Tuesday, December 15, 2009

BoyMom Designs Giveaway!

Amy Williams, owner and designer behind BoyMom Designs, admits she didn't really understand the opposite sex until she had boys of her own. Creating her own line of limited edition t-shirts was a way for her to celebrate her sons and to "capture the interesting journey of mothers who love their boys for exactly who they are."

BoyMom Designs carries a fun collection of t-shirts for moms, boys and babies. Our favorite design is their signature We Fight Bad Guys, above, for moms, but we also love the I Fight Bad Guys tees and onesies for kids. As if their designs aren't cool enough, a portion of every sale goes to provide orphaned children in Southeast Asia with food, shelter and medical supplies.

We have three tees from BoyMom Designs up for grabs for THREE lucky Unboring Boys readers, including a fabulous "We Fight Bad Guys" burn-out tee (women's size Large), an "i fight bad guys" short sleeved tee in size 3T, and a gray Army Man short sleeve tee in 3T (for more about sizing, click here). All three shirts are incredibly soft and made in the U.S.

To enter, simply visit the BoyMom blog, then email unboringboys@yahoo.com with BOYMOM in the subject line and tell us which famous poet said "If I have a monument in this world, it is my son." (hint: you'll find the answer in Amy's About Me on her blog). Remember to tell us which tee you would like should you win. We'll randomly draw three winners on January 1st. U.S. residents only, please. Good luck!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Unboring Boys Fashion Blog has a New Look!

I am SO excited about our new look and wanted to give a shout out to Natalie at Modern Sugar who took my vague descriptions--"something offbeat but clean, you know, with maybe some graffiti-ish fonts"--and came up with exactly what I wanted.

Modern Sugar offers custom boutique website design with a full line of professional online web design and website services, from fun girly boutique websites that are pre-made to custom eCommerce sites. Check out their gallery of work here.

Our cool new look has inspired me to work on our editorial calendar, lining up even more fabulous features, insightful interviews, giveaways and exclusive savings for readers in 2010--starting with a cool giveaway coming up this week for all you BoyMoms out there (hint, hint)!

Be the first to hear about our giveaways and exclusive discounts. Sign up for e-mail updates, or follow us through Blogger or on Twitter. And please share Unboring Boys children's fashion blog with other moms of boys you know.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cool Stocking Stuffers for Boys

I always struggle to come up with unique items to put in my boys' Christmas stockings, so this year I turned to Etsy, "Your Place to Buy and Sell All Things Handmade," for ideas and found a ton of fabulous, handcrafted, and affordable little stocking stuffers that my boys will go crazy over!

Nick and Henry love I Spy books, so these custom I Spy bags ($14.50 ea.) from Violet , above, will be a huge hit. As the bag is manipulated, little plastic beads shift around to reveal little objects in the window. What a great way to entertain your child during car trips or while waiting at the doctor's office. (Note: not recommended for children under 3). Just for Unboring Boys readers! Receive a 10 percent discount off orders through December 20th. Just notify in a "message to seller" that you saw the I Spy bags on the blog.

For little readers (and their crafty moms), I love the do-it-yourself Rascally Robots personalized booklet, bookmark, book plate and tag set ($6) from the GoMakeMe shop. Simply edit and print from PDFs for cute personalized (and last minute) gifts. Also I really dig the superhero tags ($4.25) from the Whats Eating Yin shop that are made of recycled comic books and can be used as cool bookmarks.

If your unboring boy loves robots, he'll enjoy the adorable Wooden Matching Memory game--Robot edition ($16.00) from LemonTreeStudio, which comes in a cute drawstring pouch.

Tops are always a fun stocking stuffer especially if they are as beautiful as the little hand-turned maple ones seen here from Esty seller UrbanTurn.

Finally, if your boy is obsessed with diecast cars like mine are, consider a handmade car caddy from Mimimommieandme ($7.50 ea.) that he can use to tote a few favorite cars with him wherever he goes.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Old Soles Baby Shoes & Giveaway

WARNING: if you have a baby boy, newborn to 24 months, you will not be able to resist baby shoes by Old Soles.

Launched in January 2008 in Australia, and now available in the U.S., Old Soles offers a trendy collection of soft and flexible 100 percent leather shoes for babies and toddlers.

I LOVE the sporty velcro closures and faux laces, not to mention the great colors, such as the cobalt shown here. They're a hip, unexpected alternative to baby shoes featuring cutesy animals and firetrucks. Old Sole pre-walkers have a soft leather sole (the next best thing to bare feet), and toddler "first steps" have non-slip soles. All have a comfy elastic back. There are several great styles for boys to choose from and the quality and detail-work is amazing.

Old Soles are just being introduced to the U.S. and I predict they are going to be HOT. So contact their U.S. distributor, Lolligo, at info@lolligo.com for up-to-the-minute info for where to buy.

In the meantime, we have a pair of adorable pair of Old Soles first steps shoes up for grabs. I mean, seriously, I don't even have a baby and it's going to be hard to give these up. The winner will receive a pair of Old Sole shoes similar to the ones above but with light gray accents in size 15-18 months. Just visit the Old Soles children's shoes page on Lolligo's website then e-mail unboringboys@yahoo.com with OLD SOLES in the subject line and tell us the name of the designer who started Old Soles. We'll draw a winner at random December 6th. U.S. residents only, please. Good luck!

Be the first to know about giveaways and exclusive discounts on hip clothes and accessories for boys! Sign up for our e-mail updates!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Short Hats Long on Style

I love hats with ear flaps for boys--they are so outdoorsy and sweet--and my favorite for fall/winter is the wool Issac ($30, 12 months - 6 years) from Short Hats. Based in Colorado, Short Hats designs some of the cutest headwear for children, including heirloom-quality hand-knit beanies , the trendy Riley cap, and classic hats that will never go out of style like the Gatsbyesque Buster. I also love that Short Hats uses recycled plastic visors in their brimmed hats, their knit hats are handmade in Argentina by companies that treat their workers fairly, and the rest of the hats in the collection are made in the U.S.

Just for Unboring Boys readers: Short Hats is offering a 10 percent discount on items in their online shop through 1/1/2010! Enter coupon code "Unboring" at checkout. Factor in free shipping (on all U.S. orders) and that's a sweet deal! Visit http:www.shorthats.com/kids-hats-summer-and-winter.php to check out all the fabulous styles.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Unboring Sweaters for Boys 2009

It's sweater weather! and time for our annual round-up of the hippest, sweetest, and off-beatest sweaters for boys, starting with our favorite this year, the irresistible Rodgers Cardigan from Knuckleheads ($57, 2T-6T), above, which successfully fuses grandpa fussiness with rock-and-roll edginess that would look adorable on any little man.

Season after season, Tea Collection carries some of the most inspired styles for boys, and their recent Indigo Arts line is no exception. We've featured the Kimono robe ($75, 6 mos - 8 yrs.) from this line before because we think it's amazing. But we also adore the Nippon Pullover ($65, 6 mos. - 8 yrs.) because of the gorgeous colors and texture.

If you haven't heard, GapKids has teamed with designer Stella McCartney to create a new line of children's clothing that we are falling for big time. At first glance, the gray Stella McCartney Cardigan ($58, S-XL) may look ordinary, but then you notice the delightful off-center buttons and thumb holes in the sleeves. Very unboring! For baby boys, we like her Fair Isle cashmere wrap cardigan ($58, 6 - 24 months). And though it's not a sweater, we have to point out the fabulous Band jacket which has been selling out like crazy. Rumors are some petite women have been buying the larger kids sizes for themselves!

Moms looking for holiday-themed sweaters should check out Janie and Jack's Nutcracker Sweater ($43, 3 months - 8) and Hanna Andersson's collection of colorful and stripey unisex styles, including the All is Bright penguin sweater (on sale for $38.40).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Shake up the Holidays with Looks from Bobinette and The Belle and the Beau

Ready to break with traditional colors, reindeer motifs, and argyle sweater vests this holiday season? Bobinette and The Belle and the Beau are two hot children's designers offering fashion-forward, colorful and festive alternatives for boys for holiday dressing and portraits.

I've featured Bobinette before (read the June 2009 article here) because I simply adore their hip, unbelievably soft, high quality shirts, like the navy polka dot, above, and red gingham print, right (modeled by my unboring boy, Nick). Bobinette's shirts are bright and cool, have fun details like contrasting cuffs and buttons, and can be dressed up or down. (click on the photos for a closer view.)

After you pick your favorite Bobinette shirt, pair it with a fabulous neck tie from The Belle and the Beau. The Belle and the Beau's two-mom design team makes the sweetest neck ties and bow ties for boys ages 6 months to teen (and men too!). My favorite? Who can pick just one? Don't be afraid to pair a dotted tie with a plaid shirt. Experiment! Go wild! It's fun and trendy to mix prints and patterns. But even if you go with a plain white button down, a tie from The Belle and the Beau will keep your little man front and center in holiday portraits. Those of you with girls may end up coordinating your daughter's holiday dress to match your son's look this year instead of the other way around!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SnackTAXI Reusable Eco-friendly Snack Bags

Right after school started, I realized I was using way too many little plastic zipper bags to pack my boys' lunches. I felt guilty, because we all know where those bags go: to the landfills, where it takes a gazillion years for them to break down and even then tiny, toxic bits of them remain in soil and water.

That's why I was so exited to come across SnackTAXI's reusable snack and sandwich bags. Each SnackTAXI bag can eliminate the use of 1000 zipper bags, which makes them both eco- and wallet-friendly. The bags are made in the U.S., are washable, and are 100% cotton with a nylon lining that is free of lead and phthalates. The quality is excellent for the money ($6.95-8.95 ea.) and Velcro closures make it easy for little hands to open. Did I mention they are way cooler than boring plastic zipper bags?

SnackTAXI bags come in great prints that will appeal to boys, including the Jungle Jumble print, above. I also love the Signs of the Times and Fly by Day bags, but there are prints to fit every personality. Check out all the pretty styles for moms, too.

One lucky Unboring Boys reader will win a 2 piece set of SnackTAXI bags including a Sign of the Times sandwich bag and a Groovy Guitar snack bag! Just visit www.SnackTAXI.com then e-mail unboringboys@yahoo.com with the phrase SNACKTAXI in the subject line and tell us how many lunches owner Erin Kelly-Dill packs in a year. We'll draw a winner at random November 10th. U.S. residents only, please. Good luck!

Be the first to know about giveaways and exclusive discounts on hip clothes and accessories for boys! Sign up for our e-mail updates!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ants in the pants and on the sleeve and...: Blemish brand boys' clothes

At Unboring Boys, we are always on the lookout for new themes for boys. While bugs show up pretty regularly on boys' clothes, this is the first time we've seen a line designed so cleverly around ants.

Blemish, a Dutch company based in Amsterdam, has come up with a hip and quirky collection of ant-inspired clothes for boys including shirts, tees, pants and a coat. Along with the fabulous ant shirts and tee shown left and below, tiny embroidered ants appear on other pieces in the collection.

I love that Blemish does this for each of its collections, hiding that season's insect or animal (for spring/summer it was a crab) in unexpected places, like on a shirt sleeve or hidden under a collar!

Blemish, which means "not perfect," designs clothes for real boys, with a focus on comfort, quality and affordability. Pants have reinforced knees and adjustable waists. Tees are made with extra soft cotton. Shirts are made from Parisian fabrics with contrast cuffs and collars that offer a distinctly European aesthetic.

You can find Blemish clothes for boys in the U.S. at Barney's, Space Kiddets, Aminah et les amis, and Estella in New York; Marcia's Attic in New Jersey; 3 Monkeys and Me and Swaddle, Toddle and Bump in Connecticut; and The Red Balloon, LMNOP, and Stinky Pants in Chicago.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

7 Key Pieces to Update Your Little Boy's Wardrobe for Fall

Read our article 7 Fall Must-Haves for Boys in which we introduce many of the fall/winter trends that have recently been featured here to a new audience. Also included are some new pieces from Tea Collection and NicoNico.

Unboring Boys is officially one year old (as of 9/2)! When I first started this blog, I wasn't sure if anyone would even read it. I wondered, Were there other moms out there as interested in trendy boys' clothes as I was? Or was I weird? It turned out I'm not weird because there are plenty of moms just like me who want their boys to stand out on the playground. :)

I want to take this opportunity to thank all the fabulous designers and boutique owners who have so generously provided insight, discounts and giveaway items over the past year. I loved hearing your stories in the interviews. I also want to thank our readers for convincing me to continue. I look forward to sharing more exciting boys' lines and designers with you in the coming months.

I'd love to hear what you think of the blog so far. Post a comment letting me know what you like and what you want to see more of. And if you have a favorite designer or shop, let me know about that too.

~ Cheers, Denice

And the lucky winner is...

Congratulations to Katie in Nashville, TN who won the Baby Star camp shirt! Thanks to all our readers who participated and to Baby Star for being a sponsor.

More fabulous features, giveaways and exclusive savings are coming! Please share Unboring Boys children's fashion blog with other moms of boys you know. Sign up for e-mail updates, or follow us through Blogger or on Twitter.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Henry Shirt by One Girl Circus

I wish I had discovered the Henry shirt by One Girl Circus back in April/May, but since it's practically 90 degrees here in Northern Virginia, I'm OK with featuring one last short-sleeved shirt especially one so special. I love everything about this piece. The Mendocino print is SO sweet (love the seahorses!), the colors are gorgeous, and the overall design is artfully inspired and memorable.

"I carry a sketchbook with me everywhere," Karen, owner and designer behind One Girl Circus (found on 1000 Markets), says. "I jot down ideas and draw parts of garments until I fill out a complete idea. I think about construction methods before I go to sleep, and usually any issues with a pattern I'm developing will work themselves out in my sleep." Read on for more about her background and design process.

Unboring Boys: What inspires your designs for boys?

Karen: My son, Peter, is the main inspiration. He is simultaneously outdoorsy, bookish and creative, so I try to picture a range of uses for any one garment. He deals with Asperger Syndrome and Sensory Integration Disorder, so my inspiration is more than design-oriented. I'm very concerned about comfort and durability. All the interior seams are enclosed. My tags are soft ribbon and stitched down completely. I probably focus a little obsessively on the comfort of my designs, but I figure the only way garments will become favorites is if they are as comfortable as pajamas.

Unboring Boys: How do you go about choosing certain fabrics and prints?

Karen: I stick with natural fabrics, organic whenever possible. I love bamboo for knits, and hemp and organic cotton, too. It's a challenge trying to balance cost and value. I'm concientious about my purchases, supporing local businesses and companies with humane business practices, which carries over to my business purchases.

Unboring Boys: What are you doing when you are not designing and sewing?

Karen: I just learned how to ride a motorcycle, so that was pretty exciting (and fuel efficient when driving alone). I practice yoga. I sing. I'm a mom to two kids and a step-mother to two more, so I have my hands full on any given day. I love to try out new vegan recipes with my kids and we all love to hike together. My husband travels a lot so I stay up late to get work done, but I am invigorated by creating with my hands, and put loving kindness into everything I make.

Thanks Karen for taking time to answer our questions! Visit One Girl Circus on 1000 Markets to see all her beautiful creations for boys and girls. Through 9/30/09 Karen is offering free priority mail shipping to Unboring Boys readers. Use code "Unboring" at checkout.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2009 Unboring Boys Back-to-School Guide

After spending $40 on glue sticks (twin kindergartners X 10 glue sticks each and these must be JUMBO sticks and not just any brand but ELMER'S and not the purple kind that dries clear but the CLEAR kind to begin with *deep breaths*) there's not much money left to spend on clothes and accessories for my boys. But I do want them to stand out in the crowd. Here, some things I simply could not pass up (or live without) for back-to-school.

Rock & Rattle's Nerd shirt (shown above, 2T-6T) is my very favorite tee for fall. It's perfect for a little rocket-scientist or programmer-to-be (or future A/V guy). And you know the teacher will love it. On chilly days, layer it over a long-sleeved tee (the layered look is hot again this year). Just for Unboring Boys readers, Rock and Rattle is offering a 15 percent discount on orders through 9/18/09 (applies to anything in their shop). Just e-mail them directly at info@rockandrattle.com with order details to receive the discount.

I am really loving Fat Ties shirts right now, especially the long-sleeved Rusty tee (2T-7). It's only $15 and that's before the 10 percent discount you get just for being an Unboring Boys reader. Use UB10 at checkout (discount valid through 8/31/09).

Vincent children's shoes and boots are WAY cooler than plain old sneakers and they are just as comfortable to wear and look great with jeans, especially this year's skinny styles. And Vincent has just come out with some to-die-for new styles for back-to-school. My favorites? The Kevin (shown, left) and Rudolf styles. I am so impressed with the quality and construction of these leather boots that I wish they came in my size. I love the little velcro strap and suede detail on the Kevin. Unique boots or shoes can really add pizazz to an outfit and you'll find a great collection at Vincent, each for about what you'd pay for a pair of forgettable sneakers.

It's hard to find backpacks for school-aged boys that aren't printed with the usual boy themes or licensed characters (this year its Bakugan--ugh). I like Hatley's Aliens backpack (shown, $29.99) with it's spaceships, planets and quirky extraterrestrials. It's the perfect size for all my kindergartner's school things plus it's sturdy and well made with easy to use zippers and a little organizer for pens, ID in the outside pocket. Coordinate it with the matching Aliens lunch tote, raincoat and umbrella for the total look. Looking for something for older boys? Try the Rocker School backpack from Four Peas.

Being the mom of a skinny 6-year-old, it can be frustrating to find pants that fit. That's why I was so excited to find Myself Belts. One end of the belt snaps to a loop to keep it secure while Henry can fasten the belt with Velcro all by himself. Ingenious! My favorite is the Flag Belt ($14.95).

You can scrawl your child's last name on his clothes tags with a Sharpie marker OR you can get some really cool personalized labels from Mabel's Labels. Check out their Ultimate Back-to-School combo that includes labels for clothes and shoes, and personalized metal tags to hang on backpacks and lunch totes.

The lucky winner is...

Congratulations to Micki from Pennsylvania who won the Vanilla Chocolate Pirate cupcake tee from DogBoneArt! Thanks to all our readers who participated and to DogBoneArt for being a sponsor.

More fabulous features, giveaways and exclusive savings from the hottest boys' clothing designers and boutiques are coming this fall, including our list of the trendiest Must-Haves for boys this season. Sign up for e-mail updates, or follow us through Blogger or on Twitter.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Featured Designer: Baby Star (giveaway & discount!)

Hooray for Baby Star's camp shirts for boys! In a fashion landscape dominated by muted blues, drab browns and--yawn--camo greens, finally FINALLY we get some color!

We love the classic yet modern styling of Baby Star's shirts; their vibrant colors; and playful, full-of-personality prints like the Spring Camp Shirt, left (on sale for $14.99 (!!!), sizes 6 mos-24 mos). Pair this with shorts or jeans and your little guy will melt hearts. Looking for something bolder? The Kaleidoscope camp shirt pops with its groovy orange, brown and light blue pattern.

Baby Star is offering a 30 percent discount on orders through 12/31/09! Use discount code 20twinkle09 at check out.

One lucky Unboring Boys reader will win a Baby Star camp shirt! Just visit www.babystar.com then e-mail unboringboys@yahoo.com with the phrase BABY STAR in the subject line and tell us what print you would choose should you win. Earn multiple entries by following Baby Star on Twitter, Facebook and their blog (let us know in an e-mail). We'll draw a winner at random August 18th and that person will be able to choose the style and size. U.S. residents only, please. Good luck!

Be the first to know about giveaways and exclusive discounts on hip clothes and accessories for boys! Follow us on Twitter!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

For Unboring Boys Who Mean Business: Fat Tie Shirts

Can't you just see your little future captain of industry wearing this hip, retro-inspired Fat Tie shirt on his first day of school--and making a major impression?! These clever organic tees look like dress shirts but are so comfortable and cool that your unboring boy will want to wear them everywhere.

The ties are sewn on (so they won't get in his face while hanging upside down on the monkey bars) and the button details and little breast pockets (on some styles) smarten the look.

If that isn't enough to charm you, owner and designer Mari Gallen has cut prices to below wholesale to make room for new styles! And just for Unboring Boys readers, Fat Tie is offering an additional 10 percent savings over already insane low prices!!! Use discount code UB10 (in caps) to order through 8/31/09. This is a steal, people! So you'd better hurry. Styles and popular sizes are selling out fast.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Vanilla. Chocolate. Pirate. DogboneArt T-shirt Giveaway!

Those of you following Unboring Boys may remember my "Yo Ho Yawn" post back in September 09 where I basically wrote "enough of the pirate stuff already!" Then I saw this "vanilla chocolate pirate" tee by DogboneArt (2T-7T, $12) and what can I say? It's so darn cute!

It takes imagination and talent to create something brand new out of a done-to-death theme like pirates. But Laura from DogboneArt has done it, and her original illustration is catching on. Her adult-sized Pirate Cupcake tee was recently worn by Mary Alice on The Food Network's Ace of Cakes show.

We're giving away a child's pirate cupcake tee! Just visit DogboneArt's Etsy shop then e-mail unboringboys@yahoo.com with the word "pirate" in the subject line and give us the name of another cute, original DogboneArt character you found. We'll choose a winner at random August 10th and that person will be able to choose the size. U.S. residents only, please. Good luck!

Want to be the first to know about giveaways and exclusive discounts on hip clothes and accessories for boys? Follow us on Twitter or sign up for our weekly e-mail updates!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

No clippers, no hair gunk -- Rock and Rattle's Mohawk Hoodzie

If you're a punk rocker from way back and have toyed with giving your little guy a mohawk (but can't quite work up the nerve to pick up the clippers) you'll love Rock and Rattle's Mohawk Hoodzie. It's a great signature piece for your unboring boy this fall, and is virtually guaranteed to evoke a chorus of that-is-the-cutest-thing-EVER-where-did-you-get-it.

The "mohawk" part of the jacket attaches with velcro, and you can purchase more colors to change the look. Best of all, this fauxhawk doesn't require heaps of sticky hair product.

Canadian-based Rock and Rattle--owned by Greg Taylor, of the award-winning band Saint Alvia, and his wife Shasta--is really making a name for itself among celebrities and musicians, like Tom Delonge of Blink 182, who outfits his kids in Rock and Rattle's edgy designs. We adore everything in their shop--from tees to beanies to matching daddy and son tie shirts. Rock and Rattle promises even more cool designs for Spring 2010! We can't wait!

Tell us! What do you like from their shop?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Old-World Meets Offbeat: Right Bank Babies

I've been drooling over Right Bank Babies's fall collection for boys since I got a sneak peek back in March. I love the sumptuous fabrics and surprising details that give their Old-World European-inspired pieces, like the jacket, above, a modern, irreverent twist (did you notice the orange elbow patches?). It's easy to see why owner and designer, Ellen Uzarowicz, and Lydia Dorsey, have been named best children’s designer by LA Magazine, which hits stands in July.

Right Bank Babies's Fall 09 line for boys, including trousers and hoodies (like the one layered under the jacket above) and the most adorable little knickers, will be available in the coming days at www.rightbankbabies.com Fans can follow Right Bank Babies through the company's blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Just for Unboring Boys readers, Right Bank Babies is offering a 15 percent discount on orders totalling $150 or more through August 1st! Use code unboringrbb at check-out.

Don't miss it! Vincent Shoes Sale

Vincent Shoes is having a clearance sale on many of our favorite summer styles, including the Rolf slip-on, left, now $14.95.

You'll find a great selection of hip, unboring shoes for baby and big boys at savings up to 75 percent!

Is it too early to start thinking about back-to-school? We love the Staffan shoe for everyday wear. And Vincent Shoes are coming out with even more cool styles for boys this fall so keep checking back.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Featured Designer: Bobinette

Sure. You could buy another polo for your boy this summer, but WHY, when Bobinette's shirts are more versatile and way cuter?! There's nothing boring or uniform-ish about the Buckaroo shirt, above, an offbeat blend of western style and madras summer-ness. We love, love, love Bobinette's gingham pieces as well as the Oscar Blue Swirls shirt. Each piece is full of spunk and personality, yet equally at home on the playground, at Sunday school, or at your cousin's backyard wedding.

Recently we spoke to Bobinette's owner Lorraine Le Tac about her designs.

Unboring Boys: What inspired you to mostly focus on boys' clothing?

Lorraine Le Tac: My son, Spencer, was born 7 years ago. We lived in New York City at the time and even though New York is a fashion mecca, all the baby boys' clothes I found were fairly conservative and unoriginal. I would ask my mom, who lives in Paris, to send me fun and colorful clothing for Spencer. He was the best dressed baby on the block! That is when it all started. I have a 2-year-old boy, Matisse, also, so I have twice the reason to keep designing boys' clothing.

Unboring Boys: What inspires your designs?

Lorraine: Everything and anything. I have found inspiration in fashion, home decor, architecture, photography and simply in the nature that surrounds us. I am particularly fond of anything from India, Asia, Africa and North Africa--colors, patterns, culture and food.

Unboring Boys: How do you go about choosing certain fabrics and prints?

Lorraine: Color and patterns guide me. I love stripes, checks, polka dots and plaids, so I always try and incorporate them in a creative way in my designs. I like to create unexpected combinations, mixing checks and polka dots, for example. And of course, I am always attracted to "exotic" prints from India or African batiks, madras, woodblock prints, and the like.

Unboring Boys: What are the unique challenges you have faced and continue to face as a designer of primarily boys' clothes and accessories?

Lorraine: Designing for boys is challenging because there is so much you can create around shirts, t-shirts, pants and shorts. Boys' clothing should first be comfortable and easy to wear. Additionally, I want them to be stylish. For me, everything is in the details--a button or a snap, a small pocket, a trim. Quality is also essential. That is why I choose mainly natural fibers like cotton and linen.

Thanks Lorraine, for taking the time to answer our questions! Get a peek at Bobinette's amazing fall/winter 2009 line on their website. Also the new spring/summer 2010 collection will be introduced at trade shows starting in August. Lorraine promises "more eye-catching prints, as well as a few surprises!" See Bobinette's list of retailers here.

And the lucky winner is...

Congratulations to Suzanne who won the free Invisibility Shirt from Crazy Dog t-shirts! Thanks to all our readers who participated and to Crazy Dog for being a sponsor.

More fabulous features, giveaways and exclusive savings from the hottest boys' clothing designers and boutiques are coming this summer. Sign up for e-mail updates, or follow us through Blogger, to catch up with what's happening on Unboring Boys. It's easy to subscribe and you'll get the latest post(s) sent right to your in-box.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Edgy Yet Sweet Styles from Schatzi, plus an Exclusive Offer

Schatzi in German means "small treasure" and the t-shirt designs by this Canadian company are just that. Inspired by American edgy style, the two moms behind Schatzi have come up with a hip collection of boys' tees and tanks (in sizes 3-6 months to 12 years) that draw from fantasy, rock and roll, and mod 70s elements.

What boy wouldn't love to wear Schatzi's wicked Hot Schatz dragon tee, left? And how groovy is this Peace and Thank You tee, below? Though based in Canada, Schatzi ships to the U.S. for very reasonable rates.

Just for Unboring Boys readers
, Schatzi is offering a fabulous deal to introduce their tees. Buy a tee at regular price and receive a FREE tank. You can choose from the World Tour tank or the Fairy Magic tank (for unboring girls!). Just enter the phrase "unboring boys" in the message box at the time of purchase along with your choice of design and size. Hurry! Offer ends June 29th.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Win it! Invisibility Shirt from Crazy Dog T-shirts

There are a lot of cool t-shirts out there for boys, but none that give them the power of invisibility!

Crazy Dog T-shirt's clever Invisibility Shirt (currently deactivated) comes in sizes 2T-4T, and youth sizes S, M, L for $14.99. (there's an adult version too)

(...now if we could just figure out how to activate it)

Our other favorites are the Never Forget dinosaurs shirt and Yes, I Wore This Shirt Yesterday tee.

Want to win one? We're giving away a free Crazy Dog kids' tee (2T-4T, or youth size S, M, L) this month to a lucky Unboring Boys reader. To enter, leave us a comment telling us which design out of the three you would choose if you won.

*U.S. residents only, please.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cool Summer Hats for Boys

I'm a sucker for a cute hat. When my boys were little, I always bought the matching hat, socks, romper...you get the idea. While we don't do as much matching now that they are older, I still buy hats for them. Hats add personality to an outfit. More importantly, they provide sun protection for the face.

This week, I'm sharing my favorite hats of the season for boys.

No roundup of boys' summer hats would be complete without my personal favorite, Hanna Andersson's floppy hats, available in a range of bright colors and prints, above. My boys lived in these as babies, and have now graduated to Hanna's reversible bucket hats. Hanna hats wash up beautifully and can be passed down to the next child. Right now they are on sale for $10-13 so stock up!

Looking for a trendier or dressier alternative? Baby Gap carries a stylish contrast woven fedora with brown trim and a plaid-trimmed straw hat, both for $16.50 (the woven fedora is going fast). For big boys, check out the Dapper Straw fedora from 77Kids by American Eagle ($16.50).

Cowboy hats are always cool, they go with anything, even swimsuits, and boys are crazy about them. Sand Cassels' ultra hip version is available at Little Dudes Only for 20 bucks.

Giveaway update! Congratulations to Lizzie in Fairfax, VA, who won the Little Ace necktie! Thanks to everyone who participated and to Little Ace for being a sponsor.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tiny Revolutionary

Everyone I know these days is becoming more environmentally aware. We're using refillable water bottles and reusable shopping bags. These may seem like small things when we're bombarded daily with bad news about our planet. It's easy to feel helpless to do anything (there's even a term for it: eco-stress!).

How about some hopeful and positive messages for a change? Tiny Revolutionary carries a hip and progressive collection of tees & onesies for children with phrases like "I'll Change the World Someday" in baby, toddler and new youth sizes (above), and "Be the Change You Want to See in the World." Styles range from the environmentally-minded Save the Polar Bears to the more political War is Poop.

What could be better than shopping for cool tees for your unboring boy AND helping other children around the world? For every This Shirt Saved a Life tee sold, Tiny Revoluationary donates $20 to Africa Aid to help feed refugee children in Ghana.

All change begins small. That's Tiny Revolutionary's slogan and the perfect slogan for anyone trying to make positive changes to benefit the earth.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tree Town Batiks Boy's Tees

At Unboring Boys we like to feature a diversity of boys' clothes and accessories for our readers, from big name companies to small emerging shops and designers.

Our latest indie discovery is Tree Town Batiks. We love their one-of-a-kind batik tees for boys. You'll find just about anything that boys would be into on them, from trains to robots to guitars, with some offbeat stuff thrown in like broccoli! Their youth shirts go all the way to 12, and they have a fun collection of bodysuits for babies, from 6 months up, plus some wonderful pieces for grown-ups, like our favorite peacock print. The process that designer Jerusha uses to make these shirts is fascinating; you can read more about it on her site. Right now she is offering 20 percent off long sleeve shirts when you buy 2 or more.

Readers, time is running out to participate in our giveaway for a free Little Ace necktie. Just leave a comment about the blog, what you like, what you want to see more of, or just tell us your favorite boys' clothing designers and shops, and on 5/31 we'll pick one name at random from all the comments we receive to win the tie. Thanks for your feedback! ~ Denice

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Boys' Sandals from Vincent

It's sandal season and these closed-toe sandals for little boys by Vincent, a children's shoe brand out of Stockholm, Sweden, are the cutest and most unique style we've seen. The Bobby sandal comes in sizes infant 4 to toddler 10 ($47.95).

Looking for something in a larger size? Check out the sporty and quick-drying Rasmus sandal ($45.95, up to child 3.5, ).

Vincent's Flagga slip-on canvas shoes, below, aren't sandals, but aren't they nifty? We LOVE them for summer ($35.95, up to child size 3.5).

Vincent's designers, Patrick and Thomas, were inspired to start a children's shoe company after Thomas' nephew Vincent was born. Their fun and fashionable collection of soft pre-walkers, sneakers, rain boots and sandals for children are influenced by global trends and the fashion runways of Paris, Milan, London and New York. Right now Vincent is offering free shipping on orders over $75.

Monday, May 4, 2009

SUNboring Swimwear for boys

Our favorite swim suit for boys this summer is Mini Boden's Euro-style Swim Trunks, left ($20, 1-12 yrs). The company calls them a "sleek and aerodynamic alternative to longer bathers." We just call them adorable! Mini Boden's regular length bathers are cute too. We like the Ocean Funny Fish print.

You can't go wrong with Hanna Andersson's swimwear. What they lack in uniqueness as far as colors and prints, they make up for in sheer quality and durability. Plus you get the added peace of mind of sun protection with their UPF 30+ trunks and mix-and-match rash guards. For baby boys, check out the Sun Ready Rash Guard Babysuit.

Unique and truly offbeat prints are hard to find in boys' swimwear, which is weird because this is one area where we see a lot of florals and bright colors. Still, designers seem to stick to the same surfing, marine animal and Hawaiian themes year after year.

We found two companies that offer interesting alternatives. First is Munster Kids out of Australia, which offers a cool comic book print. The second, Vilebrequin has the most interesting and unboring prints for boys we've seen. Vilebrequin was founded in 1971 in Saint Tropez on the French Riviera and even if you can't afford the designer price tag ($115 and up) take a look at their collection anyway. Our favorite is the Red Visas, but we also really dig the frogs wearing scuba gear.

Know of a hip and unique swimwear designer/retailer we missed? Share it here!

Also, don't forget to leave us feedback about the blog to win a free necktie from Little Ace (see our previous post for details). Next up on the blog: boys' sandals.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ties by Little Ace and Fun Giveaway!

These neckties from Little Ace's Etsy shop are SO cute, easy to wear, and crazy cheap--$12 for a set of three (or one for $5).

The ties have an elastic strap that fits over the head. The edges are unfinished, creating a frayed look. Click on the pictures to get a closer look. For the price, they are perfect for dress up play, for parties, and for jazzing up a boring white button-down shirt or polo. My son, Henry, wore his Little Ace necktie out recently and got many compliments.

One lucky reader will win a Little Ace necktie this month! Just leave us some feedback about the blog. How are we doing so far? What do you want to see more of? Do you have suggestions for future articles? Do you have a favorite designer or boutique you would like featured? Leave a comment for us below!

One winner will be chosen at random May 31st from all the comments we receive, and will get an adorable brown frog print necktie (like the one pictured above) that fits children 4-6. Thanks for your feedback!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Georgie World Closed

As a fan of Georgie World, I was sad to hear that they were no longer in business because of "the souring economy and the new CPSIA regulations.*"

Many small boutiques and designers are struggling to make ends meet these days. We're all feeling the pinch, spending less and smarter.

If you do have extra money to spend on your unboring boy, please consider the boutiques featured here. They never forget the boys, many offer discounts to readers, and they do appreciate the sales.

Unboring Boys wishes the best to Bethany Herwegh, owner of Georige World. Hopefully she will continue her work in boys' fashion and we will see her designs again one day.

*If you are not aware, the new CPSIA regulations will have a significant impact on small/boutique/home-based businesses, many of them mom-owned, that make and sell children's products, including apparel. For a comprehensive overview, visit the Handmade Toy Alliance website.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Boys-Only Boutique: Little Dudes Only

Before opening Little Dudes Only, owner Ashley Milewski was a fashion forecaster so you can be sure that the brands and styles she selects for her shop are unique, ultra cool and ahead of trend. She's even organized her pieces into "looks," so if your unboring boy is, say, a punk rocker-to-be, click on "Punk Dudes" for a collection of edgy, anti-mainstream styles he'll love.

We wanted to ask Ashley, not only about what's hot in boys' fashion right now, but about why she thinks girls' fashion receives more attention from designers, retailers and many parents, and if that will ever change.

Read our interview below, and take advantage of a special savings offer just for Unboring Boys readers.

Unboring Boys: How did your career as a trend forecaster prepare you for opening and running Little Dudes Only?

Ashley: Being a trend forecaster was an amazing job. It taught me a lot about what the consumer's buying habits are and what trends are most likely to appeal to the masses. When I'm buying for my store, I mostly buy what I fall in love with, but I try to keep in mind what sells. There are times when I'm crazy about an item, but my customer does not exactly agree.

Unboring Boys: What inspired you to make Little Dudes Only boys-only?

Ashley: I have two boys of my own and as someone who loves clothes, it was frustrating for me to go into children's boutiques and see racks upon racks of girls' clothes, and only one measly rack for boys...and even then that rack didn't often impress me. I wanted to open a boys' store that was filled with the hippest in boys' fashion, all in one place.

Unboring Boys: What are the unique challenges of owning a boys-only boutique?

Ashley: I am constantly digging and searching for the next new thing and with boys' clothing that's not easy. There's a lot of cargo shorts and screen printed tees, bit it's a constant challenge to find really unique stuff like acid wash skinny jeans and 70's inspired suede fringe jackets.

Unboring Boys: How do you go about selecting the brands you sell?

Ashley: I'm an avid shopper, so I already was really familiar with a lot of the kid's clothing brands when I first launched the website. I follow my taste and buy what I can't live without. I trust my instincts and hope my customers will love it too. I also take buying trips to New York twice a year and do a lot of research on international companies. I love to buy from other countries and introduce something completely new to my customers.

Unboring Boys: Which items are your bestsellers?

Ashley: Star Wars items are a huge hit, as are reconstructed vintage concert t-shirts. My best selling brands are Sandbox Rebel, Gold Rush Vintage, Knuckleheads, Sand Cassel Hats and Munster Australia.

Unboring Boys: Of your current offerings, which item is your personal favorite?

Ashley: I LOVE the Obama diaper covers and matching shirts from London that just came in...they're hilarious. And I'm a big fan of the fedoras we carry.

Unboring Boys: Your motto is "Dressing boys can be even more fun than dressing girls." But I notice among many of my friends who have both boys and girls, they give more attention to clothes and accessories for the girls than for the boys. Why do you think that is? And do you see it changing?

Ashley: Girls tend to be pickier about what they wear, and it starts a lot earlier than with boys. Also, there aren't as many accessories involved in dressing boys. So dressing boys is a little less "high maintenance" because they're happy with just a t-shirt and shorts in most cases. Parents don't want to have to spend money if their boys aren't demanding certain items. I think this may change as more is available in boys' fashion. More companies are starting to focus on manufacturing cool belts, jewelry, hats etc. for boys, so the days of spending more on girls may be numbered!

Unboring Boys: Can you give us some hints as to future trends in boys' clothing and accessories?

Ashley: For fall, there will be a lot of skinny jeans in different finishes like destroyed or acid wash, lots of skinny pants with details like pocket chains, funky colorful shoes, lots of neon colors, graffiti inspired screens and lots of plaids.

Unboring Boys: When you're not running Little Dudes Only what are you doing?

Ashley: Running after my boys mostly! But I'm a huge music fan, so I'm learning to play the guitar and I'm always going to concerts. It's important for me to have something just for myself.

Thanks Ashley for taking the time to answer our questions! Just for Unboring Boys readers, Little Dudes Only is offering 10 percent off on orders through May 19th. Just use the promotional code "unboring."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

d mo baby: Style for the Little Man

Like many moms with boys, Dana Morgan-Hovind was disappointed by the lack of stylish and imaginative boys' clothing in stores. Her solution? Start her own clothing company inspired by her son.

d mo baby's shirt designs are playful and offbeat, hip and unexpected--and full of personality. We love the reversible cuffs and clever use of floral prints and bold, unconventional colors. The best-selling Ellegaard shirt, in the runway shot above, pairs a crisp white shirt with slants of color and eclectic fabrics. Another favorite is the Wesley all over red floral shirt with plaid trim, right.

d mo baby's shirts are available in sizes 6-12 months to six. Dana says they've had a lot of requests for matching father/son shirts so they are working on that for the future.

For a list of boutiques that carry d mo baby, click here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Singing in the Rain!

It's April and time for our roundup of the cutest rainwear and wet weather accessories for boys!

What little boy (or big boy for that matter) wouldn't love this Alien umbrella ($18) from Hatley? Hatley carries a fabulous selection of styles for boys ("Fun Dogs" is another favorite) all with matching raincoats and boots.

When it comes to rainwear, the brighter the better. We like the tie-dye slicker from Lands' End ($39.50, toddlers to big boys).

Looking for something with a Euro flair? Check out Pluie Pluie's raincoat in blue stripe ($39.50, size 2-6). (Pluie Pluie means "rain, rain" in French).

And finally, our pick for hippest rainboot for boys? Guitar City by Chooka ($40, up to size youth 4). Check out their ultra cool boots for grown-ups too.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Tea does it again this spring with a lively collection for boys inspired by Brazil. We ADORE all the Samba-style pieces, like this outfit, left, which pairs the Lapa polo and canvas shorts in sage. Other faves include the Copacabana hooded sweater and Goncalo Sweater polo. All are available in sizes 6 months to 8 years.

Each season Tea puts together specially priced mix and match sets for boys. Our picks? The 5-piece Parker set, which includes two tees, one polo, and two pairs of shorts for $89.
For unboring baby boys? Choose the Raphael 4-piece set for $75, size newborn to 12 mos.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The lucky winner is...

Congratulations to Kari from Tulsa, Oklahoma who won the $100 surprise package from Knuckleheads (see our interview with owner/designer Melissa Nash below). Thanks to all our readers who participated and to Knuckleheads for being a sponsor.

Everyone who signs up for e-mail updates from us are automatically entered in our giveaways! So sign-up in the box on the left side of the page if you haven't already! It's easy and you'll get the latest blog post(s) sent right to your inbox.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Boys' Aprons by Bloom Woosie

Nick and Henry love helping out in the kitchen. Not only do they get to spend special time with Mommy and Daddy, they learn how to read recipes and measure ingredients. And when they help make a dish, they are more likely to taste it, even if it's something new.

To keep stains off their clothes, they wear aprons, just like Mommy. But finding unique aprons for boys can be a challenge. Bloom Woosie carries a fabulous collection of hand-sewn reversible aprons for boys in the cutest prints and colors like this charming cowboy print ($24) that can be used in the kitchen or at the art easel.

We LOVE Bloom Woosie's half aprons for moms too! Our favorite is made with Anna Griffin's "French Coupon" fabric ! Bon appetit!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Chalk Mats by Dine.N.Doodle

"Where's my food?!"

Five seconds after placing an order at a restaurant my twins start getting fidgety. Many places have activity sheets and crayons for kids, but I've found that often the word search and math puzzles are too advanced for my preschoolers to do on their own. That's why I love Dine.N.Doodle's Chalk Mats.

One side is a laminated cotton placemat. The other side is chalk cloth for drawing--there's even a place to store chalk. Ingenious! After use, wipe, roll, and tie with the attached ribbon.

Dine.N.Doodle's Chalk Mats are handmade and come in a variety of bright styles that any boy would love, including this funky Rockin Robots print ($18).

Readers! Just a reminder that there is one week left to enter our giveaway to win a fabulous surprise pack worth $100 from Knuckleheads. See details in our Knuckleheads feature below. Good luck!