Thriftilicious Thursday—Clothing Your Boy (for Less)

**I really did intend to get this post out on Thursday, but you know, it’s ME we’re talking about. A day late and a dollar short—that’s my motto.**

With three boys, you’d think that I’d only have to buy clothes for the oldest, and that we could just hand down all of it once Boy #1 has outgrown it.

Sounds good—in theory.

However, if you have boys, you’ve already identified my problem. Boys are hard on clothes. No, they’re beyond hard on clothes. My boys, anyway, literally destroy clothes.

Case in point:

Boy #2 wore these just last week.

So what does a “boy mom” do? Let her little men go to school looking like hobos? Well, yes, that’s one solution, and I have to admit, this is one that I sometimes have to adopt out of necessity.

However, there are a few other solutions I’ve found to keep my boys somewhat presentable while still being thriftilicious.

1. Shop garage sales and thrift stores.
This is most likely a “duh” if you’re a mom, but there may be some of you who have been a bit hesitant about taking the “second-hand clothing” step. Maybe your kids are still little and aren’t yet ripping holes in their jeans. Maybe you’re just a bit swankier than me. But I have saved so much picking up clothes and shoes here and there second-hand. And I have to include the disclaimer that I AM picky when it comes to what I’ll buy. They have to be free of stains and rips (after all, the two younger boys might as well just be wearing our own free hand-me-downs if we want the “severely distressed” look), and they have to be at least somewhat stylish. I mean, some of the stuff you see makes you wonder if Grandma just dragged it out of the basement after finding it in a box covered with 20 years worth of dust. But if you look around, you can find the “jackpot,” which for me is people that obviously have so much money that their children don’t wear items of clothing more than three times. They’re not worn out, but they may be from two seasons ago. Oh well. We don’t care at our house, and for 50 cents or a dollar, we’ll take them! We’ve scored soccer shoes that have barely been worn, a wrestling singlet, a Columbia winter jacket, and much more shopping second-hand.

2. Find cool patches (and someone who knows how to sew).
While digging through a storage tote of clothes for Boy #3, I found that many of the pants really weren’t in bad shape except that they were ripped out in a knee. So I began my search for cool patches to cover these unsightly holes so he could at least wear them to preschool. This turned out to be much more difficult than I had anticipated! I could find the plain-colored denim or twill patches at the local fabric and craft stores, but they were boring. My only other option were ones with princesses or flowers on them—pretty sure they wouldn’t go with his Pokemon T-shirts. Finally, I found what I was looking for on etsy (of course)! Aren’t these adorable?

Unfortunately, I don’t see that the seller has any more in stock right now, but I’ve emailed her and hope to see more patches very soon! Otherwise, I’ve found another seller that makes patches out of vintage clothing and materials. I think Boy #3’s jeans would look cute all patched up with these:

3. Take advantage of sales, and stock up for next year.
I’m always on the lookout for a good sale, and I frequently buy clothing in the “next size up” if I find a good clearance deal. It’s nice to start the new season with some new clothes that fit already in the closet. I really like Old Navy for boys’ clothes because you can get really good deals, they’re fun yet practical, and they last through quite a few washings (and boys). I recently ran across another kids’ clothing store that reminds me a lot of Old Navy and is currently running some great deals. Crazy 8 is apparently a “real store,” however not in my area. Their online store has a great selection, however, and with $5 shipping, you really can’t go wrong! So far, I’ve got 7 items in my shopping cart, and my total with shipping is $52. Not bad! Here are a couple of my favorites:

Hoodie, $9.99 T-shirts, $7 (if you buy 2 or more)

I hope this has given you some ideas for dressing your boys without going broke. I’d love to hear your favorite tips or shops! Share away!

4 thoughts on “Thriftilicious Thursday—Clothing Your Boy (for Less)”

  1. I am so lucky to get hand me downs from my sister-in-law and then pass them on to my sister-in-law.

    Since they are all boys they are hard on them and we usually have to buy a few things (mainly pants).

    My favorite place is the Target clearance rack, of course.

  2. We are truly soul sisters! I know of these clothing problems of which you speak.

    Thankfully, I have a good friend whose youngest is a bit bigger than Middle and Baby, so I get all her hand-me-downs. So the only child I’m buying for is Eldest. And I ALWAYS shop a season ahead. My fave (more than Old Navy) is Childrens Place – they always have sales and coupons.
    And I always buy GOOD sandals (LLBean or Lands End) b/c those wear well and can be passed down. Same for winter coats (always Bean or Lands End).

  3. To the hard on clothes thing, we need to add the physique thing.

    I have perfectly serviceable, barely used clothing that just don’t fit. A hefty followed by a beanpole, then a regular, then a hefty, then a beanpole…

  4. It is not just boys…Boo goes through pants like crazy! They have the denim patches at the fabric store that you iron on the inside…they work wonderfully!

    We just got home from garage sales, and found some great deals for summer clothes for Hunter. Have to stock up this year since he is here all summer long.

    We also lurk the clearance rack at Kohl’s, there are always great deals there.

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