Boxer shorts and cotton undershirts make cheaper summer PJs

Susan’s saving money on summer sleepwear:

This is probably a “duh” moment for some Parenthackers, but I thought I’d write just in case. I was in the store (Target) the other day bemoaning the idea of having to buy summer pajamas for my kiddos. They’re not cheap, and here in New England the summer doesn’t last that long anyway. Then it dawned on me – why do they have to be actual pajamas? So I bought some cool (sports) boxer shorts and a pack of undershirts that were on the big side, and for under $20 produced 5 pair of “summer pajamas.” I even did it for my daughter too, with some funky plaid and smiley boxers, and the basic undershirts.

Excellent. You can often buy 3-packs of boxers on sale (in the underwear aisle). I’ve seen good deals (and cute prints) at Old Navy, too.

Oh, and for the record? One parent’s "duh" moment is another parent’s lifesaver. So never think a hack is too simple to send in!

PS. While searching for a graphic to include with this post, I discovered that sells Scarface boxer shorts. Because some percentage of the male population wants a picture of Al Pacino on his underpants. Yeah. Hm.

Related: DIY summer PJs: just cut the arms and legs off of winter pajamas


  1. veggiewarrior says

    I just did this, too! I only wish I had heard or thought of it last year. Great minds think alike. HeHe!

  2. carmie says

    I take it one step further and dress my 2 year old in what he’ll be wearing the next day. He lives in tshirts or tanks and stretchy shorts all summer. It makes mornings a lot easier, as all I have to do is a diaper change.

  3. says

    That is such a great idea, I hate paying to much for PJ’s since they only sleep in them & outgrow so fast. I can’t wait to go buy some “new pj’s”

  4. says

    This is sort of a Duh for me, but it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my frugal habit. In the winter we switch to sweatpants, which are often much cheaper than pajamas. But they are baggy. If a child is going to be near a fire (i.e. fireplace) I think it’s recommended that they wear snug jammies.

    I just read that some people sweat up to 1/3 of liquid a night! I know my husband and one of my sons burn like furnaces during the night, so I’d never want them to wear their night clothes during the day. TMI?

  5. Ethel says

    Another cheap option: Very worn second-hand clothing. Often these clothes are very soft and comfy but rather ugly and faded. Even the holes don’t really matter, as long as they don’t bother your kids.

    I use a similar hack for my own PJ’s, too – I wear favorite clothes that just aren’t good enough for public anymore. I don’t have to give up the clothes I love, and I’m comfy.

  6. Nikki says

    That’s what I do – the boxer short/t-shirt route but I did read somewhere recently another fabulous tip. One mom takes the winter jammies and cuts off the legs and sleeves making them into summer jammies. If I wasn’t saving my clothes for the next kid, I think I’d do this. Most often when summer runs around my son is still in the same size as winter so this would work great!

  7. Annie says

    I did this too this summer! My kids whined about not having their character pjs so I promised the could embellish their new pajamas. I let them have sharpies (or fabric markers), iron ons, fabric glue to put on sequins and such. They made their own creations, I saved $ and we’re all happy.

    ps-for my daughter, I bought the tank top style undershirts and cheapie $3 shorts. She wouldn’t go for the boxers :(

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