For generations, denim dungarees have been a beloved staple outfit for kids. There’s just something about the classic, rugged look of denim overalls that embodies carefree childhood fun. Dungarees are the perfect hand-me-down clothes, ready for every energy-filled adventure.
Beyond nostalgia, denim dungarees have stood the test of time thanks to their unmatched versatility, durability and comfort. While kids’ fashion trends come and go, high quality denim dungarees remain popular. Finding the right pair means taking a few factors into consideration. Let’s explore the ins and outs of denim dungarees so your child can look stylish while comfortably playing hard.
First, a quick history lesson on the humble dungaree
Legend has it that denim dungarees originated in the 17th century with sailors from England’s East India Company. Dungaree was a thick, rugged cotton cloth imported from India. The affordable and durable fabric was ideal for hardscrabble ship life.
When a stronger woven denim arrived in the 1800s, it quickly replaced dungaree fabric for overalls. The reinforced denim construction was perfect for the physical jobs of railroad workers, miners and farmers across America. Soon children’s overalls mirrored the functional workwear of adults.
As denim became mainstream in the 20th century, dungarees morphed into a counterculture symbol of rebellion. But no matter the era, the appeal of comfortable, long-lasting denim for kids remains. Dungarees are forever linked to carefree play and childhood nostalgia.
On to today’s hottest styles – here are the top 5 denim dungarees for kids
- Rugged Bear Denim Dungarees
Rugged Bear has mastered the balance between playtime durability and cute styling. Their flagship dungarees feature 11-ounce 100% cotton light-wash denim with just a hint of stretch for flexibility. Reinforced knee patches ensure longevity even with roughhousing kids.
Multiple oversized pockets add functionality, while the embroidered bear logo lends whimsical charm. Adjustable button straps and a comfy elastic waist allow for growing kids. Rugged Bear dungarees come in classic blue, gray and grass green. At around $25-40, they deliver noticeable quality for the price.
- Smartfish Organic Cotton Dungarees
For super soft dungarees, Smartfish blends organic cotton with 3% spandex for all-day coziness. Despite the lightweight 8-ounce denim, they are impressively sturdy. Smartfish utilizes solution-dyeing for vividly saturated color that holds up to washing.
Smartfish offers their dungarees in over 10 colors like cherry red, khaki and navy with colorful embroidery. They are cut slimmer than typical overalls. Priced from $32-55, they cost a bit more but contain premium details like custom metal rivets.
- Happy Heinies Adjustable Dungarees
Happy Heinies gears their dungarees specifically for toddlers with extra adjustable elements. Their standout feature is multi-position button straps for a customized fit as kids grow. An elastic waist and removable inseam snaps allow the pant length to extend too.
Made of 100% cotton denim with reinforced knees, these dungarees are created for nonstop motion. Lots of large pockets add cargo pants functionality. Happy Heinies’ affordable $20 price tag makes it easy to stock up on multiple pairs.
- Little Loved Baby Denim Dungarees
Little Loved Baby churns out adorable dungarees cut for little ones 9 months to 5T. Their soft 100% cotton denim has a touch of spandex for stretch and retains its color wash after wash. For safety, adjustable button straps and elastic waists prevent slipping.
Beyond classic denim blue, they offer baby-friendly colors like pink, mint and peach. Little Loved adds charming touches like floral embroidery, cute animal appliques and embroidered back pockets. At $15-25, their baby dungarees make ideal baby shower gifts.
- Merry Kids Overalls with Pockets
Merry Kids is all about distinctive designs at affordable prices. Made of lightweight 7-ounce cotton denim, their dungarees feature unexpected styling. Choose from polished solid colors, vertical stripe patterns or contrasting patchwork fabric mixes.
Decorative rivets and contrast stitching add eye-catching detail. Large side and chest pockets give ample storage room. Adjustable straps allow waist and length sizing. At $15-25 each, you can afford multiple pairs for the price of one.
How to find the perfect fitting denim dungarees
Now that we’ve covered top denim dungaree brands for kids, let’s discuss how to select the ideal size and fit. Unlike t-shirts, achieving the proper measurements for dungarees takes a little extra finesse.
For starters, leave some room for growth when taking waist and inseam lengths. Kids sprout quickly and you want dungarees to fit comfortably for a year or more. Measure around the widest part of the waist and across the fullest part of hips. For inseam, measure from crotch to desired pant length.
When trying on denim dungarees, allow enough room for layers underneath. Tees, hoodies and button-downs should fit without bulging at the seams. Adjustable shoulder straps are key for achieving the optimal fit across the torso.
To ensure full mobility, make sure dungarees don’t restrict movement in the legs or waist when walking and running. And check that straps are not so long that a child can wriggle free, which is an injury hazard.
The right denim weight contributes to comfort too. Lightweight 7 to 10-ounce options work well for warmer climates and hotter seasons. Medium-weight 11 to 12-ounce denim provides flexibility and longevity. Heavy-weight 14-ounce and above has rugged durability but less give.
A touch of spandex or stretchy denim lessens restriction and boosts comfort through long days of play. Cutoff denim shorts are also a smart hand-me-down option once dungarees become too short. With adjustable sizing, high quality dungarees can fit children for years as they grow.
Denim dungaree fabrics and features for maximum durability
The whole point of denim dungarees is to keep up with a kid’s active lifestyle. Key factors that ensure dungarees withstand countless adventures include:
- Rivveted stress points – Copper or reinforced rivets prevent hole tears at pocket corners, closures and side seams.
- Reinforced knees – Patches of extra fabric reinforce the inevitable wear and dirt stains from kneeling and climbing.
- Bar tack stitching – Dense zigzag stitching gives added strength to high-tension spots like zipper ends or suspender attachments.
- Button and snap closures – Buttons allow for incremental sizing adjustment. Snaps quickly fasten but can wear over time.
- Thick topstitching – This finish adds visual appeal while providing an extra row of durable stitching.
- Wash types – Lightly washed denim softens over time yet holds color well. Dark raw denim fades dramatically for custom patina.
- 100% cotton denim – Pure cotton has natural durability without sacrificing softness. A touch of spandex also prevents rips.
The combination of sturdy fabric and ample reinforcements allows quality dungarees to be passed down and live a second life as hand-me-downs. With proper care, denim dungarees can last multiple kids’ entire childhoods!
Mix and match: styling kids’ denim dungarees
A major perk of denim dungarees is their amazing versatility. You can easily dress them up or down to suit any occasion.
For casual weekends and playdates, pair dungarees with short sleeve tees and sneakers. Add a long sleeve shirt or hoodie when it gets chilly. For a bit dressier look, try button-downs, polos or sweaters on top.
Cute sandals upgrade dungarees in warmer weather. Cowboy boots and straw hats bring farm-ready flair. Patterned tops and colorful accessories like necklaces liven up outfits. In chillier months, incorporate cozy knits and tall socks.
Dungarees are a smart choice for family photos, whether dressed up with a bowtie or casual with playful poses. They also work for light holiday costumes – just add homemade accessories. With the right styling, dungarees keep kids looking sharp but comfy at school, parties or errands.
Finally, denim jackets perfectly complement dungarees when a light coat is needed. The denim-on-denim Canadian tuxedo is a versatile childhood classic. With an array of styling options, you can build an entire versatile kid’s wardrobe around beloved dungarees.
Why are denim dungarees so ideal for kids?
After covering denim selection, fit, durability and styling, let’s reflect on why parents and kids love dungarees so much:
- Comfort – High quality denim with a touch of give conforms and moves with kids for unrestricted mobility. Adjustable straps prevent pinching and pulling.
- Durability – Reinforced stress points can withstand tumbles, climbs and rambunctious play. Denim ages gracefully over multiple kids.
- Adjustability – Straps, snaps and button sides adapt sizing as kids sprout. Built-in growth flexibility makes them economical.
- Stylishness – Classic dungarees express carefree childhood in a fashionable package. They dress up or down for any occasion.
- Versatility – Dungarees layer smoothly under jackets or over tees and shirts. And they work year-round for any season.
- Value – With the cost per wear over years, a quality pair of denim dungarees is a smart investment in kids’ wardrobes.
Still have questions? Here are answers to common denim dungaree FAQs:
What are the best ages for kids to wear denim dungarees?
- Dungarees are suitable for most kids from toddler to tween ages. Look for adjustable elements for babies and active features like knee patches for older kids. Preschool to elementary ages are the prime dungaree years.
Should I buy denim dungarees tight or oversized?
- Purchase them snug but not constricting to allow for growth spurts. Measure about an inch larger than current waist/inseam since the adjustable straps/sides give some wiggle room.
What types of denim are most durable for kids’ dungarees?
- Thicker 12 ounce denim holds up extremely well. For a softer feel, 10 ounce with a touch of stretch is ideal. Look for 100% cotton or cotton blends – they’re breathable and hold color.
How can I soften stiff new denim dungarees for sensitive kids’ skin?
- Wash dungarees a few times before wearing to soften the denim fibers. Turn them inside out to prevent fading and wash on a gentle cycle in cold water, hang drying.
What are the best denim dungaree colors for versatility?
- Classic blue and black never go out of style. White looks sharp and pairs with any color top. Earth tones like moss green or gray work year-round. Dark washes also hide dirt better!
Should denim dungarees have adjustable straps and side tabs?
- Definitely – adjustable elements allow you to modify fit as kids have growth spurts. Multi-position straps and snaps offer tons of sizing flexibility.
Are zipper or snap closures better for dungarees?
- Snaps conveniently fasten but can wear out over time. Buttons allow for incremental size adjustments and have durability. For toddlers, elastic waists are gentle and stretchy.
What are the best shoes to wear with kids’ denim dungarees?
- Casual sneakers or sandals complement a relaxed outfit. Cowboy boots or dress shoes polish up the look. Play shoes that can get dirty allow kids to romp worry-free.
I hope this detailed overview helps you feel confident selecting awesome denim dungarees that your kids will love wearing over and over! Dungarees with style, comfort and durability give children the freedom to just play and be kids while making great memories. Whether it’s playdates at the park, family trips to the fair or those beloved back-to-school photos, trusty denim dungarees have you covered. Let the adventures begin!