5 definitive recommendations for dressing up boys

When I had my first child, a bonny, beautiful girl, I was giddy with joy at the thought of all the ways I could dress her up. Little onesies, tutus, dresses and tights, Indian wear and so much more. The list was colourful, quite long and entirely dynamic. And I have to confess, I indulged all my dreams in the first two years of her being born.

On the other hand, it took me a lot longer to figure out that dressing up boys could be just as much fun.If only I hadn’t been prejudiced and had looked around a little more patiently. My second child, a happy, smiley boy inherited all the night clothes and the onesies from my first child. But when it came to dressing him for outings or occasions, I had to settle for boring tees and shorts. I mean what else could you put on boys, right? That’s until I started to notice other little boys around me and how dapper they looked. Suede shoes, bow ties, jackets. Wow! This was a possibility I’d never considered.That little boys’ clothes could be interesting too! I started to look around a little more keenly and discovered all kinds of interesting stuff.Overnight, I was equipped to make my little one go from cute to downright adorable and sharp!

The quest also brought with it a few learnings. No matter how perfect something looks for your little boy, two things that you didn’t imagine can always happen.

  1. For the strangest reason, he will absolutely refuse to wear it.
  2. He’ll outgrow it you are done adoring him long enough

So, after a few years of splurging and indulging on my little boy, I’ve realised that I need to shop carefully. This includes paying attention to size(and I am not talking about just “buy one size larger”, I am talking about “what to buy a larger size of”). It is a complex formula of size and durability. No point buying something in a larger size if the fabric or the stitching is not going to last. The other thing you need to remember when shopping little boys’ clothing is that boys will play rough.So even if you want to buy formals or elegant clothes, make sure they are of a fabric and a colour that will withstand the rough play regardless of their attire.

Talking of colour, I find it absurd when parents say some colours are not for boys. Like pink, for instance, is labelled girly. Not just pink but a whole lot of other colours are considered ‘no no’ for boys.Either they are adjudged too girly or too bright for boys. Why shouldn’t you let your boy wear a colour that he loves? I say go right for it and let him wear what he likes.

The above said, let me tell you my top 5 picks for boys that are absolutely essential for a complete wardrobe.

A white shirt: A must-have for all boys. You might think it would be tough to maintain it, but in actuality, it isn’t. Most fabrics today are natural but are treated well enough so that stains don’t stay in and can be washed out. If nothing else, a stain remover does the job. That out of the way, here’s why this is my first pick. Have you ever seen little boys in white? They turn into cherubs with big shiny eyes. Not to mention, how stylish they look when paired with khaki shorts or denim.

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A plain, solid-coloured hoodie: Nothing covers up stains, un-pressed shirt and a bed-head like a hoodie do. I plonk a hoodie on my 8-year-old every time his hair won’t stay down, a la Harry Potter. It looks tremendously cool. Besides, it’s the perfect weather to pick up a hoodie. Other benefits include durability and versatility.

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A classic polo tee: I absolutely love my boy in a solid, single-colored polo tee. It gives him enough freedom to run around, it goes with all his shorts and it can be worn under a sweater.A nice pair of pants and cool sneakers below adds a very preppy look. An incredibly versatile item this. The trouble, however, is to find something that lasts and is not outrageously expensive. I prefer plain, solid colours but most places seem to have stripes or prints. I’ll let you in on a secret though, I just discovered Indian Terrain’s boys’ collection and their solid polos are just what I love on my little boy. They even have a sale on right now. Check them out.

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Cargo shorts: Buy them in khaki, camo, and black. I am also hugely partial to cotton shorts in olive green, camel brown and grey. They are very easy to pair with almost anything and look really good with a nice pair of sandals and pastel shirt. If you’ve got six of these shorts in your wardrobe, believe me, your little is the boy is more or less set for any occasion.

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A sports coat: Nothing makes a boy behave better than a sports coat or a jacket. They magically turn brats into gents. Be it a winter outdoor party, a Christmas do, a New Year’s Eve party, your little boy in a sports coat will melt hearts. This is the equivalent of the princess dress for girls.   

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Here’s a little bonus. Don’t stick to jeans and shorts where denim is concerned. If you live in a place like Bangalore that’s starting to get chilly, you might want to consider a denim jacket. While pullovers or cardigans can do the job, nothing adds style and pizazz like a denim jacket does. Pair it with a plain white tee and khakis a comfortable, fun and stylish look. Or for a more casual look, opt for what they call a “shacket” these days. A shirt with a detachable hood, wearable in summer as well as winter. The bard wasn’t just referring to grownups when he said “clothes maketh the man”, he meant little men as well, so don’t hesitate to explore and experiment.