Toddler Threads

Dressing a child is an interesting beast. On one hand, all moms who’ve been through the fray know that the clothes don’t last long and aren’t always cheap. Seriously, between the “me do it!” messes the first day they wear that new adorable outfit (which leave you thinking, “Well, great. That won’t be a hand-me-down now.”) and the fact that they grow faster than weeds, we breeze through clothes. Not that I don’t make our little guy wear a favorite novelty shirt until his tummy peeks out underneath. #notsorry Admittedly, he hates retiring his favorite outfits, too. 

On the other hand, isn’t it SO. MUCH. FUN? Kiddie clothes are so darn cute; almost as cute as the kids themselves. And, these days, it’s not just for mommies with little ladies. We mamas with tiny fellas can get in on the action, too.

But, since I’m not into super graphic superhero shirts (done properly, I love a Batman logo or vintage-style Superman shirt) and skulls and sports themes aren’t my bag, Hadman’s style sways in the classic/old school/vintage/hipster territory.

I love seeing the kiddie fashion shows on some of my favorite blogs, but since our guy is in constant motion and isn’t a huge camera fan at the moment, I figured we’d just check out some outfits he’ll be wearing this fall, along with a couple of tips I have for clothing a toddler without breaking the bank.

First things first. What’s autumn without a sweater vest? According to my husband, it’s boring. So, of course, I stock up on miniature sweater vests at the end of the season (I buy a couple of sizes larger, then put them in plastic bins under the crib for later). Mini Dorky Daddy time!

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Oh, and a little secret? The shirt underneath is actually one of our favorite long-sleeve novelty tees. Mix and match, people. No one will know that there’s a graphic tee underneath that adorable vest…well, until he spills gravy-laden turkey down his front at Thanksgiving. Then everyone will find out. And no one will care one bit.

Mmm. Turkey. Gravy. Pie. Black Friday.

Ya lost me. Oh, right. Adorable shirt hiding under preppy vest. 

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Now for some casual cool. This is dressy enough for Christmas (button it up) or church, if you’re full of grace (I’m clearly not), but also can work for a fun play date. For the record, this is totally his dad’s style, too, sans cargoes. Ahem.

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Wanna hit up a chilly late-season farmers’ market? Stock up on those squash, root veggies, and pumpkins, but be sure to bundle up! We always try to keep it comfy (everyone in jeans) and practical. A fleece will do, but we acquired this handmade hooded sweater that just screams leaf peepin’ and apple pickin’. Cozy!

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I’m a jeans girl, so obviously I try to get one nice pair for the Hadman to run into the ground. They’re so versatile I have to have one good better pair.

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Oh, and this is the second time we’ve used this fancy, schmancy shirt. He wore it about a year ago, so when my MIL found it on clearance in a bigger size, we were ecstatic. What better way to quickly and comfortably dress the kid up?! Seriously, I’m thinking ahead, but can’t you envision it on New Years’ Eve??

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These are my simple tips for decking out your little one’s wardrobe.

– Don’t just buy something at the end of the season for the following year because it’s cheap. That’s a huge pet peeve in our household. Sure, it cost $3, but if it’s ugly or the wrong size for the season or we already have a stack of sweatpants for that season, it’s just not worth it. If you LOVE the thing, though, by all means.

– These are toddlers we’re talking about. I’m a pretty practical person in the first place (ahem, some might argue that), so I always think about comfort in my clothes…why wouldn’t I apply that to my little buddy? So, you’d better know that I stock up on pile of sweatpants, tees, and sweatshirts for day-to-day. And it’s not like he doesn’t look cute in those, either.

– Sure, it’s great to play twinsies (especially with Daddy), but for the most part, we think of Had’s interests when we buy him stuff. He’s hilarious, hence the novelty shirts. He loves animals and Sesame Street and is even starting to get more and more into superheroes, so we keep an eye out for shirts with animals (sharks, chomp chomp), the vintage-looking SS ones (Super Grover! And I don’t mean 2.0), and I’m on the hunt for harmless, less dark/super graphic super hero ones. I love seeing the joy in his face over certain clothes, knowing that he’s expressing himself when he picks even a simple striped shirt. Ah, the simple joy of new-found independence.

– Along with comfort, clothes have to be FUN! We currently have a shirt with a hotdog and hamburger running a race, a hotdog with a “help” sign inside the mouth of a happy shark, and we LOVE the mac ‘n cheese BFF shirt. You can’t get away with wearing hilarious stuff and fun patterns for very long before you have to start acting all adulty and crap, so do it while you can!

– As I said earlier, reign in the buying. It’s not like the outfit will last them 5 years; you’ll be lucky to get 4 months out of it. Keep in mind the pieces that you’d like to have: how many t-shirts, jeans, sweats, PJs, etc. This will keep you from going overboard when you see a stack of jeans on sale. Oh, and a great tip I have is to hit up the consignment/thrift stores for some cheap play clothes. You won’t care if they get dirty or torn, and knowing that they get some extra life definitely gets the ol’ pride flowing.

Anyone else clothing a tot? Any great tips? What’s your favorite thing to dress your real-life doll in? 😉