Dude Style: Holiday Style on a Budget

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Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Basketball shorts.

That's what my children want to wear to Thanksgiving dinner. Because that's what my children want to wear everywhere.

No regard for weather, or dress code, or occasion. Just basketball shorts and those dri-fit shirts and sneakers and tall socks. All day. Every day. No matter what.

Only, guess what?

Mama don't play that.

I may only be able to count on one hand the times that I put my fashion foot down and stomp on their style autonomy, but Thanksgiving dinner is one of those.

I try not to go overboard or make them totally uncomfortable (no sailor suits or wool sports coats to shove them into), but I do have some words regarding what they wear.

Here are some tips and ideas for styling your reluctant fancy dresser minus the battle and on a budget.

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Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Do denim.

That's right, it's A-OK to rock jeans. Comfort doesn't have to be sacrificed for style, at least not in the land of kids. Your little one can look put together and even dressed up in a nice pair of jeans. Pair it with a button-up shirt or even a long-sleeved tee, and your little one will be ready to dine. 

{ MORE: How to Dress Your Bump for Spring }

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Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Use shopping rewards programs.

There are some pretty good shopping rewards programs out there that can help you snag some great clothing deals without breaking the bank. I think the key is to be a brand loyalist when it comes to shopping for goods. Joining all of the rewards programs and trying to earn points and take advantage of customer discounts designed to reward you for shopping won't work if you spread your cash around to too many locations.

Settle instead on a few and commit yourself to always starting your shopping journeys there. That way, you have the opportunity to earn cash back and rewards points more frequently. Personally, I am a huge fan of the Target Red Card (it lets me use my debit card, and I get 5% back every time I shop), and the Sears Shop Your Way Program (you can earn points on all of your purchases).

kid swag
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Remember the power of the cardigan.

My youngest son is all about the cardigan sweater. He wears them with jeans, and cords, and sometimes even his “fancy sweats.” While I don't think your mini style maker is gonna win any awards for that last pairing, with the right attitude, a kid in a cardigan is sure to be a win.

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Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Don't get sucked into holiday shopping.

All of the fancy clothes will be working it in the weeks before Thanksgiving and Christmas, trying to make you think that your little guy really, really, REALLY NEEDS to wear a three-piece suit to dinner at Grandma's house.

He doesn't.

But even if you think he does, you should start thinking about that earlier in the year when suits and stuff are hanging out in the back of the store, waiting for their chance to shine and not to dupe you into paying more than you need to for them. 

{ MORE: Nursing in the Cold: Check Out These Ultra Warm Nursing Tops }

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Image via Amanda Rodriguez

If you're going to rock a tie, make it a bow tie.

They're cute on dogs, they're cute on babies, and they're cute on little Dude kids, too. My son has a drawer full of the things, and he wears them at all sorts of special occasions. Or just on Tuesdays.

best shoes for dudes
Images compiled by Amanda Rodriguez

Focus on the shoes.

They don't have to be shiny, but if they can maybe not be the dirty sneakers they've been playing on the playground in since school started, that would be cool. We try to snag the Dudes something versatile that can be dressed up or down as needed. Check out your local consignment store for some fab finds. Kids usually don't wear out their “dress” shoes, so they are pretty easy to find lightly used.

dude in tie
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Just keep it clean.

If all else fails, just put them in something clean, slick their hair back, and tell them to mind their manners. Everyone knows it's not the clothes that make the man, it's the man that makes the clothes! 

{ MORE: The Art of the Hand-Me-Down: Saving Money on Children's Clothing }

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Dude Style: Holiday Style on a Budget

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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