When I first found out our Henry was a he, so many people mentioned how sad it was that there were SO many cute items and clothing for girls, but none for the boys. I was bummed out at first (have I ever mentioned the watermelon bathing suit breakdown of 2010?), but then realized that everyone was wrong! Dead wrong! There are a million cute things out there for boys, with more options coming out by the day.
I regularly get emails and comments asking for tips on dressing little dudes, and although I'm no expert, I thought I would put together a post full of links to our favorite shops, and some tips and tricks that work for us. I'm sharing links to stores here, but keep in mind that second hand shopping or thrift stores are awesome options too. And speaking of second hand, now that we have another boy on the way, I'm grateful I get to pass my favorite items right on down. Dressing a boy is FUN people! And who says there aren't great clothes for the little guys anyway?
1. H&M hat, tee and plaid shirt. Old Navy girls skinnies. Freshly Picked moccs
2. Target cardigan. Zara tee and jeans. Sperry shoes
3. H&M hat, Old Navy jacket, Neff watch, Old Navy jeans, Sperry shoes
My three favorite big box shops for boys:
This is hands down my most favorite online stop for Henry's clothing. Their prices are pretty reasonable and they offer both free shipping and returns on everything, no minimum purchase. This is where I've found Henry's cute European-style bathing suits (at $12.90, what a steal!) and a lot of his colored denim and cute tees. Also be sure to pay attention to their end of the season sales- amazing prices on everything and a great time to stock up.
This is the best shop for cheap basics. Old Navy is cheaper than Gap, but if you hit the online sales (up to 40% sometimes) you can get killer deals. Henry's denim cut off shorts are from Gap- always lots of questions on these- and most of his striped shirts are from Old Navy. And for the baby boys, Gap is my favorite place ever- they have the softest, cutest baby things.
This store is a little bit pricier, but the quality is the best, and they offer a lot of cute things that can dress up your basic outfit. I love their winter coats, and they have some of the most adorable tees and hoodies around.
More big box favorites: J. Crew (expensive, but wonderful for special occasions), Target, H&M (best cardigans!), American Apparel, Walmart (ugh...but they have great hoodies and leggings).
1. Wishing Elephant cardigan. Old Navy tee. Gap jeans
2. Walmart hoodie. Old Navy jean jacket. Zara jeans. Freshly Picked moccs
3. H&M hat, Old Navy sweater. Gap jeans. Freshly Picked moccs
Besides the big stores, there are many, many amazing small businesses to support that have wonderful things for boys.
Little Hip Squeaks is an Etsy shop run by a sweet friend of mine, and she makes some of the cutest leggings and hats around. So many of the LHS prints are gender neutral, and what's cuter than a toddler boy in a comfy sweatshirt, moccasins and leggings? (answer: nothing!)
Freshly Picked. Anytime you see Henry in moccasins, they are Freshly Picked. FP sent us a whole bunch awhile ago and it was the first time we'd ever tried them. They can be a bit pricey for some people but you have to take into consideration that they are handmade, 100% leather and last FOREVER. Seriously, my kid is a rough and tumble kinda toddler and has worn his moccasins in all sorts of environments...and all of his pairs are still going strong. Totally worth it. And the best part, they're totally gender neutral too, so you can pass them down from kid to kid, or friend to friend.
Hi by Hello Apparel. Another friend-run business that makes super cute items for little ones. They also have great sales on the regular. Be sure to check out their tees, pullovers, and leggings.
Some other favorites: Darling Clementine for fun, original pieces. The Wishing Elephant for monogram cardigans. Candy Kirby Designs for leggings and blankets. Winter Wear Factory for made in the USA, all-organic goodness. Bobo Choses for really gorgeous onesies and tees. Thief & Bandit for awesome leggings and graphic prints.
1. H&M hat, Target sweatshirt. Old Navy girls skinnies. Freshly Picked moccs
2. Target polo. Zara jeans. Sperry shoes
3. H&M hat and sweatshirt, Zara jeans, Vans shoes
1. Take a look in the girl's section! Some of my favorite jeans for Henry are actually made for girls, believe it or not. The Old Navy toddler girls skinnies are amazing- just be sure to size up. Henry typically wears a 2T or 3T in boys bottoms and wears a 4T in the girls.
2. Staples! Henry wears a ton of stripes and I layer around them. Layering is key, and don't be scared to mix patterns. A striped shirt with a flannel over it, a plaid print with color block leggings, it all works!
3. Don't be afraid of color. Sometimes I feel like boys clothing is stuck in the same blue, gray, green cycle. Mixing it up with pops of neon or bright colors that might not be what people think of when they think "boy" can be such a wonderful way to change it up.
4. Hats, accessories and shoes. Henry is a total hat kid, and loves wearing his knit hats. Whenever I post a photo of him in his beanie people always ask "how on Earth do you get him to keep it on?!" We started putting them on him when he was little, and it just became a normal thing. He also sees Daddy wearing his baseball hats and beanies and wants to do the same. Our #1 spot for knit hats is H&M- that's where 75% of his hats are from. If you're looking for a snapback or fitted ball cap, we got Henry's Suns hat from Amazon (search toddler snapbacks) and you can find fitted team hats in toddler sizes at places like Lids in any mall.
For sunglasses, I've found that the best place for cheap RayBan-esque sunglasses is Target, and I've also had luck at Nordstrom. Henry also loves to wear a watch, and the red one he sometimes wears is by Neff.
As far as shoes, I feel like we've tried a ton, but it can be tricky to find ones that are not only good quality, but let your little one's feet move freely as they're mastering walking, or now in Henry's case, mastering skating, scooting and jumping off of tall things. Yikes!
Sperry Topsiders (the Halyard lace-ups are our favorites)
Toms (the Botas line is our #1 pick)
Saltwater Sandals (BEST summer shoes ever- so durable and so worth it!)
Freshly Picked Moccs
Natives (a much cuter alternative to Crocs- also be sure to check out Old Navy for look-alikes)
1. H&M hat. Mini Boden Jacket. Hi by Hello leggings. Hunter boots
2. Old Navy denim shirt and tee. Zara jeans. Saltwater sandals.
3. Suns hat via Amazon, H&M tee, Gap shorts, Sperry shoes
Outside of these tips, be sure to browse around mamas-of-boys-blogs to get inspiration too. Some favorites: Small Fry, Dear Baby, Bleubird, Modern Kiddo, Heart and Habit, Deep in the Hart, Kincaid Parade, and be sure to keep your eye on Harper's Happenings as Mandy is expecting her first baby boy this summer.
Do you have any favorites I may have left out? Feel free to share links in the comments.
Yay for little boys!