Is It Just Me?

Or is shopping for older boys’ clothes the worst?


I feel like I can still find some super-cute things for Jack Henry, and even a few for Bennett, but obviously, they’re not the ones I’m doing the bulk of the buying for, since they get hand-me-downs.

Here’s the deal: I like the boys to look cute, but not cutesy, and I am careful about how I spend money. I have no problem buying things secondhand, but that’s generally pretty hard to do once they’re out of early toddlerhood…boys are just hard on their clothes, and they usually don’t look so hot by the time a mom is selling them. Also, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I have THREE boys who will all eventually wear what I buy for Luke, so getting things secondhand is not always a great idea.

But even more than finding good deals, because I feel like I do okay in that department, it’s getting very difficult for me to find clothes that I actually like for Luke now that we’re getting into the “bigger boys” section. I feel like everything breaks one of my guidelines for acceptableness (what, it’s a word), which are:

– I prefer no character clothing…with the general exception being vintage-look tees like these Star Wars ones.
– I do not like skulls and crossbones, and won’t be buying clothing with these things on them, which rules out about 50% of boys tees (even in sizes 4-7 this is pretty prevalent).
– I do not like stupid sayings/phrases, like, “Believe the hype” and “Allergic to Homework.” Not for me, thankyouverymuch.
– I tend to stay away from store logo tees, but sometimes, in an effort to actually be able to purchase something, I’ll bend this rule (I don’t mind when it’s small, but I don’t prefer the big, plain GAP tees, etc).
– No boring stuff (if you know us in real life, repeat that the way that Bennett says it, which is “bowing stuff”).

(Please note, if YOU choose these things for your kids, I’m not judging you…it’s just not my style.)

So, that’s a lot of rules, right? That leaves us with sports, some music/band type tees and pretty much nothing else. Blah.

If you have boys past toddler stage, where do you buy their clothes?

14 responses to “Is It Just Me?

  1. I have no advice for boys stuff – sorry – but i can tell you that when your 3 year old wears size 6 clothes – it is hard to dress her like a toddler (in cute – age appropriate clothes)- everything out there makes her look like a very small teenager…. ANNOYING! She is going to grow up fast enough – I don’t need help making her look older then she is!

  2. Obviously, I am of no help either, but I must add that I am SHOCKED at the amount of girls items that also have skulls and crossbones! Seriously! Last year, most of the t-shirts (that were not outfitty) at Old Navy had skulls and crossbones. Ridiculous!

  3. I agree… Sawyer’s just on the edge of going into the big boys sizes and aside from a Mr. Strong shirt… I haven’t found much in the stores I’m impressed with. Children’s place is mostly where I buy Sawyer’s shirts; both tee’s and nicer churchy shirts.

    I was just browsing Threadless Tees and they have quite a few pretty cool ones for boys for anywhere from $4 (yay!) to $15 (um… a little spendy for me, but they’re tempting).

  4. I can’t offer any help on where to get cute boy stuff, but I just have to say I agree completely with how boring it is, in general, once they get to be school age. While I never minded some of the character stuff, I refused to buy the skull genre and also wasn’t much for the brand names on shirts. It seemed to get down to sports or other popular activities, such as skateboarding, etc.

  5. I have had luck with the Jumping Beans brand at JCPennys (and I think Kohl’s). I mean, this basically means my son is wearing thermal-type or henley-styles shirts and that ‘s about it. But the girls’ stuff is super crazy – ultra layered – multi-colored stuff that just looks like a designer threw-up. So, I go with the plain boys.

  6. i’m starting to hit that stage w/ kenny too.
    i also have a problem w/ too many brown colored clothing in the fall/winter…he cannot wear this color if it is the predominant color. same goes for orange.

  7. I, too, can’t stand character shirts minus those star wars shirts (cause we have them!).

    We do a LOT of sport shirts. I don’t know if Gap is still doing this sale (in stores only), but last week I just happened to go in ONLY to look at the sale racks and sadly, the workers know me. Anyway, they told me all shirts were buy 1, get 1 free. I ended up getting Andrew some long sleeve sport tees for $6.25 each! Pretty great deal for the gap….might want to see if they are still doing that.

    I’m one to buy the shirts with the logos on them, really b/c I want somewhat of an assortment of clothes, not just polos and sports shirts. I also tend to find adidas outfits at Costco which give a little variety. We do a lot at Children’s place too. I will, occasionally, get some shirts on sale at gymboree….I can sometimes find plain shirts in there that he likes. I don’t know if any of this helps or not……

  8. I have the same situation – 3 boys and my oldest is wearing size 10 this year and yup… I haven’t bought much for fall yet because I don’t find anything I love. Good thing it is still warm out! We do a lot of Old Navy, and some Mini-Boden, and some gymboree/gap. (usually the outlet for Gap). If you find anything great, I would love to hear about it! I do tend to spend a bit more sometimes knowing if it is better quaility it will make it through 3 boys (hopefully!)

  9. Karen – I like Jumping Beans, too, but it stops at size 7 (at least that’s what I think) and Luke is pretty much out of their shirts since they run small 😦

    I do like Gymboree if things are on sale, since they tend to last longer than Children’s Place/Old Navy, giving it a better chance to still look nice for boys 2 and 3!

    Sonya, I’ll have to check out the Gap today and see if they’re still having that sale! I do buy a good amount of things there when there’s a sale. And Costco is being built by us now! So soon, I’ll have to check them out.

    Thanks for the comments!

  10. I have never purchased from here, so I cannot speak for quality, but someone on the UI mom’s group mentioned Crazy 8 ( one time when we were discussing shopping tips. It is the budget-friendly line of Gymboree (she said think Old Navy to Gap) and they have $5 flat shipping. Also, any time I purchase online, I do a quick search for “coupon codes for (fill in the store or item)” and see if there are any valid codes.

  11. I don’t have any words of wisdom on this. If there is any consolation to be had just know that this issue isn’t isolated to just boys’ clothing. Girl clothing is horrific. Having slutty sayings plastered over the butt of pants or across the front of shirts is apparently something that clothing manufacturers find essential. Then there is the lack of decent coverage. And currently there is the crazy “throw Hannah Montana on every stitch of clothing” that would make me nuts if I had a daughter that age.

  12. We have similar clothing-buying rules. 🙂 Except I will buy the occasional GAP or Old Navy logo t-shirt if it’s a good deal.

    Right now, I much prefer buying boys’ clothes to girls’ clothes, because so many of the toddler girls’ clothes are glittery and say “princess” or “diva.” But I’ve looked across the aisle at the older boys’ section and have wondered what I’ll do. Jack can already fit in the boys’ XS and is fitting well in 4T. It’s only a matter of time before I’m in the same boat.

    We really like Crazy 8 . . . I just wish there was a brick and mortar store nearby, though.
    Maybe it’s just a sign that I’m getting old, but I DO NOT understand the skull and crossbone thing . . .

  13. Jill (thebaglady)

    I’m right there with ya! I ended up buying plain long sleeve t’s at Old Navy for $5 (@ Tuscola Outlet) for Luke to wear under t-shirts this winter. The Oshkosh store there had some nice shirts too.

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