Love, Joleen: What Ben Wore: Five Styling Tips for Boys

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What Ben Wore: Five Styling Tips for Boys

If you follow me on Instagram you see a lot of Benjamin's outfits of the day and I try to post What Ben Wore several days a week. It's also one of my favorite features on Love, Joleen [What Ben Wore]. My first job out of high school was at a children's clothing store and I quickly developed a love for tiny fashion. Most people don't know this about me but I did a short stint at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, in Los Angeles, for fashion design, with the hopes of getting into children's fashion. I started collecting children's clothing for my future child[ren] and most of it was for girls. I always thought everything cute was for girls and that cute boy clothing was extremely limited. Times have changed. Today, boys can be just as fashionable as girls! 
5 Styling Tips for Toddler Boys
1. Dress for Comfort - Although Benjamin is still technically a baby, I am going to include him with "toddler boys" because he's a walker runner now. Because of this, his comfort is of most importance. I want to dress him in clothing that allows for easy mobility. As much  as I loved the skinny jeans I bought him, I ended up selling them in his second hand IG shop, shopbenscloset, because he couldn't move in them very well. He does own "fashion" shoes but until he's a little more steady on his feet he mostly just wears them for photos. Most of the time he wears his PaperKrane booties or Freshly Picked moccasins -- both, of which, we absolutely love!

2. Keep it Simple - Benjamin definitely has "go-to" looks. You can never go wrong with leggings and graphic tees. Ever. Leggings used to be for girls only but more and more fashion forward clothing lines are designing unisex prints. Often times I will venture into the girl department of consignment shops or big box stores (i.e. Target) to see what they're offering. We recently picked up black + white and grey + white stripes from the latter for just 5 bucks each!
3. Mix it Up - I'm going to be perfectly honest with you. On the days we're not leaving the house, we don't even bother changing out of pajamas. Either of us. If we do have plans which require getting dressed for, we're usually back in pajamas as soon as we get back home. That being said, one of my favorite things each day is picking out Benjamin's outfit. It's so fun and I'm taking full advantage of the short time I get to do this before he starts actually sharing his opinion on the matter. Live it up! Mix it up! Play. Experiment. Try new combinations. I never want Benjamin to be pigeon holed in anything he does, including fashion. I know there will be a large portion of his life where he probably couldn't care less, but if he's anything like his daddy it will eventually become important to him again. I love to see him in different looks. Some days he's a hipster, others a prepster. I love anything vintage, from seersucker rompers to any type of overalls.
4. Accessorize - You can complete any outfit by adding one of your favorite accessories. The same goes for your toddler boys! I love accessories that not only look cute but are functional. Benjamin wears an Amber teething necklace nearly everyday, which not only helps to ease his teething pain but looks great. Another favorite [functional] accessory are handkerchief bibs. These usually come double sided to give you twice the options and come in a lot of fun patterns. Now that the weather is starting to cool (thank goodness!), I've just introduced hats! Like most babies, Benjamin is quick to tear them off his head and usually does this 3 or 4 times before getting with the program. *wink* I recently found these beanies for $1.50 from Walmart and purchased them in several different colors. They were found in the adult section and have a lot of stretch -- kind of a one size fits all type of thing. Slouchy hats are popular right now so these are perfect for that! Also, accessories are a great way to add that extra POP with a bold or bright color!

5. Wear + Upkeep - Benjamin is a toddler and a boy at that! Our days are filled with adventures and messes. He topples over. He eats on the run. His clothes get dirty. I do buy a lot of  his clothes from consignment shops or on sale/clearance but he has equally as many designer items, and you know what? The upkeep is the same. I err on the side of extra tender loving care. My hope is that I can keep them nice enough that someday other children (hopefully my own) will be able to wear them too. I wash everything in cold and hang them to dry. (The exception to this are pajamas.) It does take a lot longer but it's totally worth it. It keeps him looking like a hundred bucks, even when I only spent ten.
Also, I am happy to announce that the winner of a pair our giveaway last week for a pair of PaperKrane booties is... Andrea Farrelly!! Congratulations, Andrea!

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