Sunday, September 13, 2009

boys' clothes

I have thoughts about boys' clothes. Namely, that I like them and I enjoy dressing my boys just as much as I enjoyed dressing Faith when she was little. Or actually, more, since Faith was so picky and I rarely got to dress her as I pleased (it turned out to be a good exercise for me in letting go, and in truth, I love the memory of her irrepressible style--stripes with plaid and much much more). Girls clothes are awfully cute, but I am enjoying dressing the boys too and honestly grateful that I don't have the temptation of expensive girls clothes to deal with. In fact, last week Dieter really needed short sleeved shirts and now that he is going to preschool every day he needs a good supply of them. It was quite exhilarting to thrift all these nice shirts in the stack above for about 10 or 12 dollars total. Most were $1, some were $2--and they are all in great shape.
Other fun things with dressing boys (and girls too, of course): {mama embellished shirts}
{mama-embellished pants}
{Dieter in a too small shirt before the thrift shop-up}
{Rainer in shorts that I made--passed down from Dieter}

{Dieter in new thrifted shirt and comfy shorts}
Oh, and about pants: my boys like to be super comfy, so it's most elastic waistbands and "sweatie" material for them. That's how they like it. These shorts are from Hanna Andersson, but most of Dieter's pants and shorts are from Target or Mervyn's and they do just fine (and cost me a lot less).
{Rainer in mama-made pants}
I'd love to hear your opinions on dressing the little ones, if you are so inclined. Did you want a girl for the cute clothes? Do you love dressing your boys? New or thrifted? Bought or made?

23 comments:

Inoureyes said...

I went to buy shorts for the 1 year old today. Target had 2 pairs that weren't part of a set and they wanted $15 just for one! I was shocked and said to my partner i would get at least 20 pairs at the local thrift store

briar said...

hey Mary Beth!! We do a complete mix...most of my boys clothes come from other wee lads that have grown...lots come from thrifted shops, and some come from my fav kids stores - never full price, always hunt for bargins! I also make lots of their pants in particular, or like you embelish cute tops. I have found having boys a little free-er in my mind than my girls (to dress), as I LOVED dressing them and thinking about what to dress them in, and choosing and mathcing hair accessories...looking back - it sure did take up ALOT of headspace- all that gorgeousness! ;-)

ArtsyTeree said...

Hi Mary Beth,
I also like boys´clothes, I don´t know how it will be when he is bigger, but now I like it. I like your thoughts about this an also agree with Briar, it´s similar with us. I also started to sew, becouse I like my litlle boy to be dressed in clothes which I like and is not possible to buy. I like to dress him originally.
Tereza from CR

Kylie said...

I love dressing my Little Guy, most of his stuff is bought, lots of stuff on sale. I am a real bargain shopper and I like inoureyes also refuse to pay $15 for one, little tiny, pair of shorts. He also gets hand me downs from his cousin, but mostly for around the house stuff, I have very, very different taste in boys clothes to my sister in-law. I bought him some baby clothes from thrift stores, but haven’t looked for thrifted clothes for him for a while. I find thrifting for clothes a bit overwhelming, but I have had some good luck with other thrifting treasure lately so I might have to give it a go for his new summer wardrobe. I haven’t made him any clothes, but the stuff you have made your boys is so cute, I may just have to be brave and try that too!

I think I would find dressing a girl more challenging, there doesn’t seem to be many colour choices other than pink in the shops for little girls! Then as they get bigger (but not really very big) a lot of the clothes seem to be in mini street walker style. I think if I had a girl I would probably be more inclined to sew clothes, boy’s clothes seem complicated. I already know how to do some simple sewing for myself so I could just scale those styles down in size for a girl.

Heids said...

My Miss Grace wears a combination of thrifted and mumma made. I love seeing her in things I have sewn, but being a working mumma means she needs more than I have time to sew so thrifted it is. I think I would find boys a little harder to sew for but often see great thrift shop finds for boys (some of which Miss Grace ends up wearing - she like trucks and robots as much as pretty pink dresses and fairies!). I try to be a bit more alternative in her mumma made style - using independent Aussie designer fabrics and thrifted sheets.

Lisa said...

I have two boys. I don't buy much at all for my 4 year old. I have a good friend with a son a year older who has always given us his hand-me-downs so most our basics are covered. With the baby (18 months) a lot of the now twice worn (sometimes three times worn) clothing is wearing out or stained. I do buy more basics for him of the worst of the bunch, but almost always at Target or Wal-mart. Sometimes Old Navy.

I have made a few pairs of pants for the baby, from the Weekend Sewing book, and I think I'll make a few pairs for winter as well.

Lise said...

I love dressing my little girl! She's dressed entirely in hand-me-downs, thrift-store finds, and mama-made. (Except for gifts; she has lots of extended family.) Bloggers have shown me more possiblities for boys--like your embellished pants--but I have to admit, I'm glad I have a girl to dress. I agree, though, that as they get older, it gets really hard to dress girls in an age-appropriate way--there's so much slutty stuff out there for little girls.

Meg said...

I love the simplicity of dressing a boy--it's shirts and pants.

We are lucky to receive hand-me-downs from older girl and boy cousins. And we also get girl clothes from friends of my sister-in-law who don't have any family to pass clothes on to.

My oldest girl is 9, and I've been dismayed for a few years at the inappropriateness of some of the clothing that comes to us. Not just that it's tarty, but the designer labels are ridiculous! I do go through the clothes and remove/pass on the clothes that I think are too grown up in style. But my 9 year old now has drawers full of Abercrombie and Limited Too stuff with the logos all over them. It's a bit much, I think. But it was free, so I try to be grateful.

Little Ol' Liz said...

I received so many beautiful used girls' clothes that I didn't have to think about it for 3 years! I would have loved to sew for her, but there just wasn't time nor space. I had her in dresses and tights and girls slacks until the 5th grade, by golly!

Our son is totally Thrift Store chic. Who can argue with getting a bargain, then turning them back in for a tax credit when they're outgrown? Double bonus!

Our kids have turned into smart, thrifty shoppers. They have far more pieces to chose from than if I'd paid Retail, certainly. We can "splurge" for special occasions (like Homecoming, or tye dye t day) without breaking the budget. All I need is a little notice!

tawnya said...

I have one child - a boy - and I LOVE dressing him. Most of his stuff is new, (thrifting is a little insane in our town!), but I do get hand me downs from my sister. However, I get very proud when I can do an entire season wardrobe for him for cheap. Gotta love searching for bargains!

Nellie said...

Hi Mary Beth,
I have three-year-old boy/girl twins and dressing them in anything other than thrifted clothing is an exercise in futility. I am rapidly learning that busy toddlers are very, very messy! I estimate that 90% of their clothes come from a thrift store (ARC in Colo Spgs). I enjoy the hodgepodge that you can find at a thrift store. My little girl has some very quirky clothes as a result!

However, I'd really like to make more for them. Particularly the boy's pants that you have posted. I love the trim on the pants.

Thanks for your post!

Jane said...

I have three boys and two girls and I love dressing them all!! My youngest boy is 4 and he also prefers the elastic waists but here in Alberta I find that they design them with a wide waist and short leg - so it is very difficult to get them to fit - either that or you can't find elastic waists ANYWHERE!! It is all denim jeans!! My Son is quite slim at the waist but tall so I struggle to find anything that fits.

I know many children are bigger these days but it makes buying clothes difficult!! I wish I was good with my sewing machine! I really must practice this winter!! I want to make some of those gorgeous fabric buckets too!!!

Kristen said...

Do you mind sharing how you embellished those t-shirts? Did you iron on those adorable cut outs? I'm so new at this sewing stuff...

I checked out Handmade Home on your recommendation and LOVE it. :)

Ellie said...

I love dresses. Love them. *smile* But I love a classic, modest style -- long dresses, plus bloomers or some such underneath, that sort of thing. None of these scanty tops and tight, cropped pants. (My daughter is ten).

One thing I have always appreciated about Hanna Anderssen (for twenty years now) is the high quality fabrics in lovely colors, stripes and prints for boys and girls, that truly last for several children. My seven year old son is wearing HA's that his now-adult brother wore, and then his cousins, his older sister ...

And I have bins-full of lovely little kids clothing saved for an I-hope-I-hope future baby or two. So when you spread the cost over a number of kids and many years, it's really not very expensive at all. My sister and I used to talk of it (purchasing quality clothes not made in sweat shops and so on) as being an investment, knowing there would be several more children following after our firstborns who would wear the clothes.

Then too, resale shops and garage sales are a terrific resource for high-quality gently-used children's clothing -- very important with several kids, when affording that initial outlay isn't possible.

I'd love to sew, but have never learned -- I suppose there is still time!

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

My little dude is 4 now and for over a year, he chooses his own clothes. AND he will only choose something "with a number on it". This year, he has expanded his qualifications to include shirts that do not have a number, but do say something like "Nike" on them. And he despises "sports" shirts that look babyish.

I choose what he wears for church and other special occasions. But most of the time, he looks a little ridiculous - and super adorable!

(Needless to say, his sporty items are mostly thrifts. I could justify spending more for "cute" stuff...but not this!)

Katie said...

I'm dressing a little boy after three little girls. I think it is harder to find little boys' clothes that I actually like at a price I'm actually willing to pay. Some of my favorite things have been the Carters stuff at Costco prices. Other than that my sister generously passes on the piles and piles of things that she gets from other people. I like little boys to wear animals on their clothes. Right now he has bears, owls, raccoons, foxes and trees on his new sleeper jammies. His sisters think he looks adorable!

rose said...

I just had my third boy 4 weeks ago. I was desperately hoping for a girl, had been expecting a girl each pregnancy. My other boys are 5 and 2.5. When I found out at the ultrasound that this was a boy too, I finally had to face some of the reasons I was so desperate for a girl, and admit that wanting to buy and make pretty dresses for a toddler was a pretty superficial reason to care about the sex. :-) There are other reasons too, but that was a pretty darn big one. I can't say I *love* dressing my boys, but maybe a girl wouldn't have let me put her in dresses anyway, who knows. I mostly get thrift store clothes, a few new things each year that we're not finding in thrift stores or community hand-me-down-and-arounds, and occasionally I make something. I'd love to make more for them, but don't understand where any of you with multiple kids get the time and peace to sew much!

annie said...

I have a little girl and love dressing her. Unfortunately, she doesn't really let me do it all that much! We are big fans of Carter's- mostly because she is kind of tiny for her age (almost six and just now wearing size four pants) and we have a crazy time finding things that will fit her well. Once I find a good pair of pants (like the ones at Carter's) I just buy them in every color that they have. This is especially important since she tends to get frustrated when her pants don't fit well and fall down and she is known to just take them off- wherever she she may be.

Rachel said...

When my two boys were little they lived in long or short sleeved t-shirts and joggers. I really couldn't see the point of spending lots of money on their clothes as they grow out of them so quickly (or wear holes in them!). I have certainly been guilty of buying them a top just because it was cute however! They have both been quite sure of what they will and won't wear - they end up rotating the same few sets of clothes over and over, so they really don't need a huge wardrobe! My eldest is almost 12 and is wanting to choose his own clothes now.
R x

pilgrimama said...

I am thankful for our local thrift "boutique" which has clothes for about a dollar on half price day.It's fun to think I shop at Granny Longlegs(the store name!) too.
Our Salvation Army has a 99 cent day once a month on clothes and that's helpful too.
I have two boys and two girls so I have quite the mix to dress!
I have found that checking often at the shops helps to put together a nice wardrobe because then you aren't desparately throwing in items you don't really like. So I will often throw in a piece here and there til i have a full wardrobe for each one.

Andrea said...

My oldest has always been very picky about clothes (but in no logical way)...right now it's all camouflage all the time, which makes it easy (if not exactly fun or appealing to me)--I run into a consignment shop, look for cammo in his size, buy it for $4 and he's guaranteed to wear it. The younger two wear almost all hand-me-downs from their older brother (whose clothes were almost all hand-me-downs from friends and neighbors), complete with patched knees, etc. I haven't taken a lot of time to make or embellish anything (ever since first born cried when I tried to get him to put on a pair of bandanna pants that I made him when he was two!), but the twins loved some baggy fleece pants I made them last summer, and even the oldest wears the t-shirt I stenciled with a cormorant (because it's brown and goes with the cammo!)

Jessica said...

I admit that I wanted a boy when I was pregnant with our first -- boy clothes seemed more fun at the time. Now that we are about to have our fourth and last child -- ALL girls -- I've slowly learned to embrace pink and dresses (our first wore a lot of boyish/unisex t-shirts, now there's a lot more dresses and I actually "do" hair).

I had a very indulgent mother who bought most of the girls' clothes. They are all winter birthdays so I planned to use a lot of hand-me-downs, but when I had twins we got a lot more new stuff in double. My mother passed away last month and I have recently begun to search for clothing for my oldest at thrift stores and garage sales and it has become an addiction -- it's amazing what you can find for $2 at Goodwill!

Amanda said...

Dressing my little boy is so much fun, but also so easy. I love getting him the matching pair outfits. I found a lot at boys clothes.