Style// Dressing Boys Comfortably But Fashionably

Boys are hard to dress. Don’t get me wrong between H&M, Zara, GAP and Crazy 8‘s I feel like there are TONS of great boy clothes out there (sometimes I think way more options then girls) but most boys just want to wear t-shirts, more specifically graphic t-shirts and not the cute kind from Crew Cuts, nope they want the Ninjago, Lego or Angry Bird T’s. The more obnoxious looking the better. You can’t begrudge them wanting to, they are comfy and super cool in the opinions of their friends. Back when the boys were in VA I really had to reconcile my desire for them to look nice going to school with their really wanting to be considered cool among their friends. While I think a mock turtle neck sweater with a plaid collard shirt under looks super cool, to them it is a sort of social suicide. Okay so that is a bit dramatic, especially since my kids are still all below third grade.

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Here in Paris they have to wear uniforms which makes this daily argument non-existant, but I am already dreading this fall when it will pick up again in UT. For now we have settled the battle of the shirts by letting the boys change into whatever they want after school M-F (as long as we don’t have some sort of function to attend which we rarely do).

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Saturdays, if we are going somewhere as a family I get to “help” them pick out what they are going to wear. This generally means I give them some sort of parameters (you have to wear a sweater and pants… yes they are still trying to wear shorts in January) but the end decision is still mainly theirs. Sundays are all me.

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This is mainly due to attending church and the boys hating any and all church clothes anyway so even with parameters there would be fit throwing. Recently though Sawyer has started to like wearing a tie and even asked for one on a sunday I was going to let it slide.

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I think another big step in not arguing over clothes is not letting things in their closets that you really absolutely never would want them to wear. We have our fair share of Ninjago and Star Wars shirts but I have thus far been able to sway them over to the least in your face licensed merchandise. Finn by far has the biggest opinion when it comes to clothes and actually often dresses himself nicer then I would have. He daily wears a scarf and hat while I would have to literally chase sawyer down to wear either. He was the one who asked for the suspender pants and was bummed when I bought them much to large for him. The green hunter boots were also a specific request.

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Sawyer on the other hand will often emerge from his room with a striped shirt and plaid shorts and see nothing wrong with the situation. Over the summer we taught him the one pattern one solid rule which I have since heard him repeat to Evie when getting dressed.

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The biggest step in aligning your desire for your boys to look polished but also have them be happy is to actually bring them shopping with you. My favorite sweater of Sawyer’s is one he happily wears because he was the one who decided on the color and picked it over two other sweater options. He picked his boots out after visiting a few stores and now there is never an argument when it comes to him wearing “nice shoes”.

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I also feel like this keeps me from stifling his personal style completely. I am sure as they get older we will go through stages where they will never want to look nice to hopefully in  high school years they will appreciate nicer clothing, but I am not holding my breathe.

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If I had my way they would be in uniforms until they graduated. Can I get an AMEN? Do your boys have an opinion about what they wear? Do you have to wrestle them into anything specific? Also how gosh darn breath taking is this path in the Black Forrest?

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Cheers!

Kelly

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4 Responses to Style// Dressing Boys Comfortably But Fashionably

  1. Maggie 01.06.14 at 4:22 pm #

    AMEN! We are in Utah and I try to dress my boys classy. My 6 yr old used to happily let me dress him however I wanted, but now that he’s in school, he suddenly thinks we are depriving him because he doesn’t have Angry Birds and Star Wars shirts. Boo. These photos of your boys are magnificent!! Breathtaking. Perfect for Sawyer and Finn. :) My baby is named Sawyer. Just had to throw that out there. I’m proud of myself for having something in common with the talented, gorgeous Kelly from Wild Wandering and Sewing in NML. :)

  2. Amanda 01.06.14 at 4:38 pm #

    Haha I love reading your thoughts. So true! I have 2 girls and 1 boy and love dressing him way more than the girls. I love layering on him. Its funny ( in America anyway) how many compliments he gets wearing a nice sweater/ scarf/ boots – maybe we just expect boys to wear tees and jeans? Thanks for the style suggestions! Do you find the Hunter boots worth the investment?

  3. Kathleen 01.06.14 at 5:37 pm #

    I love school uniforms! My three children (two girls and a boy) have attended catholic school since kindergarten, my youngest is still there. We are not a trend-conscience family, but I always want my children to look nice and have a few strict requirements about clothing. Adhering to the uniform codes has never been an issue, though it certainly is with many other school families. My girls were always happy to keep their shirts tucked in and wear non-athletic shoes, wear a belt with slacks, all things that were not required. The girls now attend a public high school and are happy to wear jeans or slacks and a sweater or nice top most days. They do wear their share of sweatshirts and “shirts with words,” but always look neat and presentable. I think growing up with limited choices, makes them easier to dress. I know that is not the case with all their friends. My son (12) has really no interest in clothes and will wear whatever I buy, especially since he will do anything to avoid having to go shopping.

    Thanks for the beautiful blog! I really enjoy your fabulous photos and reading about your travels.

  4. Adventureknitter 01.07.14 at 1:14 pm #

    Amen to uniforms!! We’re in Chengdu, China and the school our kids are at isn’t the closest one…but they have uniforms and that was one of the major swaying points!! No more “homeless” children going to school!!

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