How to Get Your Boy Into a Tie

Once upon a time, I dressed my boy in a bowtie and matching news cap for Easter. He looked scrumptious -- until he spit up or some kind of orange baby food goop splattered under the bib or a poopsplosion called for a complete scrub-down and wardrobe change. Eight years later, getting him out of the dress-up clothes is not the issue. It's getting him to put them on that incites a 'splosion. 

To be fair, he rarely throws a tantrum. But I know him well enough and have celebrated plenty of holidays with him to say assuredly that whining, negotiations, renegotiations, foot-stomping, possibly door slam or pouty lip will take place. And once I am done with all of that, I can expect him to lecture me on the importance of never, ever letting anything snug fall across your neck. But that doesn't mean we won't try -- me to get that kid into a cap and tie and he to get out of it in less than four minutes. 

I will definitely employ two of my favorite tactics (see numbers 2 and 5 below) and hopefully, an Easter miracle will include more than chocolate-covered peanut butter something-delicious. Hopefully, it will also mean a bedecked boy and a mom with a camera phone full of holiday photos.

Here's how to dapper up your boy for this holiday or the next special occasion. 

1. Go bowtie

Do you have a little hipster in your house? Or perhaps he's leaning prep? No tie runs the style gamut better than a bowtie and no fabric can scream "COUNTRY CLUB!" or "IRONIC AND JUST NERDY ENOUGH TO BE RAD!" like seersucker. Choose a sorbet color that won't make him scream and pair with plaid trousers or skinny jeans depending on where his style is centered that day. On Etsy, $22 and in a range of sizes from newborn to adult.

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2. Speak to his skull obsession

As much as my kiddo complained about putting on a tie and then actually keeping it tucked up under the collar, he did love the one brandished with skulls that my mom found for him. He was even happier when I gave him the thumbs up to loosen the tie, untuck the shirt and breathe easier without the top button fastened. And you know what? He looked just as adorable dissheveled as he did in the before photo. I love this Etsy boutique, which has tons of adorable -- I mean, totally cool -- tie fabrics, from skulls to race-flag checkerboard to little hearts to bold stripes and dots. Even better? They are $9 and come with an elastic neck for easy-peasy and not-too-snug wear. 

3. Top it like pops

Is your little one a full-on papa's boy? Or is his older brother his best friend? Or maybe you, as a Diane Keaton-inspired mama, can rock menswear as a part of your own style? Speak to that bond by ordering your favorite two a set of matching ties. This Etsy boutique is heaven for the matchy-matchy-loving mother, with dozens of fabrics to choose from that range from conservative stripes to classic brights to funky prints and fun patterns. Sets include one child-sized tie and one made for an adult and range from $30ish dollars for both up to $50ish, depending on style and fabric selection. 

4. Mix it up

Does your son love accessories? Is he a kid always sporting a hat, sunglasses or cravate? (Please say he wears a cravate.) Let him get crazy with the mix-and-match of a bowtie and braces in bright colors and coordinating patterns. Sets are available in infant through teen sizes and are washable. On Etsy, $40 for the set.

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5. Tee up the tie

The tie is just not going to happen? It's totally OK. Especially with a comfy, fun tee appiqued with a tie. My son has several of these in polo and long-sleeve styles that are his dress-up go-tos. And every single time he wears them, he gets compliments and laughs from adults. He looks cuter than if the tee had a licensed character on it and he's happy. That means I am happy (especially with the trendy chevron pattern). Worth every penny. Etsy, $20, sizes for little kids up to XXL for man-sized kids. 

6. Go mustachioed and dapper

If your son is small enough to wrangle into a onesie, why not have fun with a non-fussy tie-shirt for him, too? With a mustache and tie screenprinted on his chest, he will have all the marks of manhood plus kissable cheeks -- you can't get cuter than that! On Etsy, personalized with a name and custom color tie on a variety of onesies and tees, $15.95 and up.

What will your boy be sporting on Easter?

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