Favourite clothing brands for tween and teen boys

Simple but cool fashion for tween boys

Let’s be honest. Shopping for boys is more difficult than shopping for girls.  And shopping for tween and teen boys is even more difficult than shopping for younger boys, so the challenge becomes amplified. Not only are there fewer brand options for tween sizes, but, at that age, kids start to have their own say, which can limit the options further.

Easton turns 13 in just a few months, so all the teenage things are starting to happen. Suddenly, the boy who used to wear anything I bought for him, now has an opinion and preference. (I’ve also noticed him fixing his hair in the mirror too. That’s definitely a new thing! Haha.) Thankfully, Easton’s choices are not too different from mine — he likes to wear plain tees and shorts, but likes the shorts to be comfortable, so he prefers elastic waists and relaxed fits (good thing he lives in Byron Bay!). Quin, who turns 11 next month, remains relatively unfussed about clothes, still trusting my taste. For now anyway. : )

plain coloured tees for tween boys

Here are some of our favourite brands and shops for tween and teen boys:

  • Bellerose is by far my favourite brand for the boys. I love their plain tees and the boys love their shorts with elasticated waists.  The sizing goes up to size 16 for kids, and then they also have a men’s range, so you can start shopping in the men’s section after that.
  • Crewcuts at J.Crew have nice t-shirts in cute, solid colours. They also have long-sleeved versions, and for something a bit dressier, they also have cotton collared polo shirts.
  • Mabo goes up to size 12/13 in some styles. I love these stripy sweatshirts and merino wool sweaters.
  • I ordered a cashmere jumper for Easton from the men’s section at Babaa last year (size small), and it was a great fit on him, so thankfully Easton can start wearing Babaa again!
  • Smallable has a page devoted to teen boys fashion with some good European brands.
  • While it is a high street store (and I generally try to shop from independent shops and brands), Mango Kids has a nice selection of boys’ clothing, and we have found the quality to be quite good.
  • For swimwear, the boys like the swim trunks from Beanie and Bear, which go up to size 12. They also like the classic swim shorts from Love Brand & Co., which again go up to size 12. (Quin still fits into both these brands, but for Easton, we’ve had to start buying board shorts from the local surf shops.)
  • Lastly, we have a great selection of shops in the Tweens section on our shopping portal, so it’s worth checking there for other options.

I’d love to hear if you’ve discovered any great brands for boys at this age. Please share in the comments section below!

Courtney x


Comments (14)

March 14, 2018

We are in the same position as you, with boys 13 and 10 starting to have real opinions about what they will wear. We have often had good luck with Boden clothes – their plain tees, corduroys, and sweaters are firm favorites and last forever. Otherwise we mostly shop at Jcrew factory, again their tops last from one child to the next, and there aren’t many clothes that can do that. And although you didn’t mention shoes in your list, my youngest has a rather casual style and he adores his OluKai slip ons.

March 14, 2018

For your European followers I find Pomp de lux does fantastic quality chino shorts all the way up to 170cm (as far as I know).

March 14, 2018

Oh boy, oh boy, it’s an exciting time and uncertain at times navigating who we are at this age…enjoy it. We are going through this as well in our nest and I’m grateful for it, just being present and taking leadership only when asked for. Happy coming of age.

March 14, 2018

I like this post but the snobbery towards high street brands like Mango is a bit off. That’s all many people can afford and they’re hardly that bad.

Courtney in Australia
March 15, 2018

I’m so sorry it came across as snobbery. That wasn’t my intention. I was just trying to say that I always try to support small, independent brands whenever I can. With five children, I also don’t mind investing in quality, well made clothing that I know will stand the test of time (Wilkie, our 5th baby, wears so many things that have been passed down from our 1st baby!). In many ways, having invested in quality pieces 12 years ago for our first baby, has meant that we are spending way less now on our 5th.
But of course I understand that not everyone can afford to buy from independent brands all the time, and I completely understand that. There was a time when my boys were putting holes in the knees of all their trousers so quickly, despite how good of quality the trousers were — and so I was buying their jeans from H&M — otherwise, I would have gone broke trying to keep up! High Street brands are a wonderful option for many things, which is of course why I mentioned Mango in the first place.

Lolade Taylor
March 14, 2018

Boy+Girl and Nico Nico have a boys line. Ladies has a wide range of different clothing brands too.

March 14, 2018

We have a very slim soon to be 13 year old boy with long legs which makes the challenge all the harder! He still needs to be able to adjust a standard trouser waist and is a long way off even the smallest mens sizes at the same time developing a more grown up taste. Like you, we prefer independents but unfortunately don’t always have the budget for them so I try and split – tees and tops from the independents which often go up to age 14 at least – and the best jeans and trousers from Next where the fit and quality is good (so at least they can be passed on) and the price is right!

March 14, 2018

So glad we’ve both got ‘nearly teen’ boys now… I can get all the best tips for his wardrobe. Catapult clothing is s favourite in my house. Of course I choose and buy the t shirts, but when they get themselves dressed or pick out outfits, they ALWAYS choose catapult tees. Amazing colours and simple designs, and soft soft cotton.

March 14, 2018

Scotch & soda and Zara, mostly for shorts and jeans/pants.

My son is also into surfing and skateboarding and he loves Munster, Little Horn and Minti clothes (all Australian brands :)), not plain but still cute.

March 14, 2018

I have the same problem with my boys. I’ve found Indie for kids and Academy for kids both at David Jones (Australia) have lovely plain but with a twist clothes for tweenage boys. They have up to size 14. X

March 14, 2018

I don’t find dressing tween girls easy either. My daughters still go along with whatever I buy, but it is getting harder to find things that are not too cute, but also appropriate. Many brands stop at age 12. Others seem to think that 12 year olds should look sexy. Boden makes weird choices when it comes to which items are available for ages 12-16 (dinosaur prints anyone?).

March 14, 2018

I have a 7 year old the height of a 10 year old, which makes ‘age appropriate’ extra challenging and it will only get more so. Popupshop now have a basics / teen range. For affordable, ethical basics, H&M Conscious range and hoping newcomer Arket (also H&M brand) will extend age range. Le Petit Germain, Gray Label and Fub are reliable gender neutral brands and now extend to 10, perhaps they’ll extend again to tweens!

March 15, 2018

Ourboy, he just turned 12 really likes zara( sometimes h&m), where you can get nice solid coloured shirts and pullovers. And he always wants the shirt to be longer and his jeans should be skinny 😀 So he gets what he wants, and afterwards we hand it to someone else who wants/need it.

March 20, 2018

I want to throw in a plug for shopping second-hand. Kids grow through their clothes incredibly fast. My boys go through the knees of every pair of pants so we can’t pass them down. Buying second hand, from whatever brand, saves money and decreases the environmental impact of buying clothes. And clothing is a HUGE problem for the environment and human rights.

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