The Toughskins brand of pants for children has been sold exclusively at Sears stores since 1971. Originally developed with a unique "tri-blend" of materials that included DuPont 420 nylon, Dacron Type 59 polyester, and cotton, the brand was Sears' attempt to create an exclusive line of jeans that would really differentiate itself from competitors. Market research at the time showed that consumers were most interested in durability when it came to children's jeans, so the launch of this line revolved around just how tough the material was. Over the decades, Toughskins has evolved to also produce items like denim jackets, corduroy pants, and other children's styles, but jeans continue to be their top garment.
Sears, Roebuck, and Co. was founded as a catalog in 1888 and originally catered mostly to customers in rural towns. The company made a transition into brick-and-mortar retail locations in the 1920s, and Sears stores could be found at practically every shopping mall around the country by the mid-20th century. Sears' success started to decline by the 1990s, and the company was in danger of going out of business by the early 2000s. In 2005, the Kmart Corporation stepped in and bought Sears outright. The two companies merged beneath the new Sears Holdings banner and continued operating stores under both names. Today, there are about 800 Sears stores around the country, and the company also has a strong online presence.
In its current incarnation, the Toughskins brand encompasses a wider range of clothing for babies and kids than ever before. Styles for infants and toddlers include fashionable graphic tees, hoodies, and bodysuits for both genders, as well as polos for boys, and tunics, peplum tops, and cap sleeves for girls. You'll also find options like shorts, skirts, dresses, jeans, leggings, and jackets.
Moving into kids' sizes, the Toughskins collection is completely divided into boys' and girls' clothes. Jeans are extremely popular for both genders, since they are the garments on which the brand was originally founded. Other bottoms like cargo pants for boys, and leggings, jeggings, and skirts for girls are also available. Tops for both boys and girls are mostly short- and long-sleeved graphic tees in a variety of different colors and styles. The line also features thermals, tunics, and knit tops for girls, as well as henleys, thermals, and button-down oxford shirts for boys.
The Toughskins brand has had to evolve with the times over the last four decades because it would have quickly stopped being relevant if it continued to just sell jeans. Even so, the outfits that have been produced under the label more recently maintain that balance between form and function that has always been a hallmark of Toughskins. Fashionable tops for boys and girls of all ages keep the brand interesting, but they also maintain a childlike spirit that helps kids relate to the clothes. Sears is one of the most established retailers in the country and has a longstanding reputation that dates back over 100 years. The store brands promoted by Sears always strive to meet or exceed the quality of major national brands--and Toughskins on its own has plenty of history behind it--so you shouldn't feel any qualms about trying out these clothes. We give Toughskins 4.5 out of 5 stars.