Boys Costumes: “When I Grow Up” Career Costumes That He’ll Be Proud To Wear!

When I Grow Up Boys Costumes -“What do you want to be when you grow up?” We start asking our boys this question at such an early age, as we’re fascinated to hear the answers, aren’t we? We write it down for posterity, we chat about the many possibilities for them, and we definitely encourage them to role play in boys costumes like the ones we’re looking at today!

Why encourage career role play?

Role playing has so many benefits. It encourages both independent and cooperative play. Children learn to express themselves creatively, devising stories of their own (narrative thinking). It also gives them room to “try on” something new for fun, and gets them dreaming of what COULD BE! It’s also great for their self esteem, as they can be a real success in a chosen field of play!  (See Boys Dress Up – Role Playing for more on boys dress up in general.)

12 Inspiring Career Role Playing Boys Costumes!


What follows is a boys dress up collection I had fun selecting after digging around the net… they are 12 of the best selling and highest reviewed boys costumes – all in the theme of “When I Grow Up”.  I hope you really enjoy it, and are able to get some new ideas for your boys dress up play!   

By the way, these costumes are also great for your little girls, as careers are not and should not be limited to a specific gender, I believe. That being said, check out Role Playing Costumes For Girls if you want some more feminine ideas!

(As an Amazon Associate I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases made through links on this page, at no additional cost to you. Full Disclosure.)


When I Grow Up, I Want To Be A Police Officer!

When I grow up, I want to be… A POLICE OFFICER!

It’s a noble profession, but a challenging one. Scary, but oh so important. Especially in today’s world, being a Cop is serious business… and we certainly want so GOOD COPS in our cities… so let’s inspire our boys to rise to the challenge! They’ll have fun looking the part, Protecting and Serving in this awesome police officer role play set from the Melissa & Doug line! Comes with tons of fun perks like the radio, whistle, handcuffs, ticket, name badge, and more!

CLICK HERE to check out details! Rated 4.8/5 stars by over 2000 reviewers!


When I Grow Up, I Want To Be A Construction Worker!

When I grow up, I want to be… A CONSTRUCTION WORKER!

Work Zone ahead! Is your little guy obsessed with construction zones, tractors, and the like? There’s just something about those machines, tools, dirt, lumber, and whatnot that just scream “get in there!” too our little guys, isn’t there?

This role play set comes with all the gear he’ll need to get busy building and fixing all over the house and yard! Comes with everything you see in the pic (except the pants and white tshirt). 🙂

CLICK HERE to check out details! Rated 4.7/5 stars by over 1600 reviewers!


When I Grow Up, I Want To Be A Train Engineer! www.kidslovedressup.comWhen I grow up, I want to be… A TRAIN ENGINEER!

All aboard the train heading towards adventures in Playland! This awesome Melissa & Doug role play train engineer set will inspire some serious play time. Does your boy have a love for trains? Does he have his own railroad set? Outfit him in THIS and watch him come to life as a real train engineer, fixing the tracks, organizing the railroad, and basically, trying on a fun career for size.

CLICK HERE to check out details! Rated 4.7/5 stars by over 125 reviewers!


When I Grow Up, I Want To Be A Chef! www.kidslovedressup.comWhen I grow up, I want to be a CHEF!

You  might think this chef’s costume looks girly, but read the reviews on it and see that it’s definitely for boys too… little guys also LOVE to cook and bake with their moms or dads, and play Cooking Shows too.

This is a machine washable, well-made cloth costume, again by Melissa & Doug… good for LOTS of messy “real” food play and “fake” food play! And it comes with the fun utensils you see here as well. 🙂

CLICK HERE to check out details! Rated 4.8/5 stars by over 1100 reviewers!


When I Grow Up, I Want To Be... A Spy!

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be… A Spy!

He’s a sly spy, with a secret identity. Who does he work for? What is he doing? Who is he after?  No one knows.  (And that’s half the fun, isn’t it?)

This spy outfit can inspire lots of creative dress up play, as well as trigger the idea of detective work later on in life!

CLICK HERE to check out details! Rated 4.2/5 stars by over 180 reviewers!


When I Grow Up, I Want To Be An Airplane Pilot! www.kidslovedressup.comWhen I grow up, I want to be… an AIRPLANE PILOT!

“This is your captain speaking! We’re ready for take-off!” Dress up play will be taking off too when he’s wearing this awesome Airline Pilot costume! He’ll have so much fun setting course, flying his passengers to their destinations safely and speedily!

This fun Pilot role play costume (by Melissa & Doug) comes with the blue uniform jacket with shirtfront, detachable necktie, captain’s hat, flight wings, reusable preflight checklist, and the steering yoke.

CLICK HERE to check out details! Rated 4.3/5 stars by over 25 reviewers!


When I grow up, I want to be… a RACE CAR DRIVER!

Does your boy have a NEED for SPEED? Does he dream of being a race car driver when he grows up? Is he ready to win the Formula One, or take over Nascar? Ok, I won’t pretend to know anything about car racing, but I do know that little boys are often VERY drawn to it. Maybe it’s the fascinating cars… maybe it’s the glitz and the glamor (guy style), maybe it’s the speed… whatever it is, having a stylish race car role play costume and accessories in your dress up box will be a BIG hit.

CLICK HERE to check out details! Rated 4.5/5 stars by over 725 reviewers!




When I grow up, I want to be... a SOLDIER! www.kidslovedressup.comWhen I grow up, I want to be… a SOLDIER!

If your boy is into “all things army”, and dreams already of serving our country as a soldier, this might be the dress up costume he’ll just LOVE. He’ll have a great time pretending he’s a real marine or soldier, dodging the bad guys, rescuing those who need help, and fighting the enemy in this authentic looking camo suit!

CLICK HERE to check out details! Rated 4.1/5 stars by over 50 reviewers!



When I grow up, I want to be... an ASTRONAUT! www.kidslovedressup.comWhen I grow up, I want to be… an ASTRONAUT!

This is THE space suit dress up outfit you’ll need to look at if your son loves all things space related. Why? Because it’s THE space suit costume seen at NASA, THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE, SCIENCE MUSEUMS and CHILDREN’S MUSEUMS around the world. Yep, that’s right… it’s actually an award winning costume! Check out the reviews… parents and kids love it.

So is your son ready to blast off to the moon, or further… to the stars?! Outfitted in this amazing astronaut costume by Aeromax, he’ll be dreaming of a career in space travel for years to come!

CLICK HERE to check out details! Rated 4.8/5 stars by over 1,115 reviewers!  (That’s pretty awesome.)


When I grow up, I want to be… a FIREFIGHTER!

The Classic. Which boy at some point in his early childhood does NOT have a dream of being a firefighter, jumping on a big red firetruck whose lights are flashing and siren screaming, performing daring imaginary rescues… it’s almost a childhood right of passage. And every boy needs a firefighter hat, at the very least, to role play with. Right?

This costume takes it a few notches higher than your average firefighter outfit. It’s pretty amazing. And realistic. Check it out for sure if your boy has more than just a little interest in fire fighting. It’ll definitely “fan the flames” of his imaginary play!

CLICK HERE to check out details! Rated 4.8/5 stars by over 220 reviewers!


Football Player: When I Grow Up themed Boys Costumes. www.kidslovedressup.comWhen I grow up, I want to be… a FOOTBALL PLAYER!

This is a BIG one for so many little boys, so have you as a parent ever thought of making sports gear like jerseys and dress up helmets part of your boy’s dress up collection?? He might not consider sports gear as dress up, but it totally is!! He’ll have fun impersonating his heros, scoring touchdowns of his own, and may just wear it around the house and outside regardless of whether or not he considers it play.

This Franklin Sports outfit is customizable. You can select his favorite team, pick the jersey number and colors… get his favorites and he might just never take it off. Comes with a dress up helmet, elastic waisted pants, and the jersey (iron on numbers). He’ll be ready to win the Superbowl!

CLICK HERE to check out details! Rated 4.6/5 stars by over 1,585 reviewers!


When I grow up, I want to be… a DOCTOR!

Ok, Moms and Dads… which one of you doesn’t secretly love the idea of his son becoming a doctor or surgeon some day? I highly doubt I’m the only one.

Many children love to play doctor, nurse, veterinarian, or surgeon – and they’ll really feel the part in this very realistic, excellent quality set of scrubs. Add a kids medical kit and he’ll be ready to start helping his long line of patients, including, of course, you.

CLICK HERE to check out details! Rated 4.7/5 stars by over 215 reviewers!



speechbubbleAren’t these costumes just fabulous?? I love how our boys can really begin to dream big while dressed up in these career role playing clothes. Boys costumes sure don’t have to be all about gore and fright – there’s so much more!

For some other interesting dress up stuff specifically aimed at boys, check out these pages! 

Thanks for reading, and please let me know what you think below! Do you encourage “When I Grow Up” themed dress up for your boys? Do they LIKE it? Or do they gravitate towards Superheroes and Adventures pretty quickly?




Boys Costumes: "When I Grow Up" Career Costumes Boys Will Be Proud To Wear! -- Boys Costumes, Career Costumes, Kids Costumes, Boys Dress Up, Boys Halloween

14 thoughts on “Boys Costumes: “When I Grow Up” Career Costumes That He’ll Be Proud To Wear!

  1. Emma October 27, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    This looks like a lot of fun and I never knew that you could get so many different types of costumes!!! I could just see my little cousin in these, he would be adorable! He was given a toy chainsaw for Christmas with a chain that actually moved around because he wanted to be just like his Dad and chop down trees! Of course he picked up his chainsaw and ran off to the nearest tree and was sooo disappointed that he couldn’t saw into it!!!! It was so funny but sad at the same time because he REALLY wanted to cut down the tree!
    I think, when I was little I would’ve loved to be either the policeman, firefighter or the astronaut!

    • Marlaine October 27, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      Hi Emma,
      Little boys and their Daddies… it’s SO fun to watch!! Did you get a picture of your little cousin in action? 🙂
      Role playing is definitely not gender specific, is it? My 3 year old daughter is going to dress up as a firefighter for Halloween this year! And boy is she excited! 🙂 (That’s why I also made a When I Grow Up Costumes for Girls page too…)
      Have a good day!

  2. furkan October 27, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    When I was a kid I always dream myself a spy and my little cousin may like that costume. he does lots of dancing. So, which costume do you think a better fit for him?

    • Marlaine October 27, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      Hi Furkan, Thanks for dropping by!
      Spy costumes can definitely lead to lots of fun and creative play, but I’m not sure how to advise you on this one… it would depend on what kind of dancing he likes to do, and just how much fun he has doing it!
      Sometimes introducing a completely different costume option from the usual favorites (in his case, dancing?) can lead to a huge success, but sometimes it’s honestly a huge waste of money. Might be worth asking his Mom or Dad, maybe… they might know!
      Have a great day!

  3. Dan October 27, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    This is actually a brilliant idea to encourage kids to look at good careers when they’re older! Im going to tell my sister about these costumes for her 2 year old!

    • Marlaine October 27, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      I know what you mean! It’s not like a little guy is REALLY going to become Batman or Harry Potter someday, right? 😉 All good play, but with some hints and encouragement from parents, he might develop an interest in space, detective work, cooking, etc., that will do him well in life! Thanks for passing on the info to your sister!

  4. Amanda October 31, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    I absolutely love this idea of encouraging career role play. I think it would be equally as important to encourage girls to play out these same roles, but you’ve already covered that in your Girls Dress Up Costume section. Great article! This really helps kids to understand that they are our future leaders.

    • Marlaine November 1, 2016 at 12:24 am

      Glad you enjoyed the post! And yes, I agree with you 100% that these are NOT gender specific roles!! That post you referred to is When I Grow Up Costumes for Girls – hope you enjoyed it too! Cheers!

  5. Pitin November 2, 2016 at 3:29 am

    Super cute costumes. I think they can be used by girls as well, and they look quite generic. I wonder if you have written a list of costumes for girls as well? My daughter likes to play with our blankets and any piece of cloth she would find and turn them into dresses, LOL. I am sure she would be crazy actually to see and wear a costume that is ready-made. 🙂

    • Marlaine November 2, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      Hi Pitin,

      Thanks for commenting! I totally agree these costumes would do for girls too… but if you’re interested, check out my post on When I Grow Up Girls Costumes for some different ideas, more “traditionally girl roles”.

      My kids do the same as your daughter… use material to make a fun outfit. Scarves and pashminas are big hits here, actually! As is a no-longer-used bathing suit sarong! 🙂 Imaginations are fabulous things. That’s why I love dress up play so much!

      Cheers, and have a great day!

  6. teachexplorerun May 4, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    Sometimes it makes me really sad that people automatically think boys can’t play dress up. What an inspirational idea as well as great costume ideas to purchase. Thank you for getting this list together. I also think girls can benefit from this list since it doesn’t focus on being a princess. Should parents play dress up with their kids as well? Do you have suggestions for clean adult costumes?

    • Marlaine May 8, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      I know what you mean, that the whole idea of dress up has been mostly focused on little girls in the past. I do find that it’s changing somewhat, with the popularity of Superheroes rising quickly. The little boys I know do love “Real Hero” costume play too though, like firemen, paramedics, etc. Personally, I’m glad – I love the whole role play stuff… gives children (boys too) a wider view of the world!

      I love playing dress up with my kids, but pretty much everything in our dress up collection is child-sized. I think parents playing dress up alongside their kids doesn’t have to mean the parent IN a costume though – they can play the role of the story teller, the costume-change-assistant, the “why don’t we try __ next” idea fountain, and so on.

      This site is geared to children’s costumes – but check out Pinterest for clean adult costumes… it’s amazing!! (And while you’re there, give me a follow! 🙂 )

      Thanks for the comment, and have a great day!

  7. Henryan July 28, 2017 at 2:07 am

    A kid likes to see adults for their role model. They will have a dream to pursue. That a lot of choices for the costumes and kid will love it. They can be whatever they want to be. This can be a perfect present for the kids. This is great information. Thanks

    • Marlaine July 28, 2017 at 9:30 am

      I love watching kids pretend to be grown-ups hard at work, and yes, these costumes can definitely help them get “in character”! Our kids got a few of these for Christmas last year and have been having a GREAT time playing doctor, fire-fighter, and more!
      Thanks for your comment, Henryan! Have a great day today!

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