Skip to main content

What Happened to Pants?

Did pants used to tear out in a day or two? Why do my kids' jeans last less than a week?
  • Author:
  • Updated:
Ripped jeans

In the latest case of Get Off My Lawn, I have to ask you something: what happened to pants?

Why are Pants Falling Apart More?

I don't mean they've disappeared, most people still have pants to wear, regardless of style or suitability. I'm not even talking about leggings as pants, because that's something else entirely. I'm asking what's happened to pants? I've been in this parenting game for more than a decade and if there's one thing I can count on, it's that my boys will rip the knees out of a pair of pants in less than a week. I don't think my kids are extraordinarily active, they're not riding their pants on gravel until they give, or shredding them with a bowie knife given them by a wise hobo, they're just playing normally and RIP, there go the pants.

I've jokingly referred to their pants as single use. I have to make this joke a lot, especially to my mother. It's not funny anymore. Why can't pants last more than a day or two? How can there be a tear from seam to seam after two days? Should I send away for teflon to spray on denim? I don't understand what's happened to our clothes.

Pants didn't used to be this flimsy, did they? I can barely remember my brother ever ripping out a pair. It was a big deal if pants ripped, there were patches and sewing, and maybe an iron involved. But pants these days! I've bought cheap pants, mass market pants, pants from upscale brands, even iron knee pants (the iron knee pants did last for three whole months, but still, rip, right across the knee.) I feel like the older teachers in the kids' school are giving me the side eye--and why shouldn't they? We have day one of Whole Pants, and then day after 180 days of Pants with Holes.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended for You

Is anyone else inundated in knee-less pants? Ripped jeans, torn khakis, holes in all of them. It kills me to throw away pair after pair of otherwise fine pants. My sons are going to have to wear cut off shorts in 35 degree weather pretty soon, because I'm exhausted from the upkeep. When they come asking for their college fund I'm going to point to the goodwill bag with 1,356 pairs of pants without knees.

PANTS! What's Up?!

Other posts you might enjoy:

Would you let your daughter wear booty shorts?

Back to School Disposable Fashion

Wardrobe Update on a Budget


Image placeholder title

How to Reinforce Pant Knees

Guys, I don’t know about you, but pants in this house are practically one-use-only items

merona wedges

No More Cheap Shoes

Why do we still fall for those cute, cheap shoes, even though you know they will hurt you?

Image placeholder title

What Happened To My Memory?

I used to pride myself on my sharp memory.

photo credit:

What's the Deal with School Uniforms?

I didn’t have uniforms during my school years. Is it really easier like I dream it would be?

online safety and askfm for teens

What is and Why Do Parents Need to Know?

The newest platform teens are using to have fun, interact, ask silly questions, and also horribly bully other children.

Dad with kids

What to Do About Father's Day?

Do you have trouble figuring out what to do for the father in your life or do you have Father's Day down to an art? Share your best ideas on treating him!

Shopping for kids clothes

Back to School Disposable Fashion

I'm talking about disposable fashion: clothing that is so cheap that it only lasts one, maybe a couple more wearings before it pills, stretches, washes poorly, or literally falls apart. Is this what we're buying this back to school season?

Derreck Kayongo by Justin Hackworth

What I Learned at EVO Conference

The thing about EVO conference is that you're going to cry, probably more than once, because the speakers truly show you what we are capable of accomplishing if we decide we're going to change the world.