In a past life, I dreamt of being a fashionista. Then, I got pregnant and found yoga pants and that dream was far-gone.
When I became a mom of two boys I thought my visions of living out the rest of my fashionable days vicariously through them were sure to be crushed. The clothing within the “boys” department can be seriously lacking. In relation to the endless options found in the aisles lined with frills and pink, my choices seemed a tad anemic. What I have found, however, is despite the limited choices some really fun, stylish and adorable items can be found for our little dudes.
Lucky for you, I like a good challenge, and have found the easiest ways to make our boys even more dapper than they already are. I’ve got it down to a science. Dressing a boy is fun, and there are a ton of options and cool items out there. You just have to know where to shop and how to put it all together.
Tip #1: It’s all about the basics. In order to make the most of a wardrobe, it’s important to stick to items your boys will actually wear. In my opinion, there’s no point in having a bunch of delicate items meant only for special occasions when more than likely they will be jumping in a mud puddle mere seconds after walking out the door. I like to stick to basics and find different ways of dressing them up. When shopping for new items, I stick to easy to wear and wash tees, wrinkle-resistant buttoned shirts, cardigans, sweatshirts, leggings and jeans. Items such as these can take us from the playground to a special occasion depending on the styling. No need for expensive frills when the staples work!
Tip #2: Seek out bold colors. Similar to our own clothing, pops of color make an outfit more interesting. Instead of khaki, use yellow as a neutral as it can mix with almost any color and looks adorable with all of those blue and gray pieces he already has lining the closet. Instead of always reaching for navy, which at times seems to be the only color in the boys department, look for a deep purple, cobalt or red. They are striking with a basic tee or everyday pair of jeans and sneakers! Pair with light stripes, and the cuteness factor will be in overdrive. Another favorite is a cool pop of neon, which is perfect for those days when I am he is feeling hipster.
Tip #3: Layer. The limited options in terms of types of clothing can actually be to a boy mom’s advantage. Pair a shirt with some pants. Done. The fun part is figuring out how to make those pieces new and different. Layering is the answer. A striped tee under a bright flannel and neutral vest will always be in style. Graphic tees paired with cardigans and leggings make a comfortable and cuddly outfit you can go to day after day. All paired with high top sneakers, and your little guy will be turning down modeling contracts. Layering also keeps you from battling the puffy coats in cooler weather.
Tip #4: Accessorize. Accessories are not limited to headbands and ruffle bottom diaper covers. Suspenders, cool hats, ties, quirky socks, vests and a sweet pair of kicks can elicit squeals, I can attest from experience. I would, perhaps, stick to one or two of these at a time rather than all at once, but you get the point. Bonus: these items are relatively inexpensive to pick up, and can be found everywhere from Target to departments stores, Old Navy and Etsy.
Tip #5: Shop local. Some of the most unique pieces I have found for my guys have been from local boutiques. Supporting your local maker is not only socially en vogue, but also a perfect way to find a distinct piece. Since boutiques and local shops tend to be a tad more expensive than my go-to of Old Navy and Target, I stick to pieces I know they will wear most often – tees and hats.
Tip #6: Get outfit ideas from the big box stores’ websites. Old Navy, H&M, Zara and Gap’s websites are perfect for scouting head-to-toe looks you can pick up for great prices. This makes shopping quick and easy as they have done all of the hard work for you! The best part, these sites are also incredibly affordable. Every season, I’ll peruse each site when they are offering sale prices and stock up on the basics my boys need or have grown to big to continue wearing. **Also make sure to sign up for emails, and watch for 40% off coupons. I’ve scored tees, pants and even jackets for only a few dollars per piece.
Tip #7: Peruse the girls’ section. The idea that only girls can wear beautiful colors and unique items is an antiquated ideal. I’ve found some great tees and cardigans for my boys mixed within the “girly” clothes. I’ve also found some really cute jogger leggings and shorts in the same section. The only thing you must watch for is the cut, as it often tends to have a tighter fit… which needs a blog post of its own. As long as the fit is straight, trust me, NO one would ever know which department you picked it from!
Also, some of the best jeans I’ve purchased (both skinny and joggers) have been from the girls’ section. The trick is to size up. For instance, if he normally wears a 2T, he will probably need a 3T or even 4T if shopping from the girls’ aisles.
And if all else fails…. matching pajamas. The proof is in the pictures I’ll show their first dates.