Styling Notes: From Boys to Men June 11, 2015 20:12

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Having styled men and celebrities for magazine shoots, it becomes apparent early on that the same golden rules for styling men don’t always apply to styling boys. Take pant hemlines for example, the amount of time used to achieve the perfect right-above-the-ankle fit fastened by tape, clips, and pins would hardly make sense for boys. Baby boys from age 1 to 7 grow at such different rates and differ dramatically when it comes to height, weight, and roundness. Tailored pants that fit one day might be outgrown the next not to mention the practicality of little chubby legs and diapers squirming around in a pair of skinny’s.

Styling often comes down to silhouettes achieved through proportions and textures (colors/patterns) customized to the body type that we’re styling. We love to mirror men’s style but we can’t forget that our subject is proportionately smaller and rounder so what looks good on an adult may not always work for our babies. Proportionally if we divide the body by 8 parts, head sizes from babies to adults go from taking up 2 parts to 1, and legs from 3 to 4.

photo: Wikipedia commons


With that in mind, here are a few notes we’ve noticed on adopting men's styling trends for baby boys. 

  1. Pants: Waist, hemline, and fit are what we typically consider when fitting men into a pair of trousers. Today’s silhouette is skinny but try keeping your little monster in a pair of fitted trousers for 5 minutes and all hell may break loose. That’ why elasticity is key. Most baby boy pants come with an adjustable waistline. We love full on stretchy fabrics even more but if not fully stretchable, even an elastic hemline around the ankle can create the illusion of fit without discomfort. 
  2. Suits: We love boys in suits! But let’s face it; they don’t keep them on for long so stretchable suits are a good option. BokuBaby created a knit suit jacket in our debut line that will soon be available. Knit fabrics enable a snug but expandable fit without being too large. Oversized suits are great but the sleeve still shouldn’t cover baby’s hands. Stretchy fabrics allows for rolled up sleeves that stay put.
  3. Colors and Patterns: Let men be men and kids be kids. There are colors and patterns that baby boys can pull off that may be a wee bit difficult when they get older. A boy in a Disney Cars ensemble --> cute, a grown man in a Disney anything --> maybe not? We love to mix and match. Sometimes that character tee fits perfect with a more toned down blazer. While not a fan of full on Sponge Bob, we love that kids can pull off bright colors, pastel tones, and baby animal prints.
  4. Shirts: To tuck or not to tuck, that is the question. In 1991 Stephany Greene, assistant designer at Calvin Klein, was asked to tuck in shirts and sweaters at the front and leave the back hanging. The rest is history. 24 years later, we're still debating whats the perfect amount of tuck. Some argue that knit shirts or those that are straight at the bottom are left untucked while button shirts and those with tails are tucked. We think it depends on the shape of the shirt. Large boxy tops with loose pants can look better with a slight tuck in the front to create a little shape. With tighter bottoms or leggings, can remain untucked. Buttoned and tailed shirts should be tucked as much as possible, although achieving a military taut tuck may be mission impossible.
  5. Socks: These have really become the accessory of everyman, a cheap but exciting thrill to spice up any attire. Socks have come a long way from black and white and can rival any tie when it comes to livening up an ensemble. Even more so for kids. Knee length socks with shorts is no longer saved for the English countryman or Boy Scouts uniforms. An interesting pair of socks in an eye popping color can make an otherwise mundane outfit pop.

We’re sure there’s plenty more and would love to hear from you. Share with us how you make a manly outfit fit for your baby boy or tag your baby boy #bokubabystyle on Instagram!