Filling a Little Boy’s Closet

First of all, let me provide a disclaimer – I do not consider my son the best dressed nor do I deem myself the know-it-all or have-it-all mom for kid’s clothing.  I am just a mom, on a mom budget, who loves some retail therapy and loves to pick out clothes for my son and do it frugally.  I have enjoyed picking out and planning my son’s attire since, well, before he was born.

I get asked quite often about my son’s clothing and where I got this or that, so I decided it might make for a fun post.  I hope you’ll agree.  Again – it’s nothing special, and I will admit that I buy/bought most of my son’s wardrobe on sale or with a promo code.  I completely dig stores like Target and Old Navy for boys.  So here’s what’s worked for us and for my son.

Shop the clearance racks

That’s a given, right?

Shop the clearance racks for next year’s sizing also.

I am always thinking ahead when browsing the clearance racks.  Most of the clothing on clearance are soon to be out of season items, but I find it’s a perfect time to snag those summer shirts or shorts for the next summer or those pants and vests for next winter.  I am very good about snatching up those items in a larger size for the next year {or two}, especially if it’s a brand and/or item I really like.  This might be harder when they’re infants, but it’s easier to guesstimate what size they’ll need for the next season/year once they’re toddlers…and especially if they’re 10th-percentile-small like mine.

I once scored a handful of polos at JCP for three bucks each when Preston was barely able to old his head up and was no where near ready to wear a polo shirt.  I bought multiple sizes up to 3T.  {Yes, he’s still wearing some of them!}  Same thing with those adorably cute and super soft v-neck tees from Gap.  I scored those this year for about five bucks a shirt.  Also, when Preston was just an infant, I remember finding classic blue and white button up oxford shirts on clearance at Old Navy while we were out and about one day during my maternity leave.  I paid about $5 per oxford shirt.  Sadly, he’s almost outgrown all of the ones I bought back then, so the hunt is on for another such deal!  Same goes for our favorite brand of pants from Target.  They usually have a fun color selection too – something different than your traditional tan or denim for boys.

I’ve also  been known to stock up on next year’s swim trunks at the end of summer, and if I find something I LOVE on clearance, then I will buy multiple ones in larger sizes for the next year. {Like those pineapple swim trunks pictured below – if you’ve been to my blog, then you know I LOVE pineapples!}  I might have swim trunks up to size 5 stashed away in his closet…all bought on clearance.  So there, now you know the truth – I might be a little bit of a swimsuit hoarder.

Point is – it pays to think ahead, especially if your child’s size if pretty predictable.

Watch for online sales.

Let’s admit that it’s not always easy to get out with children and browse the stores for sales and bargains.  Kudos to you if you do, but I am flat scared of hitting up a mall with a toddler.  That being said, I keep my eyes peeled for online sales.  I sign up for e-mail notifications to my favorite stores so that their deals and promo codes come directly to my inbox.

I swear Gap and Old Navy have online promo codes all the time.  To be honest, that’s where and when I stock up on pajamas for my little guy at least once or twice a year.  I refuse to pay full price for pajamas.  {Although I have for a few sets in his lifetime because I considered them too cute to pass up…but that is definitely rare!}  Gap and Old Navy offer some of the most adorable pjs for kids, in my opinion.  Although Gap tends to be pricey which is why I hunt out their sales.  Usually, if you spend above a certain amount, you get free shipping too…which is why I stock up all at once.  I hate paying for expensive shipping rates!

One of our favorite brands of tees are Honey Bee Tees.  Preston absolutely loves these shirts!  My husband does too, and he even has a couple.  As I type this post, Preston is at school sporting this Honey Bee Tee.  He kept looking down at it this morning talking about his “sheep” aka jeep.  We have our fair share of Honey Bee Tees, and they are great about markdowns and about offering promo codes every once in a while.  {Of course, I’ve signed up for their e-mails and promo codes, so I usually wait for one to come to my inbox to be sure that I stock up when they’re on sale!}

Monogram, monogram, monogram.

Now this totally depends on your taste, but in my opinion, nothing dresses up a $3 polo like a monogram.  I completely dig monograms for boys and girls.   I took a large majority of those polos and oxfords I mentioned above to have Preston’s initials monogrammed on them.

Yes, monogramming can add up and be super expensive, but I’ve been lucky to come across some deals for monogramming which are hard to come by.  I once found a Groupon to a gift shop that, you guessed it – did monogramming.  That’s actually where I got many of the polos and oxfords mentioned above done.  Also, for those of you in Houston who buy the holiday card each year, you know that The Monogram Shop will apply the 20% discount from the holiday card to the cost of all monogramming.  Last year, I saved all my monogramming to the two weeks of the holiday card promotion.  {And I just got off the phone with The Monogram Shop and did confirm that the same will be true this year, so buy those holiday cards and save 20% if you need items monogrammed!}

Shop Facebook resale groups, including your neighborhood moms group.

WARNING :: This is dangerous, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!  I haven’t really used this much for Preston, but I’ve found numerous sweet smocked outfits for Hadley on these pages.  I see such sweet stuff for little newborn and infant boys on these sites though.  It almost makes me want to have another little boy after this pregnancy.  Almost.  These are the two Facebook resale groups I frequent the most – Smocking Hot Mamas and Trunk Show and Boutique Clothes Addicts and Resale.

Now, I want to hear from you guys.  What are your tips, favorite stores or sites, or secrets for filling your little boy’s {or girl’s} closet that won’t break the bank?  I would love to hear them!

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Tiffanie V
Tiffanie, originally from East Texas, has called Houston home for over 10 years now. She and her husband met during undergraduate studies at Stephen F. Austin State University. They have one son, Preston {Jan 2011}, who was born with a very rare congenital heart condition and underwent a very successful open heart surgery at Houston's own Texas Children's Hospital when he was just two days old. In October 2013, Tiffanie welcomed a daughter, Hadley, into this world. She adores seeing life and this great city through the eyes of her children. She is a practicing physician assistant, passionate about Endocrinology and diabetes. Committed to connecting moms and families to all the fabulousness of this great city, Tiffanie started serving as our Sponsorship Coordinator in January 2014. Her days are now filled to the brim with taking care of her family, her patients, fielding sales calls, and scheduling sponsored posts. Her favorite pasttimes include drinking a full-bodied glass of red, retail therapy, a nice long run, and being near a beach - water soothes her.


  1. Oh how cute is that Honey Bees Tees! Love it. I always forget to think about next year’s size when I’m looking at the clearance racks. That’s a great tip!

  2. Great tips, momma! Now I need your organizational tips for how to store all those clearance buys. I always want to do it but then I get stressed thinking about how to make sure I don’t forget about them for the upcoming years 🙂 Knowing me, I would totally mark a box and then find it 2 years after the kid has grown out of the clothes! And thanks for the monogramming tip – I didn’t know that!!!

    • Meagan, there is no secret. I hang them on a hanger and leave them in his closet (although pushed to the back) so I can see them. It makes for a cramped closet over the years, but if I put them up somewhere then I can assure you I would most definitely forget about them.

    • I have space in a dresser dedicated to bigger sizes. I sort them by size (and season if I’m feeling ambitious) and put a post it with the size on top of the stack. I always check there first when I notice my daughter’s clothes getting too small.

  3. Love this. I have a hard time finding clothes I love for the twins. Well, that I can afford double of! Clearance Racks are my friend for sure. I have a hard time buying upsizes still because they just continue to grow and grow. They aren’t even 1 and already in 18-24 month so I haven’t known what to buy for the “cool weather” month {or lets be honest, month}. Need to go check out those cute shirts now!!

    • Michelle, they’re a a tough age right now for sure as far as sizing! I think bigger babies are harder to buy for than smaller ones (like my guy). He’s almost 3 and just getting into 2T.

  4. Awesome sites Tiffanie…thank you for sharing! I’m still learning all of the good go-to places for boys. You are feeding my retail therapy addiction…I used to shop for me and now it’s all about boy clothes. I’m terrible.

  5. Such great tips, Tiffanie! And I totally thought of you the other day when I stocked up on polos and oxfords at The Children’s Place during one of their big sales!! 😉

  6. Tiffany do you ever sell your outgrown honey bee Tshirts? I love their shirts and have two little boys so we always need some cute play shirts! So if so please let me know 🙂

    • Hi Ally! The ones we have outgrown have usually not been in the best condition since we wear them a ton — so I just gave those to friends. We have some he is about to outgrow and so far those are still in good condition. I will email you when that time comes. 😉

  7. I love shopping for my little man, and have found, this past year, a huge community of mom’s reselling their kid’s clothes on instagram. All you need is a paypal account, and it is super addicting!!

  8. My boys are incredibly hard on pants, so I’ve stopped buying new. I hit the thrift shops and get 5 pairs for $25, then I don’t get as upset when at least one pair has holes in the knees within the week.

    I’ve also found the thrift shop is a great place to find costume pieces! The big ones are great for having lots of variety – managed to find some bright red boys slacks for a Flash costume – and I didn’t mind painting a cutie mark on a skirt when I only paid $2 for it.


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