Stylish Boys Clothes: the definitive guide to non-goofy boy brands
Today I though it would be helpful for all you fellow boy moms if I did a roundup of my favorite non-goofy stylish boys clothing brands and sites. Listen, I know when you found out that baby was a boy, everyone said to you “Awwww, well, that’s too bad because you don’t get to do the cute girl stuff.” And yes, it’s safe to say that girls’ clothing is approximately 235% more fabulous and fun than boys’ clothing. But! You’re not going to be doomed to goofy slogans, cliche truck or sports motifs, and boring plaid prints!
I’ve pulled together some of my favorites stylish boy clothing lines from over the years (as well as a few new ones I have my eye on) and broken them down according to price point. Some lines I like for certain things, so I’ve noted that here too. I’ve also noted what I like for both baby and big kid, since I’m in shopping mode for an 8 year old and a 1- year old. I’m skipping over Gap/Old Navy as well as my always-favorite Crewcuts because we all know about them, amiright? Not such a hard discovery there.
If you love J.Crew and its preppy kid version at Crewcuts, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the selection at Carter’s. Initially I was hesitant to check it out because there’s still a good amount of somewhat goofy slogans and things like “Mr Handsome” thrown on shirts, but if you’re careful, you’ll love what you find. I hadn’t bought Carters since Jude was a baby (and they’re great for basics like white onesies and pajamas), but with Archer, I not only found the cutest Crewcuts-esque items for him but also for Jude too. Win/win! And our Carters in OKC is also mishmashed with Osh Kosh which also has a pretty great selection of preppy items – again, interspersed with the cheap-looking goofy stuff, but definitely worth a perusal.
what to skip: fleece pajamas – not super great, in my opinion and they feel kinda cheap. Also skip the screenprinted tees for big kids. Which, of course, Jude wants because of characters, etc. Enjoy dressing that baby of yours while you can (i.e., before he develops opinions and influence from cartoon culture!).
I haven’t purchased anything from this site yet, but I have to say I probably will soon. A wide variety of simple basic items for boys and girls, as well as baby. A great option if you liked basics from American Apparel, but are appalled (and rightly so) by their seedy ethics and values. The Primary slogan: we believe in colors, not giant logos. Yes.
what to skip: the cargo pants.
I stumbled on this line at Target and I LOVE how great it is. I can’t find the set I bought him online – it must have sold out, but the quality is good for the price, and it washes well. Cute, somewhat unisex and an interesting spinoff for the brand known for quality skincare.
what to buy: for big kids, I’d get these simple but nicely detailed v-neck tees and this super cute tie dye ombre tee. These striped pajamas are also great if you love Hanna Anderssen but balk at the price point. For baby, I’m going to snap up this rugby striped one piece for Archer.
what to skip: honestly, I don’t know. I can’t find anything I’d necessarily skip!
I can’t say enough great things about Boden. It’s the British J.Crew and if you love colorful patterned items, you’ll be a lifelong fan. The quality is always great, their customer service is unparalleled, and pretty much everything wears really well. These are the perfect pieces that will make great hand me downs for younger brothers. Their womens’ wear was what got me hooked, but I stick around for the great kids clothes too.
what to buy: everything. No really. For baby, snap up the baby surf suit, reversible knee patch skinnies (GREAT for crawlers), this reversible tshirt and a 5-pack of body suits. For newborns, the 4-piece gift set is an absolute must-have. The blanket is perfect for swaddling! And the sleep sack is great too. For big kid, I’d grab these techno pull ons in camo and the classic jersey baggies.
what to skip: cargo shorts. seriously. why are they everywhere?!
Hanna is best known for their ubiquitous striped pajamas, and for good reason. High quality sleepwear to keep your kiddos warm and happy and they’re made to last. Perfect as hand-me-downs, and they hold their value well if you decide to resell. They’re also known for having excellent high-quality outerwear – since they’re based in Sweden, they’ve got the whole quality coat thing down pat. You won’t be able to wear these coats out. Seriously. Totally worth the price, especially if you live in a cold climate.
what to skip: everything else. For the price point, the rest of the line is bordering on the goofy. You’ll find cuter pants and shirts elsewhere.
what to skip: the big kid clothes are kind of boring. I’d rather spend my money at Boden on the big kids’ stuff.
MOST EXPENSIVE (THEREFORE MOST INTERESTING?)
People definitely have opinions on pricey kids’ lines, but I daresay that sometimes they’re worth the splurge for something really unusual and heirloom-worthy. These are pieces to buy for memories (like saving them for future grandkids or for family photos when you want something different and fabulous). A quick note on purchasing international lines like Bobo Choses and Tiny Cottons: If you’re purchasing from the US, consider purchasing directly from them as opposed to finding them in the US. The prices will often be significantly lower thanks to a shrinking exchange rate, which hasn’t always been the case. You’ll also save VAT tax too. And as always, don’t be afraid to buy secondhand. Search on eBay for great deals, and follow the lines on Instagram, by newsletter, etc., for sale opportunities. I buy TinyCottons at 50% off in bigger sizes and save for the future.
Gorgeous line if on the pricey side for sure. Simple, chic, upscale. A good impressive baby gift, if you catch my drift. Buy cautiously as the sizing can be tricky. Seems like we had to size up significantly for Jude as it was all pretty small and cut on the thin side.
what to skip: I’d probably skip the somewhat boring cords or pants that you could get elsewhere for a lot less money.
A fantastic line of uber-preppy nautical kidswear from baby to age 12. I wish they made their stuff in grownup sizes because it is stellar. This is the striped collection of kids’ clothes I wish I’d designed. Great quality stretchy knits and the swimwear is perfection.
what to skip: absolutely nothing. the whole line is perfection.
Super sweet conceptual line that I would pick for younger babies when you can get away with more girlier prints for boys. I love the overall look.
Another highly conceptual line out of Spain. You’ll either love it or hate it, but I’m obsessed with their whole spring line inspired by Picasso, Matisse, etc.
My absolute favorite children’s line right now. A Spain-based line created in super-soft and highly durable pima cotton, they release really great visual concepts every season. The graphic designer in me LOVES this somewhat unisex line of thoughtful, restrained, but creative prints and patterns.
what to skip: the basic (i.e., no-print) stuff.
Worth a mention: RYLEE & CRU, ORGANIC ZOO, NUNUNU, LUCKY NO. 7
SMALL INDEPENDENT SHOPS TO CHECK OUT
I love falling down the rabbit hole of beautifully curated online shops. These are some of my favorites for unusual children’s lines and fun decor. And add your favorites in the comments too – I’d love to hear from you.
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