Boy's Fashion

Updated on March 03, 2015
R.B. asks from Frisco, TX
12 answers

My DS will be entering 3rd grade and I like to buy ahead when things are on clearance. Anyhow, he seems to be happy to wear whatever I purchase for him but due to his special needs, I think he is unaware of fashion and wouldn't tell me if someone made fun of his clothes. Being he doesn't need any additional "targets" on his back I want to ensure I'm not dressing him too young. We live in the burbs if that makes a difference. I think kids in big cities might be trendier.

I have heard that things start to change in 3rd grade as kids become more aware of these things.

1. What grade to boys sort of outgrow Gymboree from a fashion stand point? Just to clarify - I buy the gymboree casual clothes (swim suits, shorts, tee shirts) their dress wear I find stuffy and what kid really wants a sweater vest anyhow?
2. What grade to they outgrown things like Fireman themed rainboots?
3. Clothing with comic characters (Batman, Spiderman etc)?
4. Starwars is cool up too teens years still?


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So What Happened?

Oh No I already got him a the Pottery Barn starwars backpack and lunch box (He's a huge starwars fan) for next year (he'll be in 3rd grade in the fal). Starwars is cool till approx what grade?

What do you all do for true rain gear? When it rains here it POURS! After reading the responses - is it just me I love My kids love to play in the rain and the mud so it's sort of a necessity too.

Thank you for the replies thus far! Would love to get more opinions / advice as well.

Clearly it sounds like I'm behind the ball on maturing his clothing. I need an overhaul!

Thanks guys! I like was a little tearful this morning cleaning out his closet - my baby is growing up. Guess shopping should cheer me :)

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answers from Santa Fe on

The boys where we live all like to wear things like sporty clothes, Nike shoes, skater clothes, black, hoodies. Nothing cutesie like fireman rainboots. My son really likes the skater style. He thinks clothes with batman or spiderman are lame and for little kids (He has thought this the last 3 years and he is in 5th grade). He does think video game themed shirts are cool. He is happy if I get him something from the Tony Hawk line at Kohl's or from the Shawn White line at Target. He does not like preppy and thinks oxfords are lame. He likes to look like a small teenager. I just wanted to add, I get both my kid's raingear from Lands End. It's excellent quality. It's pricey so I wait for a sale or even look on Ebay!

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

I substitute teach in Plano (K-5) and I have no boys.

I see a lot of jeans with Nike, Under Armor, sport team jerseys, sweatshirts. I'm also around the special needs team and those children are dressed like all the other children in the grade level.

I see favorites which are video game stuff, superheroes, etc. of course you see some boys in nice pants, shirts and a sweater too.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

I have a 4th grade boy.

1. Gymboree is loooooong gone. (only my 4 year old wears it now)
2. Rainboots?
3. The only character clothing he'll wear is Minion or Minecraft
4. Starwars?

In 3rd grade I stopped buying Pottery Barn Backpacks and bought a solid colored LL Bean one. Same quality, more mature. My first grader still has his PB back pack.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

DS is in 3rd grade this year.

Take a walk through the boys section of Target (the big boys section). That's pretty much what boys wear.

1. I'd say Gymboree is outgrown by the time they enter school... but if you like the quality and he fits the clothes, stick to solids and stripes.
2. Done. Get some big kid boots. DS wears these
3. Characters are cool, but pay attention to what characters are easy to find... what movies are out. Marvel Comic characters, Minecraft, etc. (Gotham is on tv now, so Batman will be cool... but not as much Superman).
4. I doubt he'll want Starwars that long, but it'll be fine for 3rd grade if he likes it. One of DS's friends is obsessed with Starwars. Most kids aren't, but it isn't an age thing... it's about being current... if they make a new movie it will be super cool again. But it isn't a problem. Starwars is classic.

Seriously though... Target is inexpensive and on trend. That's my go-to for DS. I only shop the "stock up" shelves for him and then let him pick a couple of graphic t-shirts, and they last about as long as they fit.

Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

In grade three the only characters I am seeing are Minecraft and Star Wars. When my older son was in grade three I bought him Spiderman boots and he was horrified. Fireman boots would not be OK.

My guys are grade 4 and grade 7 and for the most part they like the same styles. They like jeans, t-shirts with brand names, plaid flannel shirts and hoodies. They like brands like Nike, Addidas, West 49, DC, Quicksilver, Billabong, Hurley and Ecko. Jeans and pants from Old Navy are good (they like skinny jeans). Grade four likes high top shoes, but not grade seven.

ETA: Rain gear typically the same style an adult would wear. Think sporting goods store.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

My son is in second grade and is done with character shirts (even Star Wars) except for Minecraft. That's huge. He's really into those breathable athletic shirts. He doesn't care where I buy those, so he has some from Walmart and Old Navy.

Everyone (and I do mean EVERYONE from toddlers to parents) is wearing Under Armor. My son requested two things this winter - an Under Armor sweatshirt and a Nike sweatshirt.

We don't buy rain gear. I've never felt I neede anything beyond an umbrella. If he wears boots to school, does he have his gym shoes in his backpack? I just never see kids wearing boots ... Except I the snow.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Star Wars is still cool and I'm 44! I was 6.5 when the first movie came out and I have loved it ever since. I just bought myself 2 pairs of Star War Vans all for myself, not my kids.
My entire house of 5 wear characters that we like on our shirts or whatever else. I have several nice dresses with characters (thank you Hot Topic and Her Universe!). My boys, 14 & 11, are wearing a lot of Star Wars, Minecraft, Minions, and Lego. They haven't liked rain boots for a long while but they love snow boots. They wear those in the rain. We don't actually get snow here. We buy them for winter rain. No one in the house likes sports at all. No one wears any sports team clothing of any kind. The boys actually hate clothes like Hurley or Nike that has the logo splashed across the whole shirt. They would rather be logo free solids or stripes or a character. I have one boy that will only wear jeans and one that will only wear cargo pants and never the 2 shall cross. I have 1 that hates shorts and will stubbornly wear jeans in the summer and 1 that lives in shorts all summer.
Can you see clear labels on Gymboree? If you can, are they easy to remove? A lot of their casual clothes are pretty basic and look a lot like everything else. It's good quality clothes. I wish mine still fit it. My boys get a lot of their clothes from Target, Old Navy, Brothers (the boy division of Justice) and some pieces from REI. Shoes come from Payless, REI and sometimes Target. We've occasionally splurged on a pair of clearance Vans. I have 1 boy that goes through a pair of shoes every month or 2 though so I don't spend a lot on him.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

1. 8-10 years old. I wouldn't get anything with huge appliques on it, but they have normal striped shirts/pants that still work.
2. Age 5. 3rd grade would be way too old for those rain boots.
3. I still see a lot of super hero stuff. Avengers, Batman, etc. Minecraft, Star Wars are also good.
4. I don't know if I'd say "cool" with star wars, but definitely not something he'd be ostracized over as a pre teen. Some will still like it, some will move beyond it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

It kind of varies by region, honestly the best way to gauge what is "normal" where you live is to just look at how the other boys dress. If you aren't at the school very often just look around at the park, mall, play places, wherever you spend time around kids that age.
In THIS area, boys don't really start to notice/care about clothing until about 4th/5th grade.
I stopped shopping at Gymboree when my son was two (I liked the quality but my husband thought their clothes made him look clown like.)
Fireman or any other cutesy boots wouldn't have happened past preschool.
Comic book tees up until maybe 1st or 2nd grade, then again in middle/high school if your son is into that (I'm sure he'll let you know what he likes at that point.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Since I have moved a lot, fashion trends change from state to state, climate to climate, etc.

Take a good, long look at what the other boys are wearing. And buy similar.

My kids are good with hand me downs, and I also pass things along. We were just laughing about this because about 2 years ago I gave one family a huge bag of clothes for their daughter, and their same age son as my daughter ended up wearing this one black hoodie almost daily. It had a plaid pattern on one side a very faint flower over the pattern on the other front side. And this boy is mildly special needs, and he wore that hoodie thru the 6th grade. It was very soft and I'm sure he was a tactile dresser after seeing him in it day after day. I honestly like seeing my kids clothes all over the play ground on different kids. I feel somewhat connected.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I'd say this next year is the last year you can get away with not buying regular jeans/Levi's from Walmart and tee shirts or regular shirts and just tennis shoes.

My granddaughter wanted a Hello Kitty backpack to start 4th grade at a new school and I told her no. To use her plain one from swimming and see what everyone else had. I think if you know any other moms give them a call and ask them what their plans are.

I buy what I want the kids to wear when it comes to jeans. I buy what's on sale, jeans are jeans as long as they don't have elastic pull on waist by this age. Unless they can't do buttons and zippers they should have regular jeans on.



answers from San Antonio on

My son is 7 (1st grade), and he follows his own drummer now, but that is quickly changing.
1. No Gymboree, he hasn't worn that since age 3 or so. We stick to plain t shirts, some stripes, but we use Old Navy and Target as our go-to's for the basics.
2. Rainboots for home, but not school. He has some green ones he likes, but they aren't themed.
3. Some still wear Super Heroes, but J will only wear Minecraft and a few super heroes.
He doesn't even know what Star Wars is, so that isn't an issue.

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