Classic, Low-Cost Way to Dress Little Boys

I'm having a no spend July and all my blogging this month will be about managing the financial side of home life. I'm sharing what I'm learning and ideas about saving, spending wisely, and generally being responsible with our resources.

Today, I'm talking/typing about boys' clothing. My boys are wonderfully hard on their clothes. They frequently have holes and rips from climbing trees or grease stains from messing around with boats and vehicles with my husband. 

I think their destructiveness on their wardrobe started around age 4 for each of them.

I remember sending Stephen to preschool in the cutest Honey Bee Tee, feeling like such a proud mama, dressing him so cute! He didn't wear his shirt two times before he took a pair of scissors and cut a huge hole in it.

It's pretty much been down hill from there.

So here is the most practical and economical way I've found to dress my boys during the summer months.

100% cotton, solid color tee from Walmart 
shorts from Old Navy (toddler and big boy)

I buy solid tee's on sale from Old Navy and Gap, too, but the Walmart Fruit of the Loom ones are less than $3! And they have great colors. I'm a total stickler for 100% cotton, and I always check that before buying. Sometimes the manufacturers change on you and sneak a little polyester in there. Beware.

They have other random t-shirts from school or wherever, but if I'm buying I stick to this solid, boy-friendly uniform.

For shoes, we are loving Natives. They are a sneaker and a water shoe all in one, and they have held up really well.

In addition to being low-cost, I really like the way the solid t-shirt and shorts combo looks.
I love understated, simple clothes on children. No obnoxious sayings please!

I do think sewing something cool like their age or a robot would be so cute, and a fun way to personalize the shirt. Inspiration from Margo. Maybe I'll get around to that.

My boys really don't have an opinion (yet) about what they wear, so let's hope we can hold off on the sports wear as long as possible. I'm sure it's only a matter of time.


Do you have outfit formulas for your kids? Boys or girls?
How do you manage the costs of children's clothes?


  1. Kids' wardrobe is such an area of our budget that needs an overhaul! I try to buy good quality clothes that will last through at least both girls, which ends up costing a small fortune twice a year. Plus, ever since my oldest was 2 she's had SUCH opinions about her clothing, and more than half of the things I buy her go unworn because it's impossible to guess what she will accept and what she'll refuse to wear. Thinking of performing an experiment this fall and finding lower cost clothing--maybe it will hold up better than I'm giving it credit for? So nice that your boys don't have an opinion! And yes to simple clothing!

  2. oh man, boys and clothes. Ben is SO HARD on his clothing, too!! I buy uniforms at Old Navy, but his clothes are mostly hand-me-downs from a friend, which is such an incredible blessing because they're FREE and the choices are already made for us! Occasionally I have to supplement with Sunday clothes or outerwear. I try the thrift store first, but since boys are so hard on their clothes, I can't always find what I need. I also do eBay, looking for quality second-hand clothes from individuals, not the big commercial sellers.

  3. and thanks for the shout-out :)

  4. I too like the Walmart tees. I look for summer clothes for the next year on clearance towards the middle/end of summer. I also frequent Goodwill and look for clothes for future seasons.

  5. Church consignment sales are great places to find clothes and shoes!

  6. I'm all about mix and match. Solid shorts and solid shirts (or maybe with a variety of colors that pair well with navy/khaki/denim) are the best for us right now. My toddler is so messy, and I have to change shirts/shorts frequently. I like the Garanimals line at Wal-Mart, but have noticed that sometimes the shirts are a blend, sometimes not. Garanimals is a quality brand with a good price. I'm glad to hear about those Fruit of the Loom solid tee's.

    For our 12 year old, around 2nd grade, he started wanting to wear only elasticized waist athletic pants and shorts (the polyester kind). I think it had something to do with being efficient in the restroom. Anyway, that habit has stuck, and here we are still wearing them. In the winter, he wears the same kind of pants only we get the kind that are fleece lined for warmth. As for shirts, he is picky about graphics on his shirts, so he mostly wears solid color t-shirts from JC Penney -- Arizona brand.

  7. This is what my four-year-old boy is wearing, too, but I tend to gravitate toward stripes. I've often found Old Navy tees on sale in the $3-4 range and I try to stock up the next size then. Good to know about the Walmart tees -- will definitely check them out! I try to stay away from their clothing section when I'm with the kids because it is full of their favorite characters ;)


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