summer clothes for boys!

One of the most frequently asked questions I get in emails and blog comments is, “Where do you shop for your boys?”

I have to admit that when I first found out that I was expecting a boy when I was pregnant with Hudson, I didn’t really know where to start. I’ve written before about shopping for a baby boy, which is really oh so much fun! You can read that post here. Most of my choices for baby boys have stayed the same over the last four years. (Four years! How did that happen?)

So I just thought I’d share some of my favorite brands and places to shop for my little guys. Now that Hayes is a full blown toddler (wearing a size 2T and 3T) and Hudson is a preschooler, my shopping choices have changed a little bit.

The most wonderful thing about when boys start to wear separates in the summer (as opposed to John Johns and bubbles), is that they can wear them for at least two seasons. Hudson is even wearing some clothes this summer that I bought for him when he turned 2! (When they lose that baby belly, the shirts can be worn longer and the shorts start below the knee and end up slightly above the knee, which I think is so cute!)

boys swimwear


For swimwear, I have found some really cute things. Hayes wears Hudson’s hand-me-downs, of course. But Hudson has some suits this year from Vineyard Vines, Ragsland, and Shrimp & Grits Kids. I also found a pair of matching swim trunks from Zulily that I purchased with credits. Another great brand is Funtasia Too! They usually have really cute appliqué tees that go with the swim trunks.

I prefer shorter trunks for little boys, as opposed to board shorts or trunks that come past the knee. Just my personal preference.

kelly's kids boys


Another one of my absolute favorite resources for shopping for my boys is Kelly’s Kids. I wore Kelly’s Kids when I was little and my boys wear it, too. I think the quality is absolutely fantastic. It’s a little bit pricey, but like I said before, when they’re wearing separates, they can wear them for at least two summers. And then Hayes gets Hudson’s hand-me-downs.

I love these matching brother outfits! Hayes still wears John Johns and shortalls for Sundays, but I mostly keep him in separates during the week.

kelly's kids boys 2


Another couple of adorable Kelly’s Kids outfits for this summer. Those white shorts are one of my favorite things. You can cinch up the waist and let it out so they can wear it for a couple of years. And I love that I can mix and match the shorts with different color polos.

mini boden choices for boys


We just love Mini Boden. I love the big appliqué tees, the soft pullovers, the comfortable polos, and even the cute little soft shorts. (I like shorter shorts on little boys just because their legs are so short and Mini Boden does have a few options for shorter shorts for boys.)

ragsland boys

I always joke that my boys wear a little uniform of white appliqué tees and gingham seersucker shorts. I also love little smocked tee shirts. It’s says “little boy” without being too stuffy and it’s easy for them to play. Ragsland has a fantastic selection of separates and absolutely adorable clothes.

honey bee tees boy clothes

Perhaps my absolute favorite place to shop for summer play clothes for my boys is Honey Bee Tees. Darby’s blog, Fly Through Our Window, is one of my all time favorites, and her shop is also a favorite. The t-shirts are so soft and I just love the sweet, simple designs. And that red crab hat has hardly left Hudson’s head so far this summer!

vineyard vines boys


One of my favorites for Hudson has been Vineyard Vines. It is definitely pricey, but we got him a couple of button down shirts, a couple pair of chinos, and he just alternates those for Sunday mornings. I also love pairing the button down shirt with those awesome white shorts from Kelly’s Kids. And that Vineyard Vines Shep pullover is the absolute cutest thing! Hudson loves his VV t-shirts to wear to the pool and just around the yard on Saturdays.


Other Great Resources

I also love to shop through my friend, Ashley’s shop, She She Made. She makes the most adorable custom outfits for boys and girls, but I have especially loved the separates she has done for Hayes over the last year. So cute! (She also has a Facebook page where she hosts sales and you can follow her on Instagram @sheshemade.)

Another couple of great resources for basic polos, solid tees, and solid shorts (that aren’t too long) are GAP and Old Navy. I’m really particular about pants, but every boy needs a pair of comfortable khaki shorts and just some basic tee shirts.

I go to a lot of trunk shows in the spring and fall and that’s where we get most of our boys’ clothes. My favorites are Hannah Kate, Kelly’s Kids, Shrimp & Grits Kids, Blessed Be The Name, and Orient Expressed.

So I think I’ve successfully shared my favorites for shopping for boys. I’m super thankful that we have two boys and all the boys clothes make their way through two little guys!

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  1. Amanda says

    I have the hardest time finding shorts in an appropriate length. My little guy is short and it seems like the shorts are so long. I really prefer them just above the knee or just belie but it seems like they’re almost like capris! Monroe is actually still wearing a few of his 18 mos shorts at 3 to because now that he is out of rediapers his waist is smaller and they are actually a good length. I’ve actually found some cute appliqué tees at crazy 8 this season and gotten several polos at children’s place for a great price. I don’t like some of their stuff, a lot actually, but its a great place to find inexpensive basics. They’re n always having sales.

    Where are you finding shorter smocked suits? All if the ones I bought this year have turned out to be so long! They look funny and I imagine they’d be hard to swim in.

    • says

      Hey Amanda! Hudson is a big kid and wears a 5T in most shirts but he can still wear a 3T in shorts to get the right length. So I have been sizing down and I think he’ll still be able to wear them next summer.

      Hayes is about 35 lbs and wears a 2T in some shorts but he is wearing 18 month and 24 month swim trunks. His little legs are still so round and stumpy so I’m glad I sized down for him. 🙂

    • says

      Amanda, I have the same trouble with my little guy – he just turned 3 as well and still wears 18-24 month play shorts (khaki & otherwise) from Children’s place. That little button that allows the waist to expand is a lifesaver. It’s definitely saved me some $ since he’s wearing all of last years shorts. I bought him one pair of 2Ts and they were like girl capris on him 🙂 Not a cute look. Maybe next year! There is such a jump b/w 18-24 and 2t!

      I’m right there with you on Kelly’s Kids. I bought from them the first time this year and we have worn their matching outfits into the ground (I have boy/girl twins). And with all that washing, they have held up beautifully! Even a monogrammed sweater vest has zero pilling. My husband doesn’t understand but it’s well worth the price not to deal with the fading that happens with less expensive brands. Although I do still buy basic t’s from Old Navy.

  2. says

    Love this post! Thanks for the tips. Our Hudson is just now getting big enough to wear separates and I love it. I just recently found a line at Macy’s called First Impressions. It has a very Mini Boden feel with a teeny price tag. I just got a ton of summer stuff for 65% off!

  3. says

    I love how you dress your boys. I dress my girls in all things smocked, appliqued, or monogrammed. I can’t help it, I’m southern. But so many times people of boys will stop me and say, “I wish I had girls to dress like that. Boys just aren’t as fun.” I totally disagree. I think a sweet little boy would be so fun to dress and you show that so well! I’m sure you inspired some boy moms today.

  4. Crewladedrinka says

    I almost got those kk white shorts for my boys this season but I was worried they’d be stained quickly. I used to not buy Boden baggies either bc so long and I like seeing their little legs, but finally got some last yr for my oldest at 4 yrs and we’ve had so many compliments on them. Now my 2 yr has some too and even though everyone compliments them on him too, I just don’t love the look on my baby. Too long. So maybe try them onhudson next yr!

  5. Crewladedrinka says

    Also, I wanted to mention that I’ve gotten some cute plaid and madras shorts from kohls and jc Penney in the past that were not too long. I really don’t know why they make the shorts so long for little boys these days

  6. says

    I buy the Gap Chino shorts for my boys, but alas, they won’t wear anything but t-shirts and basketball shorts in the summer. Which I guess I really don’t mind, since they get SO dirty in the summer when they are outside as much as they are. My favorite jeans are from Childrens Place, and my favorite khakis are from Gap (the classic Gap chinos– not the others that they sell). For shirts I stick with Ralph Lauren. I buy most of their stuff used at consignment, and even used the Ralph Lauren and Gap clothes looks new. If I can’t get it on consignment I buy a lot of RL stuff at TJ Maxx (which is also a great place to get NCAA apparel– which we get a lot of for the boys during football season).

  7. says

    I cannot even imagine any of my boys wearing white. Not. A. Single. One! lol
    Those are very cute clothes, but I prefer things that I don’t care when the are stained and destroyed on day 1 (which happens ALL the time!) 🙂

  8. says

    I have a 22 month old little boy, and I agree it is not as easy to find cute clothes for boys as it is for girls! I LOVE Old Navy’s kids clothes and also Crazy 8 at the mall. I went in there on a whim one day, and I loved almost everything. The prices are AWESOME, and they always have great clearance items. The clothes last a long time (Robbie is still wearing shorts from last summer) and they seem to be good quality. They are owned by the same company that owns Gymboree (which is WAY too expensive for my liking) and the clothes look very similar.

  9. says

    I agree with a lot of your picks, Erin!! I also love the shorts I have from Hanna Andersson that can be rolled up with a cute button on the side or let down once they get too short. I am definitely with you on the length of boys shorts. It DRIVES ME CRAZY when they are so long! How can Spencer run and play if his shorts don’t bend at the knee!!!! I did get darling shorts last year from the gap that are cotton striped playshorts that they have again this season that are so cute. Very similar to the baggies from Boden. Spencer is wearing a 2T in them still as the 3T are still so big! I find that he is definitely still sizing down in shorts. Have you looked at Bella Bliss? They have adorable children’s clothes and are based out of Lexington, KY, so they definitely have the southern, classic look going on. They are pricey but when you catch a good sale, they are so worth it. Their cotton is always pima and wears really well and is so soft. I just ordered a bunch yesterday as they are having a huge sale through tonight. They didn’t have a ton in Spencer’s current size, so I ordered up and got a few matching shorts and shirts for the next few years for the boys.

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