Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shopping For Your Toddler Boy {or} Why C Dresses So Darn Cute.

I've received a few emails lately about where I find C's clothes and I thought I'd whip up a quick post about Shopping For Your Boy Toddler. We all know that regardless of whatever children's store you walk into, the girls' clothes outnumber the boys' clothes both in style and quantity nearly a gazillion to one. You may have also noticed that there happens to be two pant options for boys. Cargo and denim. 

I'm sorry, but I'm pretty sure my toddler doesn't need a pair of pants with seven pockets.

Every Mom is different. This is just how we do here in the M family. 

I'm not a huge fan of the cutesy dinosaur and puppy-butt craze. I think it's all fine and fabulous for itty-bitty babies, but now that C is a strapping young toddler, he doesn't need to be wearing a t-shirt that says "Champ" with a fluffy, puffy teddy bear on it. 

I'll admit, I like dressing my child like a little boy. Er, man-child. I also like him to stand out a bit, so I try to avoid really popular chain stores for major purchases. Speaking of popular chain stores...

That's where I head for most of C's staple items. Jeans, solid T's and now that we're heading into Fall, I'll definitely grab a sweater or seven for him from there. Out of all the "popular chain stores," TCP is hands down my favorite. Not only is it affordable, but I don't feel as if the clothing shrinks as much, if at all, as some of the items purchased from other stores. I'm also a major fan of their footie pajamas. Super soft, stretchy and the cutest footie jams I ever did see. 

Dinosaur and puffy-bear-butt central. King of goofy monikers like "champ," "all-star" and "mommy's little monster." Don't slay me, OK? I know that's not all that this store has to offer and that you've found some great things for your kid there. It's just not for me. However, I love their two and three and four piece jammie sets and will buy them until C goes to college. Or grows out of them, which at this rate? Will likely happen in pre-school

Cute clothes? Yes. Although, kind of overpriced if you ask me. I haven't been in this store since the beginning of summer when I somehow got suckered into buying a pair of shorts (really, really cute patchwork beach-y shorts) and two (really, really cute matchy beach-y) t-shirts for sixty-five dollars. Yes, sixty-five. Now, you'll soon learn that I'm all about dropping some dollars on C's clothes- but on patchwork shorts and two itty-bitty t-shirts that thirty other Johnny and Joeys are wearing? Oh hell no.

Are you ready? Here's where I spill C's secrets to looking damn good.

Because sometimes I like dressing C as if he's a little Swedish hippie-child. It's adorable. Sue me. The bright, bold colors. The stripes. The fabric. It's just all too cute for words.  Do it.

If you haven't checked out mini Boden for your baby or toddler boy, you are seriously missing out. Yes, it's expensive. If I tell you this ahead of time, it'll prevent serious sticker shock when you see a child's rugby shirt going for $50. But like any other shopping experience, it's all about the clearance. The coupons and the discounts. And buying "special" items for holidays and photo-ops and things like that. And hiding said "special" items from The Husband. Or simply telling him, "It's... from Old Navy!" Not like I have ever done either of those things...

I love this store. If I'm going to buy C any sort of "puppy" enhanced clothing? You darn well know it's coming from here. JandJ has a classy, prep-tastic way of adorning their clothes with animals. Crabs, sharks, elephants, puppies, they've done it all and they've done without making it look all goofy and silly and baby-ish. I've said it before and I'll say it again- it's all about the clearance racks and the outlet shopping and JandJ is no different. Roughly 60% of C's "baby" wardrobe came from here and it goes without saying that I forsee lot's of JandJ in this kid's future.

Now, it's been a long while since I've professed my love for all things JCrew on this 'ol blog. For years, it was the only place I would shop. But then I went and got knocked up and entered what I lovingly refer to as "retirement." As in, I no longer get paid for working my hiney off every day. This means I can no longer afford $50 t-shirts for myself and other ridiculously overpriced JCrew-isms. 

I must admit, I thought it would be years before C could fit into anything from Crewcuts. However, God graced me with a ginormous child who even before the age of one fit into a 2T Crewcuts T. I swear the day I put that t-shirt on C, I heard angels singing. Sure, some of their stuff is insanely overpriced for a little someone who's just going to smear themselves in grape jelly and roll around in the mud. But it's all about judiciously choosing "special" items and discounts, discounts, discounts. For example, did you know you can snag 30% off Final Sale items with coupon code "mustshop?" See? It makes all the difference. Suddenly, super cute un-affordable polo shirts are suddenly the same price as ones found at your "popular chain stores."

I was never one to shop judiciously. I never waited for sales and certainly didn't go out and scour the internet for coupon codes. It's funny how life changes. Especially when it comes to dressing your toddler boy. See? It is possible. It just requires a little bit of elbow grease, some savvy shopping smarts and a bit of patience.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a coupon code to use and an online shopping cart to umm.. fill.



  1. Check out the H&M kids section. You can thank me later, if there is one close to you.

  2. So, I got a Mini Boden catalog in the mail the other day and was confused, as I have no children. Then I flipped through it, and promptly called my bf and said we had to have babies. So much cuteness!

  3. I love Target for my 18 month old! They have really cute Mossimo jeans for him without a gazillion pockets. Plus they had pearl snaps around Easter. And his daddy loves Pearl Snaps. Haha! They also have the Carter's pajama sets.

  4. Ugh. I agree. Even though it's easier to find cute girl clothes, I still HATE anything with faces - animal faces, bug faces, cartoon faces...just not our style...neither are the "cutesy saying" clothing items.

    So, in order to keep Kitty looking fab without the Husband taking away my debit card I've started doing advanced shopping: buying next year's clothes now at sale/clearance prices. And...you know...sneaking in a few full price boutique purchases and classifying them as "Misc.", "Groceries", or "Auto: Gasoline" in Quicken ;)


  5. Check out Lollipop Laundry! It's a trunk show! The only way to buy is through a trunk show....but LET ME TELL YOU, they have the CUTEST STUFF! It is a little pricey but I splurged on 4 pants and a shirt. THey aren't here yet but I can't wait to get them.
    HOWEVER...I made Easton 2 pair of pants recently and found PRECIOUS material online at Hawthorne Threads and you cannot tell ANY DIFF in my pants and Lollipops! SOOOOO.....send me c's measurements...and I'll whip him up some britches too! Waist, inseam and outer leg! WHOOT WHOOT! I happen to have some SUPER CUTE CAR material left!

  6. Wow! Great post! After having a girl first, I get really discouraged when shopping for boys clothes. I too, love TCP but I am definitely going to have to check out some of these place you posted about! Thanks for posting them!

  7. I also got the Mini Boden catalog in the mail the other day..and proceeded to drool while looking through all the adorable clothing. And Hanna Anderson? ohmygawd!! They actually carry some of her line at Costco now, S had some adorable jammies of hers!

  8. I'm with you on the mini-man thing! Mine are only 7 months but I can't wait til they grow out of the babyish stuff. A friend got them the cutest newsboy caps from Janie & Jack; I'm so excited they're finally fitting into J&J stuff. I'll have to check out some of the other stores you mentioned - great post!

  9. We do carters for 90% of kps clothes but (gladly) the girls clothes don't say shit on them (well some do but we don't buy those),

  10. We love Carters! They have some fantastic stuff for our little girl and for the boys, I've liked their stuff. Baby girl has some stuff from TCP but their sizing is WAY whacky. M has to get size 18 mo for footed pj's, yet wears a 9 mo in ALL of her other pj's.

    Janie and Jack is by far our favorite boutique!
    They're expensive but even the stuff on clearance/sale is adorbs. M has quite a few outfits from there!

  11. Have you checked out Crazy 8? They're owned by Gymboree I think, but cheaper. Kind of like Old Navy vs Gap. Anyways, they have some cute stuff and GREAT sales and coupons!!

  12. Thank you for this post!! (I just started following your blog after you posted on Mrs to Mama) I'm a mommy to a 4 year old girl and LOVE shopping for her but am now pregnant with a boy and realizing how teeny tiny the boy section is... I will be checking out your recommendations for sure! I also can't stand the thought of "champ" and furry animals or bugs gracing my son's clothes :)

  13. I love J&J. I also have found some cute stuff at Nordstrom (the Nordstrom brand) for surprisingly good prices. The Little Me brand is cute as well.

  14. Yep, on-sale J&J and Children's Place footed jammies are where it's at for us. We've also lucked into some fabulous Polo romper hand-me-downs, so I'll continue to look for those to be very, very on-sale. I also do BabyGap occasionally, though they definitely have better deals going online than in store.

  15. Yes check out Crazy8, great basics and innexpensive too.

  16. Ok....I think I could have written this other than a few new places I learned about. Crewcuts?? How did I not know about this. I am all about dressing my toddler boy more grown up. I CRINGE when I see a two plus year old boy in a Jon Jon or whatever the hell you call them (jumper?) Colt has never worn a jon jon or heaven forbid something smocked :)Not that there is anything wrote with it....its just not my style. Janie and Jack is my new addiction, especially since I am pregnant again with a girl. Also, I have found a bunch of band shirts (Aerosmith, Grateful Dead, Beatles, etc) at Target of all places. They are cheap, comfortable and I dont really care if they get dirty.

  17. Girl - I'm with you on this new world of sales and coupon codes. I used to actually avoid sales.... That was pre money-sucker (aka Tyler). And the goofy words and animals are ridiculous. My favorite is definitely Gap - and love all the others you listed. C's shoes are definitely the best part of his wardrobe!

  18. This made me LMAO. Agreed and AGREED.. almost! I am the crazy mom who wants peebs to look like a baby for as long as possible so I try real hard to find one piece outfits for my little dinosaur who wears 2T as well. but I DO NOT like anything with the raunchy sayings plastered across the front!

  19. Just bought Owen some mini boden from nordstrom today.. Along with toms, sperrys & saucony shoes.. Shopping for itty bitty baby boys' shoes might even be more fun than shopping for ME shoes!

  20. Happy you mentioned Children's Place as that's where I work part-time and gotta say, I LOVE it!

    Shortly after we found out kiddo was a boy I went in and bought a few things and ended up applying for seasonal last year and they asked me to stay on... I spend sooooo much of my paycheck there but it's worth it as the clothes are too cute and great deal for the quality too! I think 80% of my son's wardrobe is Children's Place, although it drives my mom nuts that I'm always coming home from work with clothes for him as she doesn't get to shop for him lol...

  21. gah, i love all your picks...esp janie & jack. and i just got the crewcuts catalog in the mail yesterday...lord help me when my little girl fits into their clothes!


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