Teaching Boys How to Dress

Saturday, August 07, 2010 Aimee Larsen 5 Comments

Boys, they just could care less how good they look when they go out the door...well, at least mine could care less.   My oldest (8) can not manage to wear  any appropriate coordinating colors.  I can not count how many times he's said he's ready to go only to be wearing his brown t-shirt with red and black basketball shorts.  (gag!)   My middle child (4) has started dressing himself and pulls his clothes from the "play clothes" drawer only.  Yesterday he put on his purple baseball shirt with his red and blue 70's style gym shorts.  (double gag!)  NO MORE!  Let me tell you, this little extra bit of effort on my part was worth it.  

I have a friend that has two girls and another friend that has one and they both spend time pairing shorts and skirts with the appropriate tops to make it easier for their girls to get dress and coordinate.  Brain smack!  Duh!  Why didn't I think of that!  Why did I think that the rules didn't apply to my boys when they CLEARLY need the most help!  Every little bit of help I can give them is needed.

I have not been able to sleep for days and so once the boys went to sleep, I went into their rooms and pulled out all the shorts, all the shirts and started pairing them together.  Each set received a rubber band around both the hangers.  If I'd had more hangers designed for this purpose I would have been in heaven but I did not.  So, all you moms of boys who haven't done this...do it.  You'll be SO glad you did.    My boys now have mistake proof closets and even Dad can dress them.  Plus, I was able to weed through clothes that never were worn because they didn't have good mates.  I also pulled all the clothes they'd out grown during the summer.

My oldest loves that he no longer has to stress out over finding the right outfit and doesn't have to worry about me getting upset that he's STILL not ready to go as a result.  We are all much happier!  The only other option I can foresee for them is having a complete mix and match wardrobe.  (Not gonna happen!)

All this being said and you will probably still see them out in public wearing their superhero capes.  But underneath, they are self dressed to perfection!  

P.S.  Since I post this link on my personal facebook wall, I had several comments that didn't show up here and one of them was full of questions.  So, I thought maybe someone would have the same questions so here are the questions & my answers...

I have thought about doing something similar in my boys closet but its so small.... I have a few questions. What did yo do with outfits that have more than one shirt or shorts? and what did you do about the play clothes that go in drawers but you still want them to match? any suggestions? I think I am going to try this when I deep clean their room before we start school. I always like to get every thing super organized and decluttered before we start our year because its so hard to do extra stuff while teaching.
I get rid of shorts or shirts that have no exact mates or throw them into a the play clothes drawer.  Most people would cringe at the thought of getting rid of clothes  that coordinate with something else but the whole purpose of doing this was to simplify things.  What do I do with them if I get rid of them?  I give them to children who need them if they are in good or like new condition.  If the tops and bottoms are something they can play in, I put them in the drawer of play clothes.  That way, on days when we don't go anywhere or they are playing outside, I don't worry about it and they have the freedom those days to wear whatever they want too.  (I have those days too ya know.)   I will show you what I do to organize their drawers so that coordinating p.j.'s stay together and if you want play clothes to stay organized.


  1. I do this for my 2 boys - aged 2 and half, and 1. Daddy has far less problems when the outfits are put together ready to go.

    In saying that though, he dressed them this morning, and it all turned out great!

  2. Once children can dress themselves, it is one of the few things in their lives which they can control. It is also one of the few things where they can express themselves freely. Why try and take that freedom away from them? They only have a few years where they don't worry about what other people think about their dress sense or hairstyles. Please let them experiment. Give them some freedom to put colours together which they like without having to worry if you approve. I am sure your son doesn't stress about getting the colours right - he stresses about whether his mother will approve or not.

  3. This is BRILLIANT! I am definitely going to have to do this for my toddler, who currently only wants to wear his dinosaur shirts everywhere.

  4. I have done something similar, using colored plastic hangers. Each week on laundry day I make sure the boys have 8 pairs of good pants (one for each day, one extra "just in case"); each pair goes on a different colored hanger - I managed to purchase 5 colors, then I wrapped the other 3 sets with ribbon. With each pair of pants I hang two or three shirts, giving the older children a bit of choice without overwhelming them. They love it. Because they have so many shirts (hand-me-downs, etc.) I often rotate, keeping a tub in the laundry room for shirts I'm not using this week. If they have particular favorites I mark their tag with a permanent pen so I know to always keep that shirt paired with pants.

  5. I didn't buy patterned bottoms and also only bought things in one or more of three colors.  If we were given clothes, they usually fit into this pattern but one pair of plaid shorts isn't going to hurt anything.  With that, it's really hard for the kids to mess up and embarass Mama too much.  My kids are in their 20's now and both dress well.


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