As many mamas of boys lament, when it comes to clothes shopping for young boys, the options are kinda slim. And when the occasion calls for something more formal – well, it can make you want to RSVP “no thanks” just to avoid the shopping drama. That’s where New York-based kids clothing brand Appaman, known for their vintage-inspired and thoughtfully made designs, comes to the rescue. Their slim-cut, sharply styled, and totally play-worthy suits for boys can give the joy of dressing girls a run for its money. When Appaman sent us some of their freshest spring suits to take for a spin around the neighborhood, our boys were totally down. Color coordinated, comfortable and just plain perfect, we had no trouble nailing the classic suit look. But we wanted to take these guys to the next level so we added some simple tweaks that any mama can pull off. Read on for our essential guide to upgrading your boy’s suit style from stiff to stylin’.
1. Show a funky sock.
Appaman’s Mod Suit in French Blue gets an edgy spin when styled with a pair of funky patterned socks. Roll up the suit pants to really shine a spotlight on the socks du jour for a casual look, or let them peek out from under the cuff. Think polka dots, zig zags, or a color that contrasts with the suit color for an added pop.
2. Have fun with his neckwear.
When it comes to neckwear, there’s no reason to get tied up in knots over it. Leave the solid-colored ties to your old (sartorially-challenged) college professor, and let your kid have fun. If you see a tie that really calls out to his personality, or one of his favorite hobbies (hello bicycles!) get on that right now. We love a necktie with an unexpected print, like this skateboard and pizza themed one worn with the Mod Suit in Iron. Also, we have to give some love to the bow tie. A dark bow tie and some black sunnies with a neutral colored suit like the Mod Suit in Khaki Herringbone give off major ‘80s vibes.
3. Top it of with a hat.
The ultimate finishing touch has got to be a hat. Top his suit off with his favorite baseball cap, like we did here with Appaman’s Mod Suit in Iron. Or, try a flat cap, there isn’t really anything cuter than looking like a proper little gentleman. For early spring, a light-colored felt fedora looks sharp and unfussy, with Appaman’s Mod Suit in Sky Slub.
4. Match a bow tie to the suit.
There really isn’t anything cuter than a boy in a bow tie. This easy add-on is a simple way to make a statement and elevate the look. A pro stylist tip is to match the bow tie to the suit to ensure the look is killer (not kooky) and registers to the eye as sharp and clean. With an on-trend pastel-colored suit, like the totally on-trend Mod Suit in Sky Slub, you can try a bow tie in a color that plays nicely (like lavender), to pull the whole look together.
5. Add a shirt with a fun pop of color.
Skip the white button-down, and go for a shirt in a fun, bright color. A colorful shirt looks especially fresh when paired with a more understated suit like this perfect-for-summer cotton/linen version of the Mod Suit in Khaki Herringbone. Some great color ideas? Try, shades of light purple, pinks, teal blues, etc.
6. Show off a pocket square – or don’t – depending on the mood.
Appaman uses one of the most fun suit accessories – the pocket square – to give a suit an old-school feel but with on-trend colors. The Mod Suit in Iron , the Mod Suit in Sky Slub and the the Mod Suit in Khaki Herringbone each come with a built-in pocket square that can be easily tucked away for the times when your kid would prefer to keep it, well, squared away.
7. Roll up your sleeves.
The easiest way to add some swagger to a suit is to pop the sleeves. Just because he’s wearing a suit, doesn’t mean he can’t chill. A rolled-up is straight up comfortable, and completely cool. Even better – rolled up suit sleeves help show off a contrasting-colored-shirt, a cool watch, temporary tattoos, bracelets, or whatever else he’s got up his sleeve – for a perfect laid-back vibe.
8. Try a matching sneaker for a pulled-together, casual vibe.
You planned to go all out with dressy oxfords, but your kid is dragging his heels and won’t put them on. Don’t fight it. The new fashion rules say that sneakers and a suit are “so in right now.” Let him wear a matching sneaker (you can draw the line at the beat up pair) like the one we’ve matched with Appaman’s Mod Suit in Khaki Herringbone.