Friday, January 7, 2011

Toddler Style


 jacket: thrifted, pants, children's place, shoes: DC, tie: children's place

My two year old son has amazing fashion sense. He picks his own clothes and usually does very well. He often pulls off outfits that most people couldn't and gets tons of compliments on them. Today I'm going to share with you how we got to this point and what you can do to encourage fashion in your little boys. 

One of the things that really makes or breaks a little boy outfit is accessories. The shoes, hats, ties, vests, belts and sunglasses really make an outfit for a boy. Girls have bows, tights, shoes and frills. The boys need accessories too. When I became pregnant I secretly hoped for a girl. Only because girls have so many cute clothes and accessories. I have had to work much harder to find cute boy clothes but I honestly think it is just as cute. A simple polo shirt can become a thousand times cuter when it is paired with a sweater vest or a fedora. 

 hat: blueberry hill, pants, tie, shirt, vest: children's place, shoes: vincent

 Calder was born in Chicago in the middle of October. It was cold. He wore a hat most days and most nights until April of that year. I think that definitely had something to do with his love of hats. Not only is he willing to keep them on but he has a collection of seven and rotates which one he is wearing based on his mood and where we're going. So, start young. Of course it's never too late, but it may be a lot harder the older they get.
 hat: made by me using this pattern from Leila & Ben, glasses polo ralph lauren from marshalls, jacket thrifted gap, gloves: target, stroller: zooper

Accessorize yourself and encourage him to help pick your accessories. Calder chooses my earrings most days. If I'm wearing a scarf I'll let him choose between two. My husband wears a tie to work every day and Calder gets to help choose it a lot of the time. I think all of these things contribute to his desire to wear accessories. My son is a little shy and I think he secretly loves the attention he gets from people when he has a cool hat or tie.
hat: target in the women's department. i resized it, mustache: made by me (tutorial soon to follow), bowtie: made by me (tutorial to follow), shirt: ralph lauren from kids for less

When shopping for basics, keep it simple. I like button up shirts, polos, corduroy pants, khakis and jeans. Solid colors, stripes and plaids. I have a few vintage pieces that I've picked up at thrift stores but otherwise these are the things that make up my son's wardrobe. I do often get his clothes at thrift stores, specifically pants and button ups. They seem so prevalent there. Why not. I also buy things online regularly, well until the 2011 Nothing New Challenge. I don't think my son knows there are Buzz Lightyear t-shirts and other licensed apparel. I know at some point he will and hopefully when we get to that point he will continue to choose carefully. He does have Thomas the Tank Engine pajamas but wouldn't think of wearing pajamas outside.
 hat: made by me using Leila & Ben again, jacket: thrifted gap, shorts: made by me, shoes see kai run

Don't limit them with conventional fashion rules. If he wants to wear a tie with a t-shirt, go with it. The only place we have rules on what he wears is church, although we haven't ever had a discussion about what we wear to church. It is just a given that he always wears a tie, button up shirt and pants. Jackets, hats and belts are up to him. If he requested not to wear a tie I probably wouldn't push it but I would point out that most boys at church had them on.
hat: the blueberry hill, bowtie: made by me (tutorial to follow), suspenders: made by me (tutorial here),  shirt: ralph lauren from kids for less.

Make him things. This is huge. I think most kids love it when you make something just for them. If sewing isn't your thing, paint a cool design on their shirt using freezer paper stenciling. Be creative. There are lots of things you can do to make everyday clothes more cool.
scarf: made by me, shirt and pants: target, shoes: see kai run

The scarf above was the easiest thing I've made, I'm sure. It is just a piece of fabric and a piece of black fleece sewn together. Then I added a buttonhole down one side so one end could slip through the other. Easy. I can do a tutorial if you would like though.

hat: target, shirt: hanes shirt dyed and freezer paper stenciled by me, shorts: made by me

Those are all the things that I feel I've done to contribute to his desire to be fashionable. So, to sum up this incredibly long post:

Have accessories for him to choose from.
Accessorize yourself.
Start young.
Have very basic tops and pants, allowing accessories to pop.
Don't stick to conventional fashion rules.
Make him things.

To help you get started here is a list of the places I generally buy things. Everything you see in the above pictures are from the stores below.

Shopping Guide 
This is a list of the places I normally look for accessories for boys.
Shoes: See Kai Run, Vincent, Converse, DC, cool baby boot patterns for babies from iThinkSew
Ties: The Children's Place, homemade using this pattern
Hats: Children's Place, Gymboree, The Blueberry Hill, Target women department. No joke, just sew the back together to make it smaller.

Inspiration Guide 
This is a list of the places I look for ideas for my son's wardrobe.
Small Magazine
J. Crew
Kico Kids
Mini Boden

So, where do you shop and where do you look for inspiration?


Jessica said...

This post makes me hope that my baby is a boy! I feel so inadequate in my sewing skills, but some of this looks very doable. Thanks for the inspiration!

happyfamily said...

I love his style! Clark wears what I pick out for him, but he doesn't seem to actively make choices yet. My girls, however, are major fashionistas and always have very daring outfits, so I have faith in Clark's ability to be a hipster too!

Melanie said...

Calder is probably the most fashionable 2 year old I know! I'd say Owen follows in Josh's style, which is simple and relaxed. Jeans and a t-shirt type kid. (though he does own a fashionable scarf, thanks to you! I've tried a few times to get him to wear it and he just took it off.)

To be honest, most of the clothes he owns I bought at second-hand stores, some are from Target, and the rest were gifts. I do like some of those sites you posted though! I'll have to check them out.

Melissa said...

So, I think Calder needs a pocket watch. It would totally fit his dapper style.

I'm sure you could find one at a thrift store, and it doesn't even have to work. A clock pendant might work too. You'd just need to put it on a new chain.

Just a thought.

Cami said...

Ooh I love the idea of a pocket watch. He has actually been asking for a watch for a while now. I'll have to look at the thrift store next time we're there.


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