As picky as adults are about their underwear–whether that’s women’s thongs or men’s boxer briefs — shopping for kids’ underpinnings can be even more difficult. Parents want pairs that will be durable and long-lasting, but also fun enough that kids will actually want to wear them. We asked four children’s clothing experts to share their recommendations with us on kid-friendly styles that actually last, Disney underwear to nautical-themed boxer briefs.
Linda McLean, a children’s fashion editor at Family Traveller magazine and founder of the site Smudgetikka, likes the high-quality kids’ underwear from the British brand Boden. “Their value packs of underwear for boys and girls always have cool prints and of-the-moment color combinations,” she says. These sets combine striped styles with Liberty-esque florals for girls and skateboard motifs for boys.
With its classic French styling and understated charm, McLean calls Petit Bateau the “crème de la crème of underwear for kids.” Petit Bateau is also a favorite of Ariane Goldman, founder of Hatch and a mom of two. “I’m a Francophile so where I can get a little piece of Parisian design on my girls, I do,” says Goldman.
For kids who demand Disney princesses or superhero shields on their underwear, Brianne Manz, blogger at Stroller in the City, likes H&M’s branded sets. “They always have fun characters on them for the kiddies,” she says. Along with Nintendo and Disney sets, they also offer pairs with My Little Pony and Paw Patrol characters.
On the other hand, if you’re not into busy, printed pairs, Primary —recommended by Goldman — makes essential, basic styles in a rainbow of solid shades. After working at companies like Baby Einstein and Diapers.com, Primary’s co-founders set out to create a line of logo-free kids’ wardrobe basics. “What they stand for and the simple selection makes things easier and logical,” says Goldman.
McLean also recommends Gap Kids for simple, affordable underwear. It doesn’t get any more classic than these days-of-the-week sets or solid-colored briefs.
If you’re looking for another budget-friendly option for stocking kids’ underwear drawers, Manz says, “Hanes makes great ones.” Their multi-packs offer a week’s worth of underwear at an affordable price. She likes the cotton brief style for kids anywhere between ages 2 and 10.
As editor of the children’s fashion industry magazine Earnshaw’s, Emily Beckman sees a lot of kids’ underwear, but these sweet, U.S.-made bottoms are her top pick of the moment. “Esme underwear for children is extremely soft, comfortable and lightweight,” she says. “Girls’ styles are made with finishing touches of lace and rosette for a cute, age-appropriate look.” Their boxer briefs also feature neutral solids and adorable prints like monkeys and movie snacks.
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