There is a wide array of charming toddler boys' dress clothes to be had for any occasion. It can be very difficult to choose, although oftentimes, the simplest outfits end up being the best choice.
History of Toddler Boys' Dress Clothes
Until the early part of the twentieth century, toddler boys wore dresses until they were toilet trained. It was more convenient and less messy and no one thought anything of it. As clothes became more convenient, with designs that took diapers into account and snaps that made even changing in public easy, boys' clothes took on a more traditionally masculine look even for toddlers. There might still be whimsical design elements, but by mid-century, much of what had been popular in boys and even men's clothing for centuries, such as ribbons and lace, had been jettisoned.
Even among the poorer classes, dressing up was always a serious affair and boys were expected to look their best. Clothes designed specifically for children, rather than smaller versions of adult clothes, are comparatively recent. Toddler boys might not only wear lace collars and tights for dressing up, they would wear white gloves as well. Needless to say, they were not allowed to run wild in their dress-up outfits.
Choices in Dress Clothes
In a strange turnaround, the practice of a few centuries ago is becoming common again in toddler boys' dress clothes - small versions of adult clothes. Little dinner jackets and long trousers, combined with ties and button-down shirts, can look cute if they are well-designed. But many parents are of the opinion that boys will have their whole lives to wear suits as dress clothes and only a small window of opportunity to wear some of the much livelier options available to them as toddlers.
Many parents like the short trouser and suspender look that was very popular in mid-century. Worn with Peter Pan collar shirts in contrasting colors, this is a very cute outfit perfect for any spring or summer dress up event.
Sailor suits, which date back decades, are perennially popular. Children look very smart in navy shorts with a white sailor shirt with navy trim. You can add a red scarf and even a beret and have a very nicely turned out little boy who still looks like a little boy.
Overalls are popular as dress clothes as well. In a fabric like linen or combed cotton, with a smart design and sweet embellishments, they can still be sturdy enough to stand up to a toddler's behavior but look appropriate for most occasions.
If something more formal is desired, this can be achieved without overdressing a toddler or making him look like a miniature adult. Short trousers with a vest and short-sleeved shirt, bow tie and cap is a very dressy look that still keeps a boy looking like a little boy. This outfit can work in any season and looks best in light colors.
Shopping for Toddlers' Clothes
As much as everyone likes to buy new clothes for a toddler, practicality should also be a factor. Even in the best economic circumstances, you may not want to spend a lot of money on an outfit that will only be worn a few times before it's outgrown. If you live in an area where there are a lot of families that have children at different ages, you may be lucky enough to borrow toddler boys' dress clothes when needed, or buy them second-hand.
You can also try buying clothes in the off-season, although you run the risk of them not fitting when they will be needed. But bargains can be found even on high-end children's wear. If you're looking for a good selection of clothes online, try Dapper Lads. Despite the sound of the name, it is not a British company. It even carries dress and casual clothes for girls. They offer well-designed clothes at reasonable prices, all of which will look great on your little boy.