Friday, October 2, 2009

School Uniforms and McCall's 4922.

Life with a dress code policy. Fine for a job, but a pain-in-the-you-know-what for parents like me in a public school district that just went to a standardized dress code (technically--UNIFORMS!). Although the claim can be made that uniforms save money in the long run, for me it has been a huge monetary investment since my four kids needed entirely brand new wardrobes. I've probably already spent at least $1,000 on back to school clothes with another $500 to be spent on winter attire that meets the school code standards.


A true uniform, IMO, would be much easier. Instead, we have choices. For pants, Docker style navy blue, black, or khaki/stone colored pants. Shorts and skirts are to be the same colors and must come down to the knee cap. Tops have to have buttons up to the neck (one unbuttoned is okay) in oxford style (girls tops can be a little fancy with gathered sleeves, front pleats, etc., but must be in the full button down style of an oxford WITH a collar). Tops can be white, grey, any shade of blue, or black. Same color tops and bottoms cannot be worn, for example, black shirt with black pants. AND absolutely NO logos or symbols of any type.


Kids have been sent to ISS for tops with no collars, pants with rivets, pants with more than 4 pockets, pockets below the hipline, shirts that don't have buttons up to the neck, skirts that are too short, etc., from Day 1. That includes Kindergarten students too. I think there were something like 2 full rooms of In-School Suspension kids for failure to follow the dress code to a T the first day of school, and that was just at the Intermediate school (grades 5-7).


Unfortunately for me, our "standardized dress code" has too many choices which means more money. The boys are easy, they're young and not picky. A plain 'ol polo in any color will do them just fine. They're not particular about their pants either. Girls, on the other hand, need "fancy" style oxford blouses. Princess seaming, tucks, gathered sleeves, and ruffled fronts in the broad array of "acceptable" colors which includes ANY shade of blue. Skirts with fancy seaming and detailing is a big thing. It would be SO much easier if the uniform was like a Catholic school uniform. One color/style blouse, one style/color dress.


Choices may be nice for the kids, but the bottom line is that choices mean more money for the parents. And I haven't even gotten to shoes. They must be in a predominate color of black or white. No fancy colors or stripes. That's really hard too. I like my kids to have good footwear with good support, but find myself shopping at Walmart for cheap, plain color sneakers and shoes. DD#2's cheapo shoes I bought at Payless were killing her feet. The Dr. Scholl's insoles helped, but I may have to go the route of $60 or $70 Naturalizers. It was far easier when my sporty girl simply needed one pair of shoes--her top-quality sneakers for almost the year.

So where does this lead up to? McCall's 4922.
A princess seamed blouse with several variations. That's what I'm working on right now for DD#2. I made a design modification which is one of 3 design sketches I drew on paper which deviate a bit from the standard, classic button-down oxford shirt style.

Detailed info on that is in my next blog post.

12 comments:

thornberry said...

I love school uniforms (my daughter is at primary school). Two summer dresses, one summer skort, two short-sleeved polo shirts, two winter tunics, one pair winter pants, one jacket. Plus one pair school shoes for winter and one pair school sandals for summer. That's it! Love it, entire year's wardrobe for around A$250, and no decisions needed when getting dressed in the morning. Have added a home-knitted winter vest, home-crocheted hat and scarf for winter too. Good luck with the sewing - you seem to have chosen the perfect pattern.

Salinda said...

yuck. i'm sorry your experience with uniforms has been so expense. our school has a fairly simply plan: red or navy polos (minus logos) in short/long sleeve, khaki pants, shorts, or skorts, white peter-pan color tops under the school plaid jumper, or white sailor tops with the school plaid skirt.

I get by with one jumper and white top, two khaki shorts/skorts, one khaki pant, 3 polos, and a fleece! I have to remember to do a load of laundry daily, but that's the worst of it.

Anonymous said...

We have a school uniform--one style of skirt, jumper, blouse, etc., and I've often wished for choices! I would love to buy or make pretty blouses for my DD, and I'd love to see a variety of colors. One of the issues that has come up at our school is that no matter what uniform company we try, we simply cannot get all of the "right" styles in the wide range of sizes needed--despite the uniform company's claims. Tall, thin boys, husky boys, tall, thin girls, and plus sized girls all have problems no matter what companies we've tried.

Tiner W

mpressivethreadzstudio said...

I LOVE school uniforms. In my county almost all of the public schools are in uniforms, even the high schools. I have never found it to be expensive. Five pairs of pants and five polo tops. When the kids were in elementary school, I would take the long sleeve tops from the previous school year and cut the sleeves to short sleeves for the new school year. When winter came, I brought new long sleeve tops because the kids had grown since the previous winter. In high school, I only replaced the items that they grew out of. The only purchases for a new school year, sneakers and school supplies!

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Generic Viagra said...

i do not believe in the code dress, i think that this is unnecessary because we have our own school dress.

Generic Viagra said...

I get by with one jumper and white top, two khaki shorts, one khaki pant, 3 polos, and a fleece!