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Thursday, 4 October 2012

Too cool for school

It's been a month since the return to school and if your little ones school is as strict as mine, every newsletter since the beginning of term has had a large section dedicated to the importance of uniform and the strict rules surrounding it.  I fully support the uniform policy at our school, and, although I would personally prefer a more formal uniform, tie, blazer etc..  I am happy with the general look except for the 'track bottoms' my three year old, who is in the nursery, is required to wear.
I know that uniform is not supposed to be 'fashionable', but it is supposed to match and be smart, so why does he have to wear tracksuit bottoms with shoes?  The first time I read the uniform list I cringed.  What?  track, as in running on the, with shoes?  Notoriously children's school shoes look a little clownishly (is that even a word) big, add that to the fact that they are popping out at the end of their bodies under track bottoms elasticated at the ankle.  Ridiculous!  And certainly not smart.  They do now sell school shoes that look like trainers but those are forbidden at our school.  Why couldn't they wear grey trousers like the rest of the school? As a child stylist I could not let my son 'go down like that'.

 I read the uniform policy carefully, twice!  It states, navy blue tracksuit bottoms, that's it.  I searched high and low and found navy blue bottoms with a trouser style hem.  They are from Gap and have their logo at the top which is covered by his sweatshirt.  The general quality of the schools items aren't to my standard and, if I had an embroidery machine, I would buy my own plain items and customise, who would know!  Mmmm, in fact.....  I think I know someone who has a machine.  Maybe I'm a little snobbish in regards to clothing but I feel that the better the quality of materials, the longer the items will last and the longer they will retain the 'smart' look.

Please understand, I am also not a rebel, but good quality and styling is what makes smart, well smart, I should go around to schools and point this fact out to Headteachers and governors, it's definitely a trick they are missing!  With careful and subtle styling I believe I have managed to make my children stand out from the others and, my 10 year old is always picked out at the first assembly to showcase what the uniform should look like, result!  Next time you go to buy unfiorm for your son remember my top 5 tips below


  1. Size.  I know you want your child's clothes to last but two sizes bigger?  One size bigger is enough, colours are likely to fade and sweaters either stretch or shrink so won't be that great looking for too long anyway.
  2. Quantity.  I always buy five shirts and at least three sweaters.  The more often you wash the uniforms the worse for wear they will look.  If you can afford a full set of uniform for each day you will find they last longer and look better at the end of the year.
  3. Re-purpose.  Boys and trouser knees!  They are always torn.  Have them altered into shorts for the summer months or try and have a go yourself it's quite simple.
  4. Labelling.  Place labels in two different places in your child's clothing, that way there can be no dispute as to who's items are who's, if one label falls off there is always a back up!
  5. Price.   You get what you pay for....  knitted items are subject to shrinkage and, if your uniforms have dark colours they will lose colour after regular washes.  Spend a bit more on knitted items and shoes they will last longer!


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