Style Tuesday: What Will My Boys Wear?

May 10, 2011 at 10:00 am 7 comments

Just a warning in advance, this could turn into a rant.

I’ll start with the ubiquitous exclamation of frustration heard from mothers of boys when they go into the section of a store dedicated to boys. I’ve said it myself countless times while looking wistfully across the store,

“Look at all the cute girls’ clothes over there (sigh)…”

And then I turn back to the tees and polos in stripes or solids. I’ll peruse the selection of graphic tees with sports motifs, vehicles, superheroes and skulls. I’ll look at the five colours of pants: army green, light khaki, brown, black and occasionally navy or camouflage. I may buy something, but more likely, I’ll just leave.

You see, not only is the selection depressing, my boys are persnickety when it comes to their apparel.

Their current clothing requirements include:

Lil C: T-shirt (occasionally with a collar) that has a “picture” on the front. He mostly gets hand-me-downs so at this point he still has lots to wear, though the boys are beginning to really wear through their clothes before they grow out of them so I can see this waning in the future.

Lil D: T-shirt, no collar (“I can’t move my neck properly with a collar”). Pants or jeans without a button, snap or clip. It’s not that he can’t do it up himself, he doesn’t like “the feeling” of a fastener on his waist. Lil D also prefers a sports or superhero graphic on his top.

So where does that leave me for Lil D? He will vehemently protest collars for all occasions (though there are a few very soft ones I can sneak in). For bottoms, I’m only looking at elastic waist bands. That means no tucking in shirts (which is fine). But still, it’s HARD to find pants that aren’t sweats with an elastic waist. I have… and I have found the best looking sweats I can.

My husband is very much against sweats for school. But I defy him (I get a kick out of writing that) occasionally. However, I would really prefer to have my boys looking a bit more tailored as they go out the door every morning. Derek actually often comments on the boys clothes and suggests what they need. My response is always a lament that if I buy them what we like, they won’t wear it.

Who would have thought that I would need to bring my five-year old boy shopping with me in order to have him happily get dressed in the morning?

I leave you with some questions:

1) Where can I get cute boys’ clothes that are not covered in fake sports team logos or motorcycles?

2) Do others have boys that are fussy about their wardrobe?

3) Do you think it’s worth a fight?


Entry filed under: Parenting, Style. Tags: , , , , .

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brynn Ewen  |  May 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Liisa,
    I totally laughed when I read your post., we’re in the same boat. I always glance across the store and see all of the adorable girls clothes. I buy my kids clothes because they need clothes and not because I have fallen in love with an outfit for them, it’s very sad. I’m sure if I had girls, their closets would be 4 times as full.
    My boys are 4.5 (Sam) and 6 (Ryland) years old. We (and by “we” I mean “I”) lay out their clothes the night before so they can just roll out of bed and get dressed. Ry is less picky when it comes to clothes, he will usually put on what I pick out for him. I’m pretty sure he has 7 pairs of jeans and he wore jeans every day during the winter. Sam is very picky, he wore shorts ALL winter. At first, I let him to do it because I got tired of fighting about it. Finally the teachers told him it was a school rule that he had to wear pants in the winter. It’s definitely easier to enforce other people’s rules than my own rules. So then he wore patagonia/fuzzy leggings/long underwear under the shorts. He refuses to wear jeans or khakis, or any “hard” pants.
    Now to what they WILL wear…. they love sports so they like golf clothes, soccer clothes, basketball clothes, hockey jerseys. Of these, my favorites are the golf outfits from Gymboree, I bought them each a bunch of plaid shorts and solid polo shirts (but they have collars so it won’t help you). I try my best to avoid shirts with superheros/lots of writing/images because I think they just look messy. If given the choice they would love to wear one of their many STAR WARS Lego shirts that my mother-in-law sent them. I keep these folded on the top shelf of their closets for when they beg me for them.

  • 2. Lynn  |  May 10, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    My sister often buys our kids stuff from Sears. It’s too far for us to visit on a regular basis but she’s had great success finding elastic-waisted pants there (like cargo pants, zip-off pants which are extremely popular around here, and other casual pants). She’s also given our son some great shirts from there, some with collars and some without, but all very soft and usually just with a nice pattern, no pics.

    If you do want stuff with decals on the front, we’ve actually had good luck at WalMart – our son is SUPER into Lego and they have a series of Lego-based shirts there right now.

    Also, this is extreme but you can possibly make your own t-shirts – for Christmas this year I bought some blank white t-shirts from WalMart, all cotton. Then I printed out some full-colour images from the computer onto iron-on paper and made him a few shirts with his favourite characters on them from his favourite books. Maybe your sons would like a Very Hungry Caterpillar shirt, or a Captain Underpants shirt?

  • 3. melissa  |  May 10, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Hanna Andersson often has elastic-waist pants for boys, and I find the quality of the clothes to be really great. Shipping is usually quick, but you have to pay duty when it arrives, well worth it in my opinion for the quality of the clothes. I also like the boys’ section of Land’s End, and occasionally LL Bean. Locally, I’ve got nothing. I totally agree with you that variety and cuteness are more often found on the little girls’ side.
    Abbey will wear whatever, though she did go through a phase of “no white, no blac, no brown” and the school uniform thing is pretty awesome too, but my Agnes is already quite picky. Like D, she only likes elastic waist pants, and she much prefers to wear skirts and dresses, preferably of the twirly variety…

    • 4. Liisa at Fit for a Kid  |  May 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm

      I just checked out the Hanna Andersson website and love it! Thank you for the suggestion. I’m placing an order today.

  • 5. Alicia  |  May 10, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    I went to a consignment sale last weekend with a friend and I came back from the boys aisles almost empty handed. My friend could barely hold all the girl items she had. It’s just not fair đŸ™‚
    I get a lot of stuff at Loblaws (Joe Fresh). Most of the pants are elastic waisted with a string to tie and they aren’t jogging pants! But most of E’s clothes are from The Children’s Place but they have all the clothes you don’t want.

  • 6. fitforakid  |  May 11, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Brynn – Hysterical about Sam and the shorts with leggings underneath! I like the golf idea. I’m going to convince them that they are wearing golf outfits when they wear collars! Might have to take them golfing first though… that was in the summer plans anyway. Actually, gonna recruit a grandparent to do that.

    Melissa – I’m going to check out the Hanna Anderson stuff. Hadn’t heard of it. The quality is really an issue with boys (and active girls). They are tearing (literally) around, sliding on the ground and they can never wear something twice without a wash in between. We just got a PO Box over the border for biz, so theoretically, I could do a seasonal order and go get it…

    Alicia – The Joe Fresh stuff lasts about 3 washes and then it looks horrible (in my experience anyways), though I do find some of the designs cute and occasionally pick something up if I get begged enough. We end up with a lot of stuff from Children’s Place too.The prices are hard to beat.

    Lynn – I haven’t looked at Sears recently, but maybe I’ll try. I walk by at least once a week. Walmart is on the radar for licensed stuff always…And you’re right, making my own tees is extreme for me :). Though, Lil C wears a white tee with two green hand prints on it that Lil D made at school and he loves it.

  • 7. Stefania (Ingredients for Life)  |  May 11, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    If you go to the U.S. then check out Target. They have really nice stuff for boys and girls.


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