Am I Unethical For Buying “Boys” Shirts?

Posted on Nov 16, 2009 in Save Money | 23 comments

So recently I was able to save money on shirts by buying them in the boys section instead of the women’s section. I first found a shirt that was $6 in Boys that cost $13 in womens.

About two weeks later the shirts went on sale (super score!!!!) for $3 each so I skipped over to the Boys section again and got three more (those were the only colors left). I disclosed my findings to a friend to show off my super saving skills…when he turned up his nose at me and said that I was being unethical.

3PoloHe said that the shirts were marked as boys sizes and were being marketed to boys and their parents so it was wrong of me to purchase the shirts for myself. He went on to further state that I was being a frugal fraud and was depriving someone else of the good deal on Boys shirts by snatching them up for my personal use.

I ended up paying $9 for the three shirts in the boys section, as opposed to $13 for one shirt in the womens section.

I think that I scored a great deal as I now have 5 casual Friday shirts and can wear a different one every week without repeating the same look.

What do you think? Am I being unethical for purchasing Boys polo shirts for myself? Or am I being a savvy shopper (after all aren’t polo shirts unisex?) and just finding more ways to save money by thinking outside the box?


  1. OMG! Unethical??? frugal fraud?? Depriving someone else of a good deal? You have to be kidding. No, you are absolutely not being unethical or immoral or anything else. If the shirt fits, buy it. You just saved some kid from being forced to wear the shirt after his mother buys it (been there, done that, you would have thought that I had asked him to wear a bikini than the polo shirt I bought for him.) Clothes are separated into departments so that people can find them not to exclude or restrict people from buying them.

  2. Thanks for backing me up… what did you do to the poor child ‘forcing’ him to wear the shirt….hee hee.

  3. You are so not being unethical! There are no rules as to who can purchase clothes in different price points and departments – that is one of the silliest things I have ever heard! Keep finding good deals!!!!

  4. Unethical? What does the guy think about hand me downs? Should you throw out the leftovers? Where would he draw the line? Consider yourself lucky to be able to fit into boy sizes! That is SMART shopping.

  5. On a similar note, I’ve heard that some girls buy shirts at Baby Gap because Baby Gap has lower prices on similar items (and many are the same size) as Gap.

    • Also the reason I buy socks in the mens department instead of women. Men’s Hanes socks are cheaper than women’s…I just get the ones with the red writing to make me feel girly.

  6. um, okay NO! you are not being unethical at all! that was so weird of your friend to say that…A deal is a deal and it doesn’t matter who gets the deal first! I hope you continue to find great deals in the boys section!

  7. That is in no way unethical! Boys’ clothing is cheaper because well…there’s less material. If you can fit into boys’ clothes then sure why not? You are buying them for use. It is not taking away from other boys. You are free to buy whatever you want and you are paying for it so why not? It’s not like you are taking free food that is being given out to the needy.

  8. i am also turning my nose up at you as i write this comment. Women should stay on their side of the store and men on theirs. This is an unfair advantage that women have in that they can wear anything even men’s clothes and get away with it while men cannot do this abominable act. A tomboy is more socially acceptable than a transvestite

    • I do hope that you are joking when you say this. Polo shirts are unisex to the best of my knowledge…..much like socks. I am also not a tomboy….that has nothing to do with buying a shirt to get a good deal on the price. The shirts all look the same…the only difference is that on the boys shirts it says ‘children’ on the tag inside.

  9. I think there are many more things that you could worry about being ethical about. Is it ethical for the company to charge more for the women’s shirts than the boys’ shirts when they use the same amount of material? I think not. Everything for women is more expensive than the male version – think underwear and haircuts just to start.

  10. hehehe, nice try to save some hard earned money :)

    i also like polo shirts, and yes they are unisex :)

  11. That’s not unethical at all…I know a lot of adults who actually have to wear kids sizes because that’s just what fits better. I was actually pretty tempted to buy my daughter some boys tshirts the other day because they were on sale – and had they had something a little more “neutral” I know I would have…sadly they were all race cars, rocket ships, and shirts that said “super guy” on them, lol.

  12. Wow and wow! Your friend and I would not get along. You are being a savvy shopper and there is nothing wrong with that! It’s in no way unethical to shop in the little boys section (I’ve done so many a times myself). I also order kids meals when I go out to restaurants and fast food restaurants because the meals usually have the perfect amount of food I’d like to eat. I’m sure your friend would have me scolded for that LOL! (Please note that when I do that at a sit-down I always leave a tip proportionate to an ADULT sized meal)

  13. This was a great blog post about something I rarely think about. My wife buys men’s shirts all the time and gets them for a fraction of the cost of a women’s shirt. We also shop from the clearance racks for all of our kids clothes. We also buy things out of season for the next year. This works so well for us and we don’t have to worry about paying full price for clothes.

    • Well as long as you are saving money then I guess you are doing the right thing. It is easy to get things out of season if you don’t care about keeping up with the latest fashion and think more about the functionality of clothing. Tell your wife I give her two thumbs up!!!!

  14. Isn’t there a difference in the cut (shape) of a shirt made for men versus women?

    • yes there is in some models of t-shirts. its about front part, front part of a t shirt for girls is a little bit longer :)

  15. As everyone has mentioned already.. unethical what? Your friend is overreacting. Who’s to say if someone will buy the shirts or not too, if you didn’t buy?

    • i think the same, your friends maybe is overracting :)

  16. I don’t think it is unethical, if anything you are being a smart person by doing it this way. If anything this should open up the eyes of everyone to look for better deals whenever going out for clothes shopping, and shopping in general.

    Till then,


  17. Hahahahahahahaha! This is the first time I found your blog, and this post caught my eye! Unethical? The person clearly hasn’t got the faintest notion what that statement implies! Conserving and saving at all costs is something that should be encouraged and seen as virtuous, not met with thet kind of judgemental attitude!

  18. IMO it’s not unethical buying boys shirts. Yes, polo shirts are unisex.

Leave a Reply