among others.

There are lots of styles for little girls too!

Baby Gap isn’t the cheapest, that’s for sure, but I love their stuff, and I’m so relieved to find a product like this that I’m willing to pay a pretty penny for them.  And as much as I hate that The Littlest Apple isn’t gaining weight, he is staying in the same size for a while.  We get more use out of his clothes (last year’s coat and some pants), and don’t have to buy new ones as often.

Have any of you seen anything similar elsewhere?  How do you get pants to fit your skinny kids?

I am not being asked to review any of these items, nor being paid for this review.  I am simply passing on some things that make my world a happier place.  Sometimes when you find something great, you just want to shout it from the rooftops!

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  1. Carter’s now makes them as well! I’m not sure what size they start at, but I know we’ve used them on Fynn for quite some time now. Maybe 24 month?
    They’re life savers 🙂 Now that he’s not wearing a diaper (yay!) he lost all the bulk he had that was holding his pants up!

  2. i adore the skinny waist paints!! My daughter is 31 months and 22 pounds so totally hard to get the right waist size, they are the only ones I will buy these days and so long more and more companies are catching on!

  3. Corinne- I am so excited to hear that Carter’s makes adjustable waist pants too. I’m definitely going to check those out!

    Courtney- Sounds like your daughter is super skinny too. It is definitely nice to see more companies offering options like this.

  4. Ms. Pat permalink

    The children’s place has them too-they usually start at 24 months and mostly in the jeans and cords. Outlet at Katy Mills is the place to start.

  5. Ms. Pat- Children’s Place too?!! Thanks for letting me know.

    Clearly I need to branch out from my normal shopping places of Gymboree, Baby Gap, and Target. Also, really wishing Gymboree had adjustable pants. Maybe they do? I haven’t checked recently.

  6. Ricki permalink

    I just bought Bailey three pairs of adjustable waist jeans from Target yesterday (Osh Kosh brand). They are the greatest thing ever! Perfect for a tall, skinny kid!

  7. Old Navy also has them in some styles once you get to the 12-18 month size. And actually one of the Target Brands does as well, I just cannot remember which one. I had the same problem with my son even though he was on the charts, he just had a very skinny waist. I remember when he was 3 he was wearing a bathing suit that was 18 months 🙂

  8. Awesome. I’ll have to check those out. My 3-year-old daughter sounds a lot like your son so finding pants that fit snug around the waist but are also the right length is sometimes a challenge.

  9. Kirsten permalink

    Kohls has a line (Sonoma, I think?) that also has adjustable waists–my 9 and 6 year old sons are tall and lean boys and they still wear them!

  10. Melissa permalink

    Gymboree does have adjustable waist. Actually, I think most stores have them. JC Penny’s store brand does (these are the longest pants I can find with adjustable waist). It’s a life saver though! Our boys have been in adjustable waist jeans for over 5 years 😉

  11. I know what you’re going through trying to find pants to fit your slim kids. My friend and I had struggled for years, and as our boys got older it didn’t get any easier. As they got older, the boys didn’t like the *diaper butt* look you get with the adjustable waist pants, plus they just weren’t comfortable. So, we started a company that makes pants for tall, slim boys and girls called Stringbeans Clothing Company. We also have iron-on cuffs that you can attach to any pants, so if your child’s pants still fit in the waist, you can lengthen them very easily. We’d love to have any of you visit our site.

  12. shan permalink

    yes, we all know that adjustable waist pants are sold all over, but what about for 0 months up to 12 months? I need 6-9months with adjustable waist. HELP!

  13. Shan,

    I have YET to see any adjustable waist pants for 0-12 months. (Has anyone else?) We struggled through those sizes using safety pins and stitching the sides until my little guy (now 28 months) just recently moved to 12 month pants (for length, still too big in the waist).

    Here is a link to a tutorial on how to make your own adjustable waist that might be helpful. It doesn’t seem too difficult:

    Let me know if you try to make your own adjustable waist or if you manage to find any for purchase in those smaller sizes! Happy Holidays!

  14. Jen permalink


    BabyGap is now starting to make more of their baby sizes (0-12) with adjustable waist. I was there recently and even saw a 0-3 month pair of pants with adjustable waist 🙂 My eldest son Patrick is 8 and wears 8Slim, Conor is 6 and wears 6Slim and lucas is 2 and wears 18-24 months, and they all use adjustable waist. I think it just depends on what style pants you want to buy.–I’ve mostly seen them in the jeans.

    Hope i helped a little 🙂

  15. Jamie permalink

    Thanks for the advice on which vendors carry the adjustable waist pants. My son is 24 months and in only a 0-3 month short. I am totally stressing trying to find him pants for fall considering that everything falls right off of him when he bends over!

  16. Carol Baker permalink

    Nice but still don’t fit.

  17. Jennifer permalink

    http://www.embebabies.com makes adjustable elastic waist footie pants and they use the same adjustable elastic to allow the length to be adjusted too!

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