Dressing a Boy

When Isabella was a baby and I was still working full-time, I bought her a lot of clothes. Of course, they weren't from Hanna Anderson or Janie and Jack, because much as I love their stuff, our budget wouldn't allow it. So instead, I trolled the aisles of Old Navy and Target and piled in the adorable flowered bodysuits, the bootcut jeans, and dresses in every possible hue and style. I loved shopping for my little girl, because everything I saw was so damn cute.

As a result of my frivolous but pre-economy-in-a-tailspin spending, Luci has a pretty complete wardrobe. Of course, there are seasonal differences to consider (Isabella was an August baby and Luci an October) and also the fact that Luci is much smaller than Isabella was at the same age, but for the most part, I've had to buy very little for Luci.

Nicholas, however, is the proud owner of exactly three outfits. I'm exaggerating, of course, but the truth is, I've bought very little for him. I'm freelancing now, instead of working FT, and with my time-constraints and clients cutting back, I'm working very little now so money is extremely tight. I got him a few things at the twin sale I went to before they were born, friends have generously given me some of their sons' outgrown clothes, and of course some of you have sent me some awesome clothes for the twins (thank you again!), but his wardrobe is meager.

But even if we had scads of money to spend, I think his wardrobe would be just as scant as it is now. Don't tell Nicholas, but I hate shopping for his clothes.

Perhaps it's where I'm choosing to shop, but the clothes I see for baby boys are completely dull and uninspired. Boys' clothes are either full of planes, boats, and cars ("Even though he's totally bald, has eyelashes his future wife would kill for, and is often mistaken for a girl, these clothes prove he's a boy!") or they're slapped with precious little sayings, "Daddy's Little All-Star, " "Future Golf Pro," "Baby Slugger, etc."

Or maybe I'm not loving boy clothes because I had a girl first. I'm accustomed to the styles, colors, and patterns of girl clothes. I'm drawn to certain color combinations (pink and brown!), I know how clothes will look on a girl body, and I know what I find cute (pink and brown!) and what I do not (words on my baby's butt). With boy clothes, it feels like I'm trying to acclimate myself in a completely foreign world.

I have gone shopping explicitly to buy Nicholas clothes in recent weeks and have left stores empty-handed.

If you're the mom of a boy, please clue me in. Where do you shop?


Still cute, even when dressed as a purple Easter bunny.

16 Responses to “Dressing a Boy”

  1. # Blogger Jeni

    I think it really is just what you are used to, because I love all the clothes we have gotten for Skyler (and will now be passing on to Mason). Fortunately I have a mother in law with nothing but time and a credit card on her hands so we have really benefitted from that. She tends to pick stuff up from the local Carter's and Osh Kosh outlet. One thing baby boys are adorable in are overalls. True there are plenty of unattractive options, I am not a big fan of all the sports related junk, but there are still some good options. I have found some pretty cute and unoffensive stuff at Target as well.  

  2. # Anonymous Kris

    I hate hate hate shopping for boys once they have outgrown the newborn sizes. I am cheap and on a crazy budget, so I pick and choose at Target, Kohls, and our outlet mall. I tend to like Osh Kosh stuff, Children's Place, sometimes Carters, and Gymboree. Though it's hit or miss. I don't mind the sports stuff, though I do draw the line when it has a number anywhere on it for some reason. But I do refuse to do anything with a character on it.

    I also have to admit that I've gotten some adorable stuff at the nearby secondhand stores. Since we live in the "nicer" suburb, I have found some great deals on brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Gap, etc.  

  3. # Blogger Andrew

    Well you can always wait to see if he's gay. Then he'll be pickng out EVERYBODY'S clothes. ("Mom, really, that sweatshirt does nothing for you. And you could stand to use a little makeup once in a while.")  

  4. # Blogger Mom24

    Don't laugh, but Von Maur (I don't know if you have them there), often has adorable boy things for $10-15 on clearance. Baby Gap can be good with sales and coupons, but they're not as good as they used to be. Resale shops, which generally I don't like, are pretty good when kids are under 2, at least in our area. I also like to go with the philosophy that it's better to have a somewhat meager wardrobe of some well made, clothes that will stand up to frequent washings and still look nice, than a closet full of cheap outfits that look very tired after 4 washings. There's nothing wrong with a meager wardrobe. :-)

    Good luck.  

  5. # Blogger Marie

    And of course there are 5 times the choices for girls clothes in the stores!

    As you know, I mainly shop for boy clothes at garage sales. The season is coming up soon! I've always gone to Old Navy for socks & sometimes find good stuff on their clearance racks. I hear the Carter's outlet is good too (Pittsford Plaza), though I haven't been there yet.  

  6. # Anonymous Ness @ Drovers Run

    Okay, commenting on borrowed bandwidth firstly, I totally heart bagpipes too - and yes we had one at our wedding! Totally cool. As for the shopping gig, I so laughed when I saw your post today, because I make (pretend in my head) mimed puking actions when I look at little girls clothes. Totally because I have two boys I suppose. I honestly look at all the pink, frilly, glittery, stuff, and think, THANK GOD I HAVE TWO BOYS. Maybe because the last time I was in a skirt or dress was probably my wedding day. I dunno. But thought it was kinda funny how two people who both like bagpipes can be on two polar opposite sides (although on the same concept). :) Hope to be commenting regularly again, when my freakin' freakin' ISP contract is up and we can get a new one.  

  7. # Blogger Jesser

    Fun clothes or not, dang he's a cute little man. But I know what you mean about shopping for the boys. It just isn't as interesting. And I'm not even much into the very girly stuff. I went back thru T's clothes a few weeks ago and got rid of lots of frills. Just not into it.

    So far for our new little man, I've shopped at Babies 'r' Us and Carters. Carters had really cute green and brown things ... lots of monkeys. And BRUS had some kind of surfer dude duds. I am not into trucks and construction crap.  

  8. # Blogger Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog

    Clothing sales, my dear. That's all I shop at.

    If you can't find one, or anything there, just hit WalMart or Target. They grow out of their clothes so fast, does it really matter if you love it or not?

    I actually loved boy clothes when they were little. Once you hit those 2T and 3T sizes, the clothing turns from cute planes and bugs to army fatigues and monster trucks. Even the high end stuff!

    Oh, and I have to agree with the overalls statement. LOVE them.  

  9. # Blogger shokufeh

    I first found it hard to shop for MrMan because I'd be in the kids' section totally lusting after the rows of cute girls' stuff while browsing through the one rack of boys' stuff. And there is still that bit of jealousy, but I'm also so happy that I can keep my money in my wallet.
    I'm not a big fan of the stereotypical boys' things - sports, tractors, tools, and, my biggest pet peeve, the "I'm trouble" messages. But most stores have, tucked in between the stereotypes, some cute things. Solid bottoms, colorful/striped tops, fun bugs. When MrMan was younger, some of my favorite outfits came from the Carter and OshKosh outlet stores. Depending on the season, I often found things at Target or Kmart. And I did a lot of shopping at the twice-a-year kids' consignment sale here. It seems like clothes of a few years' past aren't so full of rotten sterotypes. Old Navy and Children's Place have some fun things. And when I'm feeling rich (or hit their end of the season sale), Gymboree.
    Now that he's a bit older, I delight in the hip jeans and cargo pants, bright animals (he's wearing one today that he's totally stoked about because their butts are on the back of the shirt), and black with aliens.  

  10. # Blogger Veronica

    Costco. I know, I know, you wouldn't believe it, but I do. My nephew has the cutest "play" outfits and yes, sometimes they include a plane or dinasour on it. But it's Carter's, it's relatively good quality, and he looks so cute.

    I should send you some pictures.  

  11. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    Let me just say, it will get much worse as he gets older. And the stores don't even try to hide it! Little Elvis is a 2-3T, and there are usually about 3 racks (tops) to choose from, while there are scads and scads of options for girls! Anyway, overalls are definitely cute. When he was small, he had a little footed onesie with frogs on it and a matching hat that I just adored. My mom got it for him at Old Navy I think. I liked Carter's clearance stuff as well. Little Elvis was a huge drooler and most of his cute clothes were covered with bibs, Carters had some onesies with soccer balls and teddy bear faces on the bottom that I thought were cute. Of course, if you don't like words, you might not like a smiling bear face either...
    Most of Little Elvis' super cute stuff came from baby consignment sales and baby resale shops.  

  12. # Blogger Sugar and Ice

    I cringe when shopping for little boys. It's not so much that I hate boy colors/styles, it's just that the girl stuff outnumbers the boy stuff 10 to 1. It's amazing how little there is to choose from.  

  13. # Blogger Shannon

    see this is why I am hoping I have another girl lol... but knowing my luck it will be a boy...

    but kolhs and wal-mart have some cute stuff... check out jumping beans at kolhs and geranimals at wal-mart...

    but what I hate is that everything is so dark and depressing for boys... and omg if I see navy, orange and lime green again on another boys outfit I will scream!  

  14. # Anonymous Laura McIntyre

    Its funny but i love dressing my little boy , i just find it so simple and easy. No wondering if it should be a jean day or skirt or dress and if i have matching tights/shirts etc... Its just grab bottoms and top and done. I do miss tights though  

  15. # Anonymous Jenny

    I asked a couple co-workers that have younger boys where they shop.... and they said "Yup, shopping for boys clothes sucks!
    I go to Target, Kohl’s, Children’s Place (in the mall), JC Penny’s – I try and get things cheap  especially when they get older they just ruin them! I think (another co-worker) goes to Gymboree and Gap for a lot of clothes - she’s good at getting stuff on sale like buy this years sales stuff for next year, I have a hard time guessing what size they will be in a year."  

  16. # Blogger Damselfly

    I totally get this! I love baby clothes and wound up with a boy. It only gets worse as boys get older -- I stopped shopping the sales at Macy's for his clothes when he got to 2T because clothes were either sooo plain or had gross graphics on the shirts, or some garish colors.

    When Fly was a baby, I really liked the Carter's store. Now, it's Gymboree (sales!) and Children's Place once in a while.

    A friend of mine whose husband is a doctor (so you would think they could afford the best clothes) shops for her three kids at Goodwill of all places, and she loves it. And they always look great!  

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